Parsons DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) Lab is an action-research laboratory created in 2009 at The New School in New York City. DESIS Lab works at the intersection of strategic and service design, management, and social theory, applying interdisciplinary expertise in problem setting and problem solving to sustainable practices and social innovation.
DESIS Lab members explore the relationship between design and social change. Our goal is to advance the practice and discourse of design-led social innovation to foster more equitable and sustainable cities and practices. In a complex world facing numerous systemic challenges, DESIS Lab members rethink assumptions about cultural and economic environments, bringing nuanced approaches drawn from integrated design practices to communities of all kinds. In the DESIS Lab, service design is considered an advanced approach, one integrating many design disciplines.
Three foundations guide our research in design strategies:
The lab works with local partners in New York City and with global partners through the DESIS Network, participating in large-scale research programs and projects to effect social change. The DESIS Network consists of more than 30 design labs based in universities around the world that orient their teaching and research activities towards social innovation and sustainability. DESIS processes and initiatives involve the following:
Visit the DESIS Network website for more information.
Parsons DESIS Lab is part of the New School Social Innovation Initiative, a program incubator for diverse activities that advance, broaden, and deepen social innovation–related education at the university.
Visit the Social Innovation Initiative website for more information.
DESIS Lab seeks partnerships with other universities, companies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies to jointly develop projects in areas of common interest.
For partnerships and projects, please email Eduardo Staszowski, Director.
For visiting scholarships, please email Scott Brown, Coordinator of Academic Collaborations.
The Parsons DESIS Lab does not offer summer internships or research assistantships to non-New School students.
6 East 16th Street, room 1207
New York City
School of Design Strategies
Parsons School of Design
2 West 13th Street, room 907
New York, NY 10011