TV Talk from Alum Amy Devers

When Amy Devers MFA 01 FD returned to RISD as the keynote speaker at RISD by Design weekend, she came to talk about How RISD Prepared Me for a Career I Didn’t Even Know I Wanted (not an atypical thing, as many alumni will attest).

Amy Devers RISD alumna

The furniture designer-turned-TV-personality presented a clip-filled overview of her career, noting that she went to her first casting call more or less on a whim, armed with rhinestone safety glasses and legitimate making skills but no on-camera experience. After all, she had moved to Los Angeles and always harbored dreams of “becoming a star,” so why not?

Much to her surprise, Devers landed the job co-hosting a how-to home-improvement series on the then-fledgling DIY Network. A decade later, she has done more than 10 TV and web series and is now co-hosting Fix This Yard on A&E, design/building solutions on OWN’s Home Made Simple and talking about growing and preparing food on Victory Garden’s edibleFEAST on PBS.

During the short Q&A session that followed, when a parent asked Devers what advice she had for a Furniture Design senior who will graduate this spring, she suggested new grads try something they’ve always been curious about and push beyond their comfort zone and figure it out from there.


Alumni weekend at RISDKevin Jankowski 88 IL, associate director of career programs, introduced Devers and listened intently as she talked about her career path.

When President Rosanne Somerson 76 ID, one of her former professors and then head of the Furniture Design department, asked what one TV series she would really love to host, Devers paused a moment and then with her signature effervescence, responded with: “A show where I could go deep with little known designer/makers around the world – Anthony Bourdain-style.”


RISD President Somerson & Amy Devers

RISD President Rosanne Somerson and alumna Amy Devers

President Somerson and Amy Devers MFA 01 FD reconnect at RbD weekend.

photos by Matthew Watson 09 FAV