Today art, design, and fashion research play a central role in the development of critical, interdisciplinary, team-based approaches to solving complex problems in society. Creatives who are skilled at collaborative research are in increasing demand, and there is a growing recognition of the competitive advantage offered by critical practice and design thinking in the new economy.
Parsons Paris places research at the center of the learning experience. Faculty and students in Parsons Paris’ expanding group of graduate programs work closely together and share projects. Such collaboration prepares students for real-world teamwork and is increasingly being recognized as an effective way to respond to current social, political, and economic conditions.
The Curatorial Lab is a community of research and practice made up of Parsons Paris faculty, staff, and students and external museum and exhibition professionals. The lab develops projects tying together research in the field of design history, theory, and practice and broader political and societal issues. It is committed to expanding the field of curatorial practice by fostering collaboration between curators and researchers, designers and scholars, artists and their public. A key hub in the Parsons Paris community, the lab operates as both a pedagogical tool and a means of public outreach for the school.
The lab develops studio-based projects, workshops, and seminars in collaboration with industry partners and cultural institutions to foster designers' anthropological imaginations. The material cultures and histories of "others" — those usually associated with peripheral locations, narratives, and agencies — are explored to let students experience a decentered position and find innovative local responses to the global. The activities of the lab are aimed at questioning and displacing existing cultural boundaries through the investigation of new transnational and translational design practices.
Contact: Leyla Neri, Director, Fashion Design and Strategic Design and Management Programs
The MALP is a cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching lab where participants explore media and technology history, e-waste, and obsolete tools, hardware, and software, with the aim of better understanding the past in order to create alternative presents and futures.
The Fashioning Theory Lab investigates new and cutting-edge theoretical approaches to fashion and responds to the almost total absence of theoretical investigation of fashion in French universities. The lab offers talks, research seminars, and publications in which international scholars reflect on the contributions of specific theorists in fashion studies, discuss the state of theoretical and methodological debate in fashion studies, and present innovative uses of theory in fashion studies. The ideas of "translating theory" and "transatlantic connection" play an important role in the explanation of the migration of concepts within — and outside of — fashion studies. One area of focus is the interconnection between French theorists and their interpretation in the Anglo-Saxon landscape of fashion studies.
Contact: Marco Pecorari, Director, MA Fashion Studies Program
The Mixed Reality
Research Lab explores the implications of the new and evolving media spaces of virtual
reality and mixed or augmented reality. Like the mobile phone, which brought
about dramatic changes in social behavior, mixed reality is expected to
represent a major technological disruption in society. Yet there has been little
research conducted to date into its effects on psychology, public space,
design, education, art, fashion, and other aspects of society.
The Fashion Archive, Curation & Mediation Lab
explores the cultural scope of fashion archives (public and private),
fashion publications, fashion exhibitions, and performances through the
investigation, problematization, and re-animation of European and Parisian
experiences. The aim is to develop a series of research seminars, symposia,
talks, publications, and exhibitions in which to rethink the mediation of
fashion in the contemporary scene and further explore the current state of
practices such as fashion publishing and fashion exhibition as well as the
cultural relevance of archives as spaces where fashion is produced, conserved,
communicated, disseminated, performed, and institutionalized.