Collaborative, project-based initiatives form the core of the Design and Technology experience. The program is located within the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), alongside allied programs in Communication Design, Fine Arts, Photography, and Illustration. As new technologies facilitate increasingly sophisticated communication, the disciplines in AMT continue to merge. This enables the school to flexibly address social needs through art and design. Students collaborate on projects, take courses together, and partner with students from other Parsons schools and programs throughout The New School.
By enrolling in Art and Design History and Theory courses as well as related studio classes, students acquire essential research, writing, and critical reasoning skills while developing conceptual foundations for creative inquiry. Because Parsons is part of The New School, students can choose from a wide range of lecture courses and electives in the humanities, social sciences, media studies, and business.
Parsons' extensive facilities include Arnhold Hall Multimedia Laboratory, which occupies 40,000 square feet on four floors and provides 600 networked workstations. The lab features more than 30 servers to support work ranging from traditional print and audio mixing to compositing and webcasting. Specialty work such as physical computing, installation and laser cutting takes place in the Design and Technology Lab, where portable digital still, video, and audio production equipment is also available.
Parsons' libraries, galleries, and research institutes spark new ideas and provide the information to develop them.
The concentration of design and technology talent in New York City make it an ideal resource for those wishing to unite communication with mobile, interactive, digital platforms. Students use Times Square, Lower Manhattan, and Central Park to find inspiration and observe the nuances of designed living and collaborate with urban arts organizations like Creative Time, The Kitchen, and the New Museum. And students create works that become living, breathing parts of the city—from projects that exploit a neighborhood park's Wi-Fi hotspots to animations displayed on the side of a building.
Visits to industry leaders like the Rockwell Interaction Lab, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Curious Pictures put students in contact with innovators who supply training and mentorship. Other industry partners include Apple, Atari, Human Rights Watch, MTV, Siemens, and UNESCO.
Research institutes within Parsons help to maintain the school's leading position in the field and provide important learning opportunities.
PETLab (Prototyping Evaluation, Teaching and Learning lab), Parsons' research lab for developing games that work for the public interest, is a foundation of Design and Technology's research culture.
SMALLab (Situated Multimedia Art Learning Lab) supports situated and embodied learning for young people by teaching them to use their bodies as a means of expression.
SpyLab unites artists from Parsons and Beijing in a new media research collective that gathers video, sound, and environmental data from around the globe to make art and probe issues of privacy, permission, and distance collaboration.