The New School

The New School

New York, NY



By New School Communications
Nov 2, '11 2:30 PM EST

NEW YORK, October 12, 2011— Parsons The New School for Design has announced new graduate programs including a Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies and a Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice. The programs represent a wider initiative at Parsons, one of the world’s leading schools of art and design, to offer graduate programs that define the next phase of global design. The programs will launch in Fall 2012.

“Throughout its history, Parsons has introduced innovative academic programs on the leading edge of design education, which offer students critical, creative and relevant ways to study art and design. These graduate programs represent the next phase of this evolution,” said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons. “The proliferation and growing complexity of cities necessitate new and cross-disciplinary approaches to design, which is reflected in our new Urban programs.”

Other new and recent programs include a Master of Arts in Design Studies; a Master of Fine Arts in Transdisciplinary Design; a Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society; a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design; and a Master of Arts in Fashion Studies. Also in development are a Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Design Business. For more information on these programs, please visit

The first graduate program of its kind in the United States, the Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies will explore the development of urban space and its social, economic, political and environmental context. Bringing together the academic strengths of Parsons and other divisions of The New School, this practice-oriented, studio-based graduate program trains students to become agents of change, working with the communities and institutions that shape cities. Guided by urban activists from around the world, students confront urgent problems facing cities and develop pioneering research methodologies, design frameworks, and critical practices. The program is aimed at urbanists, design and planning professionals, social scientists, community leaders, and managers of nonprofit and government organizations that wish to critically address issues of contemporary urbanization. The program is directed by Miguel Robles-Duran, a practicing urbanist and urban theory educator, co-editor/author of the book Urban Asymmetries: Studies and Projects on Neoliberal Urbanization and co-founder of Cohabitation Strategies, an international foundation/cooperative focused on the design of interventions and strategies in conditions of urban decline, inequality and segregation. For more, visit

The Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice radically reframes the study of urbanism and urban design as transformative practices that draw on an expanding body of knowledge, research, and action. The basic premise is that specific types of critical knowledge and creative thinking can transform cities in fundamental ways. This research-driven program is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced studies in urbanism or careers as urban researchers, designers, teachers, design critics, policy advisors, and leaders of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, private design and development firms, and innovative collaborative practices. The program is directed by Aseem Inam, an award-winning designer, urbanist, and author of the book Planning for the Unplanned: Recovering from Crises in Megacities, a comparative analysis of successful city rebuilding in Los Angeles, Mexico City and New York. To learn more, visit

Both programs are based in the School of Design Strategies (SDS) at Parsons, which encompasses innovative programs that apply design thinking to study the intersection of cities, services and ecosystems. In connection with the launch of the new programs, SDS is hosting a free public lecture series, the Design and Urban Practice Colloquium, on select Wednesdays through November 30) featuring designers and civic leaders working on transformative urban projects around the world. Upcoming lecturers include Claudius Pereira and Fernando Lara, who led the redesign of the Vila Viva Favela in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Nov. 2); Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line (Nov. 16); and Arif Hasan, architect, planner, and consultant and chair of the Urban Resource Centre in Karachi, on the Orangi Pilot Project, winner of a World Habitat Award (Nov. 30). For more information, please visit the SDS magazine.

Parsons The New School for Designis one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. 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 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, please visit

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