Posts Tagged ‘adht’

10% of MA Design Studies Grads in PhD Programs

by Susan Yelavich

On the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of the MA Design Studies program at Parsons, we are extremely proud to announce that10% of MA Design Studies graduates are matriculating in PhD programs across the U.S. Building on her Masters thesis, Salma Shamel Bakr of the Class of 2017 will pursue her research on archival technologies and historiography in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

Two members of the Class of 2016 are now pursuing their PhDs:  Anke Gruendel in Politics at the New School for Social Research and Laura Belik in Architecture at UC Berkeley with a degree emphasis in History, Theory and Society.  As an MA Design Studies student, Anke queried the neo-liberal character of design methods deployed in governmental institutions, laying the ground work for her current research on changes in theoretical conceptions of democracy. Laura will continue to study the social lives of cities in the Americas, with special emphasis on the role of the street.

In keeping with the hybrid nature of Design Studies, Veronica Uribe del Aguila, Class of 2015, is in Communication and Science Studies at University of California San Diego – an interdisciplinary program that draws on Communication, Sociology, Philosophy and History. Her research will explore technology, innovation, neoliberalism, and National Discourses in South America and Latino diasporas in the United States.

Kudos to all!  We can’t wait to see you marching with in your velvet robes!

An Open Letter to the Graduating Class of 2017

Salma Shamel Bakr speaking at the 2017 New School Commencement ceremony.

by Susan Yelavich

I’d like to offer some reflections as you embark on new paths, having spent the last two years, preparing for this moment. And I’m sharing them here for those who will follow your footsteps and those friends and colleagues who will miss you greatly. Myself, chief among them. Above all, I want you to know that if you felt your time here slipped away far too quickly, that I felt it just as keenly. The Irish in me thinks “we hardly knew ye.”

But, what I do know is that you are a forceful lot. Your exhibition in the University Center’s Events Café confirmed that. You are a class fully committed to the possibilities of Design Studies. Put another way, you didn’t hesitate to question the norms of design. You weren’t just dissatisified with the conventional categories of design and the usual ways of designing, you also proposed alternatives and alternative futures.  And in doing so, you confirmed the value of Design Studies.  It’s the canary in the coalmine at a time when we need it most:  in this very moment, when the environment and civil society are under siege.  We may not be the New York Times or the Washington Post, but our questions are no less valuable for that. Design Studies looks beyond the immediate present, a present we all hope will pass soon. We need to ask the questions you ask – questions that make us look at design in unexpected ways and in unexpected contexts.

Who would have thought that a national archive could be designed to suppress information? Salma Shamel Bakr’s investigations threw a harsh light on how archival systems and buildings, on how paper and pixels, can be, and have been, designed to deny history.

Who would have thought the American desert was an object of design? Fattori Fraser showed us that this most barren of landscapes is especially vulnerable to human interventions — precisely because it’s an environment that thrives of a myth of isolation. But what happens in the desert – think, nuclear testing – doesn’t stay in the desert, no matter what they say.

Who would have thought that childbearing was a matter of design? Sandra Gichuhi showed us how the labor of women—and I mean that in every sense of the word—is now built into a complex transnational network of lives and bodies.

Who would have thought that we design the lives of animals—including we human animals—in the muck of our barnyards? Shea Mandolesi took the lay of that land and redesigned a farm to promote better health.

Who would have thought that a world-famous architect was not completely in control of her work? Qionglu Lei broke through the fiction of the lone maestro, to reveal the wider cast of characters that make up a building, including those who use it.

And lastly, speaking of control, who would have thought design was more about erasure than mark, more about reconfiguring than configuring? Leticia Oxley found the essence of designing in prototyping, not in the ever-elusive idea of resolution.  She, like all of our students, knows while every work of design addresses a question, it also poses countless others.

Keep questioning, stay curious, and stay in touch!

Join Us for the 2017 ADHT Graduate Student Symposium

All are welcome to attend the annual ADHT Graduate Student Symposium, held May 11 and 12th, 2017 from 11am to 4pm.

Graduate students from MA Design Studies, MA Fashion Studies, and MA History of Design and Curatorial Studies will be presenting their work from the past academic year in the Bark Orientation Room at 2 W 13th Street.

For the full schedule of presentations, click here.

We hope to see you there!

 

ADHT Welcomes 64 New Graduate Students

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Design Studies incoming students touring The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum with docent, Sakura Nomiyama

On Monday, August 24th, 64 incoming graduate students gathered in the Kellen Auditorium to make up the School of Art and Design History and Theory’s incoming class of 2017.  ADHT is the home to 29 new students in Fashion Studies (FS), 10 in Design Studies (DS) and 26 in The History of Design and Curatorial Studies (HDCS).  These programs’ incoming students will join 70 of their classmates in their final year— and joining them in the rigor of this year’s curriculum and undertakings.

Director of Design Studies, Jilly Traganou, agrees in saying that the incoming graduate students have a deep well of resources to draw from, especially in regards to “cross-divisional and cross school collaborations.”  And a key aspect of these resources that Traganou points out to not only her graduate students in DS, but to those across ADHT’s programs is the faculty they have the occasion to work with.  As a graduate student in ADHT, one has the unique opportunity “to be a part of the research that faculty of our school is involved with,” and utilizing that relationship in one’s own study, “from the conception of ideas to the final production of a publication.”

Bolstering the substantial work from within these programs, is ADHT’s exceptional lineup of events this semester.  For one such upcoming event on September 8th, DS and The Japan Foundation will host Japanese Design Today: Unique, Evolving, Borderless with professor, Hiroshi Kashiwagi and architect / designer, Yoshifumi Nakamura, to discuss the evolution of contemporary Japanese design.  ADHT will also be hosting two events partnered with the American Academy in Rome, among others.

“This start of this school year is a specially meaningful one,” begins the “Welcome Statement from the Dean,” Sarah Lawrence, “At its inception, the studio training of a Parsons student is undertaken now within a culture of historical reflection, critical thinking, and eloquent expression.  These are essential activities of ADHT.”  As though in agreement with this idea, pictured above are incoming students during orientation, taking in The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum where they will be spending the next two years of their graduate studies.  “And so, with great anticipation, I welcome you to the start of the new year.”

 

From the Director


Susan Yelavich (Director)

If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re curious about Parsons’ Masters in Design Studies. Below are a series of posts written in anticipation of your questions:

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