This year, Parsons was ranked as one of the world’s top five design schools. The ranking – number five of twenty-five schools featured– was ahead of all other New York City institutions. The ranking was the result of a poll of hundreds of design professionals conducted by Business Insider magazine. The magazine is an influential publication for New York’s technology hub, Silicon Alley.
“The best graduate level talent for product concept, visualization, design, and management is coming from Parsons in New York and Stanford’s D-School,” one of the survey’s respondents told Business Insider. But, that respondent added, “We feel that Parsons offers the best concepts taught.”
This ranking is, in many ways, recognition of Parsons’ acclaimed MFA and BFA programs in Design and Technology, which do not treat design and programming as distinct spheres, but unquestionably interconnected. Students graduate uniquely positioned to become leaders in the technology industry. By teaching students how to think and work like a designer, they learn how to apply as much importance in the look and feel of a piece of software as what is under the hood.
And the results can be seen by the success of our alumni. Some app designers have seen projects developed while they were still students climb to the top of the App Marketplace, such as SpellTower, Pennant, and Typography Insight. Others have collaborated on projects that are opening new horizons in the field, such as alumnus and faculty member Zachary Lieberman’s openFrameworks, a free, open-source design tool developed in collaboration with a number of his peers. Parsons alumnus Zach Gage, has used openFrameworks to become one of the top up-and-coming independent game designers in the field, as recognized by the New York Times Magazine. And earlier this fall, alumnus Evan Roth was honored with a National Design Award in Interaction Design by the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, which recognized the way “he blurs the distinctions between technology, design and art,” according to a profile in the New York Times.
The Business Insider rankings were a top note of a strong year for Parsons, which also saw its School of Constructed Environments receive top rankings from several national reports; students from the first graduating class of its new MFA Transdisclipinary Design program received a Fast Company Design and Innovation Award; and the first MFA in Fashion Design and Society graduating class was lauded in a large feature in the New York Times.
2012 is turning out to be a year that will be hard to beat, but something tells us the News for 2013 will have its own high marks.