MA Design Studies 2017 Symposium: Making Home in Wounded Places

Published on: February 3rd, 2017

Reminder: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS open until Dec. 10th for

Making Home in Wounded Places: Memory, Design, and the Spatial

March 3 – 4, 2017


An international symposium co-sponsored by the MA Design Studies program, Parsons School of Art & Design History & Theory, The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, New School for Social Research, and the Global Studies program at The New School.

Keynote speaker: Lina Sergie Attar 

Link to The New School events information page

Our cultural, political and physical geographies proliferate with wounded places: sites of conflict, rupture, and natural disasters; places marked by layers of turmoil and conquests; impromptu transit and refuge locations that become permanent.

“Making home” in these places, seldom a choice, is an act of necessity. It becomes simultaneously a material and symbolic endeavor, involving both design and memory practices, such as: “temporary” domestication, as in refugee encampments; erasure of the sites’ past, whether through violent destruction of physical landmarks or through ignoring the traces of its former life; or remaking of the space by diluting its native features and adding on the new.

The symposium “Making Home in Wounded Places: Memory, Design, and the Spatial” is conceived as a polyphonic intervention engaging the realms of design studies, art, and the social sciences. As we believe that spaces constitute critical dimensions in understanding the human condition in our times, we propose the following questions to inform our discussion around wounded places:

How to make home in wounded places?

What is the role of memory tensions in this process?

How does the (re)design of wounded places impact their users?

How are wounded places appropriated by the politics of memory?

What are the strategies for navigating through wounded places — as individuals, as communities, as societies?

Brief abstracts — of no more than 300 words — should be submitted by email to by December 10, 2016.

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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.