Parsons Faculty and Alumni Win 2018 Sappi’s Ideas that Matter Grants

Sappi asked how design can be used to drive change, and members of the Parsons School of Design community answered.

Andrew Shea, Assistant Professor of Integrated Design; John Roach, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts; Abby Chen and Flora Chan, BFA Communication Design ’14; Marcos Chavez, faculty member; and Sage Smith, BFA Communication Design ’19 are among 10 winners who received thousands of dollars to fund their projects that use design to address pressing global challenges. The following is a closer look at their projects:

  • Andrew Shea, Assistant Professor of Integrated Design, and John Roach, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, were awarded $40,722 for Sound the Mound, a curriculum toolkit, technology-driven public art installations, exhibits, and a supporting website focused on educating high school students about waste, sustainability, and environmental health. The toolkit will be used by students who visit Freshkills Park (formerly the world’s largest landfill and now a park) and will be downloadable for use throughout the country.
  • Abby Chen and Flora Chan, BFA Communication Design ’14, with Center for Urban Pedagogy, were awarded $33,200 for the It’s Not Just Personal poster distribution campaign. A collaboration with Black Women’s Blueprint, the illustrated guide helps student survivors of sexual violence, especially women of color, LGBTQ, and gender nonconforming individuals understand their rights on campus and determine what actions they can take to hold their colleges accountable to their needs (Chen was interviewed on AIGA Eye on Design about how their Parsons experience influenced the project).
  • Marcos Chavez, Parsons faculty member and Principal/Creative Director of TODA, and Sage Smith, BFA Communication Design ’18, were awarded $20,527 for Read To Me!, a book and learning tablet to be included in Parent-Child Home Program’s (PCHP) early childhood literacy program for under-resourced families. These educational tools were designed and written to help simplify the parent-child interaction when reading together in order to build critical school readiness skills.