Founded in 1937 by RISD grad and faculty member Edna Lawrence and now in its 80th year, the Nature Lab’s unique collections continue to inspire exploration of the designs and processes of nature.
The Nature Lab offers unmediated access to more than 80,000 natural history specimens, while also fostering creative inquiry into biomimetics, biophilic design, ecology and climate change. Its expanded research facilities include high-end microscopes, high-speed cameras and other advanced imaging systems that give members of the RISD community access to living and non-living specimens at multiple scales and provide an engaging platform for examining the connections between artistic and scientific study.
It is a unique environment for understanding our place in the living world and investigating the myriad connections between art, design, and science by enabling students to investigate ethical, sustainable modes of making informed by natural systems and designed to benefit the environment.
Behind the Scenes
Tour the Nature Lab’s facilities, and peek through a microscope to see natural specimens from a new perspective.