Student Spotlight | Natasha Ruiz

By Rachel Back | Apr 25, 2016

Students at RISD take classes in departments other than their own.  RISD is full of the most talented students from across the globe, as well as professors.  Taking classes outside of a single department lets students take advantage of the wide range of skills and insights that can be learned from ones peers or mentors.

Natasha Ruiz, an undergraduate student in Architecture, made a tiny piece of architecture in her Intro to Jewelry class.  Her work is very delicate and thoughtful, as is the way she explains her project, Calla Lily:

“From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to create something for my mother and once I found out that the assignment was to create a pin that signified a commencement, I knew immediately I wanted to shape metal into the iconic flower that is the calla lilies. Calla lilies symbolize purity and are often correlated with funerals or celebrations revolving death, but only until recently have they been found in weddings as well. The flower is quite simple, yet beautiful, consisting of a long dark stem and a single, pure white petal with a yellow spadix. The calla lilies are mysterious as they are not only apetalous, but sepalous, lacking sepals and petals. The single furled “petal” is actually more leaf-like which houses the yellow spadix – supporting and protecting it. They also have deep rooted cultural and historical significance in the Mexican culture, where my mother is from, and are a constant icon in many of Diego Rivera’s paintings. This pin, or rather chopsticks, are meant to be worn on a suit or in a woman’s hair and are meant to be reminders of all the emotions when starting a new stage in life. Silver and brass were used to play with the original flower’s color scheme as well as to add value to the object. The silver translated the importance of tradition and further emphasized the symbolic purity of the calla lilies.”


Check out more of Natasha’s work at

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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 6:30pm room 106 BEB

Student Websites

Hanson Cheng,, 2016 B.Arch,
Rakhshaan Qazi,, B.Arch 2016,
Sophie Chien (B.Arch 2020) Selected as a Maharam STEAM Fellow,
Sophie Chen will join the 2017 Maharam STEAM Fellows who are working in arenas not typically associated with art and design students and have the opportunity to effect real change in policy and practice in local and global organizations and communities. Her own work will take place at Providence City Hall in the Mayor’s Center for City Services. She says her work there will apply design thinking to the bureaucratic structure of municipal government, breaking down the “you gotta know a guy” culture and redefine internal silos in order to make city hall more equitable and efficient for constituents and stakeholders. Sophie plans to use her time working for city hall to build her experience in government, where she hopes to practice after graduating from RISD. Her goal in government is to restore trust in public institutions at a time when that trust seems to have disappeared. Using her belief in transparency and her ability to communicate data visually, she hopes to reaffirm the responsive and accessible capability of local government. Sophie will begin writing a blog this summer where you can follow her work at City Hall and the work of other Maharam Fellows. Find out more here.
Taryn Sabia,, 2006 M.Arch
William Kimmerle,, 2011 M.Arch
Alyssa M. Saltzgaber,, 2012 B.Arch
Alex Diaz,, 2013 M.Arch
Beau Johnson,, 2013 M.Arch
Burgess Voshell,, 2013 M.Arch
Camila Morales,, 2013 M.Arch
Dan Laster,, 2013 M.Arch
Eugenia Yu,, 2013 M.Arch
J. Harley Nalley,, 2013 M.Arch
Jim Bogle,, 2013 M.Arch
Kyle Kiser,, 2013 M.Arch
Maxwell Dehne,, 2013 M.Arch
Royce Bixby,, 2013 M.Arch
Adria Boynton,, 2014 B.Arch
John Mars,, 2014 B.Arch
Nathaniel Vice,, 2014 B.Arch
Nicole Wiznitzer,, 2014 B.Arch
Peeraya Suphasidh,, 2014 B.Arch
Sonny Lee,, 2014 B.Arch
Nicole Marple,, 2014 M.Arch
Lucy Siyao Liu,, 2015 B.Arch
Matthew Bohne,, 2015 B.Arch
Matthew Solomon,, 2015 B.Arch
Timothy Dobday,, 2015 B.Arch
Emily Yen, , 2015 M.Arch
Feijiao Huo,, 2015 M.Arch
Julian Uribe,, 2015 M.Arch
Malcolm Rio,, 2015 M.Arch
Natalie Kruch,, 2015 M.Arch
Rory Stevens,, 2015 M.Arch
Sina Almassi,, 2015 M.Arch
Brandon Wang,, 2016 B.Arch
Xinru Liu,, 2016 B.Arch
Christopher Beck,, 2016 M.Arch

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