New School News

Festival Season

Parsons Festival 2013 runs from May 5 to May 24. Photo by Martin Seck.

On Sunday, May 5, young designers and musicians from Parsons The New School for Design and Mannes College The New School for Music will present their vision for the future of orchestral performance—bringing together fashion, music and technology for luminaries including Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), a key supporter of the project.

The moment has been a year in the making—students have been meeting with BSO musicians, developing wearable technology, and crafting beautiful articles of clothing.  After months of hard work, these students will debut the project before the public in a hybrid event that’s one part fashion show, one part orchestral performance, and one part technological unveiling. More formally, it is called The Future of Orchestral Garments, and it serves as the official launch of Parsons Festival 2013.

Parsons Festival is an annual event in which Parsons opens its doors to the public to celebrate the diverse range of creativity and innovation to be found at the school. Work presented at the festival has become top-selling apps, celebrated collections at New York Fashion Week, and products featured at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

“Parsons Festival brings the work of the next generation of artists and designers to the wider public,” said Joe Hosking, senior director of Student Affairs at Parsons, who chairs the festival with Donald Porcaro, an associate professor in the School of Art, Media, and Technology. “These young people have dedicated themselves to their practice, and many of them will go on to fundamentally shape the field for decades to come.”

This year, Parsons Festival is also an official event of NYCxDESIGN, the inaugural citywide event celebrating New York City’s diverse design scene.

In addition to The Future of Orchestral Garments, festival highlights include the MFA Design and Technology Exhibition  (May 8–24), a showcase of objects, apps, games, video, and interactive experiences that explore the dynamic role of technology in our lives; the School of Art, Media and Technology Annual (May 9–24), a curated exhibition highlighting the depth and breadth of AMT’s undergraduate programs; the School of Design Strategies Exhibition (May 10–24), which spotlights work that promotes change, foster creativity, and envision the new urban; Parsons Scholars Exhibition (May 13–24), which presents work created by students at each level of this pre-college program, spanning a variety of art and design disciplines; gadgITERATION: An Electronics–Interaction Design Workshop for Kids and Families (May 11), a physical computing workshop in which young people will transform discarded electronics, old toys, and empty boxes into delightful contraptions that beep, buzz, and light up; the School of Constructed Environments Exhibition (May 21–24), a show of drawings, models, and prototypes created by graduating students in the school; Parsons Art and Design History and Theory Graduate Symposium (May 16–May 17), which features engaging scholarly presentations and dialogue on current research in the fields of design history, fashion studies and history, and design studies and theory; and the Parsons Fashion Show (May 22), the presentation of top collections by the graduating BFA Fashion Design class, along with a display of work by students in the BFA, AAS, and MFA fashion programs.

For a full schedule of events, visit


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