An architect, urbanist, and author, Miodrag Mitrasinovic is an associate professor in the School of Design Strategies (SDS). He previously served as the dean of SDS and as chair of Urban and Transdisciplinary Design. Mitrasinovic has studied and worked at prestigious universities in Europe, Asia, and the United States but claims that Parsons is unique: “Almost every field, subfield, and discipline of design is represented here at Parsons, which allows students to combine pathways of study and modes of learning in idiosyncratic ways never seen before. That breadth of disciplinary offerings also allows us to approach integrative and transdisciplinary learning in ways that are impossible at most other design schools. And when you add the strong link between design and social sciences that exists onlyat The New School, what you get is a design powerhouse of the future!”
“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.