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News . Feature Stories . Student profile: Ryan Laganson '19

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May 21, 2018

Student profile: Ryan Laganson '19

Interior Architecture student explores beyond design

Student Ryan Laganson working with classmates

Ryan Laganson has explored lots of opportunities that CIA offers beyond his major in Interior Architecture. Among these was a two-year stint as an artist-in-residence at Judson Manor retirement home, near to CIA in University Circle.

What are some examples of success you’ve experienced at CIA?

My experience while attending the Cleveland Institute of Art has been diverse, to say the very least. I have trained in a traditional wood and stone sculpture with Norbert Koehn, made great friends with the residents at Judson Manor and Judson Park [retirement communities], and of course, had a wide range of education at CIA. I currently intern at StudioTechne, an amazing architectural and design firm a block away from CIA, and I work on the prototyping team at think[box]. I have received two student-funded project grants. My first consisted of a large-format camera with an internal CNC system and a specific wavelength light meter for reading collodion exposures. The second project consists of researching ways of mass producing custom lithophanes.

I am working with Case Western Reserve University’s IP Venture Studio to develop a startup, Lemori, that will provide a more sentimental way of displaying cherished photographs by turning them into lithophanes.

What drew you to CIA in the first place?

To be honest, I was not considering CIA when I first started looking. My first tour of CIA was in 2014, when the Ford factory building was under construction and the old Gund building on East Boulevard was about to be sold. I recall the tour guide informing us that we needed to “envision” the spaces at the Ford building once the construction was complete and all the facilities moved over—and we REALLY needed a lot of “envisioning.”

Senior year of high school, one of my pieces made it into the Ohio Governor’s Award art show, and CIA offered a stunning scholarship, so I visited again. I didn’t believe the Ford building—now the new Gund—was the same building I had visited in 2014. The new building offered ample space, resources, and facilities that I knew I wanted to be a part of.

My freshman year, I realized what a great opportunity it is to have all studies in one building, where one can constantly work in other mediums and with those of different disciplines.

What’s your favorite part of making art?

I have to start any project with adequate research into the implications of the medium, the precedents of the art, or the context of the piece in contemporary culture. Taking that knowledge as preliminary research, I begin exploring new opportunities by playing with the materials themselves. For me, that is the most exciting part.

What has surprised you in your education here at CIA?

Recently, I’m discovering how integral science and mathematics can be to my discipline. Before coming to CIA, I never would have thought about using approaches to those disciplines in the realm of art. I’m really looking forward to exploring the niche community of artists who address such interests in their work.

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