• Sabrina Dorsainvil: Building Resilience Creatively

  • Sabrina Dorsainvil Headshot

    Sabrina Dorsainvil came to Parsons with a background in art, design, and community development. She asked herself, “How do I bring those things together?” She found the answer in the Design and Urban Ecologies master’s program, which she joined in its inaugural year.

    “Parsons expanded the way I thought about design,” she says. Her master’s coursework helped her develop the skills she sought to bring together interests in art and community building and bridge theory and practice.

    After graduating, Dorsainvil took those insights to the Boston mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics as its first director of Civic Design. There she explored ways creativity can help a city better understand residents’ needs and design improved services along with them.

    Paper flowers and notes with various phrases written on flags planted in a rectangular flower pot on a windowsill.
    Dorsainvil and See You in the Future collective members.

    This work led Dorsainvil to join See You in the Future (SYITF), a collective developing ways to use art and storytelling to address complex urban matters related to substance use, poverty, housing, and mobility. In creative workshops, Dorsainvil and team guide participants to engage with art as a means of sharing their lived experiences. “It’s an important way to see other people, honor their existence, and recognize their humanity,” says Dorsainvil.

    Dorsainvil posing with five members of the SYITF Collective on a couch in front of a yellow wall.
    Dorsainvil and the SYITF Collective developed an arts-based workshop for Boston’s Engagement Center to celebrate growth.

    Dorsainvil recently joined the nonprofit design studio Agncy as director of Design Strategy and Creative Practice. At Agncy, she devises creative means of bringing about equitable change in Boston communities and organizations. For her, “the ultimate goal is to create the conditions for people to lead the way in designing their own alternative futures.”


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