The Common Thread: A Virtual Series

We're pleased to announce the upcoming virtual panel series, The Common Thread. A collaboration between the Nature Lab and Southeastern New England Fibershed, this 4-part virtual series will explore the commonalities within the systems of land, waste, material, and color and how they can intersect with various modes of thought to drive positive change. The Common Thread will build a base for an 8-part conversation taking place after this series focusing on international issues around regeneration.

Join us on September 30 at 12 PM Eastern Time for the 3rd live session with Fibershed Executive Director, Rebecca Burgess, and Designer Tareq Alzawawi RISD MID '19.

Moderated by Southeastern New England Fibershed Co-Founder Amy DuFault and RISD Nature Lab’s Operations and Engagement Coordinator Dora Mugerwa, this conversation will focus on MATERIAL and SOIL HEALTH. In thinking about how we regenerate the soil (from food to fiber to biomaterials), how do we determine the sustainability profile based on the techniques we’re using?

Submit questions in advance to the panelists to or save them for the live event.

RSVP HERE for the Common Thread with Rebecca Burgess and Tareq Alzawawi.

Rebecca Burgess | Fibershed

Rebecca Burgess is the Executive Director of Fibershed, and Chair of the Board for Carbon Cycle Institute. She has over a decade of experience writing and implementing hands-on curriculum that focuses on the intersection of restoration ecology and fiber systems. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and has created workshops for a range of NGOs and corporations. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale

Tareq Alzawawi

Tareq Alzawawi is a multidisciplinary designer interested in the intersection of design, nature, and science. He holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture (BArch) degree from The University of Arizona, in addition to a Master’s in Industrial Design (MID) degree from Rhode Island School of Design. His portfolio contains a wide range of different projects in architecture, landscape architecture, product design, computational design, and material research. Many of his projects revolve around the idea of understanding the symbiotic relationship between human beings and our surrounding nature. Through his work he explores different concepts like biomimicry, biophilia, and biodesign. His current research interest is in topics like water access, biomaterials, zero waste, passive design, and sustainability.


Wednesday, October 7, 12 PM ET — Color and Ecology

The fourth and final live session with Natural Dyer + Textile Artist + Hancock Shaker Museum Artist-in-Residence, Brece Honeycutt, and RISD Museum Costume & Textiles Associate Curator + RISD Apparel Faculty Member, Laurie Brewer will focus on COLOR and ECOLOGY from history to present day. How does color's relationship to regional ecology and history impact the curation of how colors are represented in fashion and textiles?

Submit questions in advance to the panelists using the registration form.

Questions? Email Dora at

Watch the recording of RESTORATION and GROWTH with Lorén M. Spears and Hope HERE

Watch the recording of WASTE as a NEW HARVEST with Fengjiao Ge, Chris Riley, and Annie Keating HERE

Discover More
Nature Lab Logo
Support us Subscribe to our Newsletter

The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

© 2020 Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design