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In the early 20th century, RISD faculty member Edna Lawrence founded the Nature Lab to “open students’ eyes to the marvels of beauty in nature...of forms, space, color, texture, design and structure.”
Today, the Lab still offers unmediated access to authentic natural history specimens, while also fostering creative inquiry into biomimetics, biophilic design, ecology and climate change. High-end microscopes, high-speed cameras and other advanced imaging systems give members of the RISD community access to living and non-living specimens at multiple scales and provide an engaging platform for examining myriad connections between artistic and scientific study.
The Nature Lab furthers RISD’s hands-on approach to learning by enabling students to investigate ethical, sustainable modes of making informed by natural systems and designed to benefit the environment. Ultimately, it helps everyone who makes use of our resources better understand and articulate the role we play as humans in the ecosystem.