Featured Speaker Series - Marathon Clambake

Special for DESIGN WEEK is our Marathon Clambake featuring four emerging designers - Amy Bernhardt, Adrienne Gagnon, Greg Nemes and Matt Cavallaro. Clambake, hosted by Aurora Providence, is a networking event for designers, design enthusiasts, and those interested in design. It’s a casual place to mingle, have a drink, and hear about design in Rhode Island. Industry professionals, from different design disciplines present their work and share their inspiration. Don’t miss it!


Adrienne Gagnon

Adrienne Gagnon co-founded DownCity Design in 2009 to help people design and build solutions for their communities. Over 800 youth have since participated in DCD programs, using the tools of design to create small-scale civic interventions that pack a big punch. Adrienne was awarded the 2013 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship for her plan to dramatically expand access to design education for RI students and teachers. Prior to taking on the role of Executive Director for DownCity Design, Adrienne served as the Education Director for Providence CityArts for Youth. She has also worked as a curator of contemporary art for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the UC Berkeley Art Museum, and was the director of a gallery exhibiting the work of local emerging artists in San Francisco. She received her BA from Yale University and her MA in Art and Design Education from Rhode Island School of Design.

Greg Nemes

Greg Nemes is designer, maker, and educator who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. He holds a bachelors of Architecture from Bowling Green State University and a Masters of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design. Greg has taught at Brown University, Boston Architectural College, Roger Williams University, and currently teaches at RISD. He is Co-Founder and Principal of Work-Shop, a research design and fabrication studio in Providence. Work-Shop has provided integrated design services to clients like RISD, Brown, Harvard, The Smithsonian Institution, and a variety of local small businesses and non-profits. Greg dabbles in amateur ornithology, and competes in the occasional triathlon.

Matt Cavallaro

Matt was raised in a small town outside Rochester, NY. He grew up loving dinosaurs, horses, and space. None of that has changed…He graduated from the Industrial Design program at RISD in 2010 and has since anchored in Providence. He has been lucky enough to work for NASA, the U.S. Military, the film industry, and various companies in their start-up phases. In 2013 Matt founded his own company, Nest Homeware, launching with a collection of polished cast iron cookware.He’s constantly learning and always experimenting.

Amy Bernhardt

Amy is the president and founder of Colorfast Digital Textile Studio in Pawtucket, RI. In 2014 she was named one of two Rhode Island Innovation Fellows for her proposal to start this digital inkjet textile design and manufacturing pilot facility in Rhode Island. Her project, Colorfast, has found a home in Pawtucket’s Design Exchange, just steps from Slater Mill. Amy has worked for over 20 years in the design and tech industries with clients ranging from artists and designers to major corporations. While starting her new venture, Amy maintains her role as Creative Director at Basics Group as well as teaching for RISD CE. Amy has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.