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RISD Textiles Exhibition at 1stdibs

The 1stdibs Gallery, located at the New York Design Center, hosted the textile work of 12 students from the Rhode Island School of Design

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Text by Rab Messina
Photography by Karen Cattan

The Textiles MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) presented Place, Memory, Time, their now annual exhibition of student work at the 1stdibs Gallery in Manhattan.

“Students gain a foundation of solid technical skills and process as they engage in individual research that helps them understand design as an expression of a continually evolving culture,” said department head Anais Missakian of the woven, knit and print pieces.

These qualities could be seen in the work of the three winners of the Sherri Donghia Award of Excellence. For example, recent graduate Alicia Oas created patterned curtains that spoke of what she called “the terrain vague,” abandoned urban space found in empty buildings, former factories and unclaimed alleyways.

Yan Zeng, on the other hand, created “wearable talismans”: a thesis collection of costumes inspired by both Manchurian family traditions and her own childhood traumas —the robes are meant to protect those who are literally and figuratively lost.

Anastacia Onegina’s work, an exploration of the technical capabilities of flat-knitted 3D spacer fabrics, was inspired in homelessness. Her project focuses on making the most of the pieces, which are up to nine inches thick, in terms of thermal and impact insulation —key aspects of textiles meant to protect their often exposed users.

Indeed, the RISD program focuses on producing fabrics for the apparel and interior markets, but the resulting student pieces are often made with a large number of emotional, often personal fibres.

RISD Textiles MFA student work at the 1stdibs Gallery
RISD Textiles MFA student work at the 1stdibs Gallery
Student work at the Place, Memory, Time show
Work by Yan Zeng
Work by Yan Zeng
Work by Anastacia Onegina
Work by Alicia Oas
Textile piece by Alicia Oas

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