Welcome to Students Joining Us In January

Published on: December 5th, 2012

With this series of profiles, we are delighted to introduce you to the
students joining the MA Design Studies program in the spring semester.

Will Perkins

My name is Will and I’m from New York City. Over the past 9 
years my career has been chiefly concerned with the experimentation of
 strategic communication and consumer engagement. As a brand manager my
 principal responsibility has been to encourage consumer purchase behavior 
by creating an emotional connection to consumers and products.

 I currently work for NIKE, Inc. as a brand manager for NIKE Basketball. 
While at NIKE I have become increasingly interested in the intersection
 between design and technology and the role design plays in how consumers 
interact with products, how design can help good products, services and 
experiences reach their maximum potential and designs overall influence on
the global economy. As a marketer, I ultimately believe my job is to help 
people reach their full potential. To enable them to do, see, create and 
be things they never thought were possible.  To that aim as the global
 economy becomes more and more complex and the world becomes more
 accessible I believe the role of design will become increasingly important 
in influencing purchase behavior and the way humans choose to live their 
everyday lives. 

Beyond my professional ambitions, my soul drives me to the study of art and
 design. I seek and I am inspired by art and design everyday and it will 
without doubt be an extension of who I am for the rest of my life.

Hayley Arsenault

For the past few years, I have been studying art history at Hunter College. Though my focus was primarily on paintings of the twentieth century, I found myself constantly gravitating towards the studies of architecture and design. Hoping to find an outlet in which to explore the connections between art, architecture and design practice, I was pleased to discover the MA in Design Studies program offered at the New School. I look forward to researching the evolving discipline of design practice and its relationship to theoretical, historical and social issues. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to study at Parsons and to become more integrated with the community of students in the Design Studies program.

Melissa McWilliams

Hi everyone, I’m Melissa. I am originally from Amarillo, a small cattle town located in the rolling plains of the Texas panhandle. I earned my BA in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. My interest in research and information retrieval drew me to begin a Masters degree in Library Science at Pratt Institute. A passion for the arts led me to become a librarian assistant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the photographs department. During a break from Pratt, I was offered a position with an interdisciplinary arts organization based in New Orleans called Airlift; I took a hiatus from school to began working on research and development of a musical shantytown, co-created by the street artist Swoon, that would come to be known as the Music Box. While working on this project, I resumed my Masters in Information Management at Louisiana State University. My interest in the Design Studies program emerged from my work on the Music Box, wherein I witnessed how reimagining supposedly blighted property into an object of beauty could positively impact a community. I look forward to working with everyone at Parsons to extend these ideas into scholarship.

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.