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PARSONS > Integrative Seminar and Studio 1

Integrative Seminar and Studio 1


Course Description

(as of January 2013)

Integrative Seminar 1 and Integrative Studio 1 are paired courses that will share a common theme. At various times during the semester, the two classes will share ideas, concepts, and assignments, bringing together reading, writing, and making in a manner that is essential to the creative work of artists and designers in every discipline. The Parsons Learning Portfolio will be introduced and developed in this course pairing.

Integrative Seminar 1

Integrative Seminar 1 fosters a commitment to visual and textual literacies and to critical and creative thinking. Students engage in a full spectrum of writing and a wide variety of texts, and enter into discussions to foster debate and peer-to-peer learning and exchange. Through shared questions or problems, students will be exposed to multiple perspectives, approaches, and methods for investigation and discovery. Students are introduced to skills and thought processes that they will build upon as they progress through Parsons: presentation skills, writing skills, self- and peer-reflection and assessment skills, executive skills, research skills, and systems thinking.

Integrative Studio 1

In Integrative Studio I students explore a range of visual, analytical, and making skills while working on projects that are collaborative and cross-disciplinary. The focus of this course is not only on the “how” of making things but also the “why.” How is it that we make sense of our ideas, the information we collect, and our hunches and theories? And what can this inquiry tell us about why we make decisions as creative thinkers? Students work in teams on projects that encourage exploration through research and prototyping, and they are expected to integrate learning from other first-year courses and experiences into their work.

The courses will have a number of sections, each following a particular theme. These themes or keywords are as follows:

  • Memory — Memory is an action or process of commemorating, recollecting, or remembering a person, object, or event. These actions and processes shape who you are and how you understand your world. Related keywords: forgetting / fake memories / artifacts / time travel / dreaming / curating / fraud / storytelling / histories / public space / truth / reality / propaganda / marginalia
  • Avatar — Avatar has two distinct meanings. In Hinduism and Buddhism it means the physical appearance of a god. Online it means a picture of a person or an animal that represents a particular user, especially in a computer game or chat room. Both definitions describe an identity that is both removed from and intensely connected to an original. Related keywords: self + society / self + other / role playing / networks / race / family / identity / fraud
  • Migrate — To migrate means to move from one place to another. Many, if not most of you, have firsthand experience with this movement. What was it like to move from one city to another in order to attend school? What, if any, are your own family's migration stories? Related keywords: geography / time travel / environment / landscape / invented archaeology / the urban / public art
  • Fake — Fake describes something that is not what it appears to be. Magicians create fakes to entertain their audience, politicians to gain votes, forgers to make money, filmmakers to tell a story. But how do we define what is real and what is fake? Might a fake actually be more powerful, more authentic, than truth? Related keywords: fraud / appropriation / invented archeology / role playing / truth / fake memories

Spring 2012 Information Session

March 22, 2012



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