Co-Works is RISD's first interdisciplinary lab for making research. Started in 2014, we serve as a curricular incubator under the Provost Office to develop experimental, cross-departmental courses and programs. In response to demand, we've also been working hard to create additional ways for students, staff, and faculty to engage with the Co-Works community.
Please note, Co-Works is not a service provider or departmental shop. As our first responsibility is to our own courses and programs, we cannot accommodate jobs on demand, untrained walk-ins, or outside deadlines. Sign up for training well before need. See our Make & Reserve page for details.
- Experimental and cross-departmental courses
- Teaching opportunities for faculty and graduate students
- Research support for interdisciplinary making
- Tutoring in Rhino, Illustrator, sewing and soft goods, moulds and casting, coding, physical computing, etc.
- Non-credit training sessions on equipment including laser cutter, UV printer, vacuum former, virtual reality tech, industrial sewing machines, digital embroiderer, electronics, 3D printers, CNC mill, etc.
All Co-Works community members must follow the processes and policies listed on the Make & Reserve page to maintain access and privileges.
Orientations are given at the start of the semester as part of Co-Works courses. Alternatively, faculty and students outside of Co-Works programming are encouraged to schedule group orientations with the Program Manager.
Working under the RISD Provost Office, Co-Works serves as an interdisciplinary curricula incubator and making research lab. We develop experimental courses, encourage cross-departmental collaboration, and combine a unique selection of digital and traditional making technologies. Co-Works is committed to innovating strategies and building community for sharing ideas across disciplines.
Diversity & Inclusion
Co-Works champions diversity and inclusion in regards to departmental affiliation, discipline and mode of making, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, physical ability, religion, age, and all other facets of identity that inform how and what we create as artists and designers.
Our team of Instructors and Peer Tutors represent many backgrounds, identities, and RISD departments, contributing to a broad array of perspectives and skills that support an inclusive and interdisciplinary community culture.
Spring 2018 Hours
Mon – Thu • 9am – 11pm
Fri • 9am – 9pm
Sat & Sun • 11am – 9pm
• Reduced crit week hours
• Closed holidays and breaks
• Weekly Schedule
RISD Fletcher Building
212 Union Street
Providence, RI 02903
Courses & Programs
Co-Works offers interdisciplinary courses, non-credit training, teaching opportunities for faculty and graduate students, and research support for all students and faculty. Our programs include:
Interdisciplinary Fall & Spring Courses
Faculty taught Courses (3-6 credit, full term)
Grad taught Workshops (1 credit, 4 weeks)
Register via the Student Planning website
Experimental Winter Session Courses
Grad taught Experimental Courses (3 credit, full term)
Register via the Student Planning website
Training Sessions (Non-credit)
- Training Sessions are offered in Fall & Spring semester
- Training takes up to 4 weeks and space is limited
- Sign-up is in person at Co-Works only
- See our Training Sessions page for more details
Walk-In Tutoring & Troubleshooting
Software: Rhino, Illustrator, etc.
Physical computing and coding
Sewing & fabric construction techniques
Mould making & casting
- Faculty may propose courses for Fall & Spring terms
- The Co-Works proposal process is parallel to the standard course proposal process and has the same deadlines
- See our Faculty Teaching page for more details
Graduate Student Teaching
- Grads may propose courses for Winter Session terms
- Grads may propose Fall & Spring workshops (1 credit)
- See our Graduate Student Teaching page for more details
Student & Faculty Research
- All students and faculty may propose research projects
- Approved research is granted priority access and training
- See our Research page for more details
Spring 2018 Courses
Biomimicry & Puppetry
Erik Sanko & Ed Brown
Intro To Digital Making
Greg Nemes & Bayne Peterson
Joy Ko & Evelyn Eastmond
Experiments in Optics
Nano Meso Micro Macro
Winter 2018 Courses
Corwyn Lund & Ipek Kosova
Molly Palacek & Eli Backer
Megan Valanidas & Yu-Hsing Wu
Nothing But Flowers
Austin Bamford & Gavin Zeitz
Tatiana Gómez Gaggero & Angela Lorenzo
Fall 2017 Courses
Sculptural Fabric Structures
Who is Co-Works for?
- All RISD students, staff, faculty
- RISD alumni with RISD Bucks Guest Card
- Brown students with RISD ID + RISD Bucks Guest Card
In order to receive access and reservation privileges, training and passing an authorization test is required. Co-Works courses and research projects receive priority access. See more access details here.
What type of work is Co-Works for?
Co-Works prioritizes interdisciplinary making and cross-departmental collaboration. Neither a service provider nor suited for high-volume or large-scale production, instead we are best equipped to support initial stages of training, research, and experimentation. When you're ready to make multiples or scale up, we can refer you to appropriate local service providers. See a list of some providers here.
What are Co-Works open hours?
Hours vary each semester, but are generally 9am-11pm on Mondays through Thursdays, less on Fridays and weekends. Co-Works has reduced hours during crit weeks and is closed during school holidays and breaks. Co-Works does not currently have summer open hours.
What types of equipment and making does Co-Works have?
Co-Works includes an eclectic mix of 3D printing and digital fabrication, traditional fabrication, sewing and textiles processes, programming and electronics, virtual reality, machine learning, and more. See more details here.
How does Co-Works training work?
Training is part of Co-Works courses or is led by skilled Grad Instructors through non-credit training sessions. Most training is at the intro level and assumes basic software knowledge. After training, passing a short test grants access and reservation privileges. See details here.
What if I just need some help?
Co-Works also has walk-in tutoring for high-demand software and processes (Rhino, Illustrator, sewing, electronics, programming, etc). Shown in light green on our schedule, open help hours indicate that someone is on hand to tutor or troubleshoot. See the schedule here.
How do you sign-up for Co-Works training sessions?
Students, staff, and faculty can sign-up for training sessions in person at Co-Works. We cannot accept sign-up online or via email. Training slots are limited and fill up fast - sign up early! See more details here.
How long do Co-Works training sessions take?
Training time varies for each piece of equipment or process. Some training requires a single one-hour session while others require three or four two-hour sessions over consecutive weeks. Come talk to us well in advance of deadlines to ensure sufficient time to train. See more details here.
Are there costs to use Co-Works?
Training and use of most Co-Works equipment is free. Some equipment requires nominal fees to cover cost of consumables or time (e.g. 3D printing materials, laser cutting time, etc). Fees are subsidized when possible and standardized with other making spaces at RISD. See more details here.
How does Co-Works accept payment?
All students, staff, and faculty are charged the same fees via RISD Bucks. Co-Works cannot accept payment via cash or charge. In order for RISD alumni and Brown students to make payments, they need to acquire a RISD Bucks Guest Card at the RISD Store.