v.1 is RISD’s student-led publication. Its form and content change from year to year (it’s always “volume 1”).

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Pandemic Publishing ︎

  1. Call for Submissions, SOS Edition
  2. 3.29.20 Irina V. Wang
  3. Let Yourself Be Lifted Jackie Scott
  4. Art Is Everything Jen Liese
  5. Two Poems Ella Rosenblatt
  6. Living Room Dance Party Ariel Wills
  7. On Walking When Walking Is Advised Against Keavy Handley-Byrne
  8. Untitled Cita Devlin
  9. Ads in Corona Hannah Oatman
  10. COVID-19 and Communitas Elaine Lopez
  11. A Time for Pie Elizabeth Burmann
  12. How to Stay Motivated When You’re Stuck at Home Clarisse Angkasa
  13. Coerced Harmony (A Tour) Hammad Abid
  14. Zooming In and Out Tongji Philip Qian
  15. [Form] Ciara Carlyle
  16. Hi.txt Dan Luo
  17. A poem about boredom, a composite Maixx Culver-Hagins
  18. Eyewitness News Tristram Lansdowne
  19. Distance Maps Marcus Peabody
  20. Therapeutic Suggestion Maria Aliberti Lubertazzi
  21. Keep Your Heart Six Feet Away From Mine (and other moments) Arielle Eisen
  22. Twenty Instructions for COVID-19 Charlott Isobel Dazan
  23. Cuerno 1 y 2 Yan Diego Estrella Wilson
  24. A Monolith of Grief Regarding the Absence of Touches, or Letter to a Future Lover García Sinclair
  25. Coronavirus by the Thousands Drew Dodge
  26. Two Poems Kathryn Li
  27. Beds Are Burning Aleks Dawson
  28. Still Lifes Yidan Wang
  29. Fragments of Seva Jagdeep Raina
  30. Packing Up and Staying Woojin Kim
  31. Chronic Pain and Fermentation Ralph Davis
  32. Quarantine Letters Hannah Moore
  33. Sounds of Silence: An Isolation Soundscape Dara Benno
  34. 14 Day Detox for Designers Erica Silver

Winter 2020

  1. From the Editors
  2. The Phantom Audience, or How to “Really Do It” Asher White
  3. Some Dry Season(ing) / 5 Tales in an Embryo Room Yuqing Liu
  4. Throwing Salt, Constructing the Homeland Ariel Wills
  5. Infinity Balloon Man Jack Zhou
  6. Texas Triptych Ali Dipp
  7. Phenomenology of Bones Chris Shen
  8. Erlking Yiqun Zhou
  9. Trouble in Reality Elena Foraker
  10. Family Stories Gina Vestuti
  11. Treasure Reilly Blum

Fall 2019
  1. From the Editors
  2. Architecture and Its Ghosts Xuan Liu
  3. Fit/O!de Jeff Katz
  4. Desde La Chinaca y La China Poblana Ariel Wills
  5. Ballast Tiger Dingsun
  6. Love Letters Brenda Rodriguez
  7. The Anxieties of Plant-sitting Carol Demick
  8. Zadie & Teju Ariel Wills
  9. Smooth Stones Ali Dipp 
  10. Kantha’s Melodies Michelle Dixon
  11. Glory West Megan Solis
  12. The 50 Best Albums of the 2010s Asher White

Spring 2019

  1. From the Editors
  2. A Room without a View: Reflections on Studio Practice from a Privileged Poor Chantal Feitosa
  3. Between the Battlements Jeremy Wolin

  4. Accessing Color: Dissecting the Harvard Art Museum’s Forbes Pigment Collection Makoto Kumasaka
  5. British Club Tattoos Nasser Alzayani
  6. Making Space: Creativity and Resilience in War-Time Sri Lanka Elizabeth Dean Hermann
  7. How to Become Trans: A Proposal for the Modern-Day Gender-Agnostic Asher White
  8. Making It Up: A Conversation with Kent Kleinman Wen Zhuang
  9. “In Peace”: A Conversation with Matthew Shenoda Mays Albaik
  10. Suburbia_hours.mov Nora Mayer
  11. Negative Spaces Emily Wright
  12. Centerfold: Urgency Lab
  13. Rise Up: The Sunrise Movement Takes Root in Rhode Island Irina V. Wang
  14. After Strand Nafis White and García Sinclair
  15. Soldiers of Love? Karen Schiff
  16. Decoding Ghosts Molly Hastings
  17. An Annotated Bibliography Eli Backer
  18. Jesus, Marilyn, and Britney: Relationships between Religion and Celebrity Culture Nina Yuchi
  19. The Social (Antique) Network: Empathy in the Age of Digital Antiquing Zola Anderson
  20. My Little Episodes Michael Brandes
  21. Seeking Fair Game on Hidden Fields Reilly Blum
  22. The Should Be Here Is Not Here Joss Liao
  23. Index of Agency Sophie Chien
  24. Don’t Eat the Models Barbara Stehle
  25. Hypothetical Drink Personality Test: Who Said What, and When? Eliza Chen
  26. Dear Arabic Mohammed Nassem

Fall 2018 

  1. From the Editors
  2. How to Make a Person: A Recipe Mays Albaik
  3. Providence Votes Marcus Peabody
  4. Encounters with the Codex: Redefining Forms of Publication June Yoon
  5. How to Encounter a Puddle Anny Li
  6. A Brief List of Premises from a Maker Stuck with Paper, Politics, and Performance Yasi Alipour
  7. Art Writing and the Place of the “I” Randy Kennedy
  8. Written in Stone: Lineage, Legacy, and Letterforms Irina V. Wang
  9. The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (a Graphic Designer) Tiger Dingsun
  10. Colliers/Necklaces Théïa Flynn
  11. When One Door Closes: Examining Issues of Space and Student Curation on Campus Wen Zhuang
  12. Addressing the Empty Plinth: Lessons from Gallery Shows and Public Art Jeremy Wolin
  13. Modern Usage: In Conversation with Remeike Forbes Eliza Chen and Tiger Dingsun
  14. Dangling Threads: Remaining Unclear in Capital Everett Epstein
  15. A Vagabond Viking Voyage and Midsummer Daydream Mike Fink
  16. Everything is Interdependent Angela Dufresne
  17. La Bolita Elaine Lopez
  18. Bread Day Olive B. Godlee
  19. Against the Archive Satpreet Kahlon

2017 - 2018 

  1. Birds, Bees, and Beyond: The Nature Lab Evolves
  2. Concrete Mixer Drum Solo
  3. Negative Spaces
  4. “Printer Prosthetics” at NYABF
  5. On Writing: Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner
  6. On Writing: Marie Law Adams and Dan Adams
  7. On Writing: Kunlé Adeyemi
  8. Connecting Food and Design
  9. Remixing Architectural Discourse
  10. Genesis : 1: Beret Shit
  11. “No voy a actuar en el mundo antes de entenderlo”: Una conversación con Alfredo Jaar
  12. “I Will Not Act in the World Before Understanding the World”: A Conversation with Alfredo Jaar
  13. Imagining Irmgard
  14. Afterwords: Bite
  15. Afterwords: Portals
  16. Afterwords: Calendar
  17. Seeking Drafts

Architecture and Its Ghosts

Xuan Liu (BFA IL 2020)

Architectural ruins create nostalgia. Put another way: the quality of the past represented in terms of a present structure with no ability to perform any of the tasks it was intended to creates a sense of something frozen in a stage of progression. In the last century, the speed of development, population, and life in communities worldwide has been increasingly rapid. Unlike our fast-paced lifestyles, a stationary object can represent peace and stability. In fact, it is the constant steadfast permanence of ruins that I grab on to, as it lets me escape from the ever-changing physical landscape of the world I live in right now. Perhaps it is my liberation from modernity.

Providence’s Industrial Trust Building embodies these feelings of nostalgia. I noticed what is colloquially known as the “Superman Building” while walking to my dorm one day. The scaffolding  supporting its base indicated it had been abandoned for quite some time. There had been rumors of its demolition or renovation, so I wanted to record its vacant and undisturbed state right away. I knew the building would have something to tell me about the relationship between ruins, emotion, and psychology.

The building’s Art Deco design as well as the many scenes of Native American/Colonist interactions depicted in slabs of relief form a narrative of Rhode Island’s historical development. The metal doors are built from thick, sturdy material, and are set with detailed brass eagles. Every part of the design has an artistic touch, but lichen and moss are devouring the unkempt limestone, slowly taking over a once pristine facade, reminding me that even the mightiest manmade structures can be overcome by nature. John Dwyer calls this emotional realization the Ozymandias Effect in his journal Ruins and Nature. At the same time, the flourishing vegetation in the fractures of the architecture create “an aesthetic that is universally beloved by the eye of man” (Dwyer) as it exhibits form that is melding into its environment seamlessly. The disappearance of the building, once obscured by nature, can illuminate the fleetingness of human civilization. Feelings of awe, enjoyment, and nostalgia then tap into our aesthetic psyche.

Art and architecture are tied to how we define and measure our humanity and civilization. Human life is fleeting, and we are always trying to justify our value, mortality, and existence through the art that we leave behind. This exhibits our striving for the eternal, our drive to demonstrate the amazing objects we are capable of creating. The “Superman Building” was built in a historically specific style of the past—if it were torn down, we know there wouldn’t be another Art Deco building to replace it. It could be as fleeting as us.

There is a relationship between interior spaces and psychology as well. Experiments have proven that the physical space we reside in affects our mental landscape and brain function. A 2009 study published in Wired established that the mere color of the interior walls could affect brain activity. Red walls led to more agitated and decisive responses, while blue walls encouraged imaginative exploration. This is due to the color blue inducing images of oceans, skies, and vastness, which allow people to widen their perspective. Ceiling height also yields different results: participants under lower ceilings felt constrained or uncomfortable, whereas high ceilings seemed to strengthen abstract thinking patterns.

But what if the ceiling has fallen away entirely? Or what if the walls are cracked and broken? The dissolution of such definite elements in a ruin could allow for an emancipatory space, open to interpretation and free from the parameters of modern architecture. The systems and structures that usually define, inhibit, or restrict have crumbled, leaving in their place a curious space that inspires exploration and discovery. Ruins offer an escape from the order of our current lives, and we enter a place that is filled with possibility. This place, free of human noise, allows for more expansive thinking. The ruin accesses memories of the past and structures of the present; it holds visions of post-apocalyptic futures, becoming a mix of historical documentation and future possibilities all at the same time. Ruins move across time and show the cyclical nature of growth and decay, production and destruction. They are most attractive perhaps because they not only allow people to think in a more expansive manner but also reflect on the ruins in our lives. There ceases to be a person who has experienced a perfect existence, thus there are parallels between the structure of the decaying building and the structure of our lives.

Photographs by the author

Xuan Liu is developing narrative stories as well as art.