Model Shop


Michael Scimeca :  Metal Shop Technician


What is the philosophy of your shop?

The philosophy of the ID Model Shop is to support the ID curriculum and serve our students in accomplishing their class work. Shop safety is of prime importance. Proper shop habits and tool and machine care are also stressed.


What types of processes and classes are taught in the shop?

The ID Model Shop teaches the traditional wood and metal milling, fabricating, and finishing operations, as well as plastics fabrication, vacuum forming, modelmaking foam cutting and forming, and molding and casting processes. Classes taught in the shop include the Graduate Shop Experience and Production Ceramics. A variety of demonstrations are held in or originate from the Model Shop such as rigid foam fabrication, plastics and metal fabrication, vacuum forming, molding, shoe design fabrication techniques, and wax and injection molding.


What outcomes for learning do you see from your shop?

The strongest aspect of the department is the hands-on, materials-based approach to learning. This philosophy trains our students to be better designers since they learn the materials and processes by directly working with them, manipulating them, and experiencing their characteristics, strengths, and limitations.


What is your background and expertise?

My background is six years working for professional modelmaking shops while taking a variety of related classes at RISD Continuing Education (RISD/CE). I then earned a MID degree from RISD, and was immediately hired as the ID Model Shop technician, while also doing freelance modelmaking. I have taught classes for the ID department in modelmaking, and the Graduate Shop Experience (both team-taught, and as the sole instructor), as well as classes for RISD/CE.


What excites you about working at RISD?

The innate talents and skills of our students are exciting to experience. It is also rewarding to play a part in influencing their academic progress, and personal growth and maturity from the sophomore core ID foundation year through graduation.


Model Shop access

Graduate students gain access to the Model Shop through the Graduate Shop Experience class.