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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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
Mark

Love Letters

Brenda Rodriguez (BFA IL 2021)


I feel a soft vibration in my pocket.

“Is it him?” I always wonder, longingly.

Whether romantic or platonic, love from a distance is no easy task. As I chase my creative dreams and collegiate ambitions far away from the comfort of the people I love, I find myself stranded, relying on the aid of technology to remotely reunite me with them. Lengthy text messages, daily calls, selfies, pictures of food, you name it—they’ve all satisfied, to an extent, my desire to keep my loved ones close.

As a child of the digital age, I’ve had the immediacy of technology in my daily life make it much easier to water my relationships and watch them grow from incredibly vast distances—something that would have been significantly more difficult only 20 years ago. For most of my life, I’ve taken this privilege for granted, until recently, when my phone (likely inspired by video compilations of Olympic diving that were once played upon it), decided to take a dive from my pants pocket and into the toilet. It’s incredible how such a powerful being, with nearly infinite capabilities, will cease to function the moment it is submerged in water—ironically, the very substance that keeps us alive. She was submerged for merely a second, so I clung to the possibility that she’d survive. I desperately tried to resuscitate her by dissecting her body and drying her insides, but it was of no use: her consciousness had already escaped her! And just like that, the central artery that connected me to everyone I loved was severed. She was just two years old.

This tragic situation got me to consider other modes of communication. I considered the past: prior to my being, how did people maintain relationships across vast distances? I suppose 21 years ago, people still had phones, and the internet was nowhere near as advanced as it is today, but it was still widely used. What about 100 years ago? How did folks communicate amidst international conflict? How did soldiers contact their loved ones from foreign soil?

Oh, of course: letters!

I’ve always associated letters with a faraway time and place, a foreign realm before communication as I know it. But now, in times of desperation, with a dead phone and no one to

whisper sweet nothings to, these general assumptions no longer reflect my reality. At last, I was

officially going to write my first letter to my beloved long-distance partner!

I was instantly enamored by the idea of writing a letter, and of the romance and permanence that are usually attached to them. Love letters, acceptance letters, invitation letters—all capture and solidify a cherished moment in time. Handwritten letters, however, hold the most value.

Handwritten marks are filled with substance and complement the content of the writing, almost like an illustration. Within handwriting lie all the writer’s most private secrets and thoughts, a reflection of their experiences, expectations, who they love, what they’re feeling, what they’ve felt. Messy and often indecipherable handwriting can reflect urgency, passion, anger, or disregard. Cleaner and more precise handwriting might otherwise indicate care, love, and even insecurity. In handwriting, there’s no “backspace” or “undo” function. Ink-written words cannot be deleted. Instead, regretful scratches and scraggly marks of ink censor mistakes: a display of the beautiful imperfections of humanity, forever immortalized in the ink. Sending my partner a letter now meant that he was not only going to receive my message, but a little sprinkle of my essence that he could keep forever.

I may no longer feel the vibration of my phone, but after dropping off my letter at the post office, I feel something better: anticipation for the appearance of a letter in my mailbox!

Illustration by the author

Brenda Rodriguez is always daydreaming and quietly sipping away at a cup of tea.