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  • Anthropology and Design (Graduate Minor)

  • Overview

    The Anthropology and Design graduate minor is offered through The New School for Social Research.

    The Anthropology and Design minor allows graduate students to explore the designed world through the conceptual frameworks and grounded methods of anthropology. Anthropologists and designers, working in tandem, can improve their own techniques of aesthetic and ethnographic analysis, expand their repertoire of multimodal methods, and think more critically and creatively about the mediated and designed forums in which they perform and share their research. 

    The minor offers students the opportunity to study design and technology through an established discipline that prioritizes reflective methodology (including critique of ethnographic method itself), ethical frameworks of analysis, and awareness of the political stakes of both research and creative practice. 

    Students in the minor are encouraged to participate in the student-led ADX exhibition, symposium, and future publications, as well as applied fieldwork. 


    This graduate minor requires successful completion of 9 credits. Students generally select one course from each of the subject areas in the chart below.   

    Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework in other subject areas to fulfill the minor should consult with the Anthropology and Design faculty advisor. Please consult this spreadsheet for an archive of past courses and list of current electives. Spring 2022 courses are hyperlinked below.

    Subject Area

    Course options


    Required Course: Anthropology + DesignGANT 6405: Anthropology + Design: Objects, Sites + Systems 3 credits
    Anthropology electives

    GANT 6217: The Death Seminar

    GANT 6286: Redesigning the Academy

    GANT 6296: Grammars of Time

    GPOL 6392 (co-coded as GANT): Intersecting Mobilities

    3 credits
    Design Research + Practice
    Design History + Theory elective
    Options are many and vary by semester; current and past electives are listed here3 credits

    Learning Outcomes

    A student who has completed this graduate minor should be able to:

    • Center anthropological concepts and ethnographic methods in critical design practice, incorporate design methods and critical sensibilities into anthropological research and publication, and build their work on a foundation of feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial values
    • Develop critical frameworks to assess the opportunities and responsibilities that come with interdisciplinary research and practice, and work to create supportive contexts for conceptual and methodological experimentation and inclusive collaboration
    • Assess their educational experience itself as a designed field site, and work collaboratively to refine the social, institutional, spatial, and technological apparatus designed to foster our interaction and education


    Shannon Mattern, Professor of Anthropology


    The Anthropology and Design graduate minor is available to graduate degree students across The New School.

    Students can retroactively apply successfully completed courses toward a minor upon declaring or applying. After a student successfully completes a minor's requirements, the minor will appear on the student's academic transcript at graduation.

    For questions about this minor, please contact Shannon Mattern at

  • Take the Next Step

    Contact your Student Success advisor to discuss how a minor will fit with your degree requirements.

    Declare or change a minor on in the Academics tab. Note that some minors require an application.

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


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