The BFA in Integrated Design is housed in the School of Design Strategies (SDS), along with the Strategic Design and Management, Environmental Studies, and Urban Design programs. As part of SDS, the Integrated Design program is committed to open-source learning, collaboration, and the combined processes of design research and the act of designing.
The Integrated Design program fosters interdisciplinary research and exploration by drawing on classes throughout The New School. As part of a university with a tradition of cross-disciplinary inquiry, Parsons encourages students to choose from a wide range of lecture courses and electives in the humanities, social sciences, media studies, and business.
Guided by faculty, students explore their areas of interest by working on projects, often with entrepreneurial outcomes. A sophomore course might culminate in the public sale of goods made as class projects, providing students with hands-on opportunities to examine the vendor-customer relationship and social codes involved in business transactions. Graduating students present a diverse array of imaginative research projects related to their areas of study in end-of-year capstone studio project and thesis presentations.
Integrated Design takes a critical and progressive stance on challenging urban, social, and environmental issues. The program curriculum is built on thematic projects that begin with independent efforts and progress in complexity to collaborations with external partners like the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Union Square Partnership, and The Fortune Society; humanitarian organizations like CARE, the United Nations, and the Red Cross; and firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.