“I grew up in Providence and wanted nothing more than to attend RISD as a student, which I did as an undergraduate in the early 2000s. RISD really is a special world. When I was a student, I remember being immersed in this world–being physically located in Providence, but also as a portal into another world of ideas and discourse that reaffirmed my weirdness and celebrated my desire to distill my observations in something called art. After attending RISD, I spent some time in Boston for grad school and then New York City getting my feet wet as an artist together with my wife and our two young sons. A few years ago we decided to return to Rhode Island, and of course I wanted nothing more than to be a teacher at my old RISD. Upon my return, now through the eyes of a teacher, I see the importance of places like this.

As a designer, I am interested in the intersection of creativity and labor and how meaning is assigned to the fruits of this convergence. My creative process is often in response to how work is defined in this sense. Who gets to work and who gets to create? As an instructor of design, I ask my students to consider strategies that leverage these ideas in order for their concepts to be clearly communicated.

If you’re considering taking a class at RISD, be prepared that it has the possibility of giving you new tools to articulate your thoughts, new definitions for failure and success, and a new point of view of the world around you and yourself.”

—John Gonzalez, RISD CE and RISD Pre-College Design instructor

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