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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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

On Writing: Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner

Modern Usage

Modern Usage (modernuseage.org) is a new interview publication previewing here at v.1. We carry one theme across multiple disciplines, inviting professionals in art and design fields to speak frankly about how their practices contribute to conversations surrounding theory, pedagogy, and professional methodologies. In Fall 2016–Spring 2017, our interviews focused on the role of writing in design practice.

Nader Tehrani is founder and principal and Katie Faulkner is principal of the Boston- and New York-based architecture firm NADAA. Tehrani is Dean of the Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

MU: The issue we’re interested in this semester is the role of writing in architecture. Your upcoming lecture will consider how domestic spaces function as a sort of amuse-bouche, a testing ground for ideas that can be applied to larger projects. Building on that notion, what kinds of architectural qualities or ideas can be tested out in writing and later applied in practice?

NT: Not everything translates across media. On the one hand, there are the instruments that produce forms, spaces, and materials, and on the other hand, there are ideas whose main presence comes in the form of words. Certainly ideas and words have a role, but not in the same way as techniques of drawing, representation, or construction, whose agency can be argued to contain ideas beyond their actual utterance through language. Whether ideas come through an essay, through prose, or poetry, there is a shared medium: words, whose grammar and syntax produce a different framework for the medium to evolve. Likewise, small houses function as amuse-bouche for larger projects because they involve the same raw matter as a foundation for thinking. So, understanding the instrumentality of a certain domain, a medium, is the first step to coming to terms with your question.

I think the more difficult question that constantly amuses and escapes us is the delicate relationship between words and images. You know the painting by Magritte, Ceci n’est pas un pipe? It’s all about that slippery relationship between the word and the image, between what is uttered and how it relates—or doesn’t relate—to a picture. As architects, we are constantly forced to negotiate this relationship when we describe our architecture in relation to our intentions. There’s never a tight fit between the two.

KF: You remind me of particular tomes that were often referenced when I was in school. There were certain books that architects were drawn to—think of Invisible Cities by Calvino—that whole studios could be taught around, and they spawned a tremendous body of work. Drawings, perspectives, and models—all things of the imagination, but this literature was almost image-like in its provocative nature. It’s something that I don’t see very much anymore, but it was quite common when I was in school in the early ’90s. One could actually found a thesis on a body of literature, and then build a project from it. I was recently on studio reviews at the University of Toronto, and we talked about the legitimacy of one’s thesis being founded on something so imaginative. Was that really on the same level as a serious tectonic and buildable endeavor? The answer was yes; it’s no less difficult and no less challenging, but I think it’s less fashionable. I think that if you had come to me twenty years ago we could have pointed to a number of famous pieces of music, literature, and fine art that have inspired architects and studios. So I think it’s a very important question, and if you blew the dust off of it you would actually find that there’s a great deal there.

NT: Maybe you provoked a larger question about the connection between design and the humanities. The more technically advanced the means and methods of representation have become in the last twenty years, particularly through innovations in software, the more the humanities have retreated in the context of architecture schools. At a very young age, students are able to single-handedly deploy such a vast array of tools that it would seem that they do not need a broader cultural framework. But arguably a deeper foundation in philosophy, critical thinking, and literature, for instance, would only stand to expand the ways in which to make connections across media. This is a timely moment to reconsider how we restructure curricula and pedagogies to address this question.

—Interview conducted and edited by Kevin Crouse (MArch 2018) and Giacomo Sartorelli (BArch 2019) in Spring 2017