The New School News

4th Year in a Row, Parsons School of Design Named Best Art and Design School in the Country

Almost nothing in higher education has remained the same over the past year, as universities have adapted to remote instruction and online learning thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, while students and faculty have engaged in new models of teaching and learning.

Parsons School of Design has remained committed to providing a world-class education even in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions, which has helped earn the school, for the 4th year in a row, the top spot as the best art and design school in the country. The ranking was provided by QS World Rankings, the definitive global guide to the top universities and colleges. 

“I am so proud of everything that our students, faculty, and staff have achieved throughout this challenging, unique year,” said Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. “The Parsons community has been incredibly resilient in spite of so many obstacles posed by Covid-19, and it is a testament to our acclaimed faculty, innovative curriculum, and engaged students that we have been named the best art and design school in the country.”

Even in the face of the challenges of the 2020-2021 academic year and the fact that we are not all together on campus, the Parsons community has continued to produce groundbreaking, transdisciplinary work and research that addresses some of society’s most pressing problems.

Bhavya Gupta, MFA Design and Technology ’21, is the recent winner of the Schmidt Futures Reimagine Challenge for her project “The Untold Stories: Migrant Women in India and Empowering their Entrepreneurial Efforts,” which will share the stories of migrant women in India in their own words, and gather quantitative demographic data in order to understand and ask for the required material support from the government. Evan Landau, MFA Industrial Design ’20, collaborated with a child psychologist to develop KozyFone, a new product that addresses two contemporary issues: the drastic increase in average screen times as well as the declining age of new smartphone owners. 

Elsewhere, Trinetra Manickavasagam, MFA Lighting Design ‘20, was recognized by the Illuminating Engineering Society for her thesis project about potential color shifts in White LED lights, while alumni from a variety of disciplines at Parsons earned coveted spots on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Sonya Sklaroff, MFA Fine Arts ‘00 and a current faculty member in the Fine Arts program, used the pandemic as inspiration for her new series of paintings, which were featured on LinkNYC kiosks around New York City.

Parsons continues to lead thanks to exciting new partnerships and bold initiatives. A recently announced collaboration with rapper and activist Travis Scott and his Cactus Jack foundation will include an unprecedented authentic fashion design program that will bring Parsons’ world-renowned curriculum to Houston, providing design education to the city’s youth in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper, Houston​. 

The MS Data Visualization program collaborated with the Smithsonian Museum for an artistic project centered around the Museum’s new Open Access Initiative, while the Healthy Materials Lab launched a new podcast, with the first season focused on the topic of hemp, and upcoming seasons focused on other materials, such as plastics.

Additionally, the MPS Fashion Management program launched a new online degree this year, which follows the Fall 2020 launch of the new BFA in Design History and Practice offered by the School of Art and Design History and Theory.

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