September 20-22, 2019
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Programming will take place at several locations, including:
the Metcalf Auditorium at the Chace Center (20 N. Main Street);
the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab (13 Waterman Street);
the Fleet Library at RISD (15 Westminister Street);
Old Library in College Building (236 Benefit Street);
20 Washington Place Auditorium (20 Washington Place)

Friday, September 20 Saturday, September 21 Sunday, September 22


Chace Center—RISD Museum
Morning Coffee and Pasteries
Chace Center—RISD Museum
Featured Presentation: Justin Cook
Complexity, Uncertainty, and the Need for Better Evidence

Watch Livestream Here

It can be hard for artists, designers and scientists to work together. Experts in their own domains, they often discover that the same words mean very different things. Worse, yet, sometimes they don’t make that discovery and find themselves in strange circular arguments that never quite make sense. With that in mind, this talk will present our experience and current lines of inquiry about working with evidence. What counts as evidence? What kind of evidence challenges evidence? We’ll discuss the work of translation that allows people to talk across traditions, and some practices of conversation and exchange that have worked for us and our colleagues. We’ll share the questions we still have and the challenges we’re trying to address as we launch the Center for Complexity at RISD.

At its core, this form of creative practice examines ‘knowledge in an operational sense: the how of knowing and deciding’. Be it the painter, furniture maker, sculptor, landscape architect, or industrial designer, creative practice offers ways of knowing that can make new realities possible.
Chace Center—RISD Museum
Featured Presentation: Nicole L'Huillier

Watch Livestream Here

The Performativity of Everything

Since everything that is matter has the capacity to vibrate and resonate, our reality is intertwined by vibrations that physically animate matter across scales and media. This idea presents a framework where both human and non-human agents are part of large-scale resonating assemblages. In spite of this, our present and future seem to be falling into a vertiginous state ruled by anthropocentric powers that insist on alienating alternative perspectives and systems of coexistence and collaboration.

In exploring the above mentioned vibrancy as a model for intricate existence, we might find strategies to exist in more fluid and symbiotic ways within the human and non-human. This discussion presents and explores the concept of the “Membrane” as a fundamental part of the understanding and constitution of a vibrational ontology, a key element for the performativity of everything. These ideas will be presented as part of the basis for experimental work (installations, compositions, performances, and listening sessions) that aim to explore resonant rites and the performativity of non-human agents.
Chace Center—RISD Museum
PANEL—Damian White, Charlotte McCurdy, Justin Cook, Nicole L’Hullier
Knowledge and Systematic Relationships

Facilitated by Damian White

Watch Livestream Here
Chace Center—RISD Museum
Symposium Closing Remarks



20 Washington Place Auditorium
Attendee Design Science Forum: Open Discussion and Share 'n' Tell
Emcee: CJ Fearnley
Share-N-Tell Coordinator: Joe Clinton

This is an opportunity to participate in a forum that covers a host of design science topics. It includes an open discussion about the symposium and share-n-tells in a small-group round-table format, conducive to informal conversations and sharing.

Because of space limitations, sign up is required.
Available to registrants only.
CJ Fearnley welcomes attendees and explains the forum session
*Please note that set ups for share-n-tell starts at 1:30 PM*
(±30 min)
Experimental and Foundation Studies Department Senior Critic, Carl Fasano, will present on Design Science and the Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection
(±30 min)
Open discussion facilitated by CJ Fearnley.
Themes to be addressed:
Design Science: its nature, meaning, and practice and the symposium theme of "Inclusive Narratives from Nature"
4:50Closing Ceremony