Global Arts and Cultures

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Shared Languages: Exhibition and Symposium Exploring the role of Craft in Built Environment of Morocco

Exhibition + Symposium

October 24–October 25, 2018

Wednesday |

Thursday |

RISD Museum

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is hosting an exhibition and symposium as part of a partnership launched in 2017 with the Ministry for Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy of Morocco, La Maison de l’Artisan and Holmarcom. Crafting the City, the multi-year pilot program, focuses on the role of craft in the built environment of Morocco.


The exhibition highlights work in process by artisans at the CQFMA in Fés and RISD students engaged in the pilot program. It focuses on the languages of making, materials and process shared by the artisans and art and design students, while also celebrating their diverse approaches to craft and design.

The exhibition is co-curated by Eduardo Benamor Duarte (faculty, RISD Interior Architecture), Gwen Farrelly (executive director, RISD Global) and Mark Moscone (director, Campus Exhibitions). Exhibit design and installation by Wesley Sanders (students, RISD Interior Architecture 19).

The exhibition officially opens on October 23 at 6.30pm at the RISD Fleet Library (15 Westminster Street, Providence, RI) and will on view until December 2018 (details on the Library opening times and access here.)


Through the pilot program, participants are exploring the rich opportunities and challenges in creating platforms of exchange to bridge craft and design pedagogies. The two-day symposium Shared Languages: Crafting Cross Cultural Exchange will focus on platforms, programs and models established to create meaningful and reciprocal learning exchanges among art and design students, educators and artisans across the globe. Key themes explored through panels include: the transmission of craft and design knowledge across communities of makers towards innovation and sustainability of all disciplines; platforms to create cross-cultural learning and exchange across design and craft educations; preservation and sharing of craft traditions and knowledge; and the role of craft within the built environment.

The pilot program includes a five-week travel course in Morocco for students to study craft in relationship to the built environment in Fés, a full semester on-campus course focused on the intersections of patterns within craft and the built environment, a seminar on craft in the Islamic world, and a one-week residency for members of Morocco’s craft community to be held on RISD’s campus. Each aspect of the program engages the RISD community with the depth and richness of craft in Morocco today while also showcasing the value of craft know-how and the role of craft within the built environment. A core goal of the program is to foster cross-cultural learning and exchange across languages, socio-economic realities and geographies.

The Crafting Cross-Cultural Exchange symposium runs from October 24–25 at the RISD Museum.