Textiles are literally and figuratively woven into human history and culture. Today communities of makers, designers, and scholars are exploring textiles — from locally crafted materials to 3D printed matter to embellished fabrics — and pioneering textile-based industries and theory. Parsons’ Master of Fine Arts in Textiles, launching in fall 2017, offers you a curriculum that engages your passion and the university’s resources to prepare you for the growing array of creative and professional opportunities related to textiles in fashion design, product design, interior design, textiles research, set design, fine arts, architecture, and hybrid fields.
This program is part of both the School of Fashion (SOF) and the School of Constructed Environments (SCE) at Parsons. Learn about the SOF and
SCE communities and explore the SOF and
SCE blogs to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
In the two-year, 60-credit full-time MFA Textiles program, you develop a critical understanding of textiles’ sociocultural and environmental dimensions throughout history and consider their potential to unite craft and innovative computational technology. In studios taken each term, you acquire skills in traditional fiber-working techniques — yarn making, weaving, knitting — and become acquainted with the newest creative methods and materials, such as smart fibers, digital pattern making, 3D printing, and biofabricated textiles. You refine your aesthetic sensibilities and understanding of sustainable practice on-site in NYC textile workshops and design ateliers, deepening your collaborative and studio abilities in weaving, dyeing, knitting, and printing. Instruction in small business best practices is integrated into the curriculum, bringing real-world skills into the studio.
Your study in the MFA Textiles program is interdisciplinary by design. Coursework connects fields including art, architecture, interior design, fashion design, and product design and unites concerns ranging from human factors to environmental sustainability to social justice. Accordingly, the program welcomes applicants from textile research and making fields related to liberal arts, fashion design, anthropology, interior design, fine arts, product design, and architecture. The goal is to create a diverse MFA Textiles community committed to expanding the field’s boundaries and creating new hybrids that integrate the high-tech innovations of Silicon Valley with local craft techniques being developed in the Hudson Valley. Your study prepares you for a future in which smart textiles play many roles, collecting and transmitting data in a variety of products, including domestic goods and wearable technology.
The September 2016 launch of New York Textile Month — a month-long citywide celebration of textile culture initiated by MFA Textiles founder Lidewij Edelkoort, dean of Hybrid Design Studies at Parsons — highlighted the community-based approach to promoting textile industries that students in the program will find. Local partners in the event become your direct mentors as well, inviting you into their studios and businesses one day a week to build your creative skills and networks. The growing global interest in textile-related industries brings international players into the fold to partner with the program, extending your opportunities and understanding of scaled production. The program also draws on Parsons’ institutional partners such as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with its extensive material collections and curatorial resources. Lectures from international designers and producers add dimension to your learning.
Textiles are integral to a diverse array of industries — from ubiquitous computing, automotive design, aerospace, and health care to fashion design, scenic design, and interior design — and represent a major growth field. They also fulfill the desire for tactile stimulation that accompanies the recent rise in digital and virtual culture. In the MFA Textiles program, you explore these dynamics creatively and reflectively, dissolving the boundaries between technology and craft in keeping with contemporary practice. In the process, you take an active role in textile cultures and industries, preparing to re-shore textile businesses, lend studio skills to firms ranging from fashion to biotech, launch a business as an independent designer or high-tech researcher, or pursue advanced studies.
The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. Transfer credits are not accepted. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the university course catalog.
The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.
Financial Aid Deadline
All applicants selected for admission into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found online at
www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)
All applicants are required to apply using the
paper application (PDF). Please email the completed paper application and supporting documents to
Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an
Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Some of your required materials will be submitted through
The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:
Lidewij Edelkoort, Founding Director and Dean of Hybrid Studies
For information about this program, please contact
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