VRA Conference Wrap Up

Apologies for the delay, but after a busy week finishing up assignments after returning from Providence, I’ve finally had some time to relax and get back to blogging.  So, dear readers, I have for you a slightly more detailed summary of the conference the links and thoughts I’ve posted in my snippets so far.

And what better way to talk about a Visual Resources conference than by referring to some… well… visual resources?


1. VRA Camp

This was the first session I attended and a great way to meet people since it was more of an informal “unconference” model.  Really great discussions and interesting demos.  I wish there were more time for the demos actually, it looked like there were really interesting projects going on, both on the public side with digital exhibitions, as well as on the back end with the development of tools to capture metadata.

2. Opening Reception

This involved forming groups (based buttons like the one above)  and answering questions to fill out a mad libs story.  The details escape me, but it was a lot of fun (and there was a lot of wine) and we somehow got points for the cumulative number of pets we owned as a group.

3. New Members and First-Time Attendees Breakfast

As a new member, I appreciated that the VRA takes the time to welcome new members, as well as match them with mentors (and as a student, I appreciate the complimentary breakfast).  Great conversation with my mentor and other new members!

4. RISD Museum

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a museum/gallery before that had a mixture of painting, drawing, prints, furniture, industrial design and fashion.  Very cool.  Plus on the way there I saw two people carrying large unwieldy pieces of cardstock and it made me kinda nostalgic for design studio.

5. Fleet Library


I know I already mentioned this briefly in a snippet, but wow.  This library is amazing.  It’s an adaptive reuse of an old bank building, and my photos don’t really do it justice, so just go look at the NADAAA project page.

(Side note: NADAAA will be designing the new architecture building at the University of Toronto which is also an adaptive reuse, I’m interested to see how that will turn out)

The space! The light! The organization!

But for me, the best part was the materials library.  Having worked in architecture offices where the “materials library” is a few shelves in a back room at best, and more likely a bunch of random samples shoved in a bankers box under someone’s desk, this just made my jaw drop.

6. Brown University


Due to scheduling conflicts, I had to miss the guided tour of the campus, but ended up walking around a bit on my own.  And it’s a beautiful campus, with both the strong, classical buildings dating from the 1800s, as well as Modern pieces like this brutalist stunner by Philip Johnson.

(And yes, a Hello Kitty themed souvenir will get me every time.)


So that’s it!  I had a lovely time, and have been left with the impression that everyone in Rhode Island is incredibly friendly.  The few days there left me equally exhausted and energized, and I can’t wait to do it again sometime soon.