í Assignments


í Due May 21: Post your three proposals to this website
Tue, May 14

Due May 21

As per listed on the syllabus, everyone should have three proposals posted to this website as a media attachment and categorized under “Finished Proposals”. If you were working collaboratively, put a post that links to your classmate’s post.



í Syllabus

Call for Proposals (3108-01), Spring 2013
Rhode Island School of Design
– – –
Design Center, Rm 404
Tuesdays, 8am – 1pm
– – –
Instructor: John Caserta, jcaserta@risd.edu
Office Hours: Mondays 9:30am – 12:30pm
The Design Office, 204 Westminster St. 3rd flr


The work of a designer should not be limited to solving other people’s problems. Designers
have the conceptual and communicative skills necessary to generate their own projects.
This proactive view of design has been named
by critics as design entrepreneurship or designer as author/producer.

Whether running a proactive practice or not, the designer works as much on proposals as she does “real” projects. A proposal is both a prospectus for what the designer hopes will come, and an important way to develop the core ideas of the project itself. Where proposal ends and project begins is often blurry, made clear by deadlines and the audience for whom the work is intended. Any complex project will flop back and forth with “finished” works leading to new proposals and vice versa. Whether in response to a grant, contest or an open call, self-initiated projects are searching for their true place and form. The proposal is an important way to discover these issues.

Architects and artists are far more used to making proposals in the form of models. Designer Norman Potter defines a model as held to “discern, examine, propose, or illustrate a possibility; a ‘construct’ to occupy and realize it — one is propositional by nature; the other, exhibitive.”

This class will collect active calls and students will submit proposals to calls that fit their project interests. As a group, we will collect precedents and resources tailored to student specific projects. This will happen online as an open resource for colleagues.

Objectives and Expectations

  • to build processes and habits needed for a self-driven practice
  • to hone presentation and communication skills
  • to learn how to discover opportunities available to designers (and share)
  • to assess need for a greater system of collecting
  • to start building a body of own work
  • to test collaborative methods — giving up role of sole auteur


The following criteria are used for assessment:

  • Attendance (3rd absence fails the course)
  • Participation to website and in class
  • Motivation/Attitude
  • Craftsmanship
  • Depth of investigation
  • Risk taking
  • Teamwork and individual growth

Course Format

The class will meet as a group weekly to discuss new proposal opportunities. Students should plan to be self-directed outside and inside class, working to meet three actual proposal deadlines that fall at various times. A final “open” Kickstarter project should have a web component, emailable deck presentation and elevator pitch. Students without project ideas early on can adopt ideas from the instructor or classmates. Later in the semester, students may team up based on talents and project interest.