On Walking
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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: PLSD 3001
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Spatial Design
How we engage the environment influences how we understand and shape this reality. Consequently, to design an environment is first an act of designing ways to comprehend and be present in our environment. This course poses the following question: How can designers situate themselves to best perceive and experience a complex urban landscape that enables us to develop critical approaches to conceiving cities anew? This advanced level seminar is structured to approach situated knowledge and design along the two intersecting threads of theory and direct urban engagement. Track 1 develops a foundation in the theories of situated knowledge from sources such as Thoreau, Jacobs, de Certeau, Ponty, Haraway, and Debord. Track 2 moves the class directly into New York City to physically situate us as bodies, thinkers, and designers in space through physical, temporal, media, technology, and social relationships to test the theoretical frameworks. Ultimately, the course challenges us to develop a situated practice. A practice where the first step to shaping urban environments is to establish a direct presence through embodied acts, such as walking, and to use these acts to inform and expand ways to design in complex social-spatial environments and synthetic augmented realities. Pathway: Spatial Design Studies
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: all university undergraduate students. Prerequisite: first-year university writing course.


Open to Undergraduate students.