• Transdisciplinary Design (MFA)

    John A. Bruce

    John A. Bruce is Assistant Professor of Strategic Design at Parsons, where he serves as the Director of the Transdisciplinary Design MFA program. 

    “If we are to genuinely participate in collective ways forward, our work relies on being present - “being with it”, and being part of embodied learning and knowing.”

    His research and practice involves ethnography, cinema, systems and strategy. He directed and produced, with Pawel Wojtasik, the feature documentary film End of Life, as well as many short films and installations. He is a member of the Parsons DESIS Lab research team in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library. He serves as advisor to the tech start-up The Light Phone, and collaborates with the manufacturing research hub Italia Innovation. His publications include: “Mortality” in Designing in Dark Times (Bloomsbury); and, “Design Strategies for Impact” in Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design (Routledge). His current book project is Participatory Design and Social Innovation: Images and Narratives for a Sustainable Future (Routledge). He is the senior strategist for Forward Mapworks, a strategic consultancy, and also co-founded the Brooklyn-based design and architecture firm Super-Interesting! John was a 2015/16 Fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought (GIDEST) at The New School.

    “I am interested in the use of cinematic tropes-- image-oriented time-based artifacts, as a way to engage with complex social issues through active design-led research. Ghost images, or the gestures of haunting within situated contexts, are made legible through cinematic tropes, and thus can be juxtaposed with ideal types. Contingencies within narrative logics, or the fracturing of entrenched perspectives, open new possibilities through the critique of non-sequential causal relationships and by modeling propositions for ethical spectacles.”