Speaking about Design in Mexico City

Published on: January 20th, 2016

by Susan Yelavich, Associate Professor of Design Studies

Last fall, from October 28th to November 1st, I had the good fortune to be a guest of Centro, Mexico City’s premiere design school. During my stay, I gave a lecture to 200 members of the school and its design community in which I explored the ways design can hinder or enhance leisure, depending on the degree of control and serendipity it offers. I also conducted a more intimate workshop where graduate students proposed schemes for sites of ad hoc leisure within the highly-composed and elegant architecture of their recently built campus, designed by Enrique Norten e Ten Arquitectos.


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The Centro building designed in 2015 by Enrique Norten e Ten Arquitectos (courtesy of Centro).

During my time (my first time) in Mexico City, Centro’s director of academic affairs Gabriela Traverso made generous arrangements for me to visit their city’s major cultural sites, from Casa Luis Barragán to the Frida Kahlo Museum to the world-renowned National Museum of Anthropology. I’ve rarely been so warmly welcomed as I was at Centro, and I’m forever grateful to Centro’s director Kerstin Scheuch and her dedicated faculty. Among all the events and trips they planned, they also arranged for me to speak with Janine Porras of the design magazine Glocal.  What follows is the interview Janine conducted in which I discuss design as an agent of dignity.

Read Susan’s full interview here.  (Note: This interview is published in Spanish)

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Susan leads her graduate student workshop: Configuring Spaces of Leisure (courtesy of Centro).


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.