Communities of: _________ (Exhibition)

- 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Communities of: _________

October 25 – November 3, 2012

Opening reception: October 25, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Communities of: _________, is a multi-media exhibition and symposium presenting community-engaged projects from across The New School ranging from engagements with local communities to international fieldwork, from designing through craft to designing policy and from semester-long collaborations to ongoing partnerships.

The intentional blank space of the title is intended to make conscious the very notion of community.  Through it, we invite each person to bring their interests and notions of communities to the gallery.  We want to politicize what it means to work with and to build a community, and believe that the absence of definition will precisely prompt visitors and participants to fill in the blank.

Using photography, text and video that document the projects, the exhibition conveys the deep exchange and long duration of community engagements, introduces the people involved, the goals and processes of the work and most importantly, the challenges that were faced.  Additionally, in response to an open call, students & faculty will host a variety of public programs in the gallery during the exhibition period.  The two-day Symposium will bring together a community of practitioners in academia, community-based organizations, NGOs, non-profit organizations, and industry.

The Exhibition and Symposium’s framing questions are:

  • How does (or can) design facilitate or enable participatory community development?
  • What are current models and ethics of working with 'other' communities in 'emerging economies'?
  • What are the politics of considering community as 'other'? (Should we only work in/with communities to which we belong?)
  • How and why should universities partner with communities?
  • How can we develop curricula that successfully support long-term community partnerships?
  • What are the financial models that can sustainably support these partnerships?

This exhibition and symposium on design strategies and models for sustainable development, has been organized to coincide with the 5th Anniversary of DEED: Development through Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, and Design.  The organizers are Fabiola Berdiel, Pascale Gatzen and Cynthia Lawson, and funding comes from the Provost’s Office Academic Events Fund, Parsons’ School of Design Strategies and Dean’s Office funds, and the Social Innovation Initiative.



Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

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