Design & Nature
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLDS 4028
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Urban History, Theory & Criticism
  • Environmental Studies
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
This seminar is a critical study into the theoretical and physical role design plays in producing our cultural and spatial relationship with nature. The course specifically focuses on urban geographic and design theory to interrogate how design practice and cultural production does not inherently displace nature but develops an intense overlapping interface - The City. The course is structured around two interdependent sections built upon New York City. The first section constructs a historical understanding of the relationship between human development and the environment. Focus is placed on the theories of Carson, Cronon, Marsh and Smith, among others, to establish a fundamental base to explore current design theory. The second section investigates design theory in relationship with nature. Theories of environmental justice, landscape urbanism, urban ecology are examined through works by artists such as Naoko Ito. Ultimately asking: How through design does our culture produce a creative resilient urban nature? Pathway: Spatial Design Studies
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.


Open to Undergraduate students.