• Design Studies (Graduate Minor)

  • Overview

    The Design Studies graduate minor is offered through Parsons School of Design.

    The graduate minor in Design Studies enables students to familiarize themselves with the theories, scope, and methodologies of design studies. The minor is designed to complement a variety of master's and doctoral programs in the liberal arts, social research, and other design disciplines.

    Design Studies addresses the complex relationship of design to society and investigates the social, political, and ethical facets of design from a future-oriented perspective. The courses offered as part of this minor draw on both analytical and propositional modes of inquiry, allowing students to acquire a critical understanding of design. Grounded in a material culture approach and recognizing design as an agent of social change, students investigate notions such as the emergent, memory, and the politics of infrastructure.


    This graduate minor requires successful completion of 9 credits. The required core course for this minor is Discourses in Design. In addition to completing the core course, students must select two electives from 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 to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.

    Subject AreaCourse OptionsRequirements
    Core coursePGDS 5005 Discourses in Design3 credits

    GANT 6405 Anthropology and Design: Objects, Sites, Systems

    PGHT 5784 Curating Praxis

    PSDS 5341 Curating Design at the Intersection of Art, Technology, and Ecology

    PGHT 5673 Design and Language

    PGHT 5642 Design Fictions

    PGHT 5619 From Forever 21 to Apple

    PGDS 5660 Theorizing Luxury

    PGHT 5625 Movements and Modernity

    PGHT 5685 Nonfiction and/as Design

    GPOL 6218 Visual, Spatial, and Material Politics

    6 credits

    Learning Outcomes

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

    • An understanding of the major theoretical frameworks that have shaped and continue to shape the field of design studies
    • The ability to competently articulate various design disciplines and practices, from object oriented to system based to community driven, that inform current design studies
    • The ability to competently articulate an understanding of the relationship between design and sociocultural issues such as gender, race, ethics, and politics
    • Competence in thinking, speaking, and writing clearly and effectively and communicating with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force


    David Brody, Professor of Design Studies
    Caroline Dionne, Assistant Professor, History and Theory of Design Practice
    Jilly Traganou, Associate Professor of Spatial Design
    Susan Yelavich, Associate Professor of Design Studies, Art and Design History and Theory


    The Design Studies graduate minor is available to graduate degree students across The New School. Students who have completed some or all of the courses that can be applied to the minor should make an appointment with their advisor to review their transcript and demonstrate successful completion of the minor.

    Upon successful completion of the minor's requirements, the completed minor will appear on the student's academic transcript and diploma at graduation.

    For questions regarding this minor, please contact Caroline Dionne, Assistant Professor in the History and Theory of Design Practice, at dionnec@newschool.edu.

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