Summer Studies in Paris

The three week summer intensive studies at Parsons Paris allow you to experience this vibrant city from an insider’s perspective by exploring the many facets of art, design, fashion and photography firsthand throughout Paris. Courses are open to Pre-College and College/Adult in June and July. Registration for summer 2015 is managed by API, a third party host specialized in study abroad. Learn more on the Parsons Paris website.


Mies and Miles
An Unlikely Trio: Jazz, Architecture and Design (college/adult)
Architecture is meticulously engineered to last for centuries. Jazz is, by nature,  improvisational and fleeting. Using the compositions of Miles Davis and the architecture of Mies van der Rohe as points of departure, this course explores the unexpected connections between jazz music and the spaces it occupies and influences. Over a three-week period, you will visit significant architectural sites and attend live musical performances in Paris, a place where jazz and architecture continue to shape the cultural cityscape.

Taught by Tim Porter, a renowned mandolinist, producer, author and graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. An expert in jazz music and an attorney specializing in international law with decades of executive experience at Proskauer Rose, AT&T, and The Life Insurance Company of Boston, Tim currently serves on the board of The New School and WBGO Newark Public Radio.


The Flaneur in Paris
Wandering and Writing in One of the World’s Literary Capitals  (college/adult)
Perhaps one of the greatest walking cities, Paris has given rise to a unique form: Flanerie, or aimless strolling. Using the walk as a form of creative exploration, you will explore Paris’s historic center and literary enclaves of the north and northeast and map your discoveries through journal entries that blend literary analysis, ethnography, and autobiography. Works by George Pérec, Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire, Blasie Cendrars, Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Abdellatif Laâbdi and Paul Celan will serve as additional inspiration and provide a historical context for flanerie in writing and other forms of media and art.

Taught by Rebecca Reilly, a writing instructor at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts whose debut novel Repetition will be released in 2015. Rebecca is a graduate of the New School’s inaugural MFA Writing class and an instructor at the University of Paris, Nanterre.


Food, Terroir, and Sustainable Tourism
Local Eats: A Global Treat? 
Travel is about more than the sights: we want to eat the local delicacies, drink the XX, soak in the local culture. But how can we enjoy travel experiences while understanding them in a broader context: one that considers the threats to social stability and the environment and the potentials for creating more sustainable and socially just systems. The French concept of terrior—a sense of place—serves as a starting point for a wide-ranging course that considers authenticity, originality, cosmopolitanism, and an exploratory spirit from cultural, social, and economic perspectives. As you start to connect food, territory, and their value for a local tourist economy, you will also consider the potential of locations around the world to become destinations for sustainable food tourism.

This course is taught by Fabio Parasecoli, coordinator of The New School’s Food Studies program, which explores the intersection of food and culture. Fabio is the author of Bite Me: Food in Popular Culture, Food Culture in Italy and, along with Peter Scholliers, a general editor of the six-volume series Cultural History of Food.


Strategic Brand Design
Crafting an Identity in a Crowded Industry  (college/adult)
Disrupt. Simplify. Humanize. Engage. Brands use many different strategies in the neverending quest to differentiate themselves. But which strategies are working the best? And how can design thinking help brands succeed? Through readings, lectures, case studies, and discussion, you will learn how design functions in a business context, the many roles that designers play in today’s industries, and how a strong brand can help a business face global challenges.

This course is taught by Bill Lunderman, vice president of Global Strategic Brand Design at Colgate Palmolive and one of Brand Packaging Magazine’s Brand Innovators of the Year in 2012. A celebrated packaging and communication designer who studied under Buckminster Fuller, Bill has served as vice president of Global Design at Campbell Soup Company and vice president of Creative Services Worldwide for Revlon Worldwide.

 josephweiman20_EDITcmykSeventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France: Châteaux and Gardens

Enjoy a different kind of tour de France: a historical journey through the 17th- and 18th-century chateaux and gardens that dot the countryside. Through site visits to Chantilly, Vaux Le Vicomte, and Versailles, you’ll learn firsthand about the architecture, landscapes, and decorative interiors of the Renaissance and Rococo, periods with an enduring design legacy.

This course is taught by Gabriel Wick, a Parsons Paris faculty member and author of Un Paysage des Lumières: le jardin anglais du château de La Roche-Guyon. A landscape historian and conservation consultant, Gabriel is currently completing his doctoral research, which explores how the progressive aristocracy used landscape design to communicate political and ideological meanings in the lead-up to the French Revolution, at the University of London—Queen Mary.


Fashion Design Process
An Innovator’s Approach to Making (pre-college and college/adult)
Learn how fashion goes from concept to creation, while exploring innovative 2- and 3-D production methods. Through individual and group projects, you will develop your own fashion collections, drawing on Paris’s unique resources as a global fashion capital and explore the effects of different fabrication methods and approaches to color.

This course is taught by Jasonpaul McCarthy, director of the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons Paris. A womenswear designer and fashion educator with extensive experience in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Jasonpaul is a recipient of the Bower Roebuck Tailoring Award.


Introduction to Wearable Technologies
Combining Computation and Craft 
Smart textiles, conductive inks, soft circuits, and other wearable technologies are changing the way we interact with objects and space. Through projects that interweave traditional crafting techniques like embroidery, ceramics, and carving with new materials and technologies, you will learn how computational craft addresses notions of craftsmanship, usability, and aesthetic value. Prior knowledge of physical computing or electronics is helpful, but not required.

This course is taught by Martin de Bie, a Parisian researcher and designer whose work focuses on experimental design forms that integrate new technologies with traditional techniques and materials. An instructor at Parsons Paris and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, Martin frequently collaborates with the Graffiti Research Lab.


Drawing and Imaging in Contemporary Paris
Constructing Visual Meaning (college/adult)
With the rich landscape of Paris as your muse, learn to construct and convey meaning through traditional drawing and digital imaging techniques. Explore the aesthetic, conceptual, and formal qualities that influence how ideas and impressions are expressed on a two-dimensional plane. Projects encourage you to reflect on personal, private, and public space, and consider how historic spaces interact with our current sense of place.


Explorations in Drawing (pre-college only)
Drawing is fundamental part of the design process and an integral tool for media arts of all kinds. You will learn to approach drawing as a way of thinking, a critical tool, and a means for observation, storytelling, and representation. Traditional and nontraditional methods, media, and theories of drawing will all be encouraged and explored.


Fashion Culture
The Body, Dress, and Society (pre-college and college/adult)
Consider the body as a site of social and cultural meaning through a close examination of Paris’s museum and costume archives. Lectures and readings on 20th-century fashion history will help deepen your understanding of the growing relationship between dress, body, and form, and how they influence the fashion design process.


Paris Trend Spotting
Styling From the Streets (pre-college and college/adult)
In retrospect, it’s easy to see how music, art, film, and fashion are influenced by the social and political forces of their time. But what about right now? Using current-day Paris as your laboratory, learn how to track, disrupt, and comment on the cultural zeitgeist. Through a mix of workshops, observation, and analysis, and applied design thinking, you will identify a trend in high fashion, collections, or contemporary consumer lifestyle and develop and represent your trend concept through words and visuals. You will be introduced to fundamental concepts of fashion trends, analyze trends and their influence on the positioning of goods in the marketplace, and evaluate marketing decisions related to trends from theoretical and practical perspectives.

This class is taught by Yong Andersson, fashion designer and instructor at Parsons Paris who was born in Korea, raised in Sweden, and developed her practice in Paris. Inspired by classic masculine tailoring, Andersson created a collection of ten wool jackets that blend a restrained Scandinavian design approach with influences from 18th-century French and modern youth culture.

Photography: Storytelling
Inspirations and Aesthetics (pre-college and college/adult)
Experiment with different forms of photography and establish your own visual photographic language. Field trips around Paris will inspire you to experiment with different modes of photography, while readings and assignments will challenge you to consider the history of the medium and explore aspects of traditional film-based photography while producing a body of work with current digital technologies. You must provide your own DSLR digital camera.


Intro to Design and Management
Designing Entrepreneurship and Innovation (pre-college and college/adult)
Learn to think like an entrepreneur by applying design thinking and innovative business strategy to a broad range of real-world enterprises. You will become familiar with critical skills like research methods, prototyping, and quantitative analysis, and learn how business innovators and designers operate in a modern day management context.


Registration through API (Pre-College and College/Adult) is linked from the Parsons Paris website summer courses. Official course descriptions can be found on the Parsons Paris website. More images from summer 2014 can be found in this post