Uncovering the world of 'electronic trash' at parsons school of design

e-waste Tsunami on view at The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center's Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, 66 Fifth Avenue, The New School

Opening Reception: Friday, March 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
On View: Saturday, March 5 through Saturday, March 26, 2016

e-waste Tsunami: Design & Policy Response—A Panel Discussion at Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium on Friday, March 11, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

An image of workers in India processing electronic waste transported from Western countries is featured in the exhibition, e-Waste Tsunami at Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. (Photo/Shaun Fynn)

NEW YORK, February 25, 2016—The New School’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center presents e-waste Tsunami, an exhibition that peers behind the virtual worlds conjured by our computers and mobile phones to the very real world of electronic trash.

A collaboration between StudioFYNN and Parsons School of Design’s MFA Industrial Design program, the exhibition traces the journey of electronic products from the desktops of affluent households to the poorest corners of the world, defining new ways to see and connect the global ecosystems behind the creation, use and disposal of e-waste.

“Understanding the interrelation of the ecosystems is key to the design of new products and services that will address and alleviate the e-waste problem,” said Rama Chorpash, director of the MFA Industrial Design at Parsons School Of Design. “How can industrial design, which plays a major role in creating this problem, be part of its solution?”

The exhibition features documentary photographs and video interviews of individuals from Delhi, India who work with e-waste on a daily basis, a film exploring the experience of the industrialized landscape of the e-waste worker, along with data visualizations revealing the scale of the problem by New York and Los Angeles based StudioFYNN. Real data and “exploded view” models by MFA Industrial Design students explore the nature of product manufacture and assembly.

“Exhibition visitors are introduced to the physicality of electronic products and the end-of-life cycle of manufactured objects, raising the question, ‘Why are we currently not designing for this occurrence?’” Chorpash said.

The exhibition coincides with e-waste Tsunami: Design & Policy Response—A Panel Discussion on Friday, March 11, 6-8 p.m. The panel brings together designers, policy experts, and supply-chain participants to raise awareness on e-waste and imagine best practice scenarios for its disposal. Panelists include Shaun Fynn, CEO and creative director of Studio Fynn; Amita Singh, CFO and director of quantitative research at Studio Fynn; John S. Shegerian, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International and Urban Mining; and Prasad Boradkar, professor of industrial design and senior sustainability scholar at Arizona State University.

The exhibition and panel discussion are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Constructed Environments, and the India China Institute at The New School.  In-kind support for printing generously provided by Duggal.

The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board of Governors Member Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Rice+Lipka Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. For more information, visit the SJDC’s website.

Parsons School of Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, visit Parsons website.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. For more information, visit The New School's website.





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Media Contacts:

Scott Gargan,
The New School
212-229-5667 x 3794

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