When students, faculty and alumni explore our collection to better understand the intricacies of design in nature — along with its beauty, fragility, power and pure wonder — the results often surface in their work. Some of the pieces shown here are inspired by natural forms, colors, textures, patterns, scales and more, while others point to ongoing environmental challenges such as climate change, population growth and pollution, along with issues of sustainable living.


Staff and work-study assistants keep the doors open 80 hours a week, allowing students to follow their interests and borrow selected specimens for off-site study.

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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.​

© 2024 Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design