Parsons Presents Aftertaste and Radical Shifts Exploring Evolution of Interior Design

Keynote Speech and Opening Reception, April 1 at 6 p.m. at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

philippe rahm
Philippe Rahm, Airs de Paris

NEW YORK, March 21, 2011—Parsons The New School for Design will explore the future of interior design and look back at a pivotal moment in its history with the exhibition Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985 (March 23-April 8) and the symposium Aftertaste: Immaterial Environments (April 1-2). Both events will take place at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons.

Aftertaste is an annual symposium dedicated to the critical review of interior design. It is organized by Parsons' groundbreaking MFA in Interior Design, which graduates its first class of students this spring. At this year's Aftertaste, a series of presenters including American installation artist Robert Irwin and Swiss architect Philippe Rahm will consider how the immaterial qualities of our surroundings affect our psychological and physiological experiences of interior space. Other participants include Lisa Heschong, author of Thermal Delight in Architecture and an authority in the benefits of daylighting; Alexander Wunsch, an expert in vibrational medicine and photobiology; and Natalija Subotincic, an architecture professor at the University of Manitoba who explores the realm between the psyche and physical space. For more information, including a full schedule, please visit sce.parsons.edu/aftertaste/at5.

The concurrent exhibition Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985, will chronicle the radical transformation in the field of interior design in the 1960s and 1970s, as reflected in the evolution of the Interior Design program at Parsons. Underscoring the socio-cultural and political upheaval of the time, Parsons' renowned program underwent a dramatic overhaul during this period, breaking with traditional disciplinary barriers and embarking on an ambitious experiment to expand the role of design as an agent of social transformation. A panel discussion with faculty, staff, and alumni, including acclaimed designer Luis Rey, on the themes of the exhibition will be presented as part of Aftertaste. The exhibition, drawing on materials from the Anna-Maria and Steven Kellen Archives from this period, will be on view March 23-April 8 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc.

Parsons The New School for Design is one of the most comprehensive and prestigious institutions of art and design education in the world. The MFA in Interior Design, which integrates history, theory, design, material experimentation and sustainable practice to address the challenges and opportunities of contemporary interior design in the 21st century, is situated in the School of Constructed Environments, one of five thematic schools that Parsons has created to better facilitate interdisciplinary study. These also include The School of Art, Media and Technology (Fine Art, Photography, Illustration, Communication Design, and Design and Technology); The School of Fashion; The School of Design Strategies (Foundation, Integrated Design Curriculum, Design & Management, Environmental Studies, and proposed thematic graduate programs in Sustainability, Urban and Trans-disciplinary Design); and The School of Art and Design History and Theory. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/parsons.

The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Lyn Rice Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.


General Information
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, New York
Gallery hours:
Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; closed all major holidays and holiday eves
Info: Please contact 212.229.8919or visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc


79 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Kate McCormick
212.229.5667 x3794

Deborah Kirschner
212.229.5667 x4310

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