How better street design can save lives and cities

The world is rapidly urbanizing, with more people than ever before living in and moving to cities. As a result, mobility, traffic congestion, and public safety are primary problems for designers, engineers, urban planners, city leaders, and everyday citizens to solve. Examples from around the world show how smarter street design leads to better health, safety, economic, and environmental outcomes – not only for individuals, but for urban societies as a whole. Come learn about street design and current efforts to implement these types of projects in Providence!

Our Streets Providence is a local alliance of nonprofits, businesses, schools, and individuals advocating for safer streets and more transportation choices in Providence and beyond.

X things from XXXI

XXXI is a work and project space in New York City run by RISD GD BFA 2015 alum Elie Anderson, Jacob Heftmann (teaches in Masters program at Parsons) and Jake Hobart (teaches at Pratt). XXXI started @telier which is a workspace exchange hosted by small-scale designer owned workspaces (we’re in it!).

Latent Space: Notes on Seeing Letters Like a Machine

If you gave 33,600 images of letters to a machine, how would it organize them? What sense would it devise? Would its organization of letterforms look anything like our own? In a collaboration sited at the intersection of art, engineering, and communication design, Federico Pérez Villoro, Nic Schumann, and Marie Otsuka set out on a journey to investigate these questions and more in their recent publication Latent Space: Notes on Seeing Letters Like a Machine. In this talk, they share what they learned.

Type from functionality to aesthetics and everything in-between

Finding the right balance between functionality and aesthetics is an essential aspect of good type design. Exploring the relationship between them is a self-rewarding process that often seems challenging and delicate. Type designers Gen Ramirez and Zrinka Buljubašić will be sharing an overview of their design process with two different but in essence similar approaches — one delves into purpose and another into the pursuit of expression.

Polish Book Design

How was the craft of typesetting shaped in the Republic of Poland? Where and under what circumstances did the first Cyrillic print come to being? What was the typography of a country known mainly for its poster after WWII? Which of the Polish graphic designers was a member of the Double Crown Club – the London based typographic society? Find the answers in the lecture presented by Jacek Mrowczyk, the editor of the book VeryGraphic: Polish Designers of the 20th Century, which is the first comprehensive overview of the graphic design made in Poland in the past century.


Anther Kiley, D.O. summer 2018 fellow, will show prototypes and talk about the genesis and trajectory of Cardkits — an in-progress line of paper toys. He’ll be soliciting design and strategy advice. Open to all.

Mars vs. the Moon

Erica Jawin, PhD candidate (Brown DEEPS), talks about her research and methods on data collection and what this means for the future of human exploration and space travel.

Kelli Miller

Kelli Miller is a co-founder and executive creative director of And/Or, a Brooklyn-based creative studio fueled by deep thoughts, bold vision and choice words. Kelli has worked in motion design and branding for over 15 years with networks like MTV, truTV, Nickelodeon, BBC, and Comedy Central. Her work has been featured on Comm Arts, Art of the Title, It’s Nice That, and Fast Company. In 2016 she directed the rebrand of truTV, positioning the brand as a new leader in creator-driven comedy. She has designed and directed film and tv titles for Elisabeth Subrin’s A Woman, A Part, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women and the HBO comedy series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. She is a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art and has taught and lectured at the College for Creative Studies, Pratt, NYU, SVA, Yale and RISD.

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More on And/Or

My Tran

Tran was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship and earned her bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University. Since 2007, she has designed for many high profile clients including Toyota, Nike, ESPN, Hyundai, Sony, and Apple. Her first short documentary piece, 40 Years Young, was featured in the 2014 Asian American International Film Festival NYC. Most recently, My Tran was apart of the design team behind the Emmy Award winning titles for Netflix’s Stranger Things. In her spare time, she enjoys woodworking and welding for her furniture designs as well as rock climbing.

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See My Tran’s work

Design × RI Clambake

Clambake is a gathering for designers, creatives, and those who like design and want to know more. It’s a time to get together, network, and hear about some of the cool new design work that is happening in RI. Two presenters from two different design disciplines present each month. Presentations are generally 15 minutes followed by Q&A.

More information and register

Sam Potts

Former textbook editor, former book designer then independent graphic designer, one-time resident of Chengdu (P.R. China), ex-IDEOer, temporary Angeleno, bicycle framebuilder (hobbyist), newly minted east sider Sam Potts will describe how a nonlinear career path yields a necessarily adaptive and inclusive approach to design work and how you have to have cooks in the kitchen (or else it’s not a kitchen).

Daniel Perlin

By looking at a few recent projects, Experience Designer Daniel Perlin will take a look at some approaches to designing for listening to users and designing to help users listen to each other. How do we listen? Why? When? To Whom? What do we listen to? What listens to us? How can we listen better? Should we listen? What do drones listen to? What does AI listen to? What do we hear when we listen to data? Does data speak? What is social listening? What are the politics of listening? How do we change our listening? How can we get others to listen better, more, to each other? Can we listen to make good?

Jennet Liaw

Jennet Liaw is a Nike Sportswear apparel designer, who moonlights as an independent illustrator and graphic artist. When not creating full-time for the swoosh, her experience designing brand identities, screen titles, and print direction for a client list that includes Fox, Sony Pictures, and Apple Inc., have shaped her career as a freelance designer. In particular, her personal projects in the realm of typography and punmanship have earned her recognition with AIGA and features with Cosmopolitan, CommunicationArts, and TED.

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See Jennet’s website

Leta Sobierajski

Leta Sobierajski is an independent designer and art director based in New York City combining traditional graphic design elements with photography, art, and styling to create utterly unique visuals. Her work is incredibly diverse, ranging from conventional identities to brilliantly bizarre compositions. As of October 2016, Leta began a design studio with her husband and collaborator, Wade Jeffree. She is also an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts. She studied graphic design at Purchase College and has been working independently since 2013. She has been recognized by Print Magazine for its annual New Visual Artists Review, selecting 20 international designers under the age of 30. Leta Sobierajski’s work has attracted coverage from the likes of Cool Hunting, DesignBoom, IdN, It’s Nice That, Refinery29, and the New York Times T Style Magazine.

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See Leta’s website

Young Designer Showcase

Come see some of the projects done by graduating seniors from Rhode Island College’s Graphic Design program. Jason Pamental taught the class last semester, and has invited the students to come and show off their work (both print-based and interactive). See some great work and help welcome some of the newest members of the Providence design community.

UX Design for Brains: Let’s Be Honest, People Suck

UX Designer Marissa Epstein *really* loves learning what makes people tick. Traditional psych studies can show us a lot about our users and the weird flaws that come with being human. It’s not our fault that we’re emotional, impulsive, forgetful, and hard-wired to take the easy way out. But it is our responsibility to adapt to these shortcomings as interaction designers.

In this session, Marissa will use fundamental principles of cognitive and behavioral psychology to show you how humans think, behave, and experience the world. And she’ll probably rant a little.

In Through the Outside: Stops on a Journey in Book Design

Alex Camlin – creative director at Da Capo Press in Boston, and Designer for Harvard Review – will talk with AIGA Rhode Island about his work. His award-winning book and cover designs have been included in AIGA’s 50 Books 50 Covers, the Print Regional Design Annual, and the New York and New England Book Shows. More on Alex at

Defining Our Profession, Defining Ourselves

What’s in a name—and does it constrain or empower us? As “content strategy” evolves as an industry, so too do the areas of expertise practitioners offer and our clients expect. Let’s talk about how we grapple with terminology within the broader UX landscape to broaden our professions without sacrificing relevance. We’ll discuss the responsibility and opportunity in how we define our industry and the areas of specialty it can comprise.

Coryndon Luxmoore

Some see Coryndon speak talk about “Scaling empathy with personas.” What Coryndon has learned over the last few years is that personas don’t have to be fake windsurfing grandma’s. They can transform big data into easy to understand composite customers that will allow you to scale your understanding of the customer across the design team and a growing company.

Making & Breaking Type in Bombay

Catherine Leigh Schmidt (RISD BFA 2014) spent the past year in India studying typography as a Fulbright-Nehru student researcher. Based in Bombay, she focused on the changing typographic landscape of Hindi transportation signs in the city. Through a comparison between old and new signage systems she investigated how typography can be ideological. Her inquiry lead to a Hindi typeface based on hand-painted letterforms.

How to make interfaces that our brains understand

Interface designer Calvin Arterberry will give a 20-minute presentation titled “How to make interfaces that our brains understand.” Followed by a 15-minute guided discussion on how human visual perception theory and research can guide user interface development.

Small Stuff

Spend an evening with Joe Marianek and Dinah Fried, RISD adjunct faculty and partners of the NYC design firm, Small Stuff. You will not only see their work from Apple, Pentagram, RISD and as part of their new venture – which includes beer can packaging 😉 – but you will help them organize their stuff into a temporary website.

Ryan, Gary & Phil

Ryan Waller, Gary Fogelson and Phil Lubliner, partners of the studio Other Means, will show off their design work with museums, cultural institutions and as educators. Given they don’t maintain a web portfolio, this event provides a chance to see their work and meet the principals. Illustration by Other Means.

Runs until 8pm. Drinks & snacks provided.

Data Analysis for Designers

A brief introduction to design testing using statistical analysis. Topics covered will include how and why to test, common testing methodologies, proper test design, how to avoid common pitfalls and a review of popular testing tools. A bibliography will be available. Talk is by Dan McDonough. Dan is the Director of Interactive Services at Cogo Labs, a Cambridge, Massachusetts tech incubator.The event is organized by the Providence UX Meetup.

Juliette Cezzar

What role does the designer play now in the transmission, distribution, and preservation of ideas? How are we communicating with each other about the ideas we have about our own discipline? Is there really any such thing as “print vs digital”? What is graphic design anyway? Juliette Cezzar will take us through a series of provocations about design, education, and publishing, followed by a public conversation. Juliette recently authored a new definition for graphic design for AIGA and co-authored Designing the Editorial Experience, which advocates for and demonstrates new thinking in periodical publishing.

Richard Lipton

Richard Lipton’s Bickham Script is a flowing, formal script born out of an inspiration to recreate the lettering of 18th century English writing masters as rendered in the magnificent copperplate engravings of George Bickham. This talk will cover the seeds of Lipton’s experience with Bickham’s The Universal Penman, his approach to such an ambitious project, and his thoughts on the use of OpenType font technology and features to achieve the goal of bringing Bickham’s work to practical life.

Chris Novello: ‘Computer Utopias’

Chris Novello is a programmer and designer. He has backgrounds in sound, HCI, videogames, viral media, and critical design. He teaches in the Graduate Program in RISD Graphic Design and holds an MFA from Brown University. He was the D.O. Summer Fellow for 2014.

James Goggin

James Goggin’s, “Pop Culture Colour Theory” lecture is an ongoing, continually evolving project that explores humankind’s attempts at codifying and commodifying the ethereal and infinite intangibility of colour. From video test patterns to International Klein Blue, the Pantone Matching System to the Homeland Security Advisory System, colour is endlessly refracted by our subjective perceptions into adaptable structures and dialects.

Jason Pamental

This month’s UX Meetup features Jason Pamental on Responsive Typography. Jason Pamental has worked on the web since 1994. With a background in design and an intimate understanding of technology and its application on the web, he has led creative and technical teams for NFL and America’s Cup teams, Fortune 25 and technology corporations and many other clients, serving in both creative and technical roles. A passionate advocate of web standards and accessibility, Jason embraces new developments in web typography and responsive design as the next logical evolution in usability, search and maintenance of complex web systems.

Zak Jensen

Zak Jensen is Senior Designer at Harvard Art Museums and lives in Cambridge, Mass. He’ll share some recent projects from the museums and talk about what’s ahead as they prepare to open on November 16. Beer, snacks and air-conditioning provided.

UX Meetup

Think about that great idea you have, for a product or company, that you haven’t built yet. If you have trouble making progress, maybe a hackathon is what you need.

Learn about how you can (and why you should) harness these fast-paced, competitive events to push forward both your ideas and yourself. Marissa shares her experiences from past hackathons, and what you should know before attending a hackathon of your own.


UX Meetup

This presentation of Providence’s UX Meetup will feature Baruch Sachs on the UX of Data: How Large Enterprises View Data and the UX Challenge.

Consumer applications are driving expectations that companies have around both their internal and external applications. While this is generally viewed as a good thing, the data model that most large enterprises work within create extremely complicated, data -driven applications that often present all the data anyone would ever need, often at the expense of world class user interaction. Go behind the scenes with how these business operate and learn effective techniques for breaking this data model and have it work for good UX, vs against it.

Please note we will be starting a bit early with doors at 6 and the talk starting at 6:15.

Walker Insights Lecture Series: Henrik Nygran

The Design Office will be partnering with AIGA RI to hold a screening for the 2014 Walker Insights lectures series. Insights is an annual collection of talks given by graphic designers from around the world to share their histories, methods, and philosophies developed during their careers.

Each lecture is open to the public and begins at 8pm, doors open at 7:30.

3-4-14 Henrik Nygren



From the Walker’s website:
There is an effortless simplicity to Henrik Nygren’s work, a Scandinavian modernism that stands in counterpoint to the excess of most visual communication today. His art direction of Stockholm New magazine in the 1990s presaged a global return to restrained typographic palettes and bold photo editorial direction in publications. As Sweden’s premier graphic designer, Nygren has helmed his own studio for more than 20 years, working in the fields of book design, exhibition design, identity and branding, packaging, and communications. His practice caters to cultural organizations such as the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Moderna Museet Malmö, the Hasselblad Center, and Phaidon books. Among many other awards, he was the recipient of the 2007 Platinum Egg and Berling Awards, and his work has been exhibited in Tokyo and Sweden. As an educator, he has had a profound impact on the Swedish design scene, teaching at Beckmans College of Design (Stockholm), Berghs School of 
Communication (Stockholm), the Swedish School of Arts, Crafts and Design (Gothenburg) and Forsbergs School of Design (Stockholm) since 1992. An 896-page monograph surveying the past 25 years of his award-winning work will be published in 2014 by Orosdi-Back.
Copresented by the Walker Art Center, AIGA Minnesota, and the American Swedish Institute.

Walker Insights Lecture Series: Martine Syms

The Design Office will be partnering with AIGA RI to hold a screening for the 2014 Walker Insights lectures series. Insights is an annual collection of talks given by graphic designers from around the world to share their histories, methods, and philosophies developed during their careers.

Each lecture is open to the public and begins at 8pm, doors open at 7:30.

3-18-14 Martine Syms



From the Walker’s website:
LA-based Martine Syms is many things—a graphic designer, a “conceptual entrepreneur,” a net artist—but most importantly, a thinker who examines the assumptions of contemporary America and ways that identity and memory are transformed by the shifting boundaries of business and culture. Her work explores themes as varied as Afrofuturism, queer theory, the power of language, and the spiritual nature of the color purple. The topic of her recent SXSW presentation, “Black Vernacular: Reading New Media Art,” asked the questions: “What does it mean for a black woman to make minimal, masculine net art? What about this piece is ‘not black’? Can my identity be expressed as an aesthetic quality?” From 2007 to 2011, Syms was codirector of the influential Golden Age project space in Chicago, where she organized dozens of cultural projects and initiated a publishing program of young, emerging artists. She has collaborated with artists Paul Chan and Theaster Gates, created web design for fashion retailer Nasty Gal, created a branding and marketing strategy for nonprofit group Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange, and runs Dominica Publishing in her spare time. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as the New Museum (New York), MCA Chicago, Capricious Space (Brooklyn), and the Soap Factory (Minneapolis). Syms is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Film, Video, and New Media. In her new Insights talk “Black Vernacular: Lessons of the Tradition,” Syms will describe her connection with the black radical tradition, using poet Kevin Young’s ideas as a framework to understand her own design practice and strategies of code-switching.

Library of the Printed Web

Join us for the Providence launch of Printed Web #1, a publication devoted to web-to-print art and discourse. The 64-page newsprint features new work by artists who use screen capture, image grab and site scrape to collect and transform digital information – visual and otherwise – into analog experience. Issue contributors Clement Valla and Benjamin Shaykin will join publisher Paul Soulellis in a discussion about the issue, and more generally about the idea of an artist’s web-to-print practice.

Post-event photos

Buy Printed Web #1

Walker Insights Lecture Series: Sara de Bondt

The Design Office will be partnering with AIGA RI to hold a screening for the 2014 Walker Insights lectures series. Insights is an annual collection of talks given by graphic designers from around the world to share their histories, methods, and philosophies developed during their careers.

Each lecture is open to the public and begins at 8pm, doors open at 7:30.

3-11-14 Sara de Bondt



From the Walker’s website:
Sara De Bondt is the epitome of a cultural designer, combining a love of contemporary typography with a deep investigation into the history of graphic design. Through her design practice, which consists of client-based work, designing and editing books, and curating conferences, she is consistently contributing to the critical discourse. Her playful aesthetic is always idea-based, typography-driven, and completely fresh. Her clients include the Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels and Nottingham Contemporary as well as projects for the V&A, the Barbican, London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, Camden Arts Center, and MIT Press. Most recently, she took over the art direction of Tate Etc. magazine. In 2008, De Bondt cofounded Occasional Papers, a nonprofit publishing house investigating the histories of architecture, art, design, film, and literature. In 2009, she curated the conference the Form of the Book, which explored the past, present, and future of book design. She received her MFA from Sint-Lukas, Brussels, and completed postgraduate research at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Prior to opening her own studio in 2004, De Bondt worked for Daniel Eatock’s Foundation 33 in London. She has taught design at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and KASK School of Art.

Peter Hall

Join us, with Peter Hall (mapping expert, professor, theorist, design critic, author), for an evening roundtable conversation about maps, mapping and graphic design hosted by the Design Office. Conversation mediated by Lucinda Hitchcock and members of the RISD GD faculty. Peter Hall is a design writer whose research focuses on mapping as a design process. Learn more at

Walker Insights Lecture Series: Lance Wyman

The Design Office will be partnering with AIGA RI to hold a screening for the 2014 Walker Insights lectures series. Insights is an annual collection of talks given by graphic designers from around the world to share their histories, methods, and philosophies developed during their careers.

Each lecture is open to the public and begins at 8pm, doors open at 7:30.

3-4-14 Lance Wyman



From the Walker’s website:
When combined, the art of branding and the science of wayfinding design can profoundly transform a space. Lance Wyman is a humble master of designing massive systems for cities, airports, expos, transit systems, zoos, and museums over his more than 40-year career. In the process, Wyman helped to define the field of environmental graphics. His iconic identity for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics—“’60s op-art kinetic typography,” as Wyman calls it—exists as a pinnacle of environmental and branding design and was credited with reintroducing Mexican visual culture back into the nation’s design vocabulary. Other projects include the Washington DC Metro map, the identity for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the 1980 Minnesota Zoo identity (which was selected as one of the 10 best designs of the year by Time magazine), and projects for the Library of Congress, Jeddah International Airport, Chrysler World’s Fair, and the Aspen Design Conference. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world and is also in the collection of MoMA (New York). Wyman has taught corporate and wayfinding design at Parsons since 1973. Don’t miss your chance to hear from this legendary designer.

UX Meetup

Chris MacDonald will be giving a general overview of how to use Muse to prototype ideas–without writing code. Learn how to build working prototypes .(even full websites) in a few hours not days and how you can use Muse as a rapid iteration tool for Interaction Design, UI Design and UX Design.

Greg Nemes

Greg Nemes will introduce his new venture, Work-Shop — a research, design and digital fabrication studio in Providence. The work presented will include a preliminary website, located at, and branding studies. The challenge is to represent a wide range of work and interests in digital design and fabrication, as well as commitment to community, discourse, and pedagogy. How will we communicate its position in the locality of Providence and the design community at large? How does it evolve over time with an organization in flux?

More on Work-Shop

UX Meetup

This month Coryndon Luxmoore will be talking through a framework for understanding the creation of value for user and customers – Pain. Join us at The Design Office for a few beers and a friendly conversation about user experience. Hosted by the Providence UX User Group.

Tool as Object

How do tools change the relationship between designer, client, and consumer? Summer 2013 D.O. Fellows Nic Schumann and Allon Kapeller-Libermann explore this intersection by unpacking the modern production environment and investigating how an increasingly adaptable set of tools changes the way we think about objects.

Nic is a systems designer and senior in Computer Science at Brown who uses language to build meaningful structures from an undifferentiated context. Allon is a object designer of disruptive products and spaces, currently working on a useful mean of production.

Renee Walker

Renee Walker will present ideas around taking her concepts for a different kind of food label and making them into a practical and useful tool. She will be looking for a critique on the design as visual system as well as what would be a viable application for the system. (e.g. a mobile app? an actual label? a book?)

Come participate in the discussion. Drinks and snacks provided.

More on Renee

Providence UX Meetup: Innovation and the federal government

UX expert Danny Chapman will talk about his experience participating in the Innovation Fellows program. He will touch on responsive design, the federal government’s 21st Century Digital Strategy, historic design research, and how the UX / UI community can get involved. Organized by the Providence UX Group.

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WordPress Providence Meetup

Come hear Collin Matthews speak on Migrating WordPress, and then find a partner for your next WordPress project. 6-8pm.

Modern Pictograms

AIGA Rhode Island presents a lecture by Design Office members Micah Barrett, John Caserta and Greg Nemes about Modern Pictograms: an icon typeface for interface designers. The project was a collaborative effort involving the drawing of the icons, the creation of a typeface for them, a printed specimen and a website to promote and sell the latest version.

The lecture will deal with issues of type design, offset printing and web design and development.

Free type specimens!

WordPress Providence Meetup

Come hear Michael Tracy speak on Mobile Ready Responsive Sliders and Slideshows. Michael Tracy is an Adobe certified expert, Titanium Certified Mobile App Developer, and more. 6-8pm.

Insights Lecture: Luna Maurer live webcast from the Walker

Live webcasts from the Walker Art Center. Doors at 7:30 pm, lectures begin promptly at 8 pm.

Insights Lecture: Job Wouters live webcast from the Walker

Live webcasts from the Walker Art Center. Doors at 7:30 pm, lectures begin promptly at 8 pm.

Insights Lecture: Eike Konig live webcast from the Walker

Live webcasts from the Walker Art Center. Doors at 7:30 pm, lectures begin promptly at 8 pm.

Insights Lecture: Geoff McFetridge live webcast from the Walker

Live webcasts from the Walker Art Center. Doors at 7:30 pm, lectures begin promptly at 8 pm.

WordPress Providence Meetup

Hosts: WordPress Foundation, Jesse Friedman, Luke Gedeon, Matthew Gedeon, ramgar.

Greg will be giving a talk on Responsive Design at the meetup.

Jeremy Mickel

Please join us on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6p for a lecture by type designer and former Design Office member Jeremy Mickel. Jeremy moved to Providence in 2008 shortly after releasing his first typeface, Router, through Village. He’ll talk about the process behind that first design, as well as the origins of his subsequent releases Shift, Fort, and Superior Title — all started while at the Design Office. He’ll show how these self-initiated projects led to a full-time career in type design, and resulted in starting his own foundry and getting custom projects for Kraft, Etsy, ESPN, Weight Watchers, and more.

WordPress Providence Meetup

The monthly meetup for the Providence WordPress group will meet at The Design Office this December.