Senior Seminar: Nomadic Design
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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 4031
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
  • Spatial Design
This course seeks to explore the design elements of nomadism and the material culture of those communities, past and present, which have, both by choice and by force, lived a life shaped by movement. As a class, we will both garner new understanding, as well as deconstruct popular misconceptions of nomadic culture. From Eastern European Roma to the Tuaregs of the Sahara, we will investigate the visual culture of various communities, aiming to uncover possible commonalities among groups, in addition to distinguishing design elements of singular communities. As traveling communities so often comprise those on the fringes of society, this course also aims to critically examine the ways design can be used as a subversive tool among these groups. In addition to weekly readings and multiple short writing assignments, students will complete a final project that will use the design precedents discussed during class as a launchpad to visually examine a design element or theme, ranging from fashion to architecture, of a piece of nomadic New York culture. 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.