Hello all,

We’ll have coffee and pastries delivered to the room before class and for break. We’ll be running on a tight schedule… so be sure to arrive on time. Anther, I have you first.

10 minutes max presentation, 10 minutes discussion. Better if you present for less time.

I’ll follow up with an email that I sent the critics…

9:00 Introduction to critics
9:10 Anther – Design for Commerce (3 projects under one umbrella)
9:30 Justin – etc Magazine
9:50 Elie – Radio RISD
10:10 Carly – Book Proposal
10:30 Jen and Anne – City Development


11:10 Kaveh – Installation
11:30 Jay and Carlos – Installation
11:50 Jay – Installation #2
12:10 Daniel – Roomie

12:30 — Course evaluations

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Prepared and developed for programming support. It would be great to hear feedback before the crit.


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Frieze Writer’s Prize is an annual international award to discover and promote new art critics.

Entrants must submit one unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, which should be 700 words in length. Entries must be submitted in English, but may be translated (this must be acknowledged). Entrants must be over 18 years of age. To qualify, entrants may only previously have had a maximum of three pieces of writing on art published. The winning entrant will be commissioned to write a review for frieze and will be awarded £2,000. Entries should be emailed as a word attachment to writersprize@frieze.com. Please do not send images.

The closing date for entries is 22 July 2013.


Christy Lange (associate editor of frieze)
Sean O’Toole (co-editor of CityScapes)
Lynne Tillman (fiction writer and critic)


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More than a decade ago Sappi Fine Paper North America— the maker of McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo — established the Ideas that Matter grant program to recognize and support designers who use their skills and expertise to solve communications problems for a wide range of charitable activities. Even today, Ideas that Matter remains the only grant program of its kind in the industry. Since 1999, Ideas that Matter has funded over 500 nonprofit projects, contributing $12 million worldwide to causes that enhance our lives, our communities and our planet. Sappi believes that the creative ideas of designers can have an impact beyond the aesthetic and that those ideas can be a powerful force for social good. Working together with our customers, we aim to make a difference.

Due July 19

More information and entry form

Video from last year’s winner, Lowell Williams

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Y Final review critics for May 14

Do you think you can design a better MBTA map? Here′s the opportunity for you to show us what a new T map could look like.

In celebration of National Transportation Week (May 12 — 18, 2013) the MBTA and MassDOT are sponsoring a contest to tap into the creativity of our customers and to build on the public′s interest in mapping. The contest offers contestants the opportunity to develop alternative versions of the MBTA rapid transit (or “spider”) map.

Find out more.

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Greetings all… let’s meet as a class tomorrow from 9am until 1pm. We should
use this time to review everyone’s final proposal.

We have four excellent critics for our final class next week. I’ll give you
more info about them then.

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Prepared and presented via email to RISD CSI in mid-April to garner support and initial funding of $2k.

Radio RISD

Update: CSI will support this with space and web hosting.

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How did the project get started?

  • background is in architecture and design from Iowa State
  • graduated in 2006 and worked at Gensler in Santa Monica
  • while he was there he got into this problem of putting together a lot of presentation boards
  • wanted to use graphics to visually communicate these ideas
  • when he was doing a lot of sketches in college he hit a rut where he couldn’t find a subject-matter to draw that inspired him
  • so decided to draw the simple things that inspired him when he as a child
  • started drawing sequoias, trains, trucks, combines
  • in 2008 he got laid off
  • then decided to try to get this idea off the ground
  • the workflow in architecture is very fragment: you design everything and then you build it
  • he tried to bring this same mentality to build a website but found that it works very differently
  • with a website you start small and build from there, and you correct along the way
  • it’s much more user-centric



  • at the beginning they sold these “noun shirts”
  • one of the problems when you’re just getting off the ground is inventory
  • if you stock a lot of inventory, the cost is lower, but if you don’t sell you lose
  • if you stock too little and a lot of people but, you’re out of stock and you lose that momentum
  • with Kickstarter you would know how many people purchased and then you’d get the stock, thus removing all the risk
  • the backers that invest in your idea are really invested in your idea and really want to support you
  • an amazing brand-building exercise and an amazing community-building campaign


When you wree initially building the site were there a lot of suprises, things you didn’t anticipate?

  • initially he was building a solution for a problem that he experienced
  • but right after he launched he got a lot of emails from educators and doctors, saying that they were really helpful for their work
  • that excited them to changed their mindset from it just being a graphical resource
  • they wanted these symbols to become more of visual communication tools and social objects and not just visual objects


Where do you see some of this graphic language going as a means of communication? What symbols do you feel are really new?

  • it’s one thing they’re not doing as good a job as they could and that’s why they’re trying to develop this API system
  • they want to allow their symbols to be shared like that
  • through the api they’re going to create some games that’ll test user comprehension


One color icons? Do you think of ever introducing color, or animation, or dimension?

  • as a a foundation, they’ll always have it as black and white
  • they want to allow people to give their visual interpretations of these concepts
  • and through technology they want to offer up the one that’s most popular


Do you ever kick anyone out?

  • struggled with what their threshold is
  • they have a pretty hands-on curation process


What happens if you receive a symbol that means something somewhere else in the world, do you accept it?

  • they see where the symbol comes from first and then might ask the person to explain it a little bit
  • they do want to accept icons like that


Did you build your own platform? What technology is it built on?

  • used a lot of web standards at the beginning but built it back in with django
  • Scott knows these things better



  • redoing that at the moment
  • right now they have a noun paired with an icon
  • but they want a one-to-many relationship
  • they’ve creating a tagging system


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Just love this.

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The fund

They invest in designer entrepreneurs through funding, mentorship, and connections.
Find out more

The book

Designer Founders is a book series that interviews designers about the path they took to create tech startups. Our first edition features the designers who founded Pinterest, Behance, fuseproject, Slideshare, and theicebreak.
Find out more
Download pdf

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I spoke about this experience in class, but thought I’d share some photos from the Stillwell Book Collecting Competition, where I was one of six finalists.

View the competition entry here.

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There are 2.5 weeks until the last Call for Proposals class. We’ll have a final review with outside critics on May 14. Representing the viewpoint of business and fundraising will be Owen Johnson (Betaspring) and Greg Victory (RISD Careers). We’ll have one or two GD critics as well. If any of you have other critics or guests that you feel are appropriate, let me know of feel free to invite them to your final presentation.

As far as course requirements, I have maintained that I expect three proposals and one final project. These four pieces may overlap in terms of what content they are working with and for whom they are targeted.

I’ve posted a video of Guy Kawasaki talking about the 10 mistakes of entrepreneurs. One being the mistake of not prototyping when you can. I think that’s good advice. His talk is about 35 minutes, then the rest is questions. You should all check it out.

I want to meet with each of you individually on Tuesday to help assess what you should be presenting and bringing in on the last day of class.
There is a sign-up sheet on the class website. Edit the post and put your name in. Note, early meetings are longer. You only need to come to class for your individual meeting and the lunchtime conversation. This week we’ll have Edward Boatman, founder of The Noun Project, via Google Hangout.


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9:00 – Carly is the werst(bratwerst)
9:20- Justin Chen
9:40 – Mr. Anther Kiley, MFA
10:00 — Break
10:15 – Carlos
10:30 – Elie
10:45 – Jen and Anne
11:00 – Kaveh
11:15 – Daniel
11:30 – Jay

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