Just west of Union Square, a community of artists, designers, architects, photographers, media makers, technologists, scholars, and strategists have been busy making the world a better, more sustainable, more beautiful place. It’s all in a day’s work for students at Parsons School of Design.
Now those students are fanning out across the New School campus and New York City for the latest edition of Parsons Festival, a celebration of the leading art and design school featuring exhibitions and sales of student work and student-led presentations and symposia in a range of design disciplines.
The festival, which takes place May 5–23, features wearable tech and virtual reality interfaces, displays of illustrated books and flat-pack furniture, and young strategists pitching ideas to solve the most pressing issues of our time.
Check out a few of the highlights, and visit the Festival website for a full schedule of events.
Parsons goes downtown to the historic blocks of South Street Seaport to take part in the Seaport Culture District’s Downtown Design Festival. The exhibition—featuring projects ranging from product design, lighting design, and fashion design to strategic design and management—explores the ways in which designers, artists, scholars, technologists, and strategists come together to push the limits of their practice and create new possibilities for social change. Opening party: Monday, May 9, 6:00 p.m. 117 Beekman Street. On view Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
I Can Because You Do
Alhena Katsof, a New York–based curator and writer, has organized exhibitions and performances for the likes of White Columns, Andrew Kreps Gallery, Regina Rex, and Lucie Fontaine. Now she’s lending her curatorial expertise to Parsons MFA Fine Arts students, who will display their work in the Lower East Side’s glass-fronted Participant Gallery. Opening reception: May 5, 6:00–9:00 p.m. On view May 6–14. Participant Inc., 253 East Houston Street.
Eileen Fisher in Conversation with Hazel Clark
Designer Eileen Fisher, a name synonymous with fashion, dishes on her life and work with Hazel Clark, research chair for Fashion at Parsons. The duo will touch on a collaborative project between Parsons and EILEEN FISHER’s Green Eileen sustainability initiative. Tuesday, May 17, 5:30–7:00 p.m., Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue.
The Future Now
A kaleidoscopic view of work from all of Parsons’ undergraduate and associate degree programs, displayed in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center’s Kellen Gallery, hallway, and lobby. On view May 9–20, 12:00–6:00 p.m. Closing reception: May 18, 6:00 p.m. Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street.
MS Data Visualization Talks
Students in one of Parsons’ newest—and most future-looking—degree programs present projects and research on a range of dynamic subjects, including wearable technology, the leadership gender gap, computation at the planetary scale, genetic diversity of plant species, the topology of Dante, food security in Canada’s north, and the prevention of child abuse. Thursday, May 19, 6:00–7:30 p.m. The New School University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room L105.
Parsons at WantedDesign NYC
Parsons returns to Industry City—a hub for making and manufacturing in Sunset Park, Brooklyn—for an exhibition of ceramic, wood, and metal furniture and tabletop items by BFA Product Design students. May 7 and 8, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; May 12–16, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; May 17, 2:00 p.m. Industry City, 274 36th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Printmaking Book Arts Exhibition
Students who work in Parsons’ glass-fronted, street-level studio on Fifth Avenue present works hand made through a variety of processes, including bookbinding and typesetting. May 13, 6:00–9:00 p.m. 66 Fifth Avenue, room M100.
How = What: Process and Experimentation
BFA Product Design embraces design thinking—and now, design making—in an exhibition of “unfinished” objects, including process and material experiments, mock-ups, prototypes, drafts, and other preliminary stages of design. On view May 14–17 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street.
Printmaking Show and Print Shop
An exhibition of student work including etching, photo lithographs, silkscreen, relief, monoprint, and letterpress. On view May 14–20, 4:00-7:00 p.m. Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street, 4th floor.
Parsons Story Pop-Up Shop
Chances are you don’t have the disposable income to make it rain at Christie’s. Still, there are more modest ways of getting into the art-buying game—for example, at Parsons’ Story Pop-Up Shop. There you can peruse and buy products by students in Parsons’ Illustration, Printmaking, Product Design, and Fashion programs. Open May 17–20, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street.
BFA Communications Design Thesis Book + Website Launch
An exhibition consisting of projections of thesis work. Reception: May 17, 7:00 p.m. University Center Starr Foundation Hall, 63 Fifth Ave.
Integrated Design Undergraduate Exhibition
A collection of design ethnographies filling the gaps of history, or generating awareness of social issues through zine culture, worn fashion, or invented systems. Opening reception: May 17, 6-9 pm. On view May 17-22. Welcome Center, 72, 5th Ave.
Words and Pictures Book Launch Party
BFA Illustration’s Senior Thesis class presents Recess, the 2016 edition of Words & Pictures, a journal of visual narrative essays featuring works by all the class members. May 18, 5:00–8:00 p.m. Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street, 8th floor.
BFA Fashion Design student work hits the runway at Parsons’ annual gala, this year honoring Beth Rudin DeWoody, Donna Karan, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Arianna Huffington. Andy Cohen hosts. Monday, May 23; cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and runway show at 9:30 p.m. Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers.