Andrew Mahon transferred to Parsons because he wanted a program that “combined technology and design in a complete way.” Describing his experience in the BFA Design and Technology program, Mahon says, “Parsons is great because you can explore anything you want to here. The school gives you the framework, and then you can run with it, make it your own.”
Through his internship at Eyebeam—an art and technology nonprofit that supports a gallery space and a research lab—Mahon made his experience at Parsons his own. He collaborated with colleagues at Eyebeam on a project called Double Happiness Jeans, in which a virtual factory used telematic manufacture to produce real jeans. The project was presented at the Sundance Film Festival, where Mahon had an opportunity to discuss it with Robert Redford directly. But this wasn’t Mahon’s only moment in the public eye: The site he created for Internet Famous, a class in which students are graded on the Internet activity their websites attract over the course of the semester, was featured on Current.TV, Gawker.com, HipsterRunoff.com, and Wired.com.
Other classes and internships have given Mahon the opportunity to write code and build software tools such as an iPhone application, currently in development, that uses geo-tagging on Flickr photos to create directories of popular places. Most recently, Mahon partnered with Local Projects, a new media design firm, to create the Make History website for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The site allows site visitors to upload photographs and video atop present-day maps, letting users see the locations now and as they appeared on or around September 11, 2001.
Mahon likes the challenges of programming location-based applications, professing an aversion to the phrase “it can’t be done.” His work, like that of his program at Parsons, embodies a belief that technology can facilitate new forms of human interaction.