The new school and parsons FEATURE SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY AT sxsw interactive

Students, alumni, and faculty from the progressive New York City university present:

  • Wearable technology designed for social good

  • Talks on metagaming, digital equity, and democratizing historical narratives

    NEW YORK, March 7, 2017 —​ The New School ​— a progressive New York City university comprised of five schools including Parsons School of Design — returns to​ SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas March 10-15, sharing innovative projects and perspectives that embody ​the university’s human­-centered approach to technology and design-inspired solutions to pressing social issues.

    Student- and faculty-designed wearable technology projects and specialized talks and workshops by professors and alumni will highlight the university’s commitment to confronting real-world problems. They include:

    Inclusively Designed Wearables

    An exhibition of wearable technology projects by Parsons students, alumni, and faculty members that raise awareness on social and political issues and address human health needs. On view will be garments designed for breast cancer patients who are experiencing physical mobility challenges and millennials suffering from lower back pain; pieces that visualize the dramatic change of global temperature in the last 40 years and aid our understanding of near-Earth asteroids and deep space; and garments that, using Intel technology, transform to allow busy young professionals to transition from casual- to formal-wear and from daytime to nighttime. TheCurrent Mansion, 1309 Meriden Lane. Saturday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and Sunday, 3-6 p.m.

    Parsons and Panasonic Present Wearable Tech Pieces and Experiences

    An exhibition of wearable technology projects and experiences, created by teams of Parsons students and innovators from Panasonic Corporation, that address wellness needs such as sleep and social interaction. One example is Göbie, a bracelet that uses haptic feedback, gesture recognition, and a visual LED language to encourage users to interact outside of a screen interface. Its connected app recognizes when other Gobi users are near and prompts a spontaneous play experience that fosters a sense of community no matter the location. Demos held Saturday through Monday, March 11-13, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Tuesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Panasonic House (at Parkside), 301 East 6th St.

    Metagaming the Future: A Lab for Discussion

    A spirited session of Metagame, a custom card game exposing the absurd extremes of opinions on the most important debates of our time (i.e. “Which is more poetic: Tetris or To Kill a Mockingbird?” and “Which is more influential: Duchamp’s Fountain or the Big Mac?”). Led by Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor of Media Design, the game and related workshop are designed to spark fresh social discussion, bringing current challenges to light and helping participants to envision potential futures. Sunday, March 12, 10:15-11:15 a.m. Techspace Austin, 45 Brazos Street.

    The New Archive: How Tech Democratizes Historical Narratives

    A discussion led by New School faculty member Lauren Walsh and VII Agency photojournalist Ron Haviv on Lost Rolls America, a public photo archive that aims to democratize historical narratives by inviting users to submit material that is added to a digital repository of visual memories. The project has been featured in The New York Times and NPR. Monday, March 13, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Techspace Austin, 45 Brazos Street. The talk will be Livestreamed.

    Networking For Social Good: Happy Hour Hosted by The New School

    A happy hour with New School faculty members who can chat about the myriad ways design and technology can be used to confront pressing social issues and enhance human well-being. The event is part of the Social Good Hub, a creative content venue curated and produced by SXSW Eco. Techspace Austin, 45 Brazos Street. Monday, March 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

    Digital Equity as Public Policy in the Trump Era

    A discussion with Maya Wiley — civil rights activist, former counsel to the Mayor of New York City and vice president of social justice at The New School —  on opportunities for expanding high-speed Internet to the 55 million Americans who lack it. Wednesday, March 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. JW Marriot, 203 and 204, 110 East 2nd Street. The talk will be Livestreamed.

    Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at

    Parsons School of Design, which was recently named the number one art and design school in the United States by Top Universities, has been a pioneer in art and design education for more than a century. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons offers rigorous training that allows for student collaboration across five thematic schools, which were recently created to better facilitate interdisciplinary learning. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, visit


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    Media Contact:

    Scott Gargan,
    The New School
    212-229-5667 x 3794

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