Working with the historic French furniture brand Roche Bobois, students at The New School's Parsons School of Design will engage advanced prototyping and material technology at the Making Center to design and prototype functional, full-scale seating devices (Photo/Matt Mathews).

Parsons Partners with Historic Roche Bobois to Design ‘Seating for Eating’

As busy New Yorkers, few of us have time for a sit-down meal. That leaves no other option but to eat and run.

However, through a major partnership with Roche Bobois, a world leader in furniture design and distribution, students at The New School’s Parsons School of Design will reinvigorate “the cultural and historical rituals of resting, gathering, and nourishing the body.”

Driven by the theme “Seating for Eating,” the partnership will give students in Parsons’ MFA Industrial Design and BFA Product Design programs that opportunity to collaborate with Roche Bobois to design and prototype functional, full-scale seating devices with the ultimate goal of having them manufactured and brought to market.

“Students will work in teams of two to design and prototype appropriately scaled models and prototypes of highly forward thinking innovative designs which leverage technology as well as explore cross cultural meaning and desirability,” according to Daniel Michalik, Director of BFA Product Design and Assistant Professor of Product and Industrial Design at Parsons School of Constructed Environments.

During the fall semester, the undergraduate and graduate sections of the class will a create a total of 16 project proposals. Roche Bobois will then pick a winning design to present at its annual design review for consideration for production.

Throughout the design process, Roche Bobois representatives will provide additional support in the form of showroom visits, critique reviews, as well as providing input on feasibility, market appropriateness, and overall project visions.

The partnership encompasses three parameters: research the essence of the Roche Bobois brand, including its rich history and current evolutions; consider the environmental and health impact of design materials; and engage advanced prototyping and material technology at the Making Center, including multi-axis milling, multi-material 3D printing, automated weaving and 3D automated knitting.