The New Republic of Rhode Island (working title)
RISD Masters of Industrial Design Candidate
I am an industrial design graduate and artist at RISD, as well as a Rhode Islander. I am working on my final thesis project and would love your help! Below is a description of what the project is and what it is designed to do. It will be exhibited in the RISD museum at the end of May, and will hopefully be grant-funded and actualized.
I am designing agrotourism experiences for local urban environments so Providence region residents can engage with their greater local food system. These experiences are free and accessible. Rhode Island residents and consumers will gain a greater sense of place and community through engagement with the local agricultural environment and key information, both of which will help them feel a little more knowledgeable and connected to their local food system. I am leveraging Rhode Island’s deep restaurant identity and combining it with materiality, nostalgia, and novelty to create celebratory moments of public consciousness. My agrotourism experiences are designed to provide selected farmers/fisherman/producers with additional stability, as well as identify where average people hold different scales of power. During my research I have heard many producer stories which have helped me feel excited and connected to my dinner plate, community, and Rhode Island. I am excited to share your livelihood/stories with the public, as I think you deserve to be celebrated and highlighted.
What it is, exactly:
This is a mobile agrotourism exhibition space which will move from different locations depending on demand/need. It may park in Kennedy Plaza one weekend and on Broadway the next. It will exhibit 3 food producers at a time. Participants will hear stories and engage with tactile and sensory objects* designed to be memorable and help describe what it is like to be you, the producer! *These objects are artifacts related to your work, as well as designed objects inspired by our conversations (for example: vegetable harvest perfumes, oyster seedling beds, or a bushel of lambswool).
You are a local food producer who could use some additional media presence to make your business or practice known to the public of Rhode Island. You are passionate about your work and believe that Rhode Island’s food system needs improvement.
This mobile agrotourism experience is designed to be a future launchpad for other kinds of public engagement. It will be developed alongside a participatory public art piece, which will create public excitement. I would like the stories recorded and presented in this space to become part of an audio tour/podcast, which encourages consumers to visit the places you may describe or where you sell your food!
1 x meeting. This would be a recorded conversation where I ask you some interview questions, as well as photograph you in your working space. I will ask you about what your days are usually like, but also what smells remind you of your work, as well as rituals (ie: smell of salt air, and picking wet mussel shells out of buckets). This information will be exhibited within the mobile space.
You will be compensated for your time. I am also happy to give you my photographs and recordings from the session, which you are welcome to use.