The RISD Color Lab is a multiplatform space where students can engage with the one aspect of art and design that draws us all together : COLOR

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Visit Us

Want to visit The Color Lab? Check out our materials collection at the Visual+Materials Resource center, accessible online here and in person at the Fleet Library. And walk by our exhibition space on 30 North Main Street! From the window, you can view a rotating selection of faculty and student exhibitions.

Want your work shown at The Color Lab? Apply for a faculty research grant or our student exhibition open call!

Please click here for recent news and event announcements for the 2021-22 academic year.


In 2008, Technician and faculty member William Miller began a modest collection of pigments and research materials related to the study of color with the aim of helping students and faculty better understand the powerful though sometimes confusing behavior of color in art and design.

Over a decade later – and with the support of a motivated, cross-divisional cohort of faculty and staff who are deeply passionate about color – the RISD Color Lab has become an interdisciplinary center for teaching and learning about color in art, design, and culture.

The resources of the Color Lab give members of the RISD community access to pigments, dyes and inks, published research and physical models on color theory, and a multiplatform space to learn, make, and critique from a common, color-centric departure point. The Color Lab will also maintain an active engagement with the color industry in pursuit of knowledge, resources, and research partnership.

Along with RISD’s other academic commons – CoWorks, The Center for Arts and Language, and the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab to name a few – The Color Lab extends the voice of the strategic plan by acting as a “non-departmental, co-located” common space where interdisciplinary inquiry on color can be gathered and organized toward the goal of furthering research activity at RISD.

If you are passionate about the power of color – or merely curious – visit the RISD Color Lab. We can be found in the Visual+Materials Resource Center at the Fleet Library and at our window exhibition space at 30 North Main.  We serve color daily ︎


Upcoming Events

Rachel Berwick

A Near and a Far

A Color Lab Faculty Fellow Exhibition
Spring 2021
A Ne

Past Events

Geruihan Xu, Beth Johnston, Yiling Wang,
Bella Bergam, Tianyi Xie, Ann Dinh,
Megan Chao, Zitong Hui

Transparent Matter
Student Exhibition
March 26-May 10, 2021 

"Transparent Matter" was an interdisiplinary course being co-taught in 2021 by Sheri Wills (FAV) and Jocelyne Prince (Glass) and supported by the Academic Enrichment Fund. Each week, a new loop of gesture videos that are made as part of the course's exploration of the idea of performative matter will screen against Color Lab windows and be viewable by all from a covid-safe distance!

Craig Taylor

Color Lab Faculty Fellow Exhibition

March 2-April 30, 2021

Color Lab Faculty Fellow Craig Taylor (Associate Professor of Painting) used his grant to experiment with the interaction of color in his ongoing series of Busts/Portraits/Formats. As a strategy, seriality is deployed to demonstrate how color can create content that is often connected to an emotive or evocative state. In TESTS:Variants, Taylor presented a new series of chromatic sculptures cast from a single mold. Each sculpture functioned as a site for the exploration of color systems. During the production of the sculptures, a short single-channel video depicting the bust as a source was found and created.

March 5–30, 2020
Exhibition: unoriginal palette: color citation by clearer means
An Installation by Andy Law (Industrial Design)

Opening Reception March 5 @ 6:30pm

Archived past events on 
Digital Commons @ RISD

The Color Lab Collection

Our library of resources is contantly growing.  View our collection and request items here through the Visual+Materials Resource Center at the Fleet Library. Please visit regularly to see what’s new.

-Over 300 common and rare dry pigments
-Over 50 books covering a wide breadth of topics related to color study
-A unique collection of 150 historic textile dyes and colorants from the American Textile History Museum
-A collection of rare indigo cakes produced in the late 19th century
-A collection of laboratory glassware and an induction hot plate that can be used to mix and experiment with a variety of artist’s materials-An X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer for calibrating and profiling monitors, projectors, scanners, and printers (available through RISD Media Resources checkout system).

-A complete collection of professional reference fan decks and swatch binders containing architectural coating offerings from Benjamin Moore
-A collection of professional sample boards for acrylic paints and mediums from Golden Artist Colors
-A Munsell 3D “Color Tree” and accompanying “Book of Color" models for visualizing color space
-An offering of promotional brochures featuring design trends and coating specifications from Benjamin Moore
-A collection of designer’s reference fan decks and swatch binders from Pantone, including CMYK coated and uncoated, metallic, pastel and neon, extended gamut, and other-A collection of Panelite samples -A 3D swatch library of the “Pantone Plastics Color System"
-A Sony 55 inch LCD display with Apple TV
-A changing inventory of informational posters and signage compiled and designed by RISD staff that feature the ideas, concepts, and color study methods of prominent colorists such as Albers, Munsell, and Itten

Color Served Daily
The RISD Color Lab is a multiplatform space where students can engage with the one aspect of art and design that draws us all together : COLOR

︎   ︎

Visit the Color Lab
Our exhibition space is viewable from the street at 30 North Main. Our physical materials collection may be requested through the Visual + Material Resource Center at Fleet Library.