Home Within a School
The MFA in Interior Design program is part of the School of Constructed Environments' (SCE) family of programs including Architecture, Industrial Design, and Lighting Design. This academic home supports the interdisciplinary, critical inquiry that characterizes Parsons' pedagogy. All students share research and fabrication facilities and work side by side in an open design studio with wireless digital capability. Graduate and undergraduate students collaborate on projects, meshing historically separate design disciplines to build a collegial learning community and cross-disciplinary innovation.
New York City is an excellent resource for scholarly and applied research in the interior design industry and the urban context. Students benefit from Parsons' longstanding connections to a range of industry partners: interior design and architecture firms, media, manufacturers, and academic and institutional exhibitors. Rich sourcing options exist in the city's large trade showrooms such as the Decoration & Design Building, the New York Design Center, and the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center as well as the innumerable small galleries, studios, showrooms, and auction houses that occupy the streets of New York City. Annual gatherings such as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair provide students with opportunities to network with those who are shaping the industry and framing important debates.
For Study and Inspiration
New York's museums and collections, archives, and famous designed spaces offer contextualized resources for critical study and inspiration. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, which houses a comprehensive collection of decorative arts, furniture, wallcoverings, and textiles, is Parsons' institutional partner for the MA in History of Design and Curatorial Studies program. The museum hosts industry-related symposia and workshops and is a key resource for MFA ID students. Students are exposed to history firsthand at the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frick Collection, and Neue Galerie, which house unparalleled collections of decorative arts and period rooms. students have access to showrooms and galleries showcasing contemporary local and international innovations within walking distance of the SCE design studio.
Material ConneXion, an industry consultancy for materials research, supports the program's culture of innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability and complements Parsons' own collection in the Angelo Donghia Materials Center.
Mapping the Boundaries
The faculty of the MFA ID program, all recognized leaders in their fields, are establishing a research culture to fortify the role of interior design in addressing the pressing questions of today. AfterTaste, the program's annual international symposium exploring the conceptual boundaries of the interior design discipline, is a scholarly forum for this critical debate. AfterTaste brings together distinguished scholars and practitioners such as Petra Blaisse, Beatriz Colomina, James Casebere, and Mayer Rus to create a dialogue about the critical issues shaping the field of Interior Design. Past symposia have explored themes including educational models for interior design instruction, the representation of interiors, and the role of sensual perception in imagining interiors.
Faculty, students, and outside scholars also engage in discussion and debate in Scapes, SCE's multidisciplinary publication.