Assistant Professor of Design Strategies
Parsons Faculty Hotseat
An artist, filmmaker, and transmedia producer of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Marisa Morán Jahn’s works redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum). Characterizing her playful approach, MIT CAST writes, ‘[Jahn] introduces a trickster-like humor into public spaces and discourses, and yet it is a humor edged with political potency.” Codesigned with youth, new immigrants, and working families, Jahn’s public artwork, civic media tools, installations, films, architectural and urban-scale collaborations have engaged millions both on the street and at venues such as the United Nations, Tribeca Film Festival, Obama’s White House, Museum of Modern Art, and Venice Biennale of Architecture. Her work has received international media coverage in outlets including The New York Times, CNN, the BBC, Univision Global, Hyperallergic, Art in America, Architectural Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, PBS, and hundreds more.
She has received grants and awards from Sundance, Tribeca Film Institute, Creative Capital, National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Open Society, Anonymous Was A Woman, and more.
She has taught at Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (her alma mater), and Parsons/The New School where she is the Director of Integrated Design. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Brooklyn Public Library, a Senior Researcher at MIT, and Sundance Fellow.
In 2008, she embarked on an literacy movement with a community in rural Honduras that centers around Bibliobandido (‘Story Eater’), a bandit who EATS stories and whose fame rivals Santa Claus. As a legend still ongoing today, Bibliobandido has transformed the lives of 15,000 young believers in Central and North America. In 2022, Jahn and award-winning filmmaker Benjamin Murray began directing and producing a documentary film chronicling the impact of the beloved, story-hungry villain alongside a series of books and omnichannel curricular supports. With members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Jahn created two mobile studios (NannyVan, CareForce One) and a PBS-supported film amplifying the voices of caregivers; and CAREHAUS, the U.S.’s first care-based co-housing project designed with architect Rafi Segal. She has taught at Teachers College at Columbia University, MIT (her alma mater), and Parsons/The New School where she is the Director of Integrated Design. She is a 2022 Sundance Fellow and 2022 Artist/Writer in Residence at the Brooklyn Public Library. Along with Rafi Segal, she is the author of the forthcoming book “Design & Solidarity” (Columbia University Press, 2023).
BA, UC Berkeley
MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Sundance Art of Practice Fellow
Founder/Executive Director, Studio REV-
Designer, The Urban Justice Center
public art, socially engaged art, design, design strategy, graphic design, interactive media, transmedial, film
social justice, activism, immigration policy, low-wage workers, women