Design and Mobility: The Twenty-Second Annual Parsons/Cooper Hewitt

Design and Mobility: The Twenty-Second Annual Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt Graduate Student Symposium on the Decorative Arts and Design

Sponsored by:

The MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons The New School for Design in conjunction with: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution with the additional support of: donations to the Catherine Hoover Voorsanger memorial fund


A keynote address by Prof. Edward Cooke of Yale University will be delivered, and papers delivered by graduate students and faculty from universities around the US and UK.

Date: April 26, 2013: 5:30 pm-8:00 pm; April 27: 11:00am-4:30 pm.

Location: Theresa Lang Student Center, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor.

Reception: Friday evening, April 26 at the Theresa Lang Student Center.

Cost: Free and open to the public

For information or RSVP: 212-849-8344 or


This year’s theme is mobility which has become one of the defining traits of the age: new modes of living and transportation have created increasingly mobile lifestyles, aided by mobile communications networks, cultural products can move and spread across the globe with ease, and changing climate conditions are forcing relocations and rethinking of building patterns. On the individual scale, designers have worked with transformable and reusable products, or to help make individuals more mobile. The symposium will explore various aspects of mobility in the decorative arts and design — on macro and micro scales, from literal to  metaphoric perspectives.

 Speaker Schedule:

 Friday, April 26, 5:30 pm

Edward Cooke, Yale University

Design and Mobility       

The Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Keynote Address


Saturday, April 27, 11:00 am

Dr. Iris Moon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Cabinet de platine (1800-1804): Monumentality, Materiality and the Mobile Interior at the End of the Enlightenment

Penny Wolfson, Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
The Wheelchair in Post–Civil War America

Rebecca Gross, Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
Holiday magazine: Paving the postwar American dream road with patriotism.


Saturday, April 27, 2:30 pm

Jonathan Patkowski, City University of New York Graduate Center.
Transformation, Reproduction, Reuse: The Reception of Asian Silks in Late Medieval Italy

Dr. Neil Malcolm Douglas Ewins, University of Sunderland.
UK ceramic manufacturing strategy, marketing and design, in response to globalization c1990-2010.

Elise Hodson, York University.
“Born and Raised on Kickstarter:” The Near Immaculate Conception of a Smart Watch Named Pebble




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