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Participant Bios

Shana Agid is an assistant professor in Art, Media + Technology at Parsons. He teaches design research and critical thinking methodology, contextual research for collaborative projects, and printmaking and book arts. Shana was artist-in-resident at the Lower East Side Printshop, and his work has been exhibited at the 2009 Pacific States Biennial National Print Exhibition in Hilo, Hawaii, at the New York Center for Book Arts, and in the 2005 Art Caucasus International Biennial. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley Library, Harvard University, Yale University, Dartmouth University, Duke University, Stanford University, and the La Jolla Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, among others. He has lectured at Yale University and Oberlin College on representations of transgendered people in mainstream media and visual art and has published on this and other issues, including the role of the prison-industrial complex in the response to Hurricane Katrina, in both academic and popular journals. Shana has an MFA in Printmaking and Book Arts and an MA in Visual Criticism from California College of the Arts. He is the art director for Radical Teacher and a member of the CLAGS (Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies) board.

Laura Auricchio is assistant professor of Art History at Parsons. Her first book, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Artist in the Age of Revolution, was published by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2009. Her current book projects are a co-edited, interdisciplinary volume on Arboreal Values: Trees and Forests in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, 1660-1830 (Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University, the likely publisher) and a visually-informed biography tentatively entitled Lafayette: The Making of an American Hero, under contract with Alfred A. Knopf.

Su Baker is the director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), University of Melbourne, Australia. Su Baker has had 25 years experience in tertiary education institutions, many of those in senior management. She holds a doctorate from Curtin University of Technology. Su Baker is an artist who has exhibited her work over the last 20 years in public and commercial galleries, including solo and selected group exhibitions and national survey shows.

Brad Buckley is an artist, urbanist, and associate professor, and currently the associate dean (Research), at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. He was educated at St Martin’s School of Art, London, and the Rhode Island School of Design. He is the editor, with John Conomos, of Republics of Ideas (2001) and Rethinking the Contemporary Art School: The Artist, the PhD, and the Academy (2009). His work, which operates at the intersection of installation, theatre, and performance, investigates questions of cultural control, democracy, freedom, and social responsibility. In 2010, he exhibited at Tsukuba University Art Gallery (Japan) and Dalhousie Art Gallery (Canada).

Hazel Clark is the dean of the School of Art and Design History at Parsons. Her areas of interest include the history, theory, and culture of design, particularly fashion and textiles and objects. He publications include Old Clothes New Looks: Second Hand Fashion, co-edited with Alexandra Palmer (2005), and articles in scholarly and professional journals including Design Issues and Design and Management Journal. She is a contributing editor to Design Philosophy Papers.

John Conomos, an artist, critic, and writer, is senior lecturer at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. He has exhibited throughout Australia, Europe, Canada, Latin America, and the United States. With associate professor Brad Buckley he recently co-edited Rethinking the Contemporary Art School ( 2009), and in 2008 he published Mutant Media (Artspace/Power Publications). In 2009, he exhibited his most recent video, “Lake George (After Mark Rothko)” at the Tate Modern, London. He is currently working on a memoir called Milkbar and several installation projects. Next year he is co-chairing with Professor Buckley, two CAA conference panels on the culture of erasure.

Meredith Davis is professor and director of graduate programs in Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. She formerly directed the College of Design interdisciplinary PhD in Design program and currently supervises the research of doctoral and master’s students. Meredith writes frequently on design and design education and was 2005 national medalist of the AIGA.

Lisa DeBenedittis is the associate dean of curriculum and Instruction at Parsons. Her current work is both scholarly and (clinical) practice-based, exploring the roles played by context, continuity, and texture in the designed environment at the intersection of psychoanalysis and design. She has published her work in scholarly publications, including Design Principles and Practices, and Crossing Design Boundaries. Lisa is executive editor and a founder of the Journal of Design Strategies, and a manuscript reviewer for Pennsylvania State College of Medicine’s International Journal of Healthcare and the Humanities.

Sara Diamond is president of the OCAD University, holds a PhD in Computer Science and degrees in new media theory and practice, social history, and communications. Diamond created and was editor-in-chief of www.horizonzero.ca, an on-line showcase for new media art and design, in collaboration with Heritage Canada and the Banff Centre. She is a visualization, wearable technology, and mobile media researcher, artist, and designer. She writes media history criticism for peer reviewed journals and curates festivals and galleries. She currently serves on the Ontario Ministry of Culture’s Minister’s Advisory Council on Arts and Culture, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Arts Council Foundation, and ORANO, the board of National Centre of Excellence GRAND and Interactive Ontario. She is founding chair of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre and current co-chair (with RBC).

Clive Dilnot is a professor of Design Studies at Parsons. His areas of interest include fine art, history of art, and social philosophy. Has taught at Harvard University and in the United Kingdom, was professor of Design Studies and director of design initiatives at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and directed graduate studies in design in Hong Kong. He has written extensively on the history and theory of art, design, and architecture, and most recently on design ethics.

Simone Douglas is the director of the MFA program in Fine Arts at Parsons. She works across photography, video, and installation, and has curated numerous exhibitions. Her work has been exhibited internationally at and are held by collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Additional exhibitions include at the Photographers Gallery, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney. She was project director and curator for Picture Sydney: Landmarks of a New Generation at the Australian Museum, a Getty Conservation Institute Initiative. She has been a guest scholar at Koln International School of Design, initiated the international art and design collective Conjecture, and served on the board of directors at First Draft Gallery, Sydney. Most recently, Simone is running an international visual research project, the Exquisite Corpse. Before joining the faculty at Parsons, she held faculty posts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; National Art School, Sydney; and Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (tenured), where she is currently an honorary faculty member. She holds an MFA and a Grad. Dip. Prof. Art Studies from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and a BA in Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

Bill Gaver is professor of Design and leads the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. With his group, he has developed approaches to design ranging from "cultural probes" to the use of documentary film to assess peoples' experiences with designs. He has pursued conceptual work on topics such as ambiguity and interpretation and produced highly-finished prototypes that have been deployed for long-term field trials. His work has been included in major international exhibitions. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a member of the SIGCHI Academy. Current projects concern designing computational devices for older people, batch production of research prototypes for large-scale field trials, and co-designing communities and devices to explore energy use.

Lisa Grocott is the dean of academic initiatives at Parsons. She has a practice that draws together her experiences as a communication designer, educator, academic administrator and researcher. Lisa’s project-based research works with visualizations that are less interested in mapping precise information and more curious about the discursive agency of ambiguous communication. This research grounded in practice also directly informs Lisa’s scholarship, which explores the relationship between reflective practice and design knowing.

Jamer Hunt is the director of the new graduate program in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons. Previously, he served for seven years at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia as director of the master's program in Industrial Design, a graduate laboratory for postindustrial design. In his teaching and professional work, he focuses on design as a means for exploring the politics and poetics of the everyday. His practice, Big + Tall Design, combines conceptual, collaborative, and communication design, and he is co-founder of DesignPhiladelphia an initiative to energize Philadelphia’s design community and foreground the city as a laboratory for innovative design projects. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Center for Design and is on the editorial board of the forthcoming journal Design and Culture. He co-hosted MIND08 with Paola Antonelli (MoMA) and Adam Bly (SEED Magazine), a conference run in coordination with the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at MoMA. He holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology and has consulted or worked at Smart Design, frogdesign, WRT, Seventh Generation, and Virtual Beauty. His written work engages with the poetics and politics of the built environment and has been published in various books, journals, and magazines, including I.D. magazine, which published his "Manifesto for Postindustrial Design" in 2005. He is co-authoring a graphic design textbook for Thames & Hudson entitled Form Follows Context.

Heike Jenss is the director of the new MA in Fashion Studies program in Parsons School of Art and Design History and Theory. In her research and teaching, she explores fashion as material culture and cultural practice, with an emphasis on identity and individualization, consumption, youth culture, and the relation of fashion and time. She received her MA and PhD degrees summa cum laude from Dortmund University, where she studied cultural anthropology of textiles at the Institute of Arts and Material Culture. Selected publications include: Sixties Dress Only: Mode und Konsum in der Retro-Szene der Mods (Campus 2007) and articles in Design Studies: A Reader and the journal Fashion Theory.

Ed Keller is the associate dean of Distributed Learning and Technology and an asociate professor in the School of Design Studies at Parsons. He is co-founder, with Carla Leitao, of AUM Studio, an award winning architecture & new media firm producing residential projects, competitions, and new media installations in Europe and the US.  He has lectured at Harvard, Pratt, Princeton, Univ. Ramon Llull, Columbia Univ., Parsons, UPenn, RPI, Iowa State, Ohio State, and Rice; his work and writing has appeared in ANY, AD, Arquine, Leonardo, Architecture, Parpaings, Precis, Wired, Metropolis, Assemblage, Ottagono, and Progressive Architecture.

Robert Kirkbride is the director of studio ‘patafisico and an Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design. His multimedia book, Architecture and Memory: the Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro, received the Gutenberg-e Prize from the American Historical Association and is available online (open source, www.gutenberg-e.org/kirkbride/) and in print. He has been a visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, architect-in-residence at the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, Italy, and is an editorial board member of the Nexus Network Journal and Alphabet City.

Sean Lowry is a Sydney-based artist, writer, musician, and Lecturer in the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Currently visiting artist/scholar in the Department of Visual Arts of the University of California at San Diego and the Department of Studio Art at the University of California at Irvine, Lowry has presented his research at international conferences, exhibited, and performed internationally as an artist and musician, worked internationally as a commercial music producer, and also published broadly on topics related to contemporary art.

Tatiana Lyubetskaya graduated from Moscow State University in 2000. From 2000-2003, she worked as a researcher at the Oceanology Institute in Moscow. She received her PhD in geophysics from Yale University in 2010. Lyubetskaya was awarded Elias Loomis Prize for Excellence in studies of physics of the earth in 2009. Her work is published in peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Science and the Journal of Geophysical Research. She is currently a second-year MFA student at Parsons The New School for Design.

Tim Marshall is the provost and chief academic officer of The New School. Previously, Tim served as the dean of Parsons (2006-2009), where he led a major restructuring effort and developed an academic plan that emphasized a stronger faculty culture and a more integrated and comprehensive suite of undergraduate and graduate design degrees. Tim came to Parsons in 2004 as associate dean for academic affairs and holds a faculty appointment as a tenured associate professor. Prior to Parsons, he held a number of academic leadership positions at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, including chair of the School of Design and director of academic and international programs. He has served as a consultant to academic institutions in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore. Tim has an extensive professional photography background and co-founded the Cadre Design group in Sydney, a firm that specialized in web-based educational visualizations. He is a visiting professor of Design at China National Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai. Tim received his education at the City Art Institute and College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He has written and lectured extensively on design research and design education. He was co-editor, with Michael Erlhoff, of Design Dictionary: Perspectives in Design, the first publication of its kind in print (Birkhauser Press, 2007). Other works include “Designing Design Schools,” which was presented at the conference Design Perspectives, Envisioning Design for the XXI Century (Iberoamericano, Mexico City, 2005), and “Poetic Process and Professional Practice: A Case Study for Practitioner-led Design Research,” which was presented at the conference Techne-Design Wisdom (European Academy of Design, Barcelona, 2003). He initiated and contributed to Eye magazine¹s special issue about Australia in 2002 and authored the cover article on the future of design education in Form magazine¹s January/February 2009 issue. In 2005 and 2006, Tim was an invited participant at the St. Moritz Design Summit, an annual gathering of some of the most respected designers and design thinkers from around the world, sponsored by the Raymond Loewy Foundation.

Katherine Moriwaki is an assistant professor of Media Design in the School of Art, Media, and Technology. Working within a broad range of areas, Katherine’s work spans disciplines and communities of practice.  Her Scrapyard Challenge workshops, developed with Jonah Brucker-Cohen, have been held 37 times in 14 countries across five continents and interrogate consumer culture and designed artifacts. Her research into wearable technology and fashion has been exhibited and published writing in numerous festivals and conferences around the world.

Lara Penin is assistant professor at the Parsons’ School of Design Strategies where she is a founding member of DESIS Lab (Design for Sustainable Social Innovation and Sustainability). Her work focuses on design for sustainable social innovation and service design. She is the principal investigator of the project Amplifying Social Innovations, with a grant from Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Funds NYC 2009. She has a PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication from Milan Polytechnic University and a BA in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of São Paulo.

Scott Pobiner is an assistant professor of Information, Design, and Management and former Director of the BBA Program in Design and Management at Parsons The New School for Design. He holds a doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2010), where he studied the relationship between display technology, interaction, and pedagogy in design education. Dr. Pobiner also holds a Master of Design Studies degree from Harvard University (2003) and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University’s School of Architecture, Art, and Planning (2001).

Mathan Ratinam is an assistant professor in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design. In this role he coordinates the Humanitarian Design Platform, conducting design research with various external partners from the humanitarian, NGO, and development community, including the Red Cross, Oxfam America, and the UN. Previously, at Columbia University, he directed the Moving Image Lab at Columbia (MILC), a project-based research lab exploring the role of film and animation in architecture and design, and taught courses in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. His work has been screened in film festivals internationally, and he publishes in the areas of digital representation for architecture, animation, and visual effects for film. Trained as an architect, Mathan spent his early career at Daniel Libeskind in Berlin and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York, before moving into film and animation. He is now a practicing filmmaker and academic and leads efforts to assist vulnerable communities through projects that link people from the humanitarian and development fields with design researchers and practitioners.

Timo Rissanen is assistant professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons The New School for Design. His dissertation is titled "Fashion Creation Without Fabric Waste Creation," and he exhibited a menswear collection from the project in 2008. Rissanen contributed a chapter to Sustainable Fashion. Why Now? in 2008. In 2009, he co-curated Fashioning Now in Australia with Alison Gwilt, and he has co-edited a book with Gwilt, Shaping Sustainable Fashion, to be published by Earthscan in 2011.

Carlos Teixeira is assistant professor at the School of Design Strategies, at Parsons The New School for Design. He has a PhD in Design from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. His expertise is revealing the operational logics that guide design practice. His academic research centers around the transformations occurring in the practice of design, changes that are happening in the context of knowledge economies. 

Joel Towers was appointed dean of Parsons in April 2009. From 2007-2009, he served as dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons and associate professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design. He was the first director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School and associate provost for environmental studies. Dean Towers came to Parsons in 2002 as director of sustainable design and urban ecology. Towers is a founding partner of SR+T Architects. He received a BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Towers was previously a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University, where he taught advanced architecture and urban design studios and developed and taught a seminar exploring critical ecologies and environmentally reflexive architecture.

Victoria Vesna, artist, is professor/director of UCLA Art Sci Center and currently visiting professor and director of research at Parsons AMT. Her academic work explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior and how perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation. Her art has been exhibited in 20 solo exhibitions and 70+ group shows; she has published 20+ papers and given 100+ invited talks in the last decade. She received her PhD in Interactive Arts from the University of Wales in 2000.

Yvonne Watson, information to come

Mabel O. Wilson, associate professor of architecture at the GSAPP, navigates her multidisciplinary practice between the fields of architecture, art, visual cultural analysis, and cultural history. Her collaborative design practices—KW: a and Studio 6Ten—have undertaken speculative and built projects, and her practice has been a competition finalist for several important cultural institutions including lower Manhattan’s African Burial Ground Memorial and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for African American History and Culture (with Diller Scofidio +Renfro.) She is completing a book, Progress and Prospects—Black Americans and the World of Fairs and Museums (forthcoming University of California Press), that studies how black Americans addressed racism through racial uplift, black nationalism, and the collective memory of enslavement in the ideological spaces of expositions and museums. She directs the GSAPP’s program for Advanced Architectural Research and the HBCU Design Leadership Project. She holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, MArch from Columbia’s GSAPP, and PhD in American Studies from New York University.

Susan Yelavich is an assistant professor at Parsons. Her areas of interest are design and architectural history and criticism. Her most recent research focuses on the relationship between textiles and architecture, the dynamics of global culture and design, the role of ornament in contemporary design, and the parallels between design and literature. She is the author of the books Contemporary World Interiors (2007), Pentagram Profile (2004), Inside Design Now (co-author, 2003), Design for Life (1997), and The Edge of the Millennium: An International Critique of Architecture, Urban Planning, Product and Communication Design (1993). She is a contributing editor of Patek Philippe magazine. She was awarded the Rolland Rome Prize Fellowship in Design from the American Academy in Rome in 2003-04. The former assistant director for public programs at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, she co-curated the 2003 National Design Triennial. Yelavich is a graduate of Brown University and Cranbrook Academy of Art.


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