“We teach students how to think about design, social innovation, and cultural invention in entrepreneurial and hands-on ways in order to develop new types of design-led practices and new modes of thinking that will enable them, once they graduate, to become real agents of social, environmental, and economic change while doing well financially,” Mitrasinovic continues. In keeping with this philosophy, Mitrasinovic has forged alliances with external partners such as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Union Square Partnership.
Such ventures have afforded Mitrasinovic’s students opportunities to apply design in ways that produce lasting social and environmental benefits. For the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Community Development Competition, Mitrasinovic, together with professors Joel Towers and Dennis Derryck, led a team including graduate architecture students and students from Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy. Their winning project resulted in a 120,000-square-foot green community and residential center for the Fortune Society, a group that helps people who have been incarcerated reintegrate themselves into the community.
More recently, Dr. Mitrasinovic has led the development of the university-wide BS in Urban Design and BA in Urban Studies programs, as well as new graduate Theories of Urban Practice and Urban Design Ecologies programs at the School of Design Strategies, all of which will use New York City as the ultimate laboratory.