RISD/Pratt

April 12th, 2006, 4:01 pm

Clementine
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Hoping you all can help me out.....

I've been accepted to Pratt and RISD next year for a MID and am now trying to decide between the two - I'd love advice! I love the feel of RISD and the facilities are incredible but I like that Pratt is expansive in scope and is art based. Pratt's program is also longer which might be useful as I am new to the field. I want to learn about the industry as well as the history and theory of design, but I also want to learn the skills while at school. I want to have time to make and create.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

April 13th, 2006, 2:14 pm

ScriptD
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When did you hear from Pratt and how did they contact you? I have not heard a word in a couple weeks.

April 13th, 2006, 3:05 pm

Clementine
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I received an email and a package in the mail about a month ago. Have you heard anything? You should definitely contact admissions.

April 13th, 2006, 3:09 pm

ScriptD
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I met with Rick Goodwin about two weeks ago and he had told me two weeks from then I should hear something...Looks like it might be bad news for this guy.

April 13th, 2006, 4:27 pm

Clementine
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Email them! They should let you know one way or another regardless.

Good luck!!!

April 13th, 2006, 5:40 pm

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Honestly no one is going to be able to answer the question for you.

You should probably look at your wants and needs in the program and go from there. Where do you think you'd fit in better? Where would you rather live? Is price an issue, etc.

Regardless of where you go you'll have time to make and create. After going to the North East IDSA conference and seeing work from all different schools, it really seems like you can do just about whatever you want as long as you're willing to push yourself. Having good facilities is a big plus though, especially if you plan on doing a lot of hands on modelling.

April 13th, 2006, 10:35 pm

sami
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Hey Clementine,

congrats on getting into both! I am a RISD ID student, Junior, and I love it here. I looked at both Pratt and RISD and speaking from the undergrad perspective, I chose RISD. I was not very impressed with the facilities of Pratt, and definately was with RISD's. I have some friends in the Grad program, they seem to enjoy it. I imagen it to be a bit difficult if one does not have a design background, but there is a summer program that I think well prepares you, as well as giving you a chance to acclimate into the RISD community. I like both schools because they do have a community feel, especially in comparison to Parsons. I think there are some good connections available to you if at Pratt, being so close to New York, but RISD does have a good name, so you will indubidoubly have numerous opportunities. Let me know if you have any specific questions!
take care

April 14th, 2006, 10:19 am

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a few points, I think both schools have their strong points. The ID programs at each are fundamentally VERY different.

1) the school names mean little in the industry, both have a soggy rep in the professional world

2) you can't take the facilities with you when you graduate (to paraphrase a long time RISD prof of mine who has passed now)

3) Providence is great, but it is hard to beat NYC

"soggy rep"

April 14th, 2006, 3:25 pm

sami
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yo,

what do u mean by a "soggy rep". this is news to me and would like to be informed of the details pertaining to RISD.

thanks!

April 14th, 2006, 3:35 pm

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from my experience it is not very well respected in most corporate design offices or major consulting groups for ID. Architecture, graphics, illustration are all great programs, but the common digs on the ID program is that students are arrogant, don't know how to visually communicate their ideas, too in love with their singular idea to conceptualize, and have little industry exposure. The placement rate is pretty low. I've walked into design offices and heard designers telling RISD jokes, and that is pretty sad, maybe it has turned around since I went there, I hope so.

April 14th, 2006, 5:28 pm

sami
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That is a bit surprising and yes, indeed sad. I checked out your website, looks like you're doing pretty well for yourself though. I especially liked your tutorial section, that's very thoughtful of you and a great way to give something back. Have you used Layer Masks? They are great too.
So even when you were at RISD you felt that the training was somewhat lacking? What did you do that was different that enabled such success? (I'm thinking it might have something to do with drawing skills?)
I saw you also used to work for Evo. They were just here at RISD for portfolio review, but I did not get a chance to talk to them. They seem like a good company to work for. Did you enjoy your time there?

I think RISD on the whole is great in the sense that it does cultivate a community. Just knowing that you graduated from there already establishes a connection and contributes to a global network.

April 14th, 2006, 6:23 pm

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Thank you for checking out the site and you compliments.

I loved Providence and my time there. The school is great. However, the ID program, at least when I was there, really did little to prepare students in terms of real world skill sets and even just the overall attitude required to get a job. It was difficult to get internships, and maybe 5 students from my class got a job in product design.

Somehow it worked well for me, I still wouldn't take it back if I could, it is a big part of who I am and I frequently return to things I learned in foundation year. RISD in my opinion has one of the best foundation years anywhere.

What helped me is I think that I always like to sketch and think on paper. I did an exchange semester at CIA which has pretty much the opposite problems as RISD (at the time anyway), I got a few industry sponsored projects and got some mentorship through them. I also got lucky as heck, I'm not gonna lie.

I was lucky that the partners at Evo could see the potential I had and really took the time to help shape me. Few are this patient, after all that is why you spend a ton of money on school. Evo is great, I was there almost 5 years and made some very close friends there that I visit whenever I am back East.

Community is nice, skills pay the bills though.

Who is heading up the department these days?

April 14th, 2006, 11:52 pm

sami
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Mickey Ackerman is the department head. What year did you graduate?

Well, I do feel that the ID program, now anyway, makes a big effort to prepare us for a job, almost too much in a way. We have presentation classes, where we learn photoshop, illustrator, and indesign, and basic layout and visual communication skills that i think are really useful. The faculty often talk about, "in the industry", trying to prepare us for the "real" world. We can take CAD, and are always required at the end of the semester to submit images of our work, hoping that that means we are working on our portfolio. I've been trained to think in terms of my portfolio (i'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing) My biggest challenge is indeed drawing. I just need to build up the confidence, let loose, and let the ideas flow on to paper. When I think too much, it shows and the drawings become uptight. I've been taking an architectre studio though this semester, and this seems to be coming in handy for the drawings. :-)

there's a lot of pressure on us to get jobs and internships. which is both good and bad. i find it hard, because I don't feel I relate to the majority of corporations. I'm interested in sustainable design (though always appreciate and enjoy good design), and that doesn't really seem like much of a focus for a lot of companies in the US (europe is much better). any advice?

April 15th, 2006, 2:15 pm

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sami wrote: there's a lot of pressure on us to get jobs and internships.
Well that's tons better than when I was there. Internships were barely mentioned. I was specifically told by staff that they were not interested in teaching us skills that would help us get work, etc and barely mentioned the importance of a portfolio except last semester senior year. Sound like they've realized some things and are trying to make things better, I hope this is the case. Good luck, and definitely take FULL advantage of those facilities while you're there, you will miss them when you're gone. But definitely learn to do things so that you don't have to rely on a fancy shop also. I had a teacher that taught us to be able to design on the go with whatever will fit in a shoebox. Good stuff.

April 15th, 2006, 2:28 pm

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Sounds like the philosophy has evolved quite a bit. When I was there Roger (the pres) said something to the effect that the school's goal was not to make working professionals but well rounded humans....

the real education happens on the job. The more internships you can wrangle down, the more prepared you will be, even if you learn what you don't want to do as a professional.

Mickey was the head when I graduated as well... 1998

Def while sketching try to let your right brain take control, the left brain will just hold you back at first.

More and more corporations are interested in green design. Cargo, Vogue,and at least several other major mags have articles on green products this month... it is catching consumer awareness and once that happens corps will want to have products to cash in on green.... it still should be "good" design though.... I think you will be able to do sustainable design and if this knowledge and passion augments a solid set of design skills you should be set.
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