parsons presents: negotiating the terrain of design studies

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Negotiating The Terrain of Design Studies
March 1 and 2, 2013
The New School
66 West 12th Street, New York
RSVP recommended; for more information please visit the symposium website.

NEW YORK, February 12, 2013—To mark the start of its new Master of Arts in Design Studies program, Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day symposium that explores this growing field and its intersections with the humanities and the social sciences, as well as the design industries. An international roster of scholars, practitioners, and entrepreneurs will consider how design both shapes specific experiences and embodies fundamental assumptions about the world around us. Together, they will explore the potential of design studies to operate between among the realms of research, analysis, and advocacy.

"Design Studies is new kind of enterprise,” said Susan Yelavich, a noted design critic and scholar who directs the new MA Design Studies program at Parsons. “Our students study the history, theory, and practice of design not solely for their own sake but also to offer insight into the ways in which design affects the present and shapes the future. Like design practice, design studies has one foot in the marketplace and another in the realm of ideas, which is why the symposium explores design studies as both applied and pure research. Leaders from the business, industry and academia will explore the relevance of the field to branding, service design, museology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and material culture."

The symposium will include a keynote address by Peter-Paul Verbeek, a professor of Philosophy of Technology at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and author of Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Other featured speakers include Alison J. Clarke, a professor of Design History and Theory at University of Applied Arts Vienna; Victor Margolin, a professor emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Clive Dilnot, a professor of Design Studies at Parsons; Jürgen Häusler, Chairman, Interbrand Central and Eastern Europe; Hugh Dubberly, the principal of Dubberly Design Office, an interaction and service design firm based in San Francisco; Cameron Tonkinwise, the director of Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and former associate dean of Sustainability at Parsons; Orit Halpern, an assistant professor of History at The New School for Social Research; Aleksandra Wagner, an assistant professor of Sociology at The New School for Public Engagement; and James Dodd, Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research.

The symposium will take place March 1 and 2, 2013, at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended; for more information, visit the event website.

The Master of Arts in Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design was established to shape a new generation of thinkers to critically address historical, philosophical, and social issues related to design practices, products, and discourses. Intended for those seeking to pursue a career in design research, writing, curating, and criticism, as well as designers seeking to incorporate design research into their practice, the program is based in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, alongside related M.A. programs in Fashion Studies and the History of Decorative Arts and Design. For more information, visit

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