Student Show: Savage Minds

2015-fall-SavageMinds-600An homage to Claude Levi-Strauss The Savage Mind(1962), this students show is the first work of Parsons Paris incoming class of graduates from the MA History of Design and Curatorial Studies and MFA Design + Technology programs. On Monday, August 31st, 2015, the Student Show Savage Minds will take over the Parsons Paris Gallery with a collection of objects from the recent past. From the charity shop where they were sourced to the plinths on which they are presented, these objects have undergone many transformations. They tell us something about social and design history, personal narratives or fictions of the future.

While exiled in New York at The New School for Social Research, Claude Levi-Strauss explored the language of many Northern American Indian tribes. This research would eventually serve as the introduction to his seminal inquiry into the idea of a universal and untamed human thought, the “savage mind”. Central to this text is the exploration into the relationships between magic, science and art as various methods of knowledge acquisition and classification. The key figure of his essay is the “bricoleur”, whose “game is always to make do with whatever is at hand”.

Coming from a broad range of academic backgrounds and geographic origins, the incoming class of graduate students became “bricoleurs” – either metaphorically, through context and display, or practically through various strategies pertaining to the idea of “zombie media”. These savage minds in the worlds of design history and practice, have collected, researched and repurposed artifacts to give a voice to those once discarded objects.


The Parsons Paris Gallery is open Monday–Friday from noon to 6pm. Join us for the Opening on Monday, September 25th at 6:30pm. “Savage Minds” runs until September 24th.