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Michael DiPietro

Student / Michael DiPietro


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As visitors enter the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, they are greeted by a vast wall covered with a series of ambiguous signs in hand-drawn Gothic lettering: “Princess Diana, 12 August 1923,” “Romantic Movement, 8 November 1310,” “SOS Titanic, 3 July 1831.” The piece, Cartes de Visite, is a wallpaper created by Michael DiPietro, an undergraduate student in the BFA Integrated Design program. “It plays with the idea of history and how we receive information,” DiPietro says. “It’s about the meaning of text. When you read something, you tend to automatically think that it has some kind of truth to it.”

Cartes de Visite, the winning entry in a schoolwide competition, can be seen as a direct product of Integrated Design’s interdisciplinary curriculum. “I originally conceived of it as an extension of ideas I had been exploring in three courses: sculpture, media and representation, and a philosophy class,” says DiPietro, whose studies focus on fashion and fine arts. “The interdisciplinary curriculum has been really great. I’ve always had so many interests and always wanted to know how to do everything.” DiPietro plans to found a fashion label with a conceptual business approach, in the style of Martin Margiela. But he has already opened a cooperative pop-up store, Absolute Beginners, with fellow fashion students. “My teacher, Pascale Gatzen, presented the idea to us. The teachers here really work to push you out in the world and be entrepreneurial. It’s amazing.”

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