The MFA Design and Technology program offered at Parsons Paris (MFADT-Paris) beginning in fall 2014 is the sister program to the Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology taught at Parsons’ New York City campus. The two programs are the first nodes in an international learning network for graduate-level design. In Paris, students in the program focus on the interchange between forward-looking scholarship and real-world projects, which enables them to create imaginative work based in theory and practice. The Paris location gives students access to resources in the region and beyond.
Students in MFADT-Paris benefit from small classes and a studio-based curriculum that both fosters community with peers and faculty members in Paris and New York and enriches collaborative projects. Topics taught in MFADT-Paris will include interactive systems such as games, physical interfaces, interactive art, dynamic data visualization, and mobile media. Each semester, students will take a studio course that offers opportunities to develop their research and creative practice and connect with the MFADT community in New York. Students will also take an academic course each semester. The dean will teach the first-semester course, Design for This Century.
Many course lectures will be delivered as videos and accompanied by downloadable slides. An on-site recitation section will provide context for the lectures, time for discussion, and support for assignments. In Collaboration Studios, students will apply their design skills and collaborative abilities in projects for local contexts. Courses such as Creativity and Computation Lab will extend and reinforce the programming and physical computing skills that students learned in orientation sessions called Bootcamp.
The intimate size of the Paris program makes possible a new kind of course on interactive practice—the Design and Technology Workshop. These workshops will expose students to a range of object-types, tools, techniques, and methodologies used in fields related to the Design and Technology program. They will also facilitate a peer exchange between students, faculty, and alumni of Paris and New York and bring regional guest lecturers to campus.
The course will consist of miniworkshops (three to five class sessions) and microworkshops (one to two class sessions) on diverse topics taught over 15 weeks (see course description below). These workshops can be conducted online, on-site, or in a combination of online and on-site instruction. Here is one possible sequence:
Week 1: Micro 1: Subject
Weeks 2–4: Mini 1: Subject
Weeks 5–7: Mini 2: Subject
Week 8: Micro 2: Subject
Weeks 9–11: Mini 3: Subject
Weeks 12–15: Mini 4: Subject
Topics for the second-year, advanced-level Design and Technology Workshop will be identified in the spring and summer of the first year and tailored to students’ theses. Workshop instructors will be selected from the faculty, student body, and alumni of Parsons New York, Paris, or elsewhere, based on their ability to meet students’ needs.