The New School

The New School

New York, NY



By New School Communications
Dec 12, '11 3:36 PM EST

NEW YORK, December 8, 2011—Parsons The New School for Design has announced a new Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management, which will launch in fall 2012. The program aims to bring together a diverse group of students aspiring to leadership roles in emerging fields: business professionals wishing to complement their expertise with design capabilities; design practitioners seeking business skills and leadership training; and entrepreneurs interested in developing new service models for the evolving economy.

“The global economy is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and requires new approaches to business innovation,” said Joel Towers, Executive Dean, Parsons The New School for Design. “The Strategic Design and Management program will provide the next generation of business leaders with the strategic and creative skills necessary to develop path-breaking new approaches, as well as the organizational and operational systems that will sustain them.”

Unlike traditional master's degrees in business management, the MS in Strategic Design and Management incorporates design thinking, service design, and sustainability frameworks. “Traditional business models have been failing us,” said program director Jonatan Jelen. “Future business leaders will be called on to rethink the organizational paradigm altogether. They will have to create and implement new types of relationships, networks, and organizational structures.”

Students will be exposed to sophisticated real-world perspectives on operations, sustainability, management, leadership, entrepreneurship, design innovation, and design research. A 36-credit program, Strategic Design and Management combines online coursework in business, management, and leadership with design-centered studios that take place on the Parsons campus.

The program features hands-on prototyping of business models to prepare graduates to conceptualize and create new environments for future business activity. In their first year of study, students will address the "meta" environment: researching, analyzing, and interpreting the new rules and laws of the information economy. In year two, students will focus on the main actor of the new economy: new forms of business organization. They will consider how to design not only the appropriate scale, scope, strategy, and structure for an organization, but also its social position. Students will develop comprehensive briefs, work in teams on field research, and present their findings and proposals to colleagues, design professionals, and other stakeholders.

The MS in Strategic Design and Management is housed in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons, which encompasses innovative programs that apply design thinking to study the intersection of cities, services, and ecosystems. Other programs in the school include an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design, BBA in Design and Management, BS in Environmental Studies, BFA in Integrated Design, and—also launching in fall 2012—an MA in Theories of Urban Practice and an MS in Design and Urban Ecologies.

Part of the MS curriculum is available as an 18-credit online Graduate Certificate in Design Business. Students must complete six strategic design management, leadership, and innovation courses to qualify for the certificate.

Parsons The New School for Design is 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

Program Director Jonatan Jelen talks about Game Changers and the New Economy.