Special Topics in Strategic Design and Management
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Level: Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Design Strategies
Department: Design Strategies
Course Number: PSDS 5130
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Design Research
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business for Design
Special topics in Strategic Design and Management that address emerging trends, practices and opportunities. The topics rotate frequently and the course may be repeated for credit. Pre-requisites vary with the topic. This course is crosslisted with PSDS 4700. Spring 2015 topics are:

Section A - "Empowered Consumerism: Recasting the Mass Market as a Vehicle for Change"

This course challenges students to envision how commodity chains might be leveraged as vehicles to support social and environmental change. Students will survey existing ethical products and services in the mass market, conduct design-led research that illuminates current vs. ideal consumer behaviors, engage in mapping workshops to identify untapped opportunities for consumer empowerment, and create future scenarios envisioning new design-enabled behaviors for the citizen consumer.

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 campaign strategies utilizing technology and methodologies involving new media platforms, streams and convergence opportunities. Tools and tactics explored will include, and go beyond, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and examine approaches and technologies such as 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 create visual stories of people’s emotion-driven financial decisions and will work with community programs to distribute these comic strips and animations to those who need them most. 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 gain skills of visual communication on an emotional level, which can be applied in many high-demand contexts. They will translate complex concepts and situations into clear, relatable narrative forms.

Fall 2014 topics are:

Section A - "Sharing is Winning: Creating Value in New Economies"

Section C - "Design Thinking, Culture & Economy"
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Graduate students.