Physical Object Fair at Parsons

I’ve had the privilege of hosting nine international guests from Yonsei University to visit Parsons this week. I believed the visit would mutually benefit both schools by sharing conversations and examples of student’s projects from both schools. Professor Jee Hyun Lee and Sangwon Lee of the department of Human Environment and Design teach an interdisciplinary curriculum similar to Parson’s MFA Design & Technology. Kyle Li generously presented a brief background of the DT program and creative community in New York City. He emphasized social events and opportunities for networking with different people from diverse background as critical benefits of studying in New York and at Parsons: “Students can find code tutorials online and even in your own language (for international students). But you come to New York to be a part of a rich community. It’s an exciting time for work in design and technology.”

There is no single definition of a DT graduate because the graduate students of MFA Design & Technology came from such diverse backgrounds and disciplines of practices. More than often, students developed interests that may not have related to their background of expertise or former education. The Physical Object Fair is exemplary of students using not only the skills they come with into the program but, also accommodating new technology skills.

The students were required to rapid prototype their ideas and demonstrate an interaction or technology used in one of the seven spaces around New York City:  Highline, Grand Central Terminal, Chelsea Market, Museum of Natural History, MoMa, MAD museum, and the New York Public Library. A student’s demonstration of “technology” for their physical object ranged from using Arduino powered LEDs to rotating handles made of paper.  They were challenged to define what technology means and how it can be used in relation to design.