Over the course of its history, the Rhode Island School of Design has prided itself on a series of transdisciplinary laboratory and education spaces (Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, Visual + Material Resource Center, RISD CoWorks, RISD Writing Center). The main intent of these spaces focuses on breaking within academic art and design silos by providing the space, resources, and knowledge to foster collaboration. The RISD Color Lab is a proposal for the next addition in this network of academic spaces (to be built in the near future). The aim of the Color Lab - to provide undergraduate and graduate education in color study, conduct applied and fundamental research on color study, and maintain an active liaison between academia and industry. Anticipated to situate on the ground floor of 30 Mainstreet Design Center, this space will act as the hub for all-things-color on the RISD campus.
My role in this project was to investigate HVAC Safety and Infrastructure that exist for all of RISD’s color related courses and determine the best possible HVAC systems and educational programs to include in the Color Lab proposal. I was also responsible for sending out surveys to collect data about students’ color needs and interest in a Color Lab on campus. Over 76% of those who participated in a student survey (with over 150 participants) said that they would definitely use the Color Lab to some capacity. After investigating the ventilation systems across all departments, we discovered that many studios were not properly equipped to host the color related activities that were taking place. We learned that there were many overlaps in terms of equipment that should be used in various studios. For example, the Papermaking Studio and the Textiles Dye Lab should use the same HVAC equipment to run safely. However, the Papermaking Studio has no ventilation equipment whatsoever and the Dye Lab has the necessary HVAC equipment. After talking to students from different departments, we also discovered that because they had limited to no access to certain studios, they were “D.I.Y.-ing” toxic color related activities in their own homes. From my research, we determined that merging ventilation and toxic waste disposal equipment into one space, such as the Color Lab, would be indeed the most cost and space efficient decision.
Majority of supporting text in the Color Lab booklet was provided by me.
Montana Gray— Architecture
Gabriel Schmidt— Architecture
Cameron Kucera— Architecture
Vuthy Lay— Architecture
Diana Lin — Interior Architecture
Makoto Kumasaka— Furniture Design