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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
Department: Parsons First Year
Course Number: PUFY 1020
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus, Paris campus
Permission Required: No
In this studio course, students learn through first-hand experience in Parsons' modeling facilities and hybrid studio/shop classrooms. Students explore concepts such as malleability, weight, texture, color, durability, smell, sound, taste, life cycle and ecological impacts through a wide variety of projects that privilege the close relationship of making to thinking. Other areas of inquiry range from space formation to environmental psychology to object exploration–and more–to discover how materials and their uses shape meaning. Discussion, critique and written responses create class community and idea sharing, while helping students understand their work in historical and cultural contexts. The course will have a number of sections each following a particular theme, as follows:

Body The body has an impact on our surroundings and the objects within it. How do ergonomics, structure, and self-image correspond to the shape, movement and impact of the human form? Students use a range of methods to explore body coverings, functionality and personal space.

Community Community provides us with our most direct means of self-identification. How do our attitudes about what we wear, how we interact, and how we come together define both our personal space and our shared space? This course will explore the relationship between the shifting boundaries of community and the material nature of social and ecological space.

Culture This course explores the affect culture has on the objects we use and spaces we inhabit. Students will investigate the relationship between beauty, utility and the hand-made.

Habitat Habitat is the natural environment for humans, plants, and animals that provides what is required to sustain life. What constitutes shelter and safety and survival for humans in contrast to animals and plants? How do spaces and materials sustain and nurture, or adversely affect environments? This course will explore the shifting balance in the inseparable relationship between the constructed environment within the natural world.

Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: Parsons First Year students, and others, space provided.


Open to Undergraduate students.


Open to Paris students.