History: Poetics and Politics of Space
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Constructed Environments
Department: Constructed Environments
Course Number: PSCE 5051
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
"The World shows up for us. But it doesn’t show up for free...It is not simply available; it is achieved rather than given.” Alva Nöe, Varieties of Presence Why do we so often take space for granted?...as if it is something apart from us, a backdrop or stage-set upon which we act our lives...We here, It there. We are not fruit flies. We are up-right, gravity-bound and self-reflecting creatures, capable of discerning the particularities of material, light, space-shape and form that make one spatial ensemble different from another. And once we do take notice, the ensemble speaks back to us. We give to it a meaning, it offers back its capacity for accommodation. We are in it together – a spatial ensemble has no meaning without us (including the fruit flies), and we are always situated in a spatial ensemble. Drawing from design case studies scaled from site to building interiors and details, as well as from an interdisciplinary set of readings, the seminar will explore the dynamic and inextricable relationship between our¬selves and the spaces we occupy. In particular, it will attempt to broaden an understanding of how both our physiology and acculturated knowledge produce the phenomenal nature of space. Students will work in Reading Study Groups and un¬dertake two design projects as members of their group. A third and final design project will be focused on the development of each individual student’s Fall Studio Project, or for those not in Studio, as determined by the Instructor.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university graduate degree students; upper-level undergraduate students with permission.


Open to Lang/Parsons BA/BFA students.

Open to Parsons School of Design students.


Open to Graduate students.