Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Alumni Spotlight: Laura Belik

 

Laura Belik graduated from MA Design Studies in 2016 and has since been accepted to the Architecture PhD program at University of California Berkeley. We got the chance to catch up with Laura this summer and asked her to reflect on her time at Parsons.

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Hacking Warsaw’s Palace of Culture

 

The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw. Photo by Susan Yelavich.

by Susan Yelavich

To all outward appearances, Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science would seem to be impregnable.  This, despite the fact that is truly a people’s palace and has been since it was completed in 1955. A ‘gift’ from Stalin to the then newly-minted Communist state of Poland, the Palace was conceived as a ‘social condenser,’ a work of architecture that for all its height would flatten class differences. Its interiors housed – and continue to house – theaters, museums, cafes, restaurants, university classrooms, a pool, offices, auditoriums, and meeting spaces, which are variously open to citizens, tourists, and government employees. Generations of Warsavians have learned to swim here, taken courses, listened to jazz, proposed to each other, and had their wedding photos taken on the viewing deck on the 30th floor. Some even correspond with the Palace, actually writing letters to the building that are duly archived on the 15th floor.  The Palace of Culture has taken on the same sort of supra-natural power, not unlike that which has accrued around the legend of Stalin, himself.  (Urban legend has it that Stalin has been seen roaming the Moscow Metro, appearing to the faithful, weeping through the eyes of his statues – literally and figuratively haunting the Russian imagination.)

The Palace – a wound inflicted by Stalin, a benevolent ‘house of culture,’ the monumental centerpiece of contemporary Warsaw – was the focus of an intensive MA Design Studies course organized in conjunction with the School of Form in Poznan, Poland, from March 18th to March 25th. “The Palace of Culture:  An Exploration in Design, Humanities, and Social Sciences,” was the third in a troika of programs,1 which were dedicated to responding to sites of trauma, organized by Parsons and the New School for Social Research in Spring 2017.

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Claudia Marina, MA Design Studies ’17, Published in The Avery Review

Interior of one of the classrooms in the Sugar Hill Museum Preschool. Photograph by Qionglu Lei.

Current MA Design Studies student Claudia Marina is published in Issue 20 of The Avery Review, a project of Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Her paper, “Checking in: David Adjaye’s Sugar Hill Project, Two Years Later,” is the result of a research project that began at the beginning of 2016 in Jilly Traganou’s “Research and Methods” course. The paper investigates the Sugar Hill Project, a collaboration between developer Broadway Housing Communities and architect David Adjaye, two years into the building’s architectural afterlife.

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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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