Published on: December 2nd, 2011
A series exploring ideas in the Design Studies curriculum.

Mapping Daily Itineraries

“This mapping exercise revealed how these students felt so comfortable with one another but did not really know even simple things about how they live.”

“I would say that if we were to do this activity again, it would be beneficial to work on bringing some different materials. For instance, the post-its were great to start, but giving the students more to work with could allow them to be more creative.”

“Overall I thought that our initial lesson went extremely well. I was amazed at how engaged the students were with the activity.”

We have just come back from a meeting with seniors of Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LoMA), a highschool in the Lower East Side of New York. The above are reflections of Parsons students after leading the first workshop on Mapping. Students on both sides were enthusiastic. LoMA students were asked to describe their daily itineraries from home to school pointing out personal landmarks, such as places where they meet their friends or where something memorable has happened to them. A psychogeographic map of Manhattan was constructed on the floor of their art classroom collecting the students’ stories and personal landmarks as part of the“Routes and Homes” project.

Learning through Design was taught as a combined theory and studio class in Spring 2010 by ADHT faculty Jilly Traganou, and AMT faculty Jessica Irish and Eric Nunez. Learning through Design sees design pedagogy as central for education in the 21st century. Exposure to the iterative, project-led means of inquiry that design requires is important for educating K-12 students to address the complex, multidisciplinary problems that they will face in their professional and everyday life. It is also significant for linking learning with action, and thus removing the walls that separate academia from real-life. In that, it meets the broader ideas of critical pedagogy established by thinkers such as Paul Freire and John Dewey.

Learning Through Design is next scheduled for Fall 2012:

  • ADHT (Theory section), taught by Jilly Traganou
  • AMT (Studio section), taught by Eric Nunez & Jess Irish, AMT

Program Contact

Caroline Dionne, Program Director

Program Update

Parsons is not currently admitting new students to this master’s degree program. Parsons is now offering a Graduate Minor in Design Studies that is designed to complement the MA History of Design and Curatorial Studies and other graduate programs across the university in design, liberal arts, and social research.