Headline re:D magazine: Making

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Regarding Design (re:D)




News and notable alumni work



Exploring the potential of iterative process

MAKING A focus on making in our broader culture reflects the need for sweeping change and innovation—making anew instead of making do—across industries and sectors. This call for creation represents



Parsons creates accessible fashion for people of all abilities



Reporting on alumni-led support



systemic shifts in society and emerging opportunities for individuals able to revisit outmoded assumptions, behaviors, and goods. In this issue, Regarding Design explores making—an intellectual

Our Supporters

and creative capacity fostered by our


rigorous approach to education. Here

making is defined as producing new ideas

Paul Gregory, MFA Lighting ’92

and material expressions that foster a healthier, happier, and more just and beautiful world. Inside is an article taking you into the new Making Center, where a community of collaborative makers assemble, and another article introducing you to the courses and labs in which creative technologists, fashion designers, design strategists, and others are collaborating on wearables for people with a range of abilities.

ABOUT THE COVER This issue’s cover—a collaboration between designer Carmen McLeod, AAS Graphic Design ’15, and photographer and part-time faculty member Martin Seck—captures the creativity unfolding over several hours in the Making Center. The pair positioned a camera overhead onto a worktable where students and faculty work solo, collaborate, and witness projects developing over time and with the help of the tools surrounding them. “By layering dozens of the nearly 700 photos we shot that day, we’re suggesting the flow of ideas, materials, and practices moving through the Making Center daily and extending beyond the cover’s picture frame,” says McLeod. Seck adds, “The multiple exposures gave us a conceptual way to represent making in general, the iterative process, and the singular energy you see in the Making Center.”

Find your alumni community on social media: @NewSchoolAlumni #ParsonsAlumni Parsons Reunion and Alumni Exhibition Opening 2017 is Saturday, October 14. Learn more at newschool.edu/parsons-reunion.

The Making Center The Making Center, made possible by a generous lead gift from Kay Unger, Fashion Design ’68, and the Kay Unger Family Foundation, opened in September 2016 on several floors of Parsons’ building at Fifth Avenue and 13th Street. Facilities include new 3D printers, a ceramics “wet lab,” updated printmaking facilities, state-of-the-art metal milling machinery, whiteboards, pinup areas, and configurable work areas. The center anchors a network of integrated campus resources encompassing 78,000 square feet of space equipped with traditional and cutting-edge tools. Shown here are a few of the Making Center’s shops—including the light-filled second floor featured on this issue’s cover—where new hybrid practice is dissolving the walls between disciplines and makers. newschool.edu/parsons/making-center

Left column (top to bottom): Ceramics in the wet lab; a MakerBot in the 3D Printing Lab; an operator at the Haas metal milling machine. Top right: a view over the drill presses in the Machine Shop out into the open work space of the Making Center. Bottom left: the Print Shop. Bottom right: Shima Seiki 3D knitting machines installed on the Making Center’s second floor.



Parsons Reunion calls alumni from all disciplines and graduating years to campus to celebrate creativity and socialize. This year, alumni enjoyed tours of the 25,000-square-foot Rice+Lipka Architects–designed Making Center

graduates discussed their innovative work with Parsons Executive Dean Joel Towers (below right). Panelists included Nelson De Jesus Ubri, BFA Architectural Design ’15, junior designer at Hecho Inc.; Lucy Jones, BFA Fashion Design ’15, universal design specialist and social entrepreneur; Angela Luna, BFA Fashion Design ’16, founder and president of Adiff (lower center left, with Yvonne Watson, associate professor of fashion); and Sophia Sunwoo, BBA Strategic Design and Management ’10, principal and co-founder of Water Collective. Also shown are Making Center director Will McHale, leading an alumni tour (top left), and reunion attendees Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar (BFA Product Design ’15) (center left), holding their SoaPen prototype, which won the United Nations Wearables for Good Competition. Also shown (center right) are Kay Unger, Fashion Design ’68, and Marc Thorpe, MArch ’04. Alumni exhibition work—projected in the ground-floor Aronson Galleries and installed in the Making Center—included pieces (shown top right) by Donald Dietrich, BFA Fine Arts ’67; Juan Hinojosa, BFA Fine Arts ’02; Malgorzata Karpowicz, BFA Fine Arts ’85; Kay Unger, Fashion Design ’68; Souda designers (Luft Tanaka, Shaun Kasperbauer, and Isaac Friedman-Heiman, BFA Product Design ’12); and Sara Jimenez, MFA Fine Arts ’13. The event’s success was owed in large part to the creative industry leaders in the organizing committee, who produce reunion activities. newschool.edu/parsons-reunion


Design New Paths to Success,” in which recent

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and took in the panel “Branching Out: Alumni






This year, Parsons welcomed celebrated guests including Kin Wai Michael Siu, Hong Kong PolyU Design professor and founder of the first public design lab, as part of the Stephan


Parsons re:D

Weiss Lecture Series; artist Anish Kapoor, as part of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics’ Public Art Fund Talks at The New School; innovation and strategic design consultant

Dispute, a two-week seminar; artist Frank

Media Studies students Hugo Rojas Godinez

Stella, who talked about his life, work, and the

and Rachael Bongiorno; and Andrea Gonzalez

donation of his work to The New School; artists

Maroto, MA International Affairs); and The Bell,

David Shrigley, Milagros de la Torre, and Paul

a podcast sharing public school teacher, student,

Pfeiffer, as part of AMT’s Visiting Artist Lecture

and family stories about education (Taylor

Series; and innovation and design expert Soon

McGraw, MFA Creative Writing).

Yu, guest of the Provocateur Talk series.




Carol Whitworth, as part of Design Intelligence

MFA Transdisciplinary Design ’12 graduates

Conference 2017, hosted by Parsons’ MS

Amy Findeiss, Eulani Labay, and Mai Kobori

Strategic Design and Management program;

recently received a $25,575 Sappi “Ideas

British designer Thomas Heatherwick (shown

that Matter” grant for Blank Plate, their food

above, far left), interviewed by Paul Goldberger,

justice–focused partner project with The Point,

architectural critic and Joseph Urban Chair

a Bronx-based organization. In December,

in Design and Architecture at Parsons, as

The New School’s Impact Entrepreneurship

part of the series At the Parsons Table; artist

Initiative was awarded a $420,000 Inclusion

and urban designer Theaster Gates (shown

Challenge Grant by the Kauffman Foundation,

above, center right), who presented current

aimed at fostering entrepreneurship education

work with architect Billie Tsien in the Current

for women and people of color. New Challenge—

Work lecture series; Transparent writer and

the university’s competition supporting social

director Jill Soloway, who joined Eugene Lang

and environmental initiatives, which will be

College scholar-in-residence bell hooks (shown

incorporated into the Impact Entrepreneurship

above, center left) for “Ending Domination: The

Initiative—announced its 2016 grant recipients:

Personal Is Political,” part of the Nth Degree

Post from the Past, offering an artifact-based

series; environmental activist Bill McKibben,

way to learn about historical figures (MFA

who kicked off the Jonathan Schell Memorial

Design and Technology students Joanna Chin,

Lecture Series on the Fate of the Earth; curator

Bryan Collinsworth, Shakti Mb); Tohuaxcan

and author Glenn Adamson, who led graduate

Tlahtole—Our Language, a multimedia social

students in Parsons’ School of Art and Design

networking project aimed at preserving the

History and Theory (ADHT) in exploring design

traditions and language of Mexico’s Nahua

history and political discourse in Objects of

(Maya Lazzaro, BA Culture and Media; MS

newschool.edu/red/kauffman newchallenge.newschool.edu/projects/2016 4


An accomplished writer, artist, and assistant professor of illustration at Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology, Lauren Redniss was recently named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellows Program, or “Genius Grant,” supports extraordinary individuals who illuminate the “world’s most pressing social challenges” and advance their practices through art. Redniss’ visual nonfiction books— focusing on historical figures like Marie and Pierre Curie and emerging issues such as climate change—have already been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won her a Guggenheim Fellowship. Now she is one of just 23 to be awarded $625,000 to develop her artistic practice, which involves writing stories and designing layouts, covers, and even typefaces to “create a blend of fact and feeling,” as she puts it. newschool.edu/red/redniss

One Life (2017) Ahn Jun One Life, a photo series by Ahn Jun, MFA Photography ’10,

members into her process: She asked them to throw apples

employs apples as symbols of human existence, pulled by

skyward for her to photograph. The series resulted from

the forces of destiny and chance. Viewers encounter Ahn’s

the act of recording the apples’ descent with continuous

“decisive moments”— striking, ambiguous vignettes of artfully

shooting. To find the perfect compositional balance, Ahn

framed apples suspended in midair in natural landscapes

searches for a frame that disrupts our conventional sense

and on urban streets. Taken together, the images bid us

of time or, as she puts it, “reveals the transcendence of an

consider life and its uncertainties. “As technology and our

instant removed from its context.” In images fraught with a

knowledge expand, are we more accepting of our fate?” she

visual tension that suggests the experience of life itself, Ahn

asks. “After witnessing the death of my grandfather—strong

invites us to contemplate the essence of time and leaves us

and learned, both a soldier and a scholar—I realized that

wondering what will happen next.

our understanding of life does not ease our fear of the


unknown. How could I translate life and death into a visual composition?” Her journey to find answers drew family

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” Our understanding of life does not ease our fear of the unknown.”

High-Rise Living Room and Country Home Bedroom

Parsons re:D

Victoria Hagan Iconic, sophisticated, and understated are terms often used to describe the classic interiors created by acclaimed designer Victoria Hagan, BFA Environmental Design ’84. Serene palettes and casually luxurious furnishings anchor Hagan’s timeless yet modern style, which has long been hailed by her industry. She has appeared on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list of top architects and designers since 1995, and she was


inducted into Interior Design’s Hall of Fame in 2004. Her first book, Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits (Rizzoli) was published in 2010, and a second volume, Victoria Hagan: Dream Spaces (Rizzoli), will be published in September 2017. Based in New York, Hagan’s firm focuses on residential design, serving clients throughout the country. Hagan’s bold sense of color and scale is evident in the living room of the Manhattan apartment shown above. Her skill at designing quietly elegant interiors is reflected in the modern bedroom in the renovated Connecticut country home shown at right, which offers a respite from the world outside. “I like a space to be beautiful, livable, and always have a touch of the unexpected,” says Hagan. “If something stirs an idea or emotion in me, chances are it will show up in my work in some form.” Her signature style has already left a lasting mark on contemporary interiors, bearing out design journalist Suzanne Slesin’s 1990 prediction in the New York Times that Hagan’s work was “bound to be influential.” victoriahagan.com

“ I like a space to be beautiful, livable, and always have a touch of the unexpected.”

Ready-to-Wear Spring ’17 Anna Sui The Spring ’17 ready-to-wear collection of Anna Sui, BFA Fashion Design, reflects the acclaimed designer’s love of intricate patterns and embellishments, jewel tones, vintage design as inspiration, and fine art. Pieces like the ones shown here illustrate Sui’s meticulous construction, which

“ My spring collection celebrates . . . a kind of hopefulness. It was a reaction to what is going on in the world.”

typically employs layered fabrics and luxurious details to create feminine silhouettes. A wide array of American visual culture references are woven throughout the Spring ’17 collection: from Western fringe, cowboy hats, and modern sheriff’s star badges to plaids, lace, and charming prints to elements of sportswear, such as striped elastic ribbing. “My spring collection celebrates Americana and everything that I thought would always be—a kind of hopefulness. It was a reaction to what is going on in the world.” Sui artfully blends historical and contemporary cultural reference points for a fresh sartorial language that has been recognized in industry honors including CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Sui is receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from The New School at Commencement 2017. Today Sui applies her rich, whimsical aesthetic to products far beyond apparel, designing for global companies including Mattel, Samsung, Starbucks, Coach, Frye Boots, Ford, and Target. To read about Sui’s thoughts on making as a creative process, see page 20.


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Client Journey

NYC HOME-STAT Client Journey Infographic

Ariel Kennan Chisun Rees













Client Journey

As design and product director at the Center for Economic Opportunity in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations, Ariel Kennan, BFA Integrated Design ’08, uses design to improve city services and develop digital tools. A partner
















10 11


in the effort is Chisun Rees, MFA Transdisciplinary Design ’15, who serves as the center’s deputy design director. In their roles, they employ collaboration skills and an understanding of design as a tool for innovation. They recently worked together on HOME-STAT, Mayor de Blasio’s initiative addressing homelessness and poverty. Kennan and Rees mapped the path of users engaging with homelessness services on the road to self-sufficiency. Shown here, their infographic documents the journey from living on the street to receiving social services and housing. “Parsons broadened my view of design’s applications, which now include co-creating service improvements,” says Kennan. “Which results in faster, streamlined service response,” adds Rees. The designers also created a publicfacing dashboard that both provides information on service delivery and population and encourages local residents to dial 311 or use the 311 mobile app to request outreach



Potential Client / Client


State or Fed Office

Required step

DHS Provider

NYC, non-DHS

Other Provider

Optional step

Potential Client / Client


State or Fed Office

Required step

DHS Provider

NYC, non-DHS

Other Provider

Optional step

assistance for people they observe living on the streets. “By sharing this information, we’re making the city’s work

Kennan and Rees mapped the journey of homeless people seeking help from

transparent and effective through design,” says Kennan.

city agencies as a way to identify and address service gaps.

arielkennan.com chisunrees.com nyc.gov/homestat

Lowline Lab Concept Installation

Star Davis Underneath Delancey Street on New York City’s Lower East Side, a group of civic pioneers are transforming the decommissioned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal

Parsons re:D

into the world’s first subterranean park, the Lowline. As an architectural lighting consultant for the global design and engineering powerhouse Arup, Star Davis, MFA Lighting Design ’08, is focusing on strategies to light the unique underground space. Working in collaboration with the architects of Raad Studio and manufacturer Sunportal, Davis employs active solar redirecting equipment to channel


surface daylight to the park below. Although planning is still underway, the group launched the Lowline Lab, an open laboratory and technical exhibition, in an abandoned market space two blocks from the proposed Lowline site. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a 35-foot-wide canopy— shown here—that redistributes daylight into the landscaped space. Accompanied by a program of public events and talks organized by the Lowline nonprofit organization, the installation was designed to engage the local community and demonstrate how innovative solar collection technologies can sustain plants and reinvent the long-disused space. The Lowline Lab saw more than 100,000 visitors during its run, which ended in February 2017. “Light shapes human perception and, in the Lowline project, nourishes both plants and the public’s desire for innovative, adaptive reuse of space,” Parabolic mirrors collect daylight, concentrating and funneling it to the Lowline Lab’s subterranean plantings, by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and John Mini Distinctive Landscapes.


says Davis. thelowline.org







Parsons students and faculty partnered with

This past November, Parsons hosted

The 69th Parsons Benefit, a collaboration

Huffington Post co-founder and editor-in-

Biofabricate 2016, an annual conference

of Parsons and The New School’s College

chief Arianna Huffington to highlight the

founded by NASA/Nike Material Innovator

of Performing Arts, honors design and

transformative effects of meditation and

and TED Senior Fellow Suzanne Lee and

performance community members who

mindfulness on our workplaces and lives. The

organized with Annelie Koller, MFA Design

exemplify the university’s mission. This year’s

team enlisted Parsons’ School of Constructed

and Technology ’15. Lee convenes global

honorees are designer Eileen Fisher, founder

Environments (SCE) and Healthy Materials

practitioners to explore biofabrication—an

and chair of EILEEN FISHER, Inc., which this year

Lab to design two installations featured

emerging interdisciplinary field in which

became the largest women’s fashion company

in Huffington’s Thrive Global store, a retail

engineers, product designers, ethicists, and

to be certified as a B Corporation; performer and fashion icon Rihanna (shown wearing

pop-up connected to her Thrive Global

scientists collaborate on hybridizing biological

venture. Healthy Materials Lab created Room

matter (cells, molecules) with synthetics (gels,

denim by Matthew Dolan, MFA Fashion

to Daydream (shown), an inviting space made

fibers, 3D printed components). Biofabricated

Design and Society ’14), founder of the Clara

from materials safer for both humans and the

materials have broad application, from

Lionel Foundation, dedicated to supporting

environment and conducive to sleep. Materials

medicine (repairing tissues or organs) to

innovative education, health, and emergency

included 100 percent wool, ROMABIO mineral

innovative entrepreneurship (mushroom bricks,

response programs; and The Neiman Marcus

paint, and self-dimming LED lights. SCE

spider silk fabrics—as in the Adidas shoes

Group, represented by Karen Katz, president

produced Resonance, a meditative lighting

shown above). Lee and Parsons Executive

and chief executive officer of The Neiman

installation reflecting the communion of past,

Dean Joel Towers welcomed attendees and

Marcus Group, LTD LLC (NMG). “I consistently

present, and future. Through her partnership

opened the conference. Anthony Dunne,

find creative, exciting designs coming from

with Parsons, Huffington seeks to provide

design and emerging technology professor at

Parsons alumni; I feel a deep connection to

science- and data-based ways to lower stress

Parsons, kicked off the summit by promoting

the school,” said Rihanna. (She’s worn pieces

and enhance productivity in workplaces.

sustainability and environmental responsibility

by recent grads including Ya Jun Melody Lin,


in his keynote address. Design and emerging

BFA Fashion Design; Melitta Baumeister, MFA

technology professor Fiona Raby and School of

Fashion Design and Society ’13; and Xue Snow


Fashion Dean Burak Cakmak moderated panels.

Gao, MFA Fashion Design and Society ’16, in


addition to Dolan.) The benefit showcases the next generation of creative talent in student performances, a runway of student fashion, and designer of the year prizes. Funds raised at the benefit support New School scholarships. parsonsbenefit.newschool.edu

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Parsons re:D





When creating Delaktig, a bed for IKEA, designer

On view at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

Tom Dixon (shown) devised modular aluminum

(SJDC), State of Exception/Estado de Excepción,

components, enabling the product to be easily

a collaboration with the University of Michigan,

shipped, assembled, and customized with

presented artifacts from the Mexico-U.S.

clip-on side tables, lamps, and other add-ons.

border. Photographer Richard Barnes and artist

Dixon’s approach challenges throwaway culture:

Amanda Krugliak drew on the research and

“Products that can be personalized and adapt to

materials of Jason De Leon’s Undocumented

needs over time are kept—and represent a form

Migration Project at the University of Michigan.

of sustainability,” he says. To develop ways of

They created an installation of hundreds of

personalizing the bed, Dixon and IKEA partnered

backpacks and ephemera discarded by migrants

with three global schools, including Parsons.

crossing the Arizona desert into the United

During a weekend intensive led by MFA Interior

States and video and photos by Barnes (shown

Design director Alfred Zollinger, students from

above right). New York Times critic Holland

a range of Parsons programs—Industrial Design,

Cotter applauded the show’s “particularly

Architecture, Lighting Design, Interior Design,

powerful” juxtaposition of art and politics. Earlier

Strategic Design and Management, Design

this year, 57 artists performed at the opening

and Technology, Communication Design, and

of Embodied Architecture: PROXIMITIES, an

Fashion Design—prototyped imaginative “hacks”

exhibition investigating shared space, curated

addressing the needs of users including new

by Yuliya Savelyeva, MArch/MFA Lighting

mothers, owners of deceased pets, and natural

Design ’16, and Lindsey Dieter, MFA Interior

disaster survivors. Responding to students’

Design/MFA Lighting Design ’16. Visitors viewed

proposals, Marcus Engman, IKEA’s design head,

a recording of the performance, digital displays,

and IKEA creative leader James Futcher praised

and drawings. Also at SJDC was Food, Power and

the innovative solutions and well-designed

Politics: A Response to Roxy Paine’s Dinner of

prototypes and presentations. “The project lets

the Dictators, 1993–1995. The exhibition, which

people make a product their own over a lifetime,”

explored corporate farming and food’s political,

said Sarah Templin, MFA Industrial Design ’18.

social, and economic dimensions, featured

Projects were on view this past April at Milan’s

work by Chris London, assistant professor of

Salone di Mobile furnishings fair.

international affairs; MS Design and Urban

newschool.edu/red/ikea newschool.edu/red/dixon-ikea

Ecologies ’16 graduates Shibani Jadhav, Gamar Markarian, and Silvia Xavier; and International

Affairs graduate students Eirik Jorgensen, Kaitlyn Lynes, and Aly Mady. Central to the show was Roxy Paine’s Dinner of the Dictators (1993–1995), part of The New School Art Collection (shown above, far left). newschool.edu/sjdc newschool.edu/red/exception newschool.edu/about/university-art-collection 10


Parsons Paris students teamed up with French fashion house Zadig & Voltaire on a project to reimagine Zadig, the brand’s namesake and protagonist of Voltaire’s novel Zadig, or The Book of Fate. Led by Leyla Neri, BFA Fashion Design program director, 20 BFA Fashion Design and five BFA Art, Media, and Technology students created window displays to celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary. During one semester, the students collaborated with Z&V’s team, including creative director Cecilia Bonström and communications director Carol Gerland, visiting the headquarters regularly and researching the art collection of Z&V founder and CEO Thierry Gillier. The result was three window displays collectively called “Reflecting Zadig,” which were on view during the 2016 holiday season and throughout 2017 at Z&V’s Paris and New York locations. During Paris Fashion Week, students took part in the Spring 2017 Z&V preview. newschool.edu/red/zadig

Art Tap Robyn Asquini On its surface, Art Tap is an easy-to-use online platform that allows collectors to buy professional art more affordably. But behind its clean interface (shown here) is an innovative business model that Art Tap founder Robyn Asquini, MS Strategic Design and Management ’15, designed to help buyers find works they like and buy directly from artists. Budding collectors answer a few questions on the site, and an algorithm curates a selection of works attuned to their taste. They can search art by medium, color, size, or price and save favorites. Art Tap’s resources include artist biographies and tools enabling users to contact artists for purchases and follow their work. The team is developing a function to help users see how works will look in their spaces. Asquini developed the platform prototype during her final year at Parsons and received a Parsons Entrepreneurial Lab (ELab) Fellowship after graduating to launch her venture. “My experience at Parsons made me empathize with artists and art buyers. Understanding the challenges they face enabled me to develop a platform that fosters stronger A playful video (above right) introduces users to Art Tap’s novel interface. The online tool (top) enables collectors to imagine new artworks in situ.

connections between all art enthusiasts,” says Asquini. Since then, she has been awarded funding and mentorship by Publicis Groupe, which selected a cohort of entrepreneurs from more than 3,500 applicants worldwide.

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Ethical Fashion Collection Autumn Adeigbo Culture and conscience underlie the award-winning business model of Autumn Adeigbo, AAS Fashion Design ’05. The Nigerian-American designer’s womenswear company began as a seven-piece collection and donated 5 percent of sales to West African women’s micro-entrepreneurship programs. Then, in 2014, Adeigbo piloted a Ghanaian program, training women in hand beading for fair-trade wages. The next year, she began documenting her start-up journey as a Forbes contributor. That fall, Adeigbo launched a new line, sourced in Nigeria and made in women-owned facilities


there, paying workers 259 percent above the fair-trade wage minimum and 298 percent above the national minimum wage. She has gained acclaim from sources ranging from Vogue, Marie Claire, Nylon, and Essence to MTV, BET, and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Organizations including the Global Good Fund have recognized her ethical practices, and she recently secured six-figure funding to develop her business in partnership with women throughout Africa and in India and the United States. “My goal is to create a global lifestyle brand founded on ethical fashion, sustainability, and women supporting women,” says Adeigbo. autumnadeigbo.com

The Autumn Adeigbo looks shown above are hand-beaded by female artisans in Ghana, who are paid fair-trade wages for training and production.


Parsons re:D

“ A designer must align inspiration, business objectives, and storytelling into powerful and clear experiences.”

S/S ’14 Campaign for Loeffler Randall Roanne Adams How best to convey luxury brands? According to Roanne

Loeffler Randall (shown here), RoAndCo designed striking

Adams, BFA Communication Design ’03, “a designer must

compositions featuring a refined palette of background

align inspiration, business objectives, and storytelling

colors. Accordion folds give the piece dimension while

into powerful and clear experiences.” As founder and chief

dynamically framing individual vignettes of shoes and

creative director of the multidisciplinary design studio

bags. The format takes viewers through a visual narrative

RoAndCo, Adams leads her firm in using that process daily

of unearthly delights. RoAndCo’s comprehensive campaigns

to solve the communication challenges of clients in the

include branding, print design, art design, and interactive

fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and technology industries. For the

design systems that create a cohesive visual identity.

S/S ’14 lookbook of luxury footwear and accessories brand




A political and cultural icon, former First Lady



Programs throughout Parsons contributed

Michelle Obama—and her fashion sense—

to SXSW 2017 in exciting ways this year.

have left a lasting mark on American fashion

Members of Game Changer Catapult at

history. During her eight years in office, FLOTUS

Panasonic and Parsons’ MFA Industrial

consistently wore looks created by Parsons

Design, MFA Design and Technology, and

alumni. And in 2014, she invited Parsons School

BBA Strategic Design and Management

tech expert Alison Lewis, MFA Design and Technology ’04, a panelist in “Fashion Hardware on the Cutting Edge of Innovation”; and Sid Jatia, MFA Design and Technology ’02, panelist in “Community Comes First: The New Retail Norm.” newschool.edu/red/sxsw

of Fashion alumni to the White House to lead

programs collaboratively designed garments

her Fashion Education Workshops for high

and services focusing on enhancing sleep


schoolers and had students and faculty from

and social interaction. In another event, AMT

the schools of Constructed Environments and

associate professor of media design Colleen

A painting by accomplished artist and 1945

Design Strategies create custom installations

Macklin presented Metagame, a card game

in the East Room. Obama recently donned a

she co-designed to spark public debate on

custom black lace dress by Jason Wu, BFA Fashion

pressing social issues. On view at TheCurrent

Design, for her husband’s farewell address as

Mansion was Design + Function, an exhibition

president, bookending her choice of a Wu gown

of wearable tech projects by Parsons students,

for her inaugural balls as First Lady. Pictured

alumni, and faculty, including Yuchen Zhang,

above is Obama in looks by Narciso Rodriguez,

MFA Design and Technology ’16; Grace Jun,

BFA Fashion Design ’82, and Tracy Reese, BFA

MFA Design and Technology ’16; Kailu Guan,

Fashion Design. Other FLOTUS favorites include

BFA Fashion Design ’16; Nicola Romagnoli,

Doo-Ri Chung, BFA Fashion Design ’95; Tom Ford,

BFA Fashion Design ’16; and MFA Design

Environmental Design ’86; Chris Benz, BFA Fashion

and Technology student Priyal Parikh. Other

Design ’04; Marc Jacobs, BFA Fashion Design ’84;

alumni at SXSW were Nicolette Mason, BBA

and Prabal Gurung, AAS Fashion Design ’00.

Strategic Design and Management ’08, who


was part of the panel “My Body Is NSFW”; Christian Marc Schmidt, BFA Communication Design ’02, speaking in “Design + Science: Discovering Better Medicines, Faster”; Tyler Haney, BBA Strategic Design Management ’12, featured subject in “Fitness & Fashion: Creating and Scaling Lifestyle Brands”; wearable


graduate Muriel Taub Glantzman generated excitement at Parsons Alumni Exhibition 2016. At Parsons, Glantzman explored many disciplines while receiving teacher training. “I couldn’t choose an area of study; I wanted to dabble in painting, drawing, and interiors,” she said. She later studied under artists including Larry Rivers and Helen Frankenthaler. Re:D was saddened to learn of her passing in April, shortly after magazine staff visited Glantzman in her Manhattan studio (in which she is shown, above). Glantzman will be remembered for her large-scale nonrepresentational paintings and collages inspired by a broad range of works—Italian illuminated paintings, Persian miniatures, Russian icons—and the improvisational, intuitive working methods she employed well into her 90s. Glantzman’s work has been exhibited in venues from San Juan to Houston to Washington, DC. murieltaubglantzman.com

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NYC-based artist Frank Stella (shown) was on campus recently to celebrate the donation of a major painting of his, Deauville, to The New School. Installed above the Tishman Auditorium stage, the piece represents


Parsons re:D

the single largest donation of artwork to the university. “There’s something special about it being at The New School, which is so passionate about providing an education in the arts,” said Stella. In 1970, Stella became the youngest artist ever to receive a MoMA retrospective; in 1987, he was given a second one, an honor unprecedented for a living artist. In 2015, the Whitney also celebrated Stella with a retrospective. Stella discussed his career with Paul Goldberger, Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at Parsons, as part of the series At the Parsons Table. newschool.edu/red/stella

Fashion Design ’15, and Ryohei Kawanishi, MFA Fashion Design and Society ’15. Jones and Kawanishi were commissioned to create installations for the exhibition, aimed at redefining the term “fashion.” newschool.edu/red/mizrahi madmuseum.org/exhibition/fashion-after-fashion 16


To meet the demand for communication designers who can navigate increasingly digital environments, Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology is launching the MPS Communication Design with a concentration in Digital Product Design. The one-year, 30-credit Master of Professional Studies program, led by assistant professor of interaction design Brendan Griffiths, is ideal for working professionals seeking to combine digital product back-end skills with front-end design capacities for collaborative work settings. “We’re helping designers



Recently on view were three decades of designs by Isaac Mizrahi, Fashion Design ’82, in Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, a retrospective at the Jewish Museum (shown above). A polymath provocateur, Mizrahi has long sparked conversation on political, social, and cultural issues through his career in fashion, television, and cabaret. Hazel Clark, professor of design studies and fashion studies in Parsons’ School of Art and Design History and Theory, has co-curated fashion after Fashion, on view at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design until August 6. Of the show’s six featured designers, two are Parsons alumni: Lucy Jones, BFA

gain the skills needed to lead an evolving industry as reflective cultural arbiters,” says Griffiths. Classes cover the full product development cycle—from idea conception to prototyping to feedback-based refinements. The curriculum brings together digital production skills—basic coding, awareness of technical parameters and user insights—with typographic, compositional, and advanced interactive design capacities. newschool.edu/parsons/mps-communication-design newschool.edu/red/mps-comm/design

The Night Heron Ida C. Benedetto Ida C. Benedetto, BFA Design and Technology and BA History ’09, has taken design in new directions by staging creative interventions in disused spaces. Benedetto and her co-creator, N. D. Austin, conceived The Night Heron (shown here) as a temporary speakeasy in an empty Manhattan water tower. To access the ad hoc space, guests surreptitiously entered a derelict building, mounted stairs, and climbed a ladder to the water tower. During its seven-week existence in 2013, more than 700 visitors risked arrest to socialize in the tiny clandestine bar, which garnered the attention of the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and the New York Times. “You could go to The Night Heron only if someone who’d already gone gifted you admission. The chain of generosity brought uncommon magic to the risky experience,“ says Benedetto. Other projects have included the Illicit Couples’ Retreat, held at an abandoned Poconos resort, and a photo safari at Brooklyn’s defunct Domino Sugar Factory, under the project moniker Sextantworks. Today Benedetto conducts design research for a range of clients, holds a senior designer position at SYPartners and a research residency at The New Museum’s NEW INC cultural incubator, and lectures widely. uncommonplaces.com Benedetto and her partners turned a water tower into

The Displaced JAHNKOY Maria Kazakova, MFA Fashion Design and Society ’16, debuted The Displaced—a menswear collection under her label, JAHNKOY—to acclaim this past January at New York Fashion Week. The Siberian-born designer opened up a provocative dialogue about global commerce, the radical implications of craft, and climates political and environmental with her line, created from secondhand clothing and what appear to be cult-brand sportswear knockoffs. The Displaced, pieces of which are shown here, features Swarovski crystals and elaborate embroidery, resulting in a rich hybrid aesthetic. Visors, masks, and shoes complete ensembles that hint at performative gender play. In a publication distributed at her show, Kazakova explained her collection’s subtitle—“Crafting Revolution”—by describing craft as a peaceful protest against the dominant fashion system. Messages like “Don’t Bring Good Shit to Africa” and “Post-Freedom,” stitched on garments alongside sports logos and flags, reinforce her critique. The bricolage defies easy categorization while underscoring the power of fashion to raise questions about consumerism, inequality, and cultural imperialism. “In naming my line JAHNKOY, which means ‘new spirit village’ in Crimean Tatar, I’m convening global change makers,” explains Kazakova. She and fellow 2016 program graduate Kozaburo Akasaka were among the eight finalists—selected from 12,000 applicants— for the 2017 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. jahnkoy.com Maria Kazakova’s recent menswear collection presents an intense blend of colors, materials, and sociocultural messages.

portfolio: news & alumni work

an improvised bar for clandestine socializing.








Spring semester 2017 marked the launch of Open Campus, The New School’s innovative approach to continuing, professional, and pre-college education for a spectrum of learners—from youth and teens in summer programs to experienced professionals in short intensives. In on-campus


Parsons re:D

and online courses and programs, Open Campus offers immersive, authentic, and inspiring university experiences and a network of change makers seeking to develop personally and professionally. The initiative builds upon The New School’s legacy in continuing and alternative

through locally made goods, including items

Museum of the Arts and recently was the final

showcasing alumni creativity. This year, The New

crit space for the Tom Dixon–IKEA student project

Store collaborated with Parsons alumna Julie

(see page 8). It was also the site of SCE’s Public

Pinzur, BFA Illustration ’11—the artist behind the

Lecture Series and a talk by curator, critic, and

popular accessories brand Mokuyobi—to design

author Glenn Adamson.

a limited-edition New School fanny pack and zip


pouch. Mokuyobi boasts that its bold designs attract “the Super Beings of Earth and beyond,” and the New School collaborative project is



aimed at doing just that. Visit the online store to

Parsons Scholars, the university’s college

see the range of Parsons pride–inspiring products.

access program offering free art and design



courses, college prep, and career guidance to NYC high school students, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Scholars in the

education, Parsons’ history of excellence in art


and design education for learners of all ages, and

In collaboration with Rice+Lipka, the architects

over the course of three years and receive an

behind Parsons’ new Making Center, the

immersion in an environment that supports this

Mannes’ leadership in music. Courses are offered in subjects including art and design, music, writing, languages, media, and management. Campaign graphics—drawing on the university’s palette and custom font, Neue—echoed the venture’s new identity and website and included subway posters and an outdoor projection that reflected Open Campus’ standout profile. Alumni receive special discounts; see the link below. opencampus.newschool.edu newschool.edu/open-campus-alumni 18


The New Store, the university’s new merchandise platform, has already garnered interest from our community and developed alumni partnerships. The initiative’s goal is to generate school pride

program commit to exploring creative fields

School of Constructed Environments (SCE)

creative exploration along with college-success

has transformed the 12th floor of 2 West 13th

guidance. Many go on to pursue art and design

Street into a 9,000-square-foot expanse of

degrees at institutions including Parsons

new spaces. Included are light-flooded studios,

and stay involved in the Parsons Scholars

“room-within-a-room” enclosed conference areas

community by mentoring younger scholars. To

(shown above), administrative offices, the “Sky

date, more than 390 students have participated.

Room”—a gathering space featuring a row of

Recently scholars visited Bronx studios and

skylights (top)—and a simple kitchen that adjoins

undertook SAT prep coursework and a social

long worktables where students and faculty can

justice teach-in, in which they explored ways to

collaborate. The new space serves as a hub for

apply their talents to address real-world issues.

the SCE community and is the first in what will

The program also co-organized and hosted

become a “core” of stacked hubs in the building

the Careers in the Arts Fair, which connected

for Parsons’ five schools. “It’s designed to enhance

youth from four partner organizations with

collaborative opportunities and serendipitous

more than 20 successful professionals from

exchanges,” says SCE Dean Robert Kirkbride.

underrepresented backgrounds.

The hub is currently home to the 2017 Design Workshop project for the Tribeca Children’s

scholars.parsons.edu/blog newschool.edu/parsons-scholars


Theocharopoulou re-evaluates the polykatoikía as a low-tech, easily constructible innovation that stimulated the postwar urban economy, triggering the city’s social mid-twentieth-century transformation. The interiors of the polykatoikía apartments reflect a desire for modernity as marketed to housewives through film and magazines. Regular builders became unlikely allies in designing these polykatoikía interiors, enabling inhabitants to exert agency over their daily lives and the shape of the postwar city. Theocharopoulou’s reading draws on popular media as well as urban and regional planning theory, cultural studies and anthropology to examine the evolution of this phenomenon and, in light of Greece’s recent financial crisis, considers the role polykatoikía might play in building an equitable and sustainable twenty-first-century city.

£24.95 | $39.95

Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens Ioanna Theocharopoulou

Sprawling beneath the Acropolis, modern Athens is commonly viewed in negative terms: congested, ugly and monotonous. Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens questions this stereotype, reassessing the explosive growth of postwar Athens through its most distinctive building type: the polykatoikía (a small-scale multi-story apartment block).

Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens Ioanna Theocharopoulou Foreword by Kenneth Frampton


Following this year’s presidential election, New School President David Van Zandt affirmed the university’s commitment to “our policies of inclusion and respect,” announcing that the Board

about President Trump’s proposed wall dividing Mexico and the United States. newschool.edu/red/trustee-letter publicseminar.org


of Trustees has resolved “not to disclose any


person’s citizenship or immigration status” and

Parsons Festival, an annual series of events

not to “cooperate with immigration authorities unless forced to.” The university is taking steps to safeguard the rights of all students, no matter what their origins. The New School has joined 600 universities in signing a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly expressing concern over the recent immigration-related executive actions. Van Zandt also signed a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Faculty members have created courses—including PostElection America, a lecture series open to the university community—that provide discussion platforms. Jessica Irish, assistant professor of design and technology in Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), and students have taken creative action, establishing the #RESIST Art Club!, which employs compelling visuals (shown above left) to galvanize political resisters. Thiswallwillfall—a design collaboration led by MFA Interior Design students Nicolas Herrera and Maria Camila Verástegui along with Royal College of Art (UK) students Felix Graf and Nahye Han—resulted in a striking portable wall (shown above center) intended to spark conversation

showcasing student work, caps each year with more than 30 thesis exhibitions and critiques, public programs, open studios, exhibition openings, workshops, and other events engaging the public with the innovation, critical inquiry, and social concerns that underlie creativity at Parsons. This year’s festival showcases work by the first graduating class to complete Parsons’ new four-year undergraduate curriculum, which carries forward the school’s pioneering, rigorous design methodology and draws on its setting within a research-driven university and a global urban center. The festival opened on April 20 with the MFA Fine Arts Exhibition, held at the West Village Westbeth Gallery, and on May 8 with a show presented by Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center’s Kellen Gallery. Parsons Festival closes on May 19 with Commencement, which will be broadcast live and held for the first time at the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. View the festival event calendar at the link shown below. newschool.edu/parsons/festival livestream.com/thenewschool



Parsons faculty have recently published books; among them, from Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments, are Ioanna Theocharopolou, assistant professor of interior design (Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens, Artifice Books on Architecture); David Lewis, associate professor of architecture (Manual of Section, Princeton Architectural Press); and Allan Wexler, professor, School of Constructed Environments (Absurd Thinking: Between Art and Design, Lars Müller). From Parsons’ School of Art and Design History and Theory are Francesca Granata, director of the MA Fashion Studies program (Experimental Fashion: Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body, I.B.Tauris); Lorraine Karafel, assistant professor of art and design history (Raphael’s Tapestries: The Grotesques of Leo X, Yale); Heike Jenss, associate professor of fashion studies (Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites, and Practices, Bloomsbury); Hazel Clark, professor of design studies and fashion studies (Fashion and Everyday Life: London and New York, Bloomsbury); David Brody, associate professor of design studies (Housekeeping by Design: Hotels and Labor, University of Chicago Press).



portfolio: news & alumni work


Parsons re:D


A A look look at at Parsons’ Parsons’ new new Making Making Center Center and and how how it it is is helping helping students students become become 21st-century 21st-century creative creative problem-solvers problem-solvers

Centered Centered Centered g Making on Making on by byDaniel DanielPenny Penny by Because Parsons School of Design at The New School

by a trained technician who can answer questions and

is located in downtown Manhattan, Parsons students,

troubleshoot difficult projects. Behind the second-floor tool rental shed is a set

space. In subway cars, elevators, and restaurants,

of winding metal stairs that leads up to the third-floor

claustrophobia and pointy elbows are unavoidable—

Making Center Store, a one-stop shop for Parsons

but not at Parsons’ Making Center. When the elevator

students in need of materials. Phoenix Lindsey-Hall,

doors open onto the new second floor, you feel as if

MFA Photography ’13, now works as the Making

you’ve stepped into an open layout oasis, a space to

Center’s coordinator of academic resources; she

experiment, collaborate, and, if you choose, move around.

explained that the store carries everything from “foam

At more than 28,000 square feet, the new Making

boards to heel shanks to kombucha kits to hazmat

Center ensures that students will never again have to pin

suits.” The kombucha isn’t for drinking, by the way—

mannequins in a dorm room or screenprint in a closet. It

first-year students in the Sustainable Systems class

is the central hub of the ever-expanding art and design

use the kits to grow tubs of the brown goo, which they

facilities at Parsons, and its evolution is just beginning.

then dry and pound out into vegan leather. Lindsey-

Designed by Rice+Lipka Architects, the second

Hall pulled down a notebook-sized slab from a shelf: It

floor features 14-foot vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and

looked like a piece of wrinkled, semitranslucent vellum

exposed brick walls: all original architectural details

but smelled like a funky fruit roll-up.

uncovered in the Making Center renovation. With the

Besides the kombucha kits, many of the items in

help of a lead gift from Kay Unger, Fashion Design ’68,

the Making Center store are specially sourced, because

and the Kay Unger Family Foundation, Rice+Lipka were

nontoxic building materials can be hard for students to

able to connect floors in several adjacent buildings,

find or afford on their own. In collaboration with Parsons’

stretching down to the basement and up to the second

Healthy Materials Lab, the store recently switched from

and third floors of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

selling blue foam insulation, which is treated with flame

Sunlight pours in from large windows that look out onto

retardants, to Foamular, a pink foam made without

Fifth Avenue, 13th Street, and the interior courtyard—but

them. In building a house, you might want the former,

to accommodate Parsons students’ busy schedules, the

but when you’re slicing and sanding foam to build a

Making Center stays open long after dark, with some

model, you don’t want to breathe in those chemicals.

spaces available to students late into the night. The facilities housed in the Making Center offer

Students come to the Making Center to work on projects independently or in small groups, but they

a cornucopia of tools and working areas, with a

also have the opportunity to learn about many of the

CNC room, computer stations, a tool checkout shed,

space’s unique tools as part of the first-year curriculum.

a traditional woodshop, and dozens of communal

Christian Nguyen, who has been teaching a class at

worktables. A glass-enclosed wood and metal machine

Parsons titled Space and Materiality for ten years, has

shop occupies a corner in the back, and opposite sits the

noticed a significant change in the ways he can teach

3D Print Lab, containing 3D scanners, haptic modeling

the class, especially when it comes to familiarizing all of

devices, and a row of 3D printers thrumming and

his students with the tools they’ll be using for the next

chirping like R2-D2. Downstairs, the basement wet lab

four years. “Now I can have everybody go grab a drill.”

upgrades include an expanded printmaking area, new

Nguyen’s class is a requirement in Parsons’ newly

kilns, a jiggering machine, and a clay extruder called

updated first-year curriculum, which aims to give

the Peter Pugger Power Wedger. Each lab is supervised

students the essential art and design concepts and techniques they need to become flexible thinkers and

Left: In their first-year Space and Materiality class, students were challenged to

skilled makers. The course emphasizes transforming

turn 2D materials into 3D objects using pieces joined by hand. Here Andriy Volkov

2D and paper mock-ups into fully realized physical

and Maddie Lee create volumes from flat pieces fitted against a dress form.

objects. Nguyen’s goal is to “break students out of


like all New Yorkers, must sometimes vie for personal

their bubble.” If a student makes her first three projects in metal, Nguyen will ask to see something in wood; if another is comfortable only using foamcore, Nguyen will push him to experiment with plastic. Emily Nachbauer, a student in Nguyen’s class who came to Parsons intending to major in photography, describes the experience this way: “I never thought I would learn about drilling—and there are a lot of good things to learn.” For Nachbauer, the messy hand-making process was a revelation. In putting down her camera and picking up a handsaw, she gained a new sense of how liberating an improvisational creative process can be, especially when one is on deadline. “I realized that you have to keep going when you make mistakes; there’s no time to go back and redo. You learn to trust yourself,” she said. The Making Center’s investment in both traditional and innovative making technologies is designed to help students bridge the gap between craft and the cutting edge. “Their analog skills are connected to their digital skills,” Nguyen explains. Instead of just jumping onto the computer as the first step in their creative process, students are prompted by the first-year curriculum to use the new machines in considered ways. “With a hand tool, you get to feel it out and make a prototype. You can find that organic curve, scan it, vector it, and then CNC it.” Sometimes Nguyen is able to convince his students of this connection immediately; others have to learn it the hard way. “I learned that tools like the laser cutter don’t always work for everything,” says Yue Wu, another first-year student in Nguyen’s fall class. But it is exactly this kind of experimentation—and the failure that comes with it—that Wu believes will help her develop her interior design practice. “I learned how materials function and the process for using them—each step and what you need to do.” In this way, Wu was able to transform her project— creating a sculptural covering for a human torso—in stages: from paper to plywood to acrylic. In previous incarnations of the class, students were much more limited in what they could make, but with the introduction of these new tools, Nguyen has noticed


allow students like Heewon Kim and Andriy Volkov to reach a level of precision they never could have attained with a hand tool, and larger work surfaces have allowed students’ projects to grow in scale and complexity. “They’re using a lot more negative space,” Nguyen adds. But the biggest change seems to be not in the objects individual students are creating but in the ways students relate to one another in the new space: “You definitely have more sharing of ideas.” The feeling of community fostered in the new Making Center is not accidental. “This will sound like an architect (which I am), but I believe in space,” says Parsons’ executive dean, Joel Towers. “I believe that providing places for people to gather in meaningful ways is really an important part of what designers do.

“Youhave haveto tokeep keepgoing goingwhen “ You when you make mistakes; you make mistakes; there’s there’s to go back no timeno totime go back and redo. and You learn to trust You re-do. learn to trust yourself.” ““

Parsons re:D

significant changes in his students’ work. Laser cutters

—Emily — E


Bringing together together these these ““Bringing different different stages stages of of technology technology is is aa really really critical critical part part of of design design practices today.... today.... Innovation Innovation practices happens across across that that space.” space.” happens “


—Joel Towers The nature of the space and how we designed it bring together students from a range of disciplines.” Before the Making Center was built, students tended to do their work in “very discrete, more siloed environments, so they didn’t see the practices of their colleagues in different disciplines.” The new layout encourages students to see what their colleagues are up to. Nguyen has noticed his students’ curiosity and excitement whenever they see an older classmate working on a more advanced project. “There’s a sense of camaraderie.” This collaborative interdisciplinarity is the core of the Making Center ethos. Imagine a group of random students who find themselves sitting at a common table. One is majoring in communication design, another in fashion, a third in strategic design and management, and a fourth in product design. They strike up a conversation and begin to see how their seemingly individual practices might be connected. Suddenly a business is born. But the Making Center is not just an incubator for new products and start-ups; it is a place where students generate new knowledge and see their work from a new perspective. This process is introduced to students in the redesigned first-year curriculum and constantly reinforced in the Making Center’s recently launched series of skills workshops, open to all students and faculty across the university. For Towers, the Making Center is a laboratory, a space for unexpected discoveries. “A lot of times, technology comes online before people understand its full potential,” he says. Part of the Making Center’s mission is to help students explore the limits of what’s possible. Towers wants Parsons students “to be the ones leading by design,” with tools like the new Shima Seiki 3D knitting machines. It’s partly this student-driven innovation that is expected to attract external partners from New York City and beyond to Parsons in search of inspiration and practical know-how. “As word gets out about what and how our community is producing at the Making Center—objects and ideas—we imagine students will have access to new kinds of creative partners and entrepreneurs. And we foresee projects and classes that will have students from throughout The New School making here in the center with teams in all kinds of disciplines.”

Images, clockwise from top left: 1. With help from instructor Christian Nguyen, Emily Nachbauer creates a paper prototype of wood pieces she will later hand-cut, drill, and join with metal rings. 2. Gathered around a worktable in the Making Center, students Kathryn Burress, Heewon Kim, Lindsay Vrckovnik, Emily Nachbauer, Maddie Lee, and Taylor Herbert work on their 3D projects and get help from one another and technicians. 3. Instructor Christian Nguyen shows Jorge Menjivar how to punch holes in metal pieces that he will later join together. 4. Movable whiteboards and tables enable students to collaborate on projects and discuss their research. 5. First-year student Molane Hu models an elbow brace she created in her first-semester class. It features structural elements that ease joint stress and embellishments that express the wearer’s personality. 6. The Making Center fosters hybrid making methods by surrounding students with a variety of tools and peers working on similar projects with a range of materials.


And while Parsons is looking to the future, Towers also emphasizes the ways the Making Center will continue to be a place to learn traditional crafts. “I want to make paper, and paper is about as old as it gets,” he says. “Bringing together these different stages of technology is a really critical part of design practices today—it’s not narrow or linear, and I think innovation happens across that space.” Asked to name his favorite thing about the new Making Center, Towers at first demurs. Then he mentions a computer-automated metal CNC machine on the third floor called the Haas, which has increased the speed of production and lowered the cost for students, who previously had to use manual lathes or job out the milling to others. “It allows us to do an extraordinarily advanced set of metal milling operations. To me, it represents an investment in the next wave of making at Parsons.” Another favorite part of the Making Center is the main room on the second floor. “Every day, it changes, because the students take it over and move the tables around. They’re constantly doing something that I never would have expected to happen in there. For me, the combination of the high-end machinery and the social space—every day I go through there, and my heart races faster.” Daniel Penny is a critic, journalist, and poet. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, the Boston Review, the New Republic, the New Inquiry, The Rumpus, the Village Voice, and other publications. He teaches writing at Parsons and Columbia. @dwpenny

Right, from the top: 1. The digital jacquard loom is a hybrid itself: A computer moves the loom heddles precisely, enabling users to create complex images and patterns that are woven using hand shuttles. 2. Parsons instructor and MFA Industrial Design student Lisa Marks used the CNC router and hand tools to create this wooden device, employed in mechanical knitting. 3. This 3D printed chair prototype by BFA Product Design student and 3D printing lab tech Eugene Chang has both rigid and flexible components. It was created with

Parsons re:D

the Making Center’s high-tech printer, which can print in a variety of materials.

Anna Sui on Making


BFA Fashion Design alumna

a fabric’s dimensionality, know how trim will sit on it. I

Anna Sui recently toured

remind designers to ask, ‘Will this fabric handle the tucks

Parsons’ new Making Center

and pleats I’ve imagined?’ A bit of reteaching the value

and shared her thoughts

of making is involved.” Sui also embraces the evolving

on the center and her own

approaches to making that underlie contemporary

process. “I loved seeing the

fashion. “You have to have an open mind. For me, these

Making Center’s silkscreen and sculpture facilities,” she says. A passionate champion of New York’s Garment District, Sui values having an array of tools and specialists close at hand. “In the Garment Center, you can have a detailed sample made traveling just a few blocks; so many specialists are

new technologies and techniques can start a new idea for a collection,” she says. Sui is the first American to receive a solo exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum. The World of Anna Sui, on view from May 26 to October 1, 2017, presents more than 100 looks, including accessories and

concentrated in one place.” This benefit is also offered

ephemera suited to sartorial archetypes ranging from

by the Making Center, which facilitates prototyping by

(in the words of the accompanying catalog) “Surfers and

gathering a range of tools and technicians.

School Girls to Hippies, Mods and Punks.”

For Sui, handwork with actual materials is also

critical: “You can’t just make something look good on a computer. You have to know how to drape, understand

21 Parsons re:D

22 Parsons re:D

UNIVERSAL STYLE Parsons creates accessible fashion for people of all abilities

by Aimee Williams, MA Fashion Studies ’16, and John Haffner Layden

The Parsons community leads in universal design, a hybrid field integrating fashion, wearable tech, and design ethnography with the aim of advancing social inclusivity and opportunity In mirrored aviators and jeans, sneakers, and a wheelchair that are all equally black and sleek, Pete Trojic looks at


home in the New School University Center, waiting for a Parsons class to begin. But Trojic is not a student; he’s a client in an ambitious new interdisciplinary course created and led by Grace Jun, MFA Design and Technology ’16. Trojic is excited to see the progress students have made on the jacket they’ve been creating for him in Jun’s Open Style Lab Collab, a course focused on creating wearable solutions with people with disabilities. “Calling it a long raincoat doesn’t do it justice,” he says, explaining that it is precisely tailored to him in both fit and technical features. His point becomes clear when “Team Pete”—students from the MFA Design and Technology and BFA Fashion Design programs— assembles in the classroom to report progress.

Pete Trojic is shown wearing the rain jacket that he and BFA Fashion Design and MFA Design and Technology students collaboratively made in Parsons' Open Style Lab Collab course.

Far left: Team Pete created a side-zipping fleece jacket to complement the rain jacket they created for Trojic. Near left, top: Team Pete designers with Trojic after the class’ final crit. Near left, bottom: The deep vent on Pete Trojic’s hooded rain jacket enables him to sit comfortably and walk easily with crutches


Parsons re:D

while wearing the jacket.

BFA Fashion Design student Jonathan Lee holds up Trojic’s

years ago, while working in South Korea for Samsung’s UX

in-process garment and points to it newly refined construction.

and mobile device groups. At Samsung, Jun became skilled

The water-repellent coat nearly reaches the floor and its

at analyzing both users’ product interactions and design’s

back seam is split high, enabling Trojic to shorten the coat by

connection to factors ranging from personal empowerment to

connecting miniature magnets sewn along the vent to mates

environmental sustainability. She also experienced firsthand

stitched into the coat’s sides to make it more comfortable to

the human-centered research and design process she employs

wear when seated. The vent also makes it easier for Trojic to

today. “I spent a lot of time asking questions,” she says. “I saw

walk with crutches when he must carry his chair where ramps

that the ability to customize mobile devices made them more

or elevators aren’t accessible. Magnets that fasten the zipper’s

attractive and valuable.”

bottom allow him to close the coat with one hand. Some of the coat’s most beneficial features are its subtlest: A grid of lasercut perforations on the right cuff enables Trojic to check his light-up wristband, which monitors his chair’s brake functions; reinforced sleeves hold up to wear from wheelchair use. Equally important is the fact that the sleek garment looks cool—and markedly unlike the specialized gear wheelchair users have had to choose from up to now. “I’m design conscious and want something that looks, you know, like a New Yorker would wear it,” says Trojic, who has cerebral palsy and performs in a modern dance company. “Something that doesn’t look like it’s covered in ‘Help me!’ signs, that shows my personality.”

Inclusive by Design

Jun’s deep dive into design ethnography prepared her for her next step. She was offered the educational director position at Open Style Lab (OSL), a summer program, housed at MIT’s International Design Center, to design accessible clothing or wearable tech for individuals with varying abilities. The move back to the States in 2014 immersed her in a new kind of human-centered design. During OSL intensives, Jun fostered connections between engineering and occupational therapy students, materials scientists, designers, and clients seeking wearables to address diverse needs related to illness or disability. The role deepened her understanding of universal design as an inclusive approach that challenges designers to consider the broadest possible user base and requirements. It’s a process Jun describes as “using design

To Jun, appealing to people like Trojic with clothing that

to go from dependence to independence.” Her position also

incorporates special features is a major achievement for

demonstrated the importance of creating with, not for, those

Team Pete—and the burgeoning field of universal design she

seeking specialized wearables. “The people coming for help

passionately champions. The ability of design to express

had already adapted existing apparel. Our successes hinged

personality and stimulate interest is a capacity she discovered

as much on listening and asking questions as they did on

“ This is a long-term project to develop wearable solutions that apply widely.” —Grace Jun Grace Jun, MFA Design and Technology ’15, in Parsons’ Making Center

design per se,” she says. In one case, Jun collaborated with

The first goal of her course is to give students a foundation

the parent of a young woman whose autism made garments

in usercentric research blended with observational training.

seams so irritating that she would tear apart her clothing.

“We start by using inclusive language; it helps us understand

The experience sparked both design ideas (to use ultrasonic

who our partners are and why we need accessible clothing,”

welding techniques to make nearly seamless fabric edges)

says Jun. The exercise brings home a sobering reality: “Most

and realizations that raised her expectations for OSL. “It’s

of us will experience an important change in ability at some

been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act, and

point in our lives.” From there, student teams collaborate

clothing isn’t adequately addressed as a need,” says Jun. “You,

closely with their co-creator clients to develop wearable

or someone you care for, is diagnosed—whether from birth or

solutions for design problems. The inaugural class was

from injuries—and then what?”

composed entirely of MFA Design and Technology and BFA

501(c)3, gaining greater independence and operational flexibility. The move eventually led Jun to take on OSL’s executive directorship and bring the lab to Parsons, where she had enrolled in the MFA Design and Technology program to further her universal design research. “I thought that OSL should be close to a design school to broaden its methods and employ more than a health care approach— and expand how we think about fashion,” she says. As she

Fashion Design students; the spring 2017 course featured a wider disciplinary array, including an MFA Lighting Design/ Interior Design student, a BFA Product Design student, and a BFA Fine Arts student. Last fall, Trojic was joined by Xian Horn—founder of Give Beauty Wings, a women’s selfempowerment curriculum, and Changeblazer, a diversity consultancy—and Jen Howell, a physical therapist with Type 1 Chiari malformation (EDS), which causes her shoulder to chronically dislocate.

developed a line of jackets for women recuperating from

In just one term, student teams formed close bonds with

breast cancer surgery for her master’s thesis, OSL became

their client co-creators: Horn, for example, invited her OSL

a research initiative under the auspices of the Parsons

team to appear in a documentary about her. “The experience

Design Lab. Working with people with disabilities, Jun began

began with discovery—for the students, learning about

developing the OSL Collab course on wearable solutions,

people who have differing ability,” says Horn, reflecting on

which launched in fall 2016, ran again in spring 2017, and

the course. “I also learned a lot about myself in the process,

continues as a class open to graduate and upper-level

needs I didn’t even realize I had, and the power of design to

undergraduate students.

meet the needs of people with disabilities.”


To help answer such questions, OSL incorporated as a

A cashmere-and-wool coat created for Xian Horn, who has cerebral palsy, features a back slit and belt tie that make it easier to wear. Pockets are lined with a soft material to soothe her hands, which are often exposed as she walks with the aid of ski poles. Powerstretch fabric in the arms allows Horn a wide range of motion. A hood hidden in the collar protects her from rain while freeing her hands. Special shoulder padding allows the coat to hang evenly when worn. The lining is screenprinted with wings—in recognition of Horn’s women’s empowerment initiative, Give Beauty Wings. Team Xian: Elizabeth Bodzy, Camila Chiriboga, Angela Delise, Elly Chieh-Li Lin, Rainie Zhiyang Xu.

“ The experience began with


Parsons re:D

discovery—for the students, learning about people who have differing

of applications for the session, which focuses on in-depth

ability. I also learned a lot about the

user experience testing of the solutions previously developed

power of design to meet the needs of

Woolmark and Polartec. Her connections with the New

people with disabilities.”

participants as co-creators, and she will bring in specialists in

—Xian Horn

The engagement with universal design has the halo effect of

by students using materials from OSL partners including York Spinal Cord Injury Association have yielded five outside physical and occupational therapy as advisors. enriching students’ awareness of wearable technology and its potential. For Priyal Parikh, an MFA Design and Technology

Scaled for Impact

student who took Jun’s course at Parsons last fall, the journey to universal design included a personal dimension: Parikh

A major insight emerging from Jun’s work relates to scale and

suffers from severe lower back pain and began developing a

impact: “It’s one thing to make clothing for someone who has

back support incorporating a heating element to address her

a specific challenge, and another to build onto that research

symptoms. The project grew into a thesis, Imbrace, which

to create something serving a wider community or that’s

includes a customizable foundation garment for women,

universal,” she explains. “This is a long-term project to develop

designed in a version to be worn under clothes, as a vest-like

solutions that apply widely.” To that end, Open Style Lab is

piece topping a camisole or T-shirt, or as a support brace

partnering with Parsons to bring the 2017 Summer Program

sewn into a blazer. Lacking a fashion background, Parikh

to the Making Center this summer. The summer session is

found a mentor and thesis advisor in wearable tech specialist

open to students from around the world and from a variety of

Aneta Genova, who guided the construction of Imbrace’s

disciplinary backgrounds. Jun has received a record number

satin-and-boning prototypes. Parikh is combining digital

A sportswear-inspired top made with a Polartec compression fabric that has been overstitched to limit its stretch, created in the Wearable Solutions for People with Disabilities course for Jen Howell, a client with Type 1 Chiari malformation (EDS) whose shoulder chronically dislocates. The breathable fabric and comfort fit keep her shoulder in place during sleep, enabling her to wear the garment through the night. Team Jen: Lina Aquino, Priyal

“ I started to question how the

Parikh, Dave Utt, Taeyeon Kim, Raquel Cervantes.

fashion industry’s idealized body measurements exclude whole populations.”

skills from her Design and Technology curriculum, research

apparel cheaply, exclude whole populations.” During her

methods from universal fashion, and her undergraduate

time at Parsons, Chiriboga has designed clothing with

business degree into an entrepreneurial venture: Imbrace

special features for patients on dialysis and individuals with

will soon be available in a variety of options on Parikh’s

cerebral palsy, diabetes, and, currently, visual impairment.

e-commerce site. “The process got me to rethink what

Lina Aquino, a classmate and BFA Fashion Design senior,

wearable tech is,” says Parikh. “Tech isn’t just clothing

adds, “Body standards in fashion are changing, but the

with embedded electronics. Technical fibers and magnetic

industry still leaves out a lot of people. The average

closures are also tech. To solve a problem, Imbrace didn’t

American woman is between size 16 and 18; a lot of makers

need Arduino; it needed high-performance materials and a

don’t even offer those sizes.” For her senior thesis, Aquino

design that you’d want to wear and that would get people

is creating a clothing line for people who have lost limbs, a

talking about back pain.”

choice driven by a desire to “make a difference in the world.”

Camila Chiriboga, a senior in the BFA Fashion Design program, was inspired by the course to develop new

Hybrid Practice and Hospital Gowns

human-centered methods and ask provocative questions

Chiriboga’s and Aquino’s work travels along paths opened

about changes needed in creative industries. “We started by

up by alumna Lucy Jones, BFA Fashion Design ’15, a

spending time with Xian, hearing about her needs, observing

designer whose groundbreaking universal design has

her body in motion. I was used to making prototypes in

already had broad impact. Even as she was finishing her

the studio; user research and tailoring for a specific person

degree, Jones was establishing collaborations with start-ups

were newer,” she says. “Working with Xian helped me see

like Care and Wear and Runway for Dreams, a nonprofit that

how design accommodates different kinds of bodies and

Tommy Hilfiger tapped last year to create universal fashion

abilities. And I started to question how the fashion industry’s

versions of mainstream styles. Jones’ thesis, inspired by a

idealized body measurements, which are tied to making

cousin with hemiplegia who struggles to find clothes and


—Camila Chiriboga


Lucy Jones, BFA Fashion Design ’15, created “advantage blocks”— modular garment pattern elements that designers can employ to address the needs of specific users, such as those who are seated, and to suit a range of body proportions. Shown L U C Y J O N E S

here are pieces from her thesis collection, including a tweed coat (right) whose arms are specially seamed to cover bent elbows and a hoodie with a short torso and zippered sleeves in a stretch fabric (left) that permits free movement, facilitates self-dressing, and can be comfortably worn in a wheelchair. “I really let function


Parsons re:D

dictate design,” says Jones.

dress himself independently, was based on intensive design

wearable design can improve human experience,” says Jones.

ethnographic research with United Cerebral Palsy New York.

“Nearly everyone will wear one at some point, yet they are

She created customizable clothing patterns for wheelchair

almost universally disliked as awkward at best and degrading

users, accompanied by garments illustrating the features

at worst.” The course, titled Care and Wear, tasked students

designed to make apparel easy to put on and remove.

with working directly with patients, doctors, and clinicians

The ambitious project—a kind of manifesto encouraging

to address varied considerations. “In one garment, we were

designers and the industry to embrace the full range of

challenged to design taking into account the range of gender

human abilities and bodies—helped Jones secure a year-

identification, sizes, cultures, kinds of illness or recovery,

long Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)–EILEEN

and other factors—in design solutions that could have truly

FISHER paid apprenticeship, equipping her with production

widespread impact,” says Jones.

skills to support her entrepreneurship. “Few people with unique needs get to work with a designer to come up with custom solutions,” says Jones, explaining the challenge. “So developing clothing patterns that can address a variety of users and a range of ability has far-reaching potential. There’s a community of us coming up with solutions that make the functionality of the garment universal and not just for able-bodied people.” In focusing on modular patterns, Jones complements the work of Jun and others in OSL through design intended to be scalable and shared widely.

Refashioning Industry Dean of Parsons’ School of Fashion Burak Cakmak sees the growing support for universal fashion as an indication of changes taking place in the academy, industry, and society. Cakmak points to BFA Fashion Design’s new “Systems and Society” curricular pathway—one of four core undergraduate pathways—which embodies the human-centered, socially engaged approach to design that underpins a Parsons education. Systems and Society courses, he explains,

Jones, who serves as a mentor to Parsons students pursuing

challenge students to analyze the global fashion system’s

needs-based design, recently led, with Brittany Dickinson, a

connection to sociocultural values, environmentalism, and

class co-sponsored by AARP that presented a universal fashion

production and consider fashion’s impact in human terms—

ultimate challenge: a redesign of the standard hospital gown.

health-related aspects of materials and sourcing, labor, and

“Hospital gowns represent one of the best examples of how

media representation, for example. The goal is to cultivate

“ Developing new clothing patterns that can address a variety of users and a range of ability has far-reaching potential.” —Lucy Jones

Students designed a sleek pouch that attaches to the back of Pete Trojic’s wheelchair to carry the outerwear—a slicker and a yearround coat—they made for him. The bag also holds tools used to maintain his chair and other essentials, keeping them portable and dry and shielding the electric wheelchair’s delicate electronics during downpours. Team Pete: Jonathan Lee, LaTricia Watford, Qinzi Tan, Chuyi Sun, Jane Mitchell, Taylor Rodriguez.

students’ systems-thinking abilities so that they can reimagine

“Younger fashion leaders are coming up with new creative

the fashion system’s various dimensions, from consumption

methodologies and businesses as alternatives to the traditional

behavior to product lifecycle to design processes and practices

industry. They’re putting other considerations—inclusivity,

that ignore special needs.

sustainability, fair labor practice, and independence—in the center,

shifts. “Until recently, customization in fashion was synonymous with couture,” he says. “But as our culture embraces difference and diversity more fully, we see a growing need for individualized solutions. That’s where disruptors like Lucy come in, to push the industry forward until the ideas take greater hold and the business models and technology advance to support them.” He cites Parsons’ collaboration opportunities with external partners like AARP and Nike as evidence that major organizations and firms are seeking out diversity-focused design research and innovation. AARP’s Disrupt Aging in Fashion Competition, held this spring at Parsons, tasked students with applying their human-centered design process to address older adults’ age- and ability-related problems through end-user collaboration and wearable design. And Nike carried forward its commitment to universal fashion with Parsons and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Design for Disability, another recent project aimed at sparking innovation in apparel for the differently abled community. Sara Kozlowski, BFA Fashion Design ’93, CFDA’s director of education and professional development, sees universal design as a dimension of an industry being reinvented by a new generation.

where small-scale production can accommodate a range of needs,” she says. “The recent retail crisis suggests that answers, and resilience, can come from outside the large-scale fashion system.” Kozlowski knew Jones through a position she had held at Parsons and had met Jun during a visit to Boston to see OSL’s work. She maintains professional contacts with both and serves on OSL’s advisory board—roles that give her hope for the future of wearables. “These new practitioners, with their passion, open-source approaches, and embrace of interdisciplinarity, are putting systems thinking into action. In the present moment—of fashion, tech, the world at large—what better promise for the future is there?” Aimee Williams is a fashion studies scholar and instructor and has written for Bloomsbury Publishing, BIAS, and exhibitions at FIT. John Haffner Layden has written about art and design for online and print platforms including MoMA.org, Dezeen, Rizzoli, and Random House.


Cakmak connects accessible fashion to cultural and technological

“ Parsons is making sustainability a lasting objective, and my planned gift for sustainabilityfocused research reflects that commitment.” —DEE M ACDONA L D-MIL L ER

“ A s a Parsons graduate, you become part of a great community of leaders and innovators. I give to lay the groundwork for a shared future that is creative, just, and sustainable.”


Parsons re:D


“ By endowing scholarships, I’m celebrating the instructors who challenged me to find my own creative voice. I’m investing in the next generation of Parsons talent.” —JA MIE DR A K E

Illustrations: David Robinson

Our first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign—Making Parsons: The Campaign for Parsons’ Future—is gaining momentum, thanks to alumni whose generosity guarantees our school’s place at the leading edge of innovation and impact Parsons’ $50 million campaign reflects a commitment to creative minds and resources that are fostering social and environmental good and success in an evolving world. During this five-year campaign, we’re securing support for new and ongoing programs involving scholarships, professorships, entrepreneurship, unrestricted funds, and transformative new creative facilities. Launching the campaign was the opening of Parsons’ Making Center, our interdisciplinary creative laboratory, made possible by a generous lead gift from Kay Unger, Fashion Design ’68, and the Kay Unger Family Foundation. The Making Center is being developed further, offering donors named-giving opportunities. Endowed professorships and scholarships are also fundraising priorities, as is support for the Parsons Scholars program, which gives NYC public high school students access to design education and college prep classes. The Parsons Design Lab facilitates innovative research and entrepreneurship and represents another pillar in our campaign. The Annual Fund anchors the campaign, enabling us to channel funds toward critical needs. Our community has already made the Making Parsons campaign its own, committing nearly $29 million to date to advance

The gifts of the visionary donors shown at left represent some of the many ways to give. Jamie Drake, BFA Environmental Design ’78, a celebrated designer, is endowing student scholarships through planned giving. Dee MacDonald-Miller, BFA Environmental Design ’75, a leader in commercial real estate, is turning her passion into a planned gift for sustainability-focused initiatives. Carly-Ann Fergus, MA Fashion Studies ’16, program director for the Parsons-supported XRC Lab retail tech accelerator, has pledged gifts to the Annual Fund. These alumni give through service as well: Jamie and Dee serve on Parsons’ Board of Governors; Carly-Ann co-founded The New School’s Fashion and Diversity

Our community has already made the Making Parsons campaign its own, committing nearly $29 million to advance university priorities.


series, making a difference while she was still on campus. Every gift from alumni, parents, and friends paves the path to Parsons’ future. We thank Jamie, Dee, Carly-Ann, and Kay and many others for including Making Parsons: The Campaign for Parsons’ Future in their service to the university and inspiring others to follow their lead. Your gift today helps Parsons design a better future for all.

For more information about the campaign, contact Noël Appel, Vice

Join the campaign by making a gift to the Parsons Annual Fund today at newschool.edu/giving-back.


university priorities.

President, Development and Alumni Relations, at 212.229.5662 x3041 or appelm@newschool.edu.



Parsons re:D

July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016* Anonymous Martha Alexander ’79 Sidsel T. Alpert ’71 Lee B. Anderson Memorial Foundation Jack and Marion A. Auspitz ’86 David Barnett (P) Binational Softwood Lumber Council Daniel Bleicher and Jacqueline Raich-Bleicher ’10 Blick Art Materials Bluewolf Dominique Bluhdorn Gloria Bohan The Brackpool Family Foundation Bobbie Braun ’90 Jennifer Andrus Burroughs (P) Kristi Carney-Dunkley (P), in honor of William Dunkley Murtaza and Shenaz Chevel (P) Chinese-American Planning Council Seung Han Choi and Hyun Jin Joo (P) Lucy Chudson ’12 and William Schwartz Laurent Claquin/Kering Americas Emma and Graham Clempson (P) Ronald and Laurie Coleman (P) Colette Malouf, Inc. William and Jane Corbellini ’86 Council of Independent Colleges, in honor of Tim Gunn Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation Lee and Diane Crockett (P) Richard Darling/LF USA DAVIS Furniture Industries, Inc., in memory of Sonny Joseph Conor Davis Jane and Michael DeFlorio Designers Lighting Forum of New York, Inc. Beth Rudin DeWoody ’75/May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc. Disney/ABC Television Group Michael Donovan ’69 and Nancye Green ’73 (P) Jamie Drake ’78/Drake Design Associates, Inc. Katherine H. Drake (P) Peter M. Drake (P) Asad and Dilek Durrani (P) Douglas D. Durst/The Durst Organization Echo Design Group John and Rainey Erwin Robert J. Feeney, in memory of Marjorie Marran Feeney Fusion Media Network LLC Harris and Julianne Galkin (P) Leslie Ghize/The Doneger Group Girls Write Now Henry and Barbara Gooss (P) Graphic Communications Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation, Inc. Joe and Gail Gromek Heinz and Cornelia Gundlach (P) Victoria Hagan ’84/Victoria Hagan Interiors Douglas and Patricia Hammond (P) Andrew Heffernan ’11 and Anna Lundberg ’12 The Horne Family Charitable Foundation HUGO BOSS Cheryl N. Hunter (P) Intel Corporation Peggy Keenan Jernigan Trust The JPB Foundation Thanos and Daniela Kamiliotis Jill and John Kampfe (P) Lonnie and Karen Kane (P) Charles Kenney and Anne Detmer (P) Ada Howe Kent Foundation E. Hewlett Kent and Nautilus Foundation, Inc. Stephan and Michaela Keszler (P) Emery and Cindy Kocsis (P) Ralph Lauren Foundation

Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Trust Kathryn Letellier (P) Aura Levitas Shin Yin Liong, M.D. (P) Jeffrey and Lori Litow (P) Theodore Luce Charitable Trust Luxury Education Foundation LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc. Nancy Mahon/The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. Donald Marron Edgar and Margery Masinter ’93 Edward and Dale Mathias (P) Robert and Jane Matluck (P) Maybelline New York Keith and Andrea McIntosh (P) Emily Meyer ’93/Tea Collection The Miami Foundation Ms. Foundation for Women Napier + Joseph + McNamara, Ltd., in memory of Sonny Joseph National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Jacki Nemerov/The Nemerov Charitable Foundation Nike, Inc. Amer and Kristen Nimr (P) Scott and Laura Noles (P) Andrew Obert, in honor of J.R. Obert Sandra Owen ’57 OXO Toby and Susan Page (P) Michele and Steve Pesner Piphat and Apirati Phataraprasit (P) Philip Sung Design Associates, Inc. The Pinkerton Foundation Lionel and Sandrine Pissarro Rob and Betsy Pitts ’95 Planned Parenthood NYC Lyle Poncher (P) Rodolfo and Claudia Postigo (P) Yabu Pushelberg Mazdack Rassi Robinson Family Charitable Remainder Trust The Rockefeller Foundation The Roros Foundation Andrew and Terry Ross (P) Samsung C&T Fashion Division Mark and Lillian Schostak (P) The Seiger Family Foundation Jiyang Shi (P) Morty Singer/Marvin Traub Associates Margaret J. Smith ’89/The Teck Foundation Supercollider, Inc./The Public Society Swarovski Foundation Dennis and Judy Sweeney (P)/ First Harvest Foundation Tomio Taki Steve Tisch Foundation J. Stanley Tucker Kay Unger ’68/The Kay Unger Family Foundation Robert and Delores Viarengo ’95 Nancy Vignola ’76 Jessica Weber ’66 Jeffrey Weiss and Karen Rutman-Weiss (P) Colin Welch/Financo Claire Sepulveda Werner ’83 WGSN Robert T. Williams ’86 Stanley Chen Kee Wong and Mimie Suk May Tsang (P) Andrea Woodner Pei Yan (P) Andrew and Lucy Yiu (P) Pierluigi Zanin and Angela Berti (P), in honor of Nicola Romagnoli

*Gifts of $1,000 or more (P): Parsons parent

re:D (regarding Design) 2017 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Anne Adriance EDITORIAL BOARD: Noël Appel; Amy Garawitz; Jen Rhee, MA Media Studies ’13 PARSONS ADVISORY BOARD: Burak Cakmak; Anne Gaines, MFA Fine Arts ’00; Robert Kirkbride; Sarah Lawrence; Jane Pirone; Joel Towers MANAGING EDITOR: Kyle Hansen EDITOR and LEAD WRITER: John Haffner Layden CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Megan Garwood; Daniel Penny; David Thomas; Aimee Williams, MA Fashion Studies ’16 LEAD DESIGNER: Carmen McLeod, AAS Graphic


Sung Baik COPY EDITOR: Leora Harris PRODUCED BY: Marketing and Communication, The New School LETTERS AND SUBMISSIONS: re:D welcomes letters

to the editor as well as submissions of original manuscripts, photos, and artwork. Unsolicited manuscripts, related materials, photography, and artwork will not be returned. Please include your year of graduation, degree completed, and major or program. ADDRESS CHANGES: Please submit address changes

at newschool.edu/alumni. CONTACT US: re:D, Parsons School of Design,

79 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY 10003 alumni@newschool.edu PARSONS (760-830) Volume 34, No. 1, May 2017 PARSONS is published four times a year, in May, July, December, and January, by The New School, 66 W. 12th Street, New York, NY 10011. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to PARSONS, 79 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY 10003. CREDITS: Courtesy Autumn Adeigbo (Portfolio);

Sophie Barkham (Portfolio); Yoni Brook (Portfolio); Photo courtesy of Contentmode.com/Photographer: Sesse Lind, Creative Director: Deborah Ferguson (Portfolio); Courtesy of Focus Lighting (Red-Handed); Fernanda Kock/Galo Studios, courtesy of The New School Art Collection (Portfolio); Jonathan Grassi (Portfolio); Marie Havens (Portfolio); Nicolas Herrera (Portfolio); Tom Hines (Portfolio); © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016 (Portfolio); The Jewish Museum (Portfolio); Matthew Mathews (Portfolio); Will McHale (Gatefold); Michael Moran (Gatefold, Portfolio); Courtesy of Ro & Co. (Portfolio); David Robinson (Giving); Martin Seck (Cover, Gatefold, Portfolio, Centered on Making, Universal Style); Tori Sulewski/fotobuddy (Portfolio); Shea Carmen Swan (Portfolio); Marc Tatti (Portfolio); Phillip Van Nostrand (Portfolio, Centered on Making); WENN Ltd./Alamy Stock Photo (Portfolio). The New School does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, religious practices, mental or physical disability, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, or veteran or marital status. The New School is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.

RED-HANDED Paul Gregory, MFA ’92 Parsons re:D

Acclaimed designer Paul Gregory, president of Focus



definitive textbook, Gregory began applying his craft

Lighting, evokes emotion with innovative lighting. Gregory got his start in theatrical lighting, a profession that drew him to New York City and Parsons’ architectural lighting design master’s program, the first of its kind in the world. Under the leadership of lighting expert James L. Nuckolls, who founded Parsons’ program and authored the field’s to buildings, interiors, and outdoor settings. Gregory’s award-winning work—lighting schemes ranging from Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens to NYC’s Tavern on the Green—has elevated his discipline within the building industry. Gregory’s design for the centennial of the New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball—a global cultural icon shown here—created an opportunity to celebrate both New York City and innovation through a novel design. Says Gregory, “I wanted to celebrate New York City by creating something so beautiful people could see it sparkle from 500 feet away.” Gregory’s design succeeded, sustainably: The 1,415-pound ball, with its mirrored baffles, 2,688 double-faceted crystals, and more than 32,000 LEDs, required less energy than its predecessors, running on the electricity needed to power ten toasters while being the brightest ball yet. focuslighting.com

New School Alumni 79 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor New York, NY 10003

Periodical Postage PAID

Students congregating on the second floor of Parsons’ new Making Center represent varied disciplines and employ a range of technologies: laser-cut wood made by Lisa Marks, MFA Industrial Design; Arduino components used by Raha Ghassemi, MFA Design and Technology; a wearable made by Priyal Parikh, MFA Design and Technology; handpainted and beaded fabric by Stephanie Frig, MFA Fashion Design and Society; a 3D-printed casing by Alonso Castro, MFA Design and Technology; a project by Nirbhay Jain, a first-year student in a Space and Materiality class; an action plan for Read the Red Flag, a protest collective led by Ricky Tucker, BA Liberal Arts ’14; and hand tools like clamps and drill bits alongside high-tech gear such as Vive VR goggles.


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