Through immersion in materials, fabrication processes, aesthetic consideration, and proactive social engagement, students in Parsons' BFA in Product Design cultivate the essential intellectual habits and technical skills they need to explore and integrate the rapidly expanding roles of a successful professional product designer.
Design is no longer simply the production of discrete objects created without regard for their extended influences. Sustainability is no longer an extraneous feature or expense but a consideration that must be integrated into the cost of doing business. By encouraging work that amplifies human abilities, serves as contemporary cultural artifacts, and enhances relationships, the program equips graduates with the strategic mindset necessary to fully engage with the complex problems that face humanity.
Starting from the core curriculum, first-year students choose from a diverse menu of electives including user-centered design, technological and material innovation, inclusive design principles, ethnographic research, culturally specific methodologies, industry-sponsored product development, architectural and virtual interfaces, mass-market product design, and design for the public realm. Students master the fundamentals of computers, machinery, and tools while learning a variety of research and presentation techniques.
The Product Design program is integrated at the sophomore, junior, and senior levels by core design studios that encourage lateral thinking through a range of related skill-building courses in graphic representation and material prototyping. The program is also vertically integrated through a materials and sustainability curriculum that combines technique with ethical considerations of the chain of consequences triggered by every design decision.
Competitions, internships, collaborations, intensive projects, and international study further prepare students for vibrant and multidimensional careers.