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Video Credits: Harken Productions  in conjunction with
Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island

Leading the Way on Consumer Product Design - Since 1790

Rhode Island led our country into the industrial age in 1790 when Samuel Slater brought his textile expertise from England to the Blackstone Valley. That spirit of innovation continues today in consumer products companies across greater Rhode Island. From high-end Brahmin handbags and stylish eyewear from FGX to Tiffany jewelry and Hasbro’s beloved children’s toys, makers of consumer products have chosen greater Rhode Island as their home.
“As Hasbro continues to grow and evolve, we recently expanded our presence from our Pawtucket headquarters into the Capital City of Providence as well.  Rhode Island has been our home since 1923 and we look forward to remaining an active and important part of this community,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro President & CEO.
Look no further than Providence’s East Side for one of the reasons why companies like Hasbro find talented employees in the greater Rhode Island area. The Rhode Island School of Design is a world-renowned art and design school whose students and faculty provide much of the energy behind Providence’s reputation as the “Creative Capital.” RISD has stood out as a leader in art and design education, attracting extraordinary people who thrive in its creative culture. 
"RISD owes its origin to the creative vision of pioneering women. It was founded in 1877 for 'The instruction of artisans in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing, that they may successfully apply the principles of Art to the requirements of trade and manufacture.' This is important because artists are not only innovative thinkers, but they also have a highly developed window into how humans perceive and experience things. They are uniquely able to mediate the relationship between a person and an idea, object, or behavior – a product or a technology, for example. They know how to put humans at the center of this relationship, and how to translate this into meaningful experience. This is central to what many businesses try to accomplish, and it is why RISD students and graduates have been of such immense value to some of Rhode Island's leading companies for generations,” said Rosanne Somerson, President of Rhode Island School of Design. 
"Innovation in this century will not come just from science, technology, engineering, and math, but also from a kind of thinking and making that will reconfigure and reinvigorate these activities, endowing them with new, as yet unforeseeable possibilities and creating whole new realities. At RISD, this Art + Design thinking – this art of critical making – helps us ask impossible questions and solve impossible problems. With its history, heritage, creativity, and proximity to a key center of Art + Design thinking and making like RISD, Rhode Island is an ideal place for imaginative businesses to set their roots," concluded Somerson.
Rhode Island is not only home to creative products that are in a box, but on the outside as well, as innovative design and packaging businesses have rooted themselves here. One company, NuLabel Technologies, was founded by three Brown graduates including president, Max Winograd. During a class at Brown, Winograd and his partners had tried to solve a vexing problem: how to create a label without a liner, correctly noting that every label is 50% waste since the liner is thrown away.  After graduating, Max and co-founders Ben Lux and Mike Woods began development of a patented activateable adhesive and patent pending hardware technology to create a silicone-free, liner-free, glue-free zero-waste label that eliminate the need for the liner or the need for messy wet glue.

“The guidance we received from BetaSpring and support of the Providence business community has been amazing,” said Winograd. “While we certainly could have set up shop somewhere else, there have been so many compelling reasons to stay in Rhode Island.” 

Advanced Manufacturing comes from the influence of design on manufacturing practices. Today's 3D printers are a direct evolution of the Jacquard looms of RI's history. Both are manufacturing technologies that can produce products at scale, but which require the hand of an artist or designer to make those products special and desirable. Design is what differentiates many successful American products. Throughout America's history, creativity and ingenuity has always made our products stand out in the global marketplace. Innovation has always happened, and will continue to happen, because of successful collaborations between designers and manufacturers. This starts at RISD.


• Rhode Island has a rich legacy of manufacturing. Since the inception of the textiles and jewelry industry in the northeast, RI has been a technological leader in manufacturing. This success lead to the founding of Rhode Island School of Design in 1877. Its original objective to instruct "artisans in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing, that they may successfully apply the principles of Art to the requirements of trade and manufacture" remains true today.

• In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We need to add Art + Design to the equation - to transform STEM into STEAM. STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by academic institutions, corporations and individuals