Published on: December 5th, 2011
A series exploring ideas in the Design Studies curriculum.

Utilizing Design as a Method of Learning

The scope of this week’s class was to synthesize the different stages of our work with Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LoMA) students in the form of a diagram. Instead of approaching the subject of study (“Routes and Homes”) through traditional Liberal Arts methods, Parsons students helped LoMA seniors to utilize design as a method of learning, with the end result of designing a board game. As a means of converging theory and reflective practice we adapted and tested IDEO‘s model of the six phases of the Design Thinking process:

  1. Understand
  2. Observe
  3. Define (your point of view)
  4. Ideate
  5. Prototype
  6. Test.

In this week’s class Parsons students used an IDEO diagram to put together material from the class readings, students’ observations, workshops at LoMA and project prototyping as a reflection of what was achieved in the class. This large analytical diagram was created collaboratively by Parsons students and will be exhibited at LoMA highschool and at Parsons during the final week of classes.

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.