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Culture and Place

Academic Environment

Located in Parsons' School of Art and Design History and Theory, the MA Design Studies program benefits from the academic expertise of our faculty in the theory, history, and criticism of design; design research and writing; visual and cultural studies; and fashion studies. The program is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the resources of Parsons, a leader in design education for more than 100 years, as well as the progressive learning environment provided by the The New School.

The program welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds—from undergraduate programs in social sciences and humanities to design professionals. Their key commonalities will be the ability to use their previous education to think critically about design, a desire to apply an interdisciplinary approach, and concern for the social impact of design.

Graduate Community

Students will work with the larger community of Parsons graduate students in research- and studio-based programs. These include the MA History of Decorative Arts and Design, MA Fashion Studies, MFA Design and Technology, MA Theories of Urban Practice, and MFA Transdisciplinary Design. Students also have the opportunity to take courses in fields such as history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and politics offered by other divisions of The New School.

Students will create study pathways tailored to their personal interests by combining required classes in design studies with graduate courses available at Parsons and other divisions of the New School. They will also work with the studio-based graduate programs to critically explore the connections between theory and practice.



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