PARSONS > Curriculum: 2013-2014

Curriculum: 2013-2014


Beginning in fall 2013, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree will be awarded upon completion of 120 credits, as designated by the program. (The 2012–13 curriculum continues to apply for students who entered Parsons in spring 2013 or earlier.)

First Year F S
PUFY 1000 Integrative Studio 1 and PUFY 1010 Integrated Seminar 1

This course pairing brings together writing, reading, and making through projects that draw on creative and critical skills in a liberal arts and studio context. In Integrative Studio, students create projects that involve collaboration, cross-disciplinary activity, research, and prototyping. In Integrative Seminar, they develop essential reading and writing skills that help them connect text and visual elements, a practice central to art and design. Students will be able to select from course options that allow them to explore different topics.

6 -
PUFY 1100 Sustainable Systems*

In this liberal arts course, students explore energy, climate change, and our dependence on nonrenewable materials. Lectures, seminars, fieldwork, and hands-on experiments introduce students to the physics, chemistry, and biology of energy and the way these systems relate to design and everyday experience.

3 -
First-Year Studio: PUFY 1020 Space/Materiality**

In this six-hour studio, students become familiar with the methods and tools used to investigate and manipulate space and materials. In Parsons' modeling facilities, studio classrooms, and shops, they explore form, connections between making and thinking, and properties of space and materials such as weight, texture, color, durability, life cycle, and ecological impact. Students will be able to select from course options that allow them to explore different topics.

3 -
First-Year Studio: PUFY 1030 Drawing/Imaging**

In this six-hour studio, students explore human interaction with the visual world and create two-dimensional works using digital tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, drawing, photography, and mixed media. They investigate perception, representation, and culture as they record and then translate observations into visual form, organizing content, analyzing relationships, and communicating ideas. Students will be able to select from course options that allow them to explore different topics.

3 -
First-Year Studio: PUFY 1040 Time**

In this six-hour studio, students focus on evolving concepts of time in art and design and the way those concepts shape human experience and our understanding of the world. They develop and structure narratives and shape user experiences in projects ranging from bookmaking to performance art to audiovisual pieces. Media including Adobe InDesign and video editing software are used. Students will be able to select from course options that allow them to explore different topics.

- 3
First-Year Elective
- 3
PLHT 1000 Objects as History: Prehistory to Industrialization*

This lecture-and-discussion seminar traces world history through the social, cultural, technological, and religious functions of objects found in collections throughout New York City. Readings, lectures, and field trips to museums introduce students to objects representing a span of time from prehistory up to the Industrial Revolution. Students conduct research on objects used by a society and report their findings in written form and presentations.

- 3
PUFY 1001 Integrative Studio 2 and PUFY 1011 Integrated Seminar 2

Building on methods introduced in the first semester, this course pairs a reading and writing seminar with a studio exploring the impact of research on art and design practice. Students learn to use design tools employed by professionals in the field and undertake individual and collaborative projects that investigate how cultural values can be transmitted through art and design. Coursework emphasizes research, formal writing, systems thinking, and information navigation skills and introduces distributed learning techniques. Students will be able to select from course options that allow them to explore different topics.

- 6
15 15
Sophomore Year F S
PUIC 2500 Ecologies Studio

This project‐driven studio explores, both spatially and temporally, the interrelationship between organisms, primarily the human body, the individual, and the complex and intricate environment in which we live, primarily the urban/city context. This course is first in a sequence.

3 -
PUDM 3301 Research and Development Methods

An introduction to ways in which the practices of research and design overlap and intersect, this course surveys commonly used research and design methodology, emphasizing the contexts and conditions in which these methods are applied as well as the various theoretical frameworks in which they are grounded. Techniques for observing and describing phenomena are addressed together with procedures for generating and developing phenomena in order to compare and contrast the various ways in which these methods can be used to operationalize a variety of concepts. By experimenting with the use of different research and design methodologies in the context of individual as well as group projects, students will be exposed the basic theoretical and procedural knowledge that is required to appreciate the value of integrative approaches to research and design and they will have developed a solid foundation upon which to develop and tailor such methodologies in pursuit of their personal research and design agendas.

3 -
Disciplinary Studio

Project‐driven studio that exposes students to domain or disciplinary specific knowledge and skills to support the designed outcomes of their Integrated Design Core studios. Integrated Design students are required to integrate knowledge and skills, drawing from studio courses offered in fields that support their chosen area of interest. These studio courses include collaborative courses, with or without external partnerships, and courses that may be considered electives in other programs at Parsons.

3 -
PSDS 2130 Design, Self, and Society

Through a consideration of classic and contemporary texts, this introductory course will examine the many ways that “design”—conceived broadly to include any intentional plan, process or product—can influence individuals’ sense of identity and possibility, structures and systems of social organization, and the expression of political power. By the end of the course, students will understand the broad relevance of “design” and “design thinking” in the contemporary world, see the multiple intersections of “design, self, and society” as opening up opportunities for intervention, and be able to articulate the issues discussed in class with increased confidence and authority.

3 -
Disciplinary History Course

“History of” courses focus on the history of a given practice or discipline, and are based on the belief that a deeper understanding of the history of discipline is critical to the students’ education. These “history of” offerings begin with the Industrial Revolution, and will enhance students’ studio practices and general understanding of the artificial or ‘made’ world. Examples of existing "History of" courses include: History of Illustration, History of Photography, History of Modern and Postmodern Art, History of World Architecture, and History of Fashion.

3 -
Studio Elective
- 3
PUIC 2600 Systems Studio

This project‐driven studio provides, both spatially and temporally, a greater understanding of systems and systems thinking, and relational reasoning through situated action. This course is second in a sequence and the Ecologies Studio is a prerequisite (may be a co‐requisite for transfer students).

- 3
PSDS 3001 Life-Cycle Assessment

Introduction to methods for analyzing the total environmental impact of products or services for the purpose of minimizing that impact. Sourcing methods, materials science, and post‐ production impacts are analyzed as elements that contribute to the overall environmental footprint of a product or service. Students work with industry‐standard tools and techniques that automate some of the environmental impact analysis, facilitating strategic decision‐making about product and/or service development.

- 3
PSDS 2000 Innovation

This course explores classic texts on entrepreneurship and innovation, while also considering the role of the artist and design as an agent of change, and the nature and promise of technology in the creation of our possible future(s). Using a design thinking approach that stresses participation, iteration, and integration, the course lectures, readings, discussions, exercises, and projects will address topics like users, process, place, diffusion, and intellectual property along with tools like brainstorming, prototyping, scenario planning, and positioning. By the end of the course, students will gain fluency in the fundamental tools needed to innovate in any context.

- 3
PLDS 2500 Intro to Design Studies

This class examines different aspects of design and visuality by looking at larger questions of production, consumption, and use and how these issues become part of a larger discourse about design and visual culture. The design process is intricately tied to visuality, or how things appear and look; thus, the course uses images to provide students with a better understanding of their chosen field of study at Parsons. In this class, students will assess the relationship between design and the visual by investigating questions about gender, spatial control, ethics, race, status, and class; and will look at a variety of theoretical, historical, social, and political writings to explore this complicated topic.

- 3
15 15
Junior Year F S
PUIC 3500 Interfaces Studio

This project-driven studio provides a greater knowledge and practice towards situated action, through participatory (including performative engagement), interpersonal, user‐centered design, human‐centered design research and practice. Designing scenarios and advanced investigations into the interrelationship of human to human, human to object, human to space/environment, object to object, object to space/environment, etc. This course is second in a sequence and the Ecologies and Systems Studios are prerequisites.

3 -
PUDM 3311 Research and Development Advanced Methods

This course builds upon material covered in the Research and Development Methods course by offering students an opportunity to experiment with the development of advanced approaches to the integration of research and design methodology. As in their prior course, students will continue to explore relationships between the theoretical frameworks in which methods are grounded and the contexts and conditions in which they are applied, but the breadth of such exploration will narrow as students delve deeper into the development of methodologies that are tailored to their own particular areas of interest (much as they might be expected to do in the context of developing a thesis).

3 -
PUDM 4030 Strategic Management

This course prepares students to assume strategic roles through a survey of topics including: introduction to the management process; strategic planning; organizational theories; social capital, and implications of local, national and international policies. Emphasis is placed on the impact of globalization and the importance of social responsibility in the context of strategic decision‐making in business. The course will draw upon case studies from design and other industries. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the nature and importance of strategic management in a global environment; understand the process of strategy formulation and the various types of corporate, business and functional strategies used by business organizations, and will have the tools to examine the impact of structure, culture, and other factors on the implementation of strategy; apply strategic management principles to practical business situations through case analysis.

3 -
PSDS 3000 Cities, Services, and Ecosystems

A lecture/discussion course focused on defining themes of 21st‐century life. Urbanization is presented as both a demographic fact and an environmental value (densely populated cities cause less environmental stress on a per capita basis). Services (including leasing businesses, co‐operatives, etc.) are analyzed as alternatives to traditional businesses that produce physical things for individual consumers. A systems approach to the analysis of modern phenomena in all their social, economic, and environmental complexity is explored. The course will involve a lecture series, including guest lectures by various urban design professionals, weekly readings, field trips, small group research, and synthesizing creative projects.

3 -
ULEC University Lecture Elective
3 -
Studio Elective
- 3
Liberal Arts Electives
- 3
PUIC 3600 Networks Studio

This project-driven studio focuses on engagement with more complex issues, with a larger system of connections and multiple stakeholders, and potentially at the global scale—e.g., globalization, cultural politics, polemical and interrogative design, social innovation, humanitarian design, responsible design, social design. This course is second in a sequence and the Ecologies, Systems, and Interfaces Studios are prerequisites.

- 3
PSDS 3106 Business Models and Planning

A comparative study of business models and planning, this course provides students with an understanding of the basic components of all business models and the ability to ask the questions and conduct the research that will enable them to understand how any business is constructed. Topics include internal components (mission and objectives; organizational facilitators and leadership; financial structure, etc.) and external components (external environment and competitive positioning; pricing mechanisms; cultural and geographic landscape, etc.). By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the components of business models and the ability to differentiate among types of businesses and business models; the ability to compare and analyze business models, and to create and appraise business plans; and a theoretical and practical understanding of the topology and components of business models, their linkages, and their importance for the new economy.

- 3
ADHT Pre‐Capstone

Students will choose from of a range of courses designed to prepare them for their capstone experience. These will stress a reciprocal relationship between independent work and class time, practice and theory, which will enable them to reflect critically on art, design and visual practices as they relate to issues of sustainability, politics, and social justice. This is an upper-level methodology, research, and writing class that continues to refine the skills and thought processes students have acquired as they progress through Parsons: presentation skills, writing skills, self and peer reflection and assessment skills, executive skills, research skills and systems thinking.

- 3
15 15
Senior Year F S
PSDS 4110 Capstone: Portfolio Strategies

In this lecture/workshop course, students learn about “knowledge assets” and become skilled at identifying, highlighting and articulating the value of their competencies. The lecture portion of this course will introduce fundamental concepts including knowledge assets, human capital, and intellectual development. Workshop sessions are dedicated to the articulation of individual expertise and interests through the production of a personal portfolio and portfolio management system. Together, the lectures and workshops help students produce physical and digital materials that are a culmination of their experiences while in school, and that support their professional goals after graduation.

3 -
ULEC University Lecture Elective
3 -
Disciplinary Studios

Project‐driven studio that exposes students to domain or disciplinary specific knowledge and skills to support the designed outcomes of their Integrated Design Core studios. Integrated Design students are required to integrate knowledge and skills, drawing from studio courses offered in fields that support their chosen area of interest. These studio courses include collaborative courses, with or without external partnerships, and courses that may be considered electives in other programs at Parsons.

6 3
Studio Electives
3 9
Liberal Arts Electives
- 3
15 15
TOTAL CREDITS 120

* Objects as History and Sustainable Systems may be taken in any sequence, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.

** First-Year Studio courses—Space/Materiality, Drawing/Imaging, and Time—may be taken in any sequence, two in the fall semester and one in the spring.



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