Parsons School of Design’s degree programmes aim to redesign the future

Dezeen promotion: Parsons School of Design offers 19 master’s programmes that intend to equip students with the interdisciplinary tools needed to redesign the future.

Parsons is part of The New School, a university based in New York City. As part of the wider university, Parsons students collaborate with a diverse range of academics, including social scientists, artists, and policy analysts. This enables them to develop projects that draw on a wide range of subjects.

The diversity of the collaborations aims to encourage students to explore and experiment across disciplines with the intention of developing their creative abilities.

“Because art and design both reflect and shape the concerns of the day, it’s no surprise to find our community applying its skills, critical thinking and creativity to create a better world in a time marked by climate change, social inequity, and faltering systems,” said Rachel Schreiber, executive dean of Parsons School of Design.

Below is a selection of the school’s postgraduate programmes. Explore more of its courses on its website.

A photograph of a group of students at Parson's School of Design

Data Visualization MS

Data Visualisation is a one-year programme where students combine their design computer science skills with statistical analysis and insights into social and ethical consciousness.

The programme intends to produce graduates who can analyse data and turn their findings into meaningful conclusions in order to shape policy across different sectors.

“The programme responds to the increased demand for experts who can turn data into insight,” said Aaron Hill, assistant professor of data visualization at Parsons.

“You learn to understand and develop the ways in which the presentation of data shapes opinion, policy, and decision making in today’s information economy.”

A photograph of a group of students at Parson's School of Design

Design and Urban Ecologies MS 

In the Design and Urban Ecologies programme, students learn how to transform public spaces by redesigning urban processes.

The course aims for students to develop a deep understanding of urban space while creating projects that reconstruct and enhance diverse communities.

“99 per cent of what constitutes our cities doesn’t belong to the people who live there,” says Miguel Robles-Duran, associate professor of urbanism at Parsons.

“We want our students to be able to readdress that imbalance and to deal with the complexities of the whole. They gain a wide understanding of the complex forces at play within urban systems, and learn to problem-solve with ethics in mind.”

Fashion Management MPS

Fashion Management MPS is a one-year online programme where students develop insight and concepts for fashion businesses and start-ups while challenging the industry’s paradigms.

The course aims to equip students with advanced skills in marketing, mechanising, ethical production and value chains. There is also the option to study the course online.

“Parsons created the fully online version of the Fashion Management programme for one reason: access. It allows students anywhere in the world to access the same dedicated faculty, industry insights, and degree curriculum that we offer on our NYC campus,” said Keanan Duffty, founding director of the programme.

A photograph of a Parson's student

Lighting Design MFA

In Parson’s Lighting Design MFA, students develop a deep insight into light’s technical and aesthetic dimensions by exploring lighting design and its relationship to social and environmental sustainability.

“The MFA Lighting Design programme at Parsons, the first of its kind in the world, has trained leaders in this rapidly evolving field for more than 45 years,” said Craig Bernecker, director of the Lighting Design programme.

“You explore the relationships between theory, technical application, energy conservation, and social and environmental aspects of electric and natural light.”

Students have the option to combine the programme with studies in Interior Design or Architecture.

Student's from Parson's School of design

Strategic Design and Management MS

The Strategic Design and Management MS is designed to enable graduates to develop the management, strategy and business skills needed to develop the 21-century economy.

Students also build on their skills and understanding of prototyping, leadership and environmental and social sustainability.

“Bringing together design thinking, management, and applied social sciences, the graduate programme in Strategic Design and Management responds to the need for businesses and organisations to address complex 21st-century economic, environmental and social challenges,” said Koray Caliskan, associate director of the programme.

MFA in Fashion Design and the Arts

MFA in Fashion Design and the Arts is a recently launched programme based at the Parsons Paris campus.

The two-year degree equips students with a sustainable approach to fashion design via real-life projects closely linked to the city’s fashion industry.

“Graduates are prepared to challenge traditional forms of understanding, making, and disseminating fashion beyond the traditional boundaries set by gender and market positioning,” said programme director Tuomas Laitinen.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Parsons School of Design as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

Katheleen Knopf

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