The art of TEDMED speakers from RISD

In an intellectual and creative adventure, five Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) faculty members and 20 students have contributed their talents by creating portraits of TEDMED’s 2013 speakers.

In his STEM to STEAM initiative, RISD President John Maeda — who will be on stage at TEDMED 2013 as a speaker — is attempting to transform thinking about the role of art and design in civic life, in commerce, and as an agent of innovation in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

RISD’s Illustration Department has long pursued partnerships in learning through its practical course offerings and partnerships with academic, corporate and research institutions, working side-by-side with physicians, scientists, computer programmers and engineers.

“With the TEDMED project we jumped at the chance to immerse our students and faculty in worlds of inquiry that have broadened our enthusiasm and scope of understanding about the terrific work these people are doing,” said Robert Brinkerhoff, Professor and Illustration Department Head at RISD.

“That partnership alone has expanded the thinking of the illustrators involved in the project, but we must also recognize that artists and designers are able to formulate deep questions and observations that can help propel research and discovery into new territories. Behind all innovation are eloquent, imaginative, creative personae and it’s been an absolute pleasure to convey the energy underlying such fascinating enterprise,” he said.

The portraits will be featured in the TEDMED conference book and throughout the event.