We had the great pleasure of visiting the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, during the Fourth of July Holiday. RISD or “RIZ-dee” as it’s pronounced is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design. Founded in 1877, RISD offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in nineteen architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The school’s location has an eclectic art scene and is perfectly located between Boston and New York.

The best part of the school is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum which currently houses twelve exhibitions including Graphic Design: Now in Production, Uudam Tran Nguyen: Waltz of the Machine, 20th Century Gallery, Asian Art Galleries, Costume and Textile Galleries, Decorative Arts and Design Galleries, Early Renaissance and Medieval Art Galleries,  European Galleries and Modern and Contemporary Galleries.

The Floral Motif Exhibit

Blooms, blossoms, flowers, botanicals – The Rhode Island School of Design’s Floral Motifs exhibit explores flower themes as expressed in textile design spanning 1500 BCE to now and across many countries – Philippines, Japan, India, Indonesia, Persia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. As textile people ourselves, we’ve seen a resurgence in botanical motifs in upholstery textiles designs for the past few years. We loved how the installation was displayed.


The Angelo Donghia Costume and Textile Study Center – a tactile experience

The Angelo Donghia Textile Study Center is a room in which textiles have been organized into clear-glass drawers and closets so that visitors can engage in a self-guided tour of textiles as applied cross-culturally through the ages. We enjoyed this installation because you could see the different detailing choices for fashionable expression of different cultures. From buttons, to lace, to feathers, silks, embroidery – fancy was an understatement in the 18th Century.



The above zigzag (right-middle) is an American textile fragment from 18th century.

It is truly inspiring to see design works in history that resonate with our choices today as seen below with our fabrics

Xander Frog and Xander Guava


They had to pull us out of this textile room, we had so much fun!

Look for Part II of Rhode Island School of Design when we showcase designs in furniture!