Special Topics in Strategic Design and Management
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Design Strategies
Department: Design Strategies
Course Number: PSDS 4700
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
Special topics in Strategic Design and Management that address emerging trends, practices and opportunities. Spring 2016 topics are: Section A - "DESIGN AND NATURE" From your coffee cup to your desk chair to your jacket to your home, patterns in design create the structure of our everyday world.  Patterns also structure the natural world such as the spirals in seashells, pineapples and sunflowers, beehives, DNA molecules in our bodies, storms and galaxies in the universe. This course explores the relationships between what we make and what the natural world makes. Section B - "NEW MEDIA FOR MARKET ENGAGEMENT" Strategies and tactics for engaging audiences are rapidly evolving via 21st century modes of media. This course examines approaches to marketing and communication that leverage new media capabilities in creative ways. Through lecture, seminar and workshop, students encounter detailed case studies of radical media practices for market engagement, and gain experience through course projects in designing innovative strategies utilizing technology and methodologies involving new media platforms, streams and convergence opportunities. Tools and tactics examine approaches and technologies such as social sharing platforms, transmedia, augmented reality, dialog, feedback, crowd sourcing, ecommerce, partnerships, gaming, and other digital modes, and non-digital components thereof, for effectively engaging markets. Section C - "VISUALIZING FINANCE" How can designers help individuals make better financial decisions in their everyday lives? In this course students will work with a community partner whose mission is financial counseling for low-income New Yorkers. Students will work with our partner's content to create new materials featuring visual stories of people’s financial decisions, specifically emotional and behavioral factors. Financial Literacy is a hot, highly financed field, but most materials are text-heavy and informationally-based; very few use visual stories to show how people actually behave. Students will gain skills of visual communication for and with specific communities and explore how to make emotional appeals, which can be applied in many high-demand contexts. ?Students will translate complex concepts and situations into clear, ?relatable narrative form. Each class session will include some discussion of theoretical concepts; studio time for visualization projects; and critique of student or professional visualizations. There will be guest speakers, some field work and interactions with our community partner during the semester. Section D - "WORKER COOPERATIVES” A worker cooperatives is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. In this course we will research worker cooperatives from a historical, cultural, economic and social perspective. We will engage in case studies to understand how the principles and values that constitute a worker cooperative have shaped management, governance and financial structures in worker-owned enterprises of different scale and in a variety of cultural contexts. We will do a comparative study of the bylaws of several cooperatives and explore the legal frameworks that institute cooperative businesses.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university upper-level undergraduate degree students.


Open to Undergraduate students.


Open to Junior students.

Open to Fifth Year students.

Open to Senior students.