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PARSONS

re:
The
Alumni
Magazine
of
Parsons
The
New
School
for
Design
Fall
2010
Urban
Ecologies
re:D (regarding Design)
FALL 2010

For more: www.red.parsons.edu

Urban 01
Ecologies
News & Events​

Portfolio
Urban ecologies combines the methods and insights of
environmental science with those of social science and applies them
06 Students reflect on
peers’ work
to urban settings in an effort to make cities healthy and viable. As
the world’s population becomes increasingly urbanized, the effective
management of cities’ interconnected systems has assumed critical
importance. Three articles presented here —“Design and Urban
11  esign and Urban
D
Ecologies
Ecologies,” “Facing the Sun,” and “Community Centered”—explore
this issue from theoretical and applied perspectives.
Facing the Sun
Introducing Parsons’
Be part of re:D! Your stories, work, and collaboration support the magazine
and the Parsons community. Email us at alumni@newschool.edu. Give us
12 entry for the Solar
Decathlon competition
your input on re:D at www.newschool.edu/survey.
Community Centered
Radhika Subramaniam &
Nevin Cohen present
Living Concrete/Carrot

16 City, an exhibition and


programming

18 Pathways in Pictures
Luis Berríos-Negrón ’03

18 Alumni Message

20 Parsons DC Alumni
Scholarship

22 Alumni Profiles
City Intersections

Connected
16
06 26 Remembering
Stephanie Bradshaw ’58

Thank You

27 In Good Company /
Our Supporters

Cover Story

28 Marcos Chavez’s class


creates re:D’s cover

29 12
29 Red-Handed
Carrie Mae, MFA ’09
NEWS & EVENTS 01

News
& Events

NEW PROGRAMS in URBAN HIRE homes &


studies and design POWER routes
In Parsons’ forthcoming degree programs, the next generation Faculty hires reflect Parsons’ Students from the schools of
of designers, planners, scholars, and policymakers will learn to commitment to urban studies and Art and Design History and Theory
apply cross-disciplinary approaches to address the challenges of design-led research. Aseem Inam (ADHT) and Art, Media, and
globalization and sustainability in an urban context. has held posts at MIT, UCLA, and Technology (AMT), led by Jilly
the University of Michigan and Traganou, Jessica Irish, and
MS Urban Design Ecologies (under development) practiced architecture in a number Eric Nunez, took part in Learning
In this studio-based graduate program, students learn new forms of cities. An expert in urban studies Through Design, a class in which
of urban design practice based in a synthesis of urban ecologies and crisis management, Inam they developed a program for the
and urban studies. Students learn interdisciplinary methods to has led development projects in Lower Manhattan Arts Academy
use in designing for progressive social and environmental change India, the Caribbean, and the U.S. (LoMA). ADHT and AMT students
within complex urban societies and ecosystems. Miguel Robles-Durán has guided high school seniors in the
taught architecture, urban theory, creation of a game to explore
MA Urban Design Studies (under development) and urban design. He co-founded “place, space, and community,”
Through study of transdisciplinary research methods, students Cohabitation Strategies, a Rotter- enabling them to experience
acquire a critical understanding of urban design as a scholarly dam-based foundation and design thinking and hands-on
discourse and practice involved in the transformation of cities. cooperative for architecture and collaboration. The Parsons group
The program prepares students for careers in academia, media, urbanism that employs design designed Routes and Homes,
museums, and public policy agencies. in urban areas characterized by an embodied game played on
BS Urban Design (launched in fall 2010) uneven development. Rama an outdoor game board by LoMA
This program is studio-based, embodying the civic mission of Chorpash, the newly appointed students. They also created lesson
The New School through a mix of liberal arts, design theory, director of BFA Product Design, plans for LoMA seniors to use
and professional practice. Students explore design in relation to brings expertise in manufacturing in teaching younger students,
change such as global urbanization and migration, heightened and materials innovations. His and a publication sharing
environmental awareness, and new technologies. award-winning interdisciplinary with the community what the
studio has designed for firms such students learned.
For more on these programs and MS Design Management and as Herman Miller, Hewlett-Packard, See page 03, image 14.
MA Design Studies (both in development): www.newschool.edu/ and Swatch Lab New York.
thinkparsons.

FOOLISH touring go with DYE


PRIDE tbilisi the flow IS CAST
The Illustration and Foundation Parsons alumni Christopher Product Design presented BS Urban Design director
programs made this past April Nesbit ’08, Georgeana Ortiz FLOW, a juried body of student Victoria Marshall created
Fool’s Day an interactive event ’09, Duncan Tonatiuh Smith work that appeared at the 2010 the Urban Dyeing course to
in the Arnold and Sheila Aronson ’08, and Ida C. Benedetto ’09 International “educate students about plants,
Galleries. Students took turns traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia, in April Contemporary Furniture gardening, garden design, public
creating a projected Exquisite to present their theses alongside Fair (ICFF). Three mobile space, and participatory models
Corpse-style digital triptych. students from European and post- tables designed by the School of engagement.” Students tested
Students sketched source Soviet countries in the Tbilisi Inter- of Constructed Environments fabrics and planters, germinated
images on Wacom digital tablets national Regional Festival. Spon- displayed a collection of pieces seeds, and in May planted on
in response to words called out sored by Florence’s Romualdo Del inspired by the various meanings campus using containers made
by Foundation director John Bianco Foundation and the Tbilisi of flow, including a pitcher of recycled materials and in
Roach . Other students added State Academy of Art, the festival created using ancient instrument- collaboration with the Union
to the drawings, connecting them explored how an intercultural making techniques, a kit for Square Partnership. Plants were
across the three panels. Roach exchange of art and design could collecting stem cells from blood, chosen for their suitability for dyes
and Illustration director Steven promote deeper understandings of a table fashioned by termites, and for their positive effects on
Guarnaccia deemed the event cultural heritage and sustainable and a multidirectional pot. biodiversity. Students in Laura
a success as a creative and lifestyles worldwide. The Parsons See page 02, image 09. Sansone ’s Natural Dyeing class
community-building exercise for team, led by Lydia Matthews, will use the plants to color wool
Parsons. dean of Academic Programs, took www.parsons.edu/icff and yarn from the Hudson Valley.
See page 02, image 05. top honors, with Smith winning the See page 03, image 18.
Grand Prize and Nesbit First Prize.
See page 03, image 13. urbandyeing.blogspot.com
02 NEWS & EVENTS

01

EVENTS
Headspace 2010
01 Virtual Beauty filmmaker JANE NISSELSON,
MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, and architect
Toshiko Mori chat at “Headspace.” 02

Stephan Weiss Transdisciplinary


Design Lectures
02 Natalie Jerimijenko, MFA Transdisciplinary
Design program director Jamer Hunt, and Nigel 03
Snoad in a post-lecture recap.

Fashion in Film: New York


03 Amy Fine Collins presenting a film; John
Epperson with Klute actors and costume designer;
series organizer Jeffrey Lieber with Judith 03
Thurman; film critic ARMOND WHITE .

Photography Lectures at Aperture


04 Spencer Finch fields questions after his talk. 04

Foolish Corpse
05 Foundation and illustration students and 03
program directors JOHN ROACH and STEVEN 03
GUARNACCIA collaborate on an evolving digital
triptych projected in the Aronson Galleries.

Parsons Fashion Benefit


06 Dr. WILLIAM K. FUNG of Li & Fung Limited,
VERA WANG, dean JOEL TOWERS; JASON WU.

Derek Lam and jenna lyons at


Parsons reunion weekend 05
07 SIMON COLLINS, LYONS ’90, and LAM ’90 after
their panel discussion before a capacity crowd.
06
Fine Arts Lectures
08 KURT KAUPER presents his work.

06

07

EXHIBITIONS
Flow at ICFF
08 09 BFA Product Design’s booth at ICFF in the Jacob
09 Javits Convention Center; an eventgoer tries out
HYEONIL JEONG’s Caterpillar seat; Mademoicell,
Chelsea Briganti’s stem-cell collector.

 uperheroes and Super-Villains at


S
the Art Directors Club
10 KATIE TURNER’s illustration of a character created
by a young participant at an 826NYC writing
workshop.
10
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
11 In Reimagining Orozco, Enrique Chagoya responded
to themes of Jose Clemente Orozco’s 1930s murals at
The New School; student-made products responding
09 to the show’s themes were also exhibited.

Parsons 2010 Show


12 Work from each of Parsons’ schools was on view in
09 the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.
NEWS & EVENTS 03

11

11

11

12

projectS
12

Parsons Visits Tbilisi


13 Tbilisi, Georgia, which hosted members of the
Parsons community for a festival on cultural tourism.

Homes and Routes


14 Parsons’ JAMES RO ’11 designs a game with
Brittany Thomas of Lower Manhattan Arts Academy.

LVMH Art of Craftsmanship Revisited


on Governors Island
14 15 Student-designed garments were displayed
alongside the artisanal work that inspired them
at an exhibition on Governor’s Island this summer.
13
The project, organized by LVMH in partnership
with Parsons’ Fashion and AMT schools, concluded
with a panel at The TimesCenter.

ILLUSTRATION STUDENT WINS MACY’S


POSTER DESIGN CONTEST
16 The whimsical design by GARRETT PRUTER ’10
advertising the July 4th fireworks brought the recent
grad recognition and a $10,000 prize.

16 Nate Berkus Visits Fine Arts


17 Nate Berkus met with fine arts students and
selected pieces for his clients and his own collection.

Urban Dyeing Class


15 15
18 Working with Victoria Marshall and
Pascale Gatzen, students plant seedlings
of species used to dye cloth.

17

18
18
04 news & events

NOBLE fashion year’s VISITORS ON


EFFORTS forward premieres CAMPUS
Barnes & Noble recently In June, the Council of Fashion This year, student work appeared Recent speakers on campus
introduced items featuring Designers of America bestowed in off-campus venues near included painter Biljana
the work of BFA Illustration four of its prestigious scholarships and far. BFA Photography student Djurdjevic; “Headspace”
students Camden Dunning on Parsons students. The winners Justin Wolf participated in the participants (Majora Carter,
and Katie Turner ’10. Dunning included Carmen Chen Wu, Tate Modern’s tenth anniversary Chandler Burr); Stephan
embellished a laundry bag with who received the $25,000 show, No Soul for Sale, as part Weiss Lecture Series speakers
a line drawing of a laundromat Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar of the K48 artist collective. BFA (ANNA VALTONEN, Andrew
washing machine accompanied Award, the CFDA’s top student Photography students Kristina Blauvelt); Fashion in Film
by the words “Dear Mom, honor; Yuen Chi Lo and Lauren Williamson and Andrea presenters (John Epperson,
Wish you were here.” Turner’s Burnet, each of whom was Bakacs both took part in Jeunes Tom Kalin, Evan Calder
illustration Cute Boys adorns one awarded a $10,000 scholarship; Talents 2010, a cultural tourism Williams); “AfterTaste”
journal; Dunning’s humorous and Paul Negron, who received project featuring photography presenters (Claudy Jongstra,
interpretations of the ubiquitous an Honorable Mention CFDA shows in LA and France. In New Robin Guenther); Career
NYC paper coffee cup decorate Scholarship. Past winners include York City, the Art Directors Services Lecture Series
another. Parsons was one renowned Parsons alumni Club hosted a show for 2010 participants (Vena Cava);
of three U.S. art and design Peter Som, Jack McCollough illustration graduates, and 2010 Visiting Fine Arts Lecture
schools selected to contribute of Proenza Schouler, and fine arts graduates showed their Series speakers (Alejandro
designs for the product line, Chris Benz. work at The Kitchen, a nonprofit Cesarco, Nicole Eisenman);
available at Barnes & Noble. experimental art space. SCE Lecture Series speakers
www.cfda.com (Renny Ramakers, Wolfgang
www.barnesandnoble.com Feist); participants in Parsons
Photography Lectures at

art for combined Aperture (Alex Prager,

gallery oprah forces


Sarah Anne Johnson);
“Design and Existential Risk”

crawl In May, Oprah Winfrey’s


For Superheroes and Super-
Villains, a creative writing
speakers (Robin Hanson,
BRUCE STERLING); and guest
lecturers in Brian McGrath’s
The Sheila C. Johnson Design design expert, Nate Berkus, workshop sponsored by 826NYC Theory of Urban Form class
Center showcased the winners visited the Fine Arts program to and the Brooklyn Superhero (ALBERT POPE, PAOLA VIGANO).
of this year’s Architectural League tape a segment for her special Supply Company, young people See pages 02–03, images 01–04, 07–08.
Prize for Young Architects anniversary episode. Under conceived comic book characters
and Designers in ReSource, the guidance of MFA program with the help of Parsons
an exhibit on view this summer. director Simone Douglas, nine illustration students. Steven
Re-imagining Orozco (June
12–Sept. 25), on view in the
students from the undergrad and
graduate programs presented
Guarnaccia, director of the
Illustration program, noted that
riverside
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen
Gallery, revisited José Clemente
work to the Oprah crew to explore
the process of buying and selling
the collaboration offered the
students professional practice and
reno
Orozco’s mural cycle A Call to student art. Berkus walked away “the sheer pleasure of illustrating Graduate students in the School
Revolution and Table of Universal with three new student pieces— the wildly imaginative work.” of Constructed Environments’
Brotherhood, commissioned two for clients and one for his See page 02, image 10. Design Workshop were
by the university in the 1930s. personal collection. challenged to renovate the historic
The murals are the only public See page 03, image 17. but dilapidated 101st Street
commission by a Mexican artist Terrace facilities in Manhattan’s
that remains in New York City
today. Engine 212: Activist activated Riverside Park. Students
Interiors (Sept. 15–25)
explored the importance of
fast minds
redesigned the much-used space
to serve the diverse needs of
interiors in civic and urban life.
The exhibit featured the work
company This summer, a team of Art,
Media, and Technology faculty
everyone from Little Leaguers to
park rangers. Construction is slated
for completion in early 2011.
of AAS Interior Design students This summer, Parsons faculty and students, led by BFA Design
who collaborated with Brooklyn members and alumni were and Technology program director
activists to transform a defunct recognized for their creative Ben Bacon, MFA ’06, partnered
FDNY building into a community
and arts center. Living
endeavors. Faculty members
Igor Pusenjak ’00 and Zachary
with the technology company
AMD on a month-long work-
ENVIRO-
Concrete/Carrot city,
an exhibition and programming
Lieberman ’02 and alumna
Natalia Allen ’04 were among
shop for students in Beijing’s
Dandelion Middle School.
AWARE
series about urban agriculture, the top 50 of Fast Company’s Dandelion’s 500 students BFA Product Design student
turned the center into a gathering 100 Most Creative People in designed and programmed Joseph Saavedra ’10, won the
place for communities to explore Business 2010. Faculty members games using Activate!, a curric- first-place Kölner Design Preis.
urban planning, activism, and Pablo A. Medina and Lucille ulum developed by PETLab at His project, Citizen Sensor, is a
economic justice (Oct. 1–Dec. 15; Tenazas were selected to take Parsons. Activate!, a game- wearable device that collects,
see pages 16–17). part in Design Journeys, an building tool, sharpens science, interprets, and shares data about
See page 02, image 11. exhibition of work by designers of technology, engineering, and environmental pollutants.
color in the AIGA, the international math skills and increases
www.newschool.edu/sjdc professional association for thesis.jmsaavedra.com
awareness of global environ-
graphic designers. mental issues.
faculty News 05

AMPLIFY:
Creative and
Sustainable
Lifestyles in
the Lower
East Side
The Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability
(DESIS) Lab at The New School recently held
workshops and an exhibition at the historic Henry
Street Settlement. The exhibition, AMPLIFY:
Creative and Sustainable Lifestyles in the Lower
East Side, is part of a project funded by the
Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation
Fund 2009, which focused on grassroots sustain-
ability and social innovation efforts on Manhattan’s
Lower East Side. Installations on display ranged
from community gardens to collaborative support
services for older adults, each demonstrating how
design-based action can help urban communities
address everyday needs. An oversized interactive
map highlighted local sustainability efforts.
Examples of social innovation projects from around
the world were also on view. Lara Penin, an
assistant professor in Parsons’ School of Design
Strategies and a co-organizer of AMPLIFY, along
with Eduardo Staszowski and Cameron
Tonkinwise, described the exhibition as part
of a two-year research project that is establishing
The New School’s leadership in the growing field
of design for social innovation.

www.amplifyingcreativecommunities.net
06 PORTFOLIO

portfolio
Students from each of Parsons’ schools
were assigned to select end-of-year work
by their peers, giving them a chance to
reflect critically on creative work outside of
their own practice. ADHT student James
Ro ’11 describes the experience below.
I was invited to represent the School of Art and Design History and
Theory (ADHT) and introduce the feature as a student from a school
in which curatorial expertise is cultivated. First-year courses taught
at ADHT equip us to enter an academic dialogue that challenges
traditional disciplinary boundaries and methodologies and addresses
social, political, and economic concerns. The critical thinking skills
we develop apply to many disciplines, as evidenced in students’
curatorial statements.
Stepping outside of my home school to evaluate colleagues’ work
and the underlying methods and theory made me appreciate theory
as the basis of a design education. The exercise, which involved
self-reflection, also helped me grow as a student and future designer.

James Ro, BFA Architectural


Design ’10, BA/BFA ’11, comments on
NINA TORR, BFA FINE ARTS ’10
Nina Torr’s work explores cultural messages about the indefinite
boundary between fine art and craft. At first, Torr’s creations seem
to be implements from a pre-industrial past. On closer inspection,
the viewer notices that the “tools” have curious features, which raise
questions about their purpose and hint at purely aesthetic functions.
Do they exist merely to delight? Or to perform mysterious tasks? The
ambiguity of their functions seems to reflect the evolving distinction
between craft and fine art. Should aesthetic judgment be applied with
equal weight to fine art and craft? Is craft synonymous with fine art,
or is it defined by utilitarian or commercial qualities that set it apart?
Art historians explore these matters to enrich our experience of work
that, like Torr’s, operates on a number of levels.

Simeon Poulin, MFA Design and


Technology ’10, comments on
ANDREAS JOSEPH, BBA DESIGN
AND MANAGEMENT ’10
I chose this website [Just Scene] because I immediately recognized
its significance for journalism. The Web can play an important role
in democratizing the media by facilitating what Andreas Joseph calls
“citizen journalism.” It gives people a platform not just to share
stories with an audience but also to communicate with and learn
from other citizen journalists.
I also appreciate the amount and depth of the research Joseph
conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the realm in which
the product would live. He explored not just domains and precedents
but also the potential market value of such a product.
Coming from a design and technology background, I am interested
in learning about the technology Joseph will use to realize his project
and in viewing a working prototype.
Mettle by Nina Torr
PORTFOLIO 07

Just Scene by Andreas Joseph


08

Augmented Shadow by Joon Moon


PORTFOLIO 09

Kiara Walker, BFA Fashion


Design ’10, comments on
JOON MOON, MFA DESIGN AND
TECHNOLOGY ’10
Augmented Shadow is what you get when you’ve found the harmonious
balance between technology and narrative. This project evokes
wonder and sparks the viewer’s imagination. Without words, it
conjures up ideas about utopia, life, death, truth, conservation,
and the real versus the virtual.
A great designer can make a product that is more than just an object;
he or she can create something with which people can interact.
Designers have a responsibility to build bridges between disciplines,
ideas, and people.
I admire Joon Moon’s Augmented Shadow for its use of narrative
to encourage critical thinking without dulling the imagination. Moon
inspires viewers to create their own narratives and pass them along,
just as the figures in Augmented Shadow carry light into their own
dark surroundings.

Carrie Walker, MFA Lighting


Design ’10, comments on
ANNA CHOI, BFA FASHION
DESIGN ’10
Anna Choi’s fashions celebrate the human figure in fluid line drawings
made of fabric. Sophisticated construction underlies what appears
at first to be simple designs. I chose a piece in which draping along
the body highlights the model’s form and contrasts with the collar’s
sharp outline.
Choi expertly uses color—wisps of pale orange in a field of yellow-
green, for example—to add interest, accentuate movement, and
frame the bodice. A necklace in a related but neutral hue completes
the composition and balances the action of the translucent skirt.
I see even the decision to pull the shirt hem below the vest as
justified. Nothing about this piece seems arbitrary or contrived.
Choi’s work represents the process-driven methodology that Parsons
students are strongly encouraged to employ.

Design by Anna Choi


10 PORTFOLIO

Alyssa Davis, BBA Design and


Management ’10, comments on
JOSÉ VIDALON, M.ARCH ’10
Architecture demands a great deal. A building should be
both functional and aesthetically pleasing, elegantly housing
and supporting the activities for which it was designed.
Architects design under a variety of constraints while creating
work that expresses their aesthetic vision.
José Vidalon’s Memorial Museum for the Victims of the Political
War is a visual embodiment of his idea of constructed memories.
The decision to make the memorial a connecting bridge is highly
imaginative; the design contrasts with the static form of most
memorials, which often makes them seem emotionally remote.
Vidalon’s design is both functional and deeply moving. The layout
of this memorial makes it a timeless and unforgettable place.

Memorial Museum for the Victims of the Political War


by José Vidalon
FEATURE 11

Design &
URBAN
ECOLOGIES
by Joel Towers

Urban ecologies are constituted by and constitutive of human-natural population now lives in metropolitan areas. In Pickett’s view, “The
relations within spatially heterogeneous urban environments. Resilience integrated studies to examine biodiversity, nutrient and energy flow,
is a measure of health within an ecosystem and is a good predictor ecological structure, and dynamics of all these things through time
of the long-term viability of the system. Understanding the resilience have not been done.… The social, hydrological, atmospheric, and built
of cities as ecosystems is critical to their future. This perspective components of the systems must also be included. All the disciplines
represents an important shift in the kind and scale of problems that required for this complete ecological understanding of an urban area
design practitioners will be expected to address. Parsons embraces this have not been pulled together in a focused study before. This is cutting
enlarged vision of design’s potential, and our engagement with urban edge research.”1 Pickett and his colleagues are undertaking this kind
ecologies is helping Parsons lead in design education and practice. of work in Baltimore. Parsons faculty participate in that work, and we
Parsons has a long history of environmentally reflexive design. are bringing it to NYC.
Over the years, faculty members have incorporated the study of Writing on urban design, architectural historian and critic Kenneth
sustainable design into their teaching in innovative, diverse, and Frampton explores the far-reaching implications of this research for
provocative ways. Building on this commitment and expertise, I joined design. He invites designers to play a broader role in finding solutions
the faculty at Parsons in 2003 as the first director of Sustainable to urban problems by addressing systems instead of only built forms.
Design and Urban Ecology. At the time, establishing Parsons’ position Infrastructures such as transportation, waste disposal, and land
at the junction of social and ecological design was critical. Pairing reclamation represent other targets for design interventions.2
sustainable design with urban ecologies, Parsons and The New Urban geographer David Harvey offers perhaps the best
School signaled a commitment to finding innovative approaches articulation of the challenge and importance of urban ecologies: “The
to environmental problems instead of merely reacting to the integration of the urbanization question into the environmental-
mainstreaming of green, or ecodesign, methods. We knew that teaching ecological question is a sine qua non for the twenty-first century. But we
the most advanced techniques in sustainable design was a clear have as yet only scraped the surface of how to achieve that integration
requirement for contemporary design education. But Parsons and the across the diversity of geographical scales at which different kinds
university had higher ambitions. of ecological questions acquire the prominence they do.”3
Leveraging our unique position within New York City and as These insights into the nature and importance of urban ecologies
a division of a university with a remarkable social science and call for a paradigm shift in design education. They also point to an
public policy faculty, we sought to activate design as a means of expanded role for designers, who are uniquely well positioned to
understanding, assessing, and transforming socionatural relations. grapple with the challenges of urban settings. Parsons is committed
We also challenged ourselves to advance a new social imaginary—a to supporting research and design education in this emergent area.
new set of values and pedagogy to guide our work—in the midst
of one of the most complex constructions on the face of the planet: Joel Towers is dean of Parsons and a founding partner of SR+T Architects.
the ecosystem known as the city.
Ecologist Steward Pickett, writing on the Baltimore Ecosystem
1 w ww.beslter.org/frame2-page_1_3.html#2 (accessed September 6, 2010).
Study website, addresses the importance of urban ecological research
2 Kenneth Frampton, “Toward a Dynamic Mediatory Approach in the Field of Environmental
and describes cities as complex ecosystems encompassing social Design” (September 2002).
behaviors and organizations along with natural systems. Underscoring 3 David Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (Oxford, UK: Blackwell
the need for this kind of research, he points out that most of the U.S. Publishers Ltd., 1996).
Facin
12 FEATURE

the Su
by David Sokol
With the goal of creating new models of affordable sustainable housing, the Parsons-led
Empowerhouse team is drawing on expertise from across The New School and beyond for
its entry in the Solar Decathlon 2011 competition

Every other autumn since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has its ultimate function as a permanent dwelling, its mode of
transformed the National Mall in Washington, DC, into a parade construction, the inclusion of a local community in the
of homes of the future. The U.S. Department of Energy invites planning, and its green and site-specific features. Whereas
20 college teams to take part in the international competition, other demonstration houses are taken on tour or displayed
in which they design solar-powered homes, build them on the on campus after the Solar Decathlon, Empowerhouse SD
Mall, and operate them as residences for ten days. Participating will be the only submission to house families in DC.
in the competition is an ambitious and demanding undertaking Parsons’ involvement in the Solar Decathlon dates back
for the student-led teams. This year, Parsons The New School four years. Joel Towers, now Parsons dean, and Laura
for Design has taken up the challenge for the first time, Briggs, chair of Sustainable Architecture in Parsons’ School
with an entry called Empowerhouse SD, created in partnership of Constructed Environments (SCE), began exploring
with Milano The New School for Management and Urban participation in the competition as a way to showcase the
Policy and Stevens Institute of Technology. expertise in sustainable design being developed at Parsons.
Empowerhouse SD already has significance far beyond They also saw the project as a means of advancing the
the competition. The project serves as a lab for the interdisci- collaborative work of the Architecture and Lighting Design
plinary methods evolving throughout The New School and the programs, both of which are now part of SCE.
participatory service-design approaches practiced at Parsons. Parsons faculty were generally enthusiastic about the
It unites ongoing efforts at the university to apply design contest but did have some reservations. “Solar Decathlon
solutions to complex matters of economic and environmental projects cost millions of dollars,” says Alison Mears, outgoing
sustainability at all scales—in this case, housing. These inter- chair of Practice-Led Research in Parsons’ School of Design
connected goals for Empowerhouse SD will give the home Strategies (SDS) and incoming director of the undergraduate
another life after the Solar Decathlon, when it will be trans- Architectural Design and Interior Design programs. “We’re
ported from the Mall to the Washington, DC, neighborhood of really interested in seeing whether this technology can be
Deanwood. There, it will join a companion structure built by applied in an affordable and replicable way.” Parsons’ desire
Habitat for Humanity, DC, in partnership with the DC Depart- to treat Empowerhouse SD as a prototype for affordable
ment of Housing and Community Development. The structures housing led to a partnership with Milano. Teams from the two
will form a two-family house for local residents. schools have worked together before, consistently dominating
Parsons’ entry is radically innovative in a number of ways: the annual JPMorgan Chase competition, in which contestants
g
FEATURE 13

01

un
02
03

04

01. An early rendering of the


Empowerhouse SD house interior,
showing the modular furniture
in context.

02. Students in Lyn Godley’s Product


Design class designed window
boxes for growing vegetables,
as part of Empowerhouse’s ideas
for sustainable living.

03. Site of the second Empowerhouse


structure, in the neighborhood of
Deanwood. The house, to be built
in partnership with Habitat for
Humanity, DC, will be joined to the
one built for the Solar Decathlon to
create a two-family home.

04. This prototype combination


screen and bench, developed
in the Product Design class, features
photovoltaics to collect solar
energy; the screen and seat afford
privacy and comfort

05. Product Design students


developed plans for modular
furniture, such as the shelving,
bench, and counters shown
here—items that could be built by
local high school students using
readily available materials.

05
06

develop real estate proposals with nonprofit partners for a professor who is on the Milano management team. Com-
underserved communities. munity members’ input has shaped key aspects of the design,
Once gestated, Empowerhouse got underway in fall 2009 he explains. For example, Deanwood residents selected the
at breakneck speed. Students identified developer partners fruit and vegetables to be grown on the duplex roof, which
and development sites in the District of Columbia, then will help meet the community’s nutritional needs.
submitted a first-round proposal to the Department of Energy The complexity of the project and the priority placed
in November. Although there was no guarantee that the project on accommodating local needs demonstrate the importance
would make the short list, The New School and Stevens dedi- of an interdisciplinary approach. Because each building is
cated several classes to the Solar Decathlon for the following the nexus of many natural systems and social phenomena,
semester. In January 2010, the students received the go-ahead the design requires experts of all stripes. “In order to create
to submit a second-round proposal; in April, they were a shelter that provides its own energy, we needed electrical
accepted as contestants in next October’s competition. engineers. In order to maximize interior daylight without sac-
The students have combined their skills to impressive rificing solar harvest, we needed lighting designers. In order
effect. Briggs points to the team’s adaptation of a standard to create a building that meets its residents’ requirements,
thermodynamic model, revised by Parsons architectural de- we needed input from the community,” Briggs explains.
sign students and Stevens mechanical engineering students, Alison Mears supports this networked approach to design,
as an example: “They developed a script that connects the adding, “If there were easy answers, creating affordable
3D design software Rhino to that program, so that variations sustainable housing wouldn’t be such a challenge.” She
in form and surface can be evaluated against building per- notes that green features of the design offer benefits to the
formance. The engineers who developed the thermodynamic surrounding area as well as the site itself. By incorporating
model have not yet dovetailed it with 3D software.” a system to accommodate stormwater that takes into account
In the spirit of participatory design, the Empowerhouse soil makeup and topography, for example, the Empowerhouse
project involves Deanwood residents as full-fledged team- SD design can dramatically reduce runoff and promote
mates. “The worst mistake you can make with community- absorption of precipitation draining from a wider radius.
based projects is parachuting in with all the answers and not The harvest of the roof garden could feed other households.
learning from the community itself,” says John Clinton, Typically, Solar Decathlon teams combine solar-powered
FEATURE 15

06. A recent rendering of the two


conjoined houses: Empowerhouse
SD, the Solar Decathlon entry,
and the house built on-site in the
Washington, DC, neighborhood
of Deanwood.

07. Product Design students created


tableware that can be carried easily,
in accordance with accessible
design practices.

07
08. A floor plan of the current design
for the two-family house. Efficient
heating and cooling systems and
application of Passivhaus principles
will allow the structure to meet its
own energy needs.

09. Students in Alison Mears’ Urban


Communities class designed a
system to collect water from the roof
and use it to irrigate a garden. 08

10. Lighting design and architecture


09
students referred to photos
recording available solar energy
throughout the year to position and
design the house and its elements.

11. A current drawing of the house


that Habitat for Humanity will help
build for two Deanwood families,
who will be selected in the spring
of 2011.

10 11

and other active technologies with passive sustainability The cross-disciplinary approach of the Empowerhouse
strategies. For Empowerhouse SD, students studied techniques project explains much of its significance to Parsons and The
of Passivhaus, the use of design features that rely on site New School. The next issues of re:D will examine the many
orientation, insulation, and ventilation to meet stringent en- disciplines working together to research and create the
ergy standards. They point out that Empowerhouse SD’s two structures and their components. Part 2 introduces students
modules are energy conserving on their own but perform from Mears’ spring 2010 course Urban Communities, who
optimally when conjoined, an arrangement that minimizes heat investigated Deanwood’s dynamics to facilitate collaboration
loss. The passive heating and cooling methods of the design between Empowerhouse and the local community and city
make it possible to use much less energy-intensive mechanical officials. Subsequent issues will explore the way the team
systems. This configuration lowers space and heat operating tailored Empowerhouse SD’s spatial configuration, engineer-
costs by 85 percent; the money saved could be invested in ing, and marketing to meet community needs and bench-
family necessities and support the local economy. marks for sustainability.
A project of such complexity requires a great deal of Empowerhouse has already become a model for interdis-
coordination. Briggs’ Architecture and Social Practice class ciplinary practice to address challenges of the urban context.
serves as a meeting place for team leaders and provides con- The house on the Mall is impressive on its own. Making the
tinuity for the work. The students also share their work four house a home for a community that is uniting around matters
times each semester and document their progress on a multi- of environmental, social, and economic justice is an achieve-
media server. One of the main responsibilities of the Milano ment on a grander scale. The team’s next mission is bolder
students is to help manage the array of participants. “You still: to develop the lessons from Empowerhouse SD into
can say we’re upping the ante from the Chase competition, models for architecture and urban planning that promote
because this project runs over many semesters and it will affordable sustainable housing in the United States.
get built,” Briggs says. She and her colleagues are striving
to improve the process, and they’re taking notes: The team’s www.newschool.edu/solardecathlon
strategies for collaborative work will be applied in the Urban
Design program SDS is launching this fall and the master’s David Sokol is a New York-based writer and contributing editor at Architectural Record
program in sustainability Clinton is developing at Milano. and Surface magazines.
016
FEATURE 17

Community Centered
A year into her role as chief curator and director of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Radhika
Subramaniam is ready for things to get a little messy. Envisioning the center as a place
where people interact with ideas and one another rather than merely observe, Subramaniam sees
tantalizing opportunities to bring together research areas, communities, and notions of the role
of a gallery. She uses the analogy of dinner guests gathering in a kitchen. “You’re there cooking,
and everyone has ideas about what goes in; everyone is talking. It’s a bit untidy, but that’s
where you want to be: where people gather.” Kitchen conversation is an apt metaphor for the
programming series and exhibition she and environmental studies professor Nevin Cohen,
a specialist in urban agriculture and planning, have curated for the center. Subramaniam
and Cohen spoke to re:D about Living Concrete/Carrot City and the way it engages a diverse
community in dialogue about urban agriculture.

re:D: You’ve described the Living Concrete/ together people who might not otherwise be talking to one another.
I use that model from my own background in anthropology; I like
Carrot City programming series and that ability to talk at an everyday level about bringing about change.
exhibition as a “triangulation of design,
NC: A number of interdisciplinary programs across the university
food and water systems, and communities.” address urban agriculture. For instance, I’ve taught a joint
Please elaborate. Parsons-Environmental Studies course for which students designed
ways to make the New School food system more sustainable.
Radhika Subramaniam: Living Concrete focuses on design They had to learn what sustainability means, as well as the limitations
interventions—not products as much as design-led solutions— of that concept; research the food system; and come up with a
that address communities’ access to and control of food and water design solution.
and the way that affects the health and habitability of urban areas.
It explores how small-scale, local food production and distribution
systems in cities quietly but powerfully challenge the agro-industrial re:D: How does the center put a
complex. curricular mission at the heart of the
Nevin Cohen: It’s about more than just growing food; it’s about curatorial process?
the social interconnections fostered by food production in the city.
What does it mean for communities to take control of the food RS: The show will present course-related projects including
they need? In some cases, it means producing the food themselves BronXscape, a roof garden that students designed and built for a
locally; in others, lobbying for public policies to improve the food they community of young adults aging out of the foster care system. It’ll also
have access to. Radhika and I knew that the focus of Living Concrete address ongoing efforts to provide service design expertise to NYC
should be civic urban agriculture; through networks of urban community projects. I want to showcase student and faculty projects
food production, we can actually build community and address as moments in a conversation. They aren’t necessarily exemplary; you
systemic inequities. don’t learn from them as ideal projects—they are provocations that
offer entry points for someone else. It’s about creating a culture around
RS: The show is a catalyst for discussion rather than purely thinking that is porous but rigorous and well supported.
exhibitory—it’s a platform for public pedagogy. Every Wednesday,
we’ll host a public talk or panel on topics like local farming, food NC: At least one project will grow during the exhibition: Over the
production, design and social change, policy, and the role of the course of the semester, students in my Planning Sustainable Cities
university in food studies and systems. There will be a public reading class will map out, in the gallery, developments in the NYC food
and screening space, a place for people to meet and talk. system. Students will do field research to find these elements,
then record them on the map, revealing significant patterns. There’s
another educational mission at work in helping curate the show—
re:D: How did this collaboration sharing research with a wider public and facilitating dialogue about
come about? urban agriculture.

RS: It began in conversations with Nevin about bringing Carrot City,


a traveling exhibition on design and food production, to the center. Living Concrete/Carrot City runs from October 1 to December 15, 2010, in the Anna-
I realized that across The New School a great deal of research is being Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons
done on food, the environment, and cities. Hosting Carrot City and The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street. The exhibition is free and
building on it was an opportunity to generate conversation and bring open to the public. www.newschool.edu/sjdc
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20 ALUMNI MESSAGE

Alumni Networks Saratoga Springs, NY


Parsons Alumni at third annual The New School
Goes to the Races
Events help Parsons grads support
one another and stay in touch.

01
Los Angeles Anezka Sebek, MA Media Studies
Parsons Networking Mixer ’04 and director of Graduate Studies,
and SIGGRAPH Reception AMT; Karen Chin, BFA Illustration
’01; and Rob O’Neill, MFA Design
and Technology ’01

09 06
Kim Butwell, BA Liberal Arts ’91, and Janice Noto-Helmers, BFA
Justin Butwell Illustration ’76, and Phil Helmers

02
Kat Reilly, MFA Design and
Technology ’11; Michael Davis,
BFA Illustration ’83; and Rob
O’Neill

07
Astrid Brucker, BFA Fashion Design
’90, and Daniel Reardon

08
David Hatchard and June Yoshimura,
03 BFA Architectural Design ’02
Nancy Eaton, MA History of
Decorative Arts and Design ’91; Zee
Shakur, BA Liberal Arts ’00; Anezka
Sebek; and Karen Chin

04
Lizi Ruch, BFA Fashion Design ’84;
Bertram Keeter, Cert. Fashion Design
’77; and Montrese Chandler, AAS
Fashion Design ’00

10
Rafael Holguin, BFA Communication
05 Design ’90 (SVP and design director
Michael Davis and Angie Wojak, at Palio; host of the pre-races
director of Career Services Parsons alumni brunch)
ALUMNI MESSAGE 21

WASHINGTON, DC
Scholarship Celebration at Annual Parsons DC
Chapter Event

12
Dean Joel Towers and Parsons board of governors chair Sheila Johnson
with lead donors to the Parsons DC Alumni Scholarship: Dee MacDonald-
Miller, BFA Environmental Design ’75; Debra Gilmore, BFA Environmental 13
Design ’81; and Tom Grooms, BFA Architectural Design ’75. Lead donor Tom Grooms and Jackie Gray, MA
not pictured: Bob Bilicki, BFA Fine Arts ’81 History of Decorative Arts and
Design ’07

14 15
Joel Towers, Sheila Johnson, guest, Guest and Nicole Miles, AAS
and Eric Steiner (Parsons parent) Fashion Marketing ’08

The Power
of Participation
Parsons DC Alumni Establish a
New Scholarship
When a group of Parsons graduates A number of people made the scholarship
11 combine their skills and talents, anything initiative possible, but Dee MacDonald-
Erin Stine, assistant director of Admission, and is possible—even creating a new Miller ’75, a senior vice president at
Julie Doerschlag, AAS Interior Design ’96 scholarship. The Parsons DC chapter of The Jones Lang LaSalle, played a central role.
New School Alumni Association recently Ms. MacDonald-Miller helped launch the
established a scholarship, funded by Parsons DC chapter in September 2009
nearly 40 alumni, that will provide $5,000 and now serves as chair. She was recently
in tuition assistance each year until 2014 appointed to the New School Alumni
to a Parsons student from Washington, Association board, along with Parsons
DC, who demonstrates financial need. alumni Martha Alexander ’79 and
Charlotte M. Ensign, a sophomore enrolled Michael McKinnon ’05.
in the BFA Architectural Design program,
has been chosen as the first recipient In its first year, the chapter has built
of the scholarship. She says, “Receiving a diverse membership that includes
this scholarship has helped a great deal graduates from most of the degree and
towards making my dream of attending certificate programs and from the classes
school in Manhattan a reality. The financial of 1944 through 2009. The chapter is a
support offered by The New School was dedicated group whose activities include
a huge factor in my decision to attend an annual networking event, prospective
Parsons The New School for Design.” student recruitment, a working group for
the Solar Decathlon (see pages 12–15),
11
The scholarship initiative shows the power and fundraising for the scholarship.
Sheila Johnson
of participation and the difference gifts
of any size can make in helping a project There is still time to participate. If you
or program succeed. It has also given would like to make a gift, join the chapter,
alumni a way to help current students or kick off a similar effort in your area,
and leave a tangible legacy to the contact Jessica Arnold at the following
university. Contributors and other alumni address:
celebrated the success of the scholarship arnoldj@newschool.edu
drive in September at kstreet lounge in
Washington, DC.
22 ALUMNI PROFILES

city intersections
Alumni engage with urban ecologies in areas ranging from
environmental activism to sustainable practices to urban business
systems. Their collective experience reflects a growing understanding
of urban centers as dynamic intersections of environmental, cultural,
political, and economic networks.

AARON LOWN, BFA ’91


product Design
school of constructed environments

Love your stuff.


“That’s what people say about our
products,” says Aaron Lown, co-founder
of BUILT, the award-winning SoHo-based
design firm. “So those three words became
our company tagline.”
The popularity of BUILT’s simple yet
sophisticated neoprene products—from
its first offering, bottle totes, to its latest,
iPad sleeves—catapulted the company
from a two-man start-up to a 50-employee
firm within seven years.“At the beginning,
we didn’t even have seed money, but
we had a simple idea, and we knew how to
incorporate manufacturing into the design
process.” Today BUILT sells products in
more than 50 countries and is projecting
$32 million in sales for 2010.
“By designing fashionable, functional
products that people want to keep and
reuse,” explains Lown, “we can take a step
away from a disposable economy.”
A member of Parsons’ first graduating
class in Product Design, Lown describes
the program as having an entrepreneurial
focus. “The professors taught craft but
also the connection to the retail end—how
to manufacture, sell, and talk to a buyer,”
he recalls.
Product design has always fascinated
Lown. He sold handmade objects to local
shops when he was very young, and at age
25 exhibited his fiberglass, leather, and
aluminum stool at the Museum of Modern
Art. Lown designed and built window
displays at high-end New York retailer
Bergdorf Goodman. He later established
the Product Design department at KIDI,
Parsons’ affiliate school in Japan.
Lown freely discusses his past work
for top firms such as Calvin Klein and
Kate Spade but remains tight-lipped about
what’s next for BUILT. “We’re developing
new materials,” he says. “Our latest project
is top secret.”
www.builtny.com
ALUMNI PROFILES 23

MARK LOEFFLER, MFA ’90


LIGHTING
DESIGN
SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTED ENVIRONMENTS

Mark Loeffler’s career as a lighting


designer began in the 1970s, when he
worked for the Austin Ballet Theatre in the
legendary Armadillo World Headquarters.
There he created stage lighting and ran
spotlights for headliners like Frank Zappa
and Willie Nelson. During his ten years
at the theater, Loeffler learned the power
of lighting. He marvels, “I could use light
to make people cry.”
In the late ’80s, Loeffler headed to
STEFAN CAIAFA, BFA ’02 the Northeast, only to discover an over-
abundance of theatrical lighting designers
photography and a shortage of employment. An
advertisement for Parsons’ graduate
SCHOOL OF ART, MEDIA, AND TECHNOLOGY Lighting Design program led him to
architectural lighting.
“Travel is in my blood,” says Stefan Caiafa, who has visited more than 60 countries and Loeffler credits Parsons with taking
speaks five languages. Caiafa, who grew up in Brasilia, landed his dream job at National him to the center of the fields of architec-
Geographic Traveler magazine after graduating from Parsons with a BFA in Photography. tural lighting and environmental design.
“Since I also studied communication design,” explains Caiafa, “I had the skills needed “Students learn from the best in the busi-
to develop and revamp merchandise and product catalogs and to work on the Web.” ness,” he explains. Today Loeffler heads
Caiafa’s experience with National Geographic became his passport to the field of the New Haven office of Atelier Ten, an
sustainable tourism. He subsequently used his creative and communication design skills international leader in sustainable design,
while consulting on sustainable tourism projects for the United Nations Foundation, and has consulted on green building
Expedia, Inc., the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme. He also projects worldwide. He also lectures at
took courses at the London School of Economics and now plans to work in international Parsons. “It’s an exciting time in architec-
development. tural lighting design,” Loeffler says.
“Countries need help to ensure that their cultures and communities aren’t destroyed www.atelierten.com
by the influx of tourism,” says Caiafa. A visitor to nearly 70 World Heritage Sites, Caiafa
describes them as “monuments to our humanity and presence on the planet.” photo: Ave Maria Oratory Exterior View
24 ALUMNI PROFILES

casey coates
danson, BFA ’75
environmental
design
school of constructed environments

Sometimes taking action on a personal


level can lead to action on the global level.
That’s what happened to Casey Coates
Danson, who quit a mind-numbing nine-
to-five job on Wall Street for a second
go-around at college. “I always knew that
I had a mission in life to be creative,”
says the LA-based architectural designer.
“Going to Parsons was like an explosion—
the thinking, the creativity, the curriculum!”
She still has her college portfolio.
Danson graduated with honors in the
mid-1970s with a BFA in Environmental
Design, long before “sustainability”
became a household word.
After working in Cambridge and New
York, Danson headed to the West Coast.
Learning about the growing hole in the
ozone layer soon after led her in a new
direction: educating people about the
environment, particularly the global
effects of climate change. To that end,
she co-founded the American Oceans
Campaign (which later joined with
Oceana) in 1987.
Still passionate about architecture,
Danson decided to work on promoting
environmental awareness in the field.
She founded Global Possibilities, a
nonprofit advocating the use of solar and
renewable energy to reduce dependence
on fossil fuels, in 1996; she also built
two solar-powered homes. Danson
recently produced the award-winning
documentary Who’s Got The Power?,
which addresses dependence on fossil
fuels and their relation to global warming.
“We’re facing a crisis in climate
change, and the built environment is
the greatest culprit, consuming more
than 70 percent of the electricity used in
this country,” explains Danson. Although
admitting she can’t save the world,
Danson remains undeterred. “We can
have the greatest impact in the shortest
time with the least amount of money if
we improve our built environment.”
www.globalpossibilities.org

Stills from Who’s Got the Power? (2009)


ALUMNI PROFILES 25

amy benczik
fabry, MA ’00
history of
decorative
arts and
design
SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN HISTORY
AND THEORY

“At Parsons, we had unparalleled access


to these amazing collections,” recalls
Amy Benczik Fabry, who earned an MA in
the History of Decorative Arts and Design
in the university program, co-sponsored
by the Smithsonian Institution.
At the time, the program was offered
in Washington, DC. Every day, museum
curators would guide Fabry and her class
through the Smithsonian’s artifact-filled
halls before visitors began streaming in. natalya
This experience brought design history sverjensky, BBA ’09
design and
to life for Fabry, providing her with an
invaluable background that has enriched

management
the interiors she designs for clients.
After starting her career in a boutique
joanne cordero firm, she is now a senior interior designer
school of design strategies
reyes, BFA ’04 at HOK, one of the world’s largest
design practices.
fashion Fabry deeply values sustainability
and incorporates it in her designs.
“I never dreamed that I’d be living in
London,” says Baltimore native Natalya
school of constructed environments “Environmentally responsible design Sverjensky.
started about ten years ago, yet few Since early 2010, Sverjensky has
A stack of sketches inspired one-time companies wanted to spend money on been working as a strategy consultant
architecture student Joanne Cordero materials and processes to make built at the UK-based Futerra Sustainability
Reyes to change career paths. environments sustainable,” she explains. Communications, an international agency
“I realized that all my drawings were “Today sustainability is becoming a that helps clients promote sustainable
of clothes—only one was of a building,” common practice; through creativity, development. Sverjensky interned in the
Cordero Reyes says, recalling her desk we can reduce our carbon footprint.” firm’s New York City office while studying
at the University of Washington. Even for her design and management degree
www.hok.com at Parsons.
as a child, she doodled fashions at her
family’s boutique. “At The New School, I learned how to
Deciding where to study was easy. advocate effectively for sustainability,”
“Parsons tops the list of fashion and says Sverjensky. “In the BBA program,
design schools,” notes Cordero Reyes. I developed ways of communicating the
New York—the longtime home of her business case for sustainability that
beloved grandfather, a world-traveling appealed to different groups.”
composer—beckoned, sealing her At Futerra, Natalya works with a
choice. “I moved to New York and then wide spectrum of organizations, from
studied at Parsons in Paris during governments to NGOs to multinational
junior year.” companies. Her clients include
Cordero Reyes’ remarkable talent has Greenpeace, Unilever, and the United
opened doors at top fashion firms such Nations Environment Programme.
as Vivienne Tam, Reem Accra, Monique Natalya recently produced a successful
Lhuillier, and J. Mendel, netting her online survey—What Kind of Reporter
prestigious awards along the way. Are You?—to examine how companies
In 2007, Cordero Reyes launched her are using corporate social responsibility
own line, Vicente Villarin (named for reporting to reach stakeholders. The
her grandfather), which has brought her survey was launched at this year’s
celebrity and critical acclaim. Global Reporting Initiative Conference
Today Cordero Reyes can be found in in Amsterdam.
Manhattan’s fashion district, designing “We’ve reached the point where there’s
for Carolina Herrera, a position she awareness about sustainability at global,
describes as “a chance of a lifetime.” national, and local levels,” observes
Sverjensky. “Now the challenge is getting
www.vicentevillarin.com people to do something about it.”
26 connected

“Stephanie was a joy to have in our class at Parsons.


She worked hard to become a successful fit and
runway model. She was a tremendous fan of Parsons
and did all she could to benefit the school. I will
always keep her in my heart and thoughts.”
—Salvatore R. Cianci, BFA Fashion Design ’58

“Stephanie brings to mind words like ‘spirited’


and ‘determined.’ It was Stephanie who brought
us together for our reunion and helped us all
stop and reflect on our wonderful years at Parsons.”
—Susan Friedman, BFA Fashion Design ’58

“Stephanie was my closest friend at Parsons and


the person who gave this Southern girl her first
experience skiing—which ultimately influenced my
career: I became fashion editor of Skiing magazine.”
—Barbara Alley Simon, BFA Fashion Design ’58

Before walking the runway, Stephanie Bradshaw pauses as Sal Cianci


adjusts the dress he designed for the Parsons senior show.

REMEMBERING
STEPHANIE BRADSHAW
BFA FASHION DESIGN ’58
“Connected” features alumni who made a difference at Parsons
through work with faculty, students, and alumni. Jessica Arnold,
MS ’05, director of Alumni Relations, and other alumni fondly
remember Stephanie Bradshaw, whose dedication helped shape
the Parsons alumni experience.
I had the honor of meeting Stephanie Bradshaw in 2006, when the current alumni program was just getting
started. I like to say that she was our very first volunteer. While others were skeptical about participating
in the program, Stephanie jumped right in, making phone calls, writing personal notes, and sometimes just
cheering us on! Her ideas were instrumental in shaping The New School Alumni Association. Sometimes
she would come all the way into the city from Connecticut to brainstorm ways to engage alumni. Thanks
to her efforts, Parsons’ first 50th reunion was an enormous success and many of her classmates joined
her for a weekend full of laughter and reminiscing. During the reunion, it became clear that Stephanie
was a person who commands attention, brings out the best in others, and never takes no for an answer.
Stephanie’s enthusiasm was infectious; she made my staff and me feel that we had the best jobs in the
world. We miss her, but her spirit lives on at every volunteer meeting and Parsons event.
THANK YOU 27

our supporters:
July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010

in good $25,000+ Frick Byers ’96 Peter Sole and Helen


Ashley Abess ’05 John Calcagno ’73 Mumford Sole (P)
Jayne and Leonard Abess, Jr. CBX Coleman Brandworx Andrew and Karen Spann (P)

company The Charles and Yvette


Bluhdorn Charitable Trust
Dominique Bluhdorn
Mike and Alice Chen (P)
Benny Kung Wing Cheung (P)
Owen Coleman ’58
Celina Stabell ’98
Steven Stolman ’80
Luis and Maria Suberville (P)
Educating aspiring Harlan Bratcher
The Brown Foundation,
College Central Network
Paul De Pourtales (P)
Frances and Isaac Suder ’47
Syms Corporation
artists and designers Inc. of Houston Michael and Barbara Marcy Syms
requires the commitment Diane von Furstenberg
and Barry Diller
DiGuiseppe (P)
Michael Donovan ’69
The Teck Foundation
Fred and Robin Tedori (P)
of not only parents and Joseph Gromek
Sheila C. Johnson
and Nancye Green ’73
Marjorie ’51 and
Elizabeth A. Terrell ’76
J. Nicholson and Kakuko
teachers but the broader Donna Karan ’87 Robert Feeney Thomas (P)
community as well. Sidney Kimmel
Cora B. ’51 and
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
David B. Ford
Lee and Marvin Traub
T.R. Designs, Inc.
Parsons is fortunate to Clarence F. Michalis
Susan Plagemann
Michael and Mary Gellert
Janice W. Gewirtz ’78
Nancy Vignola ’76
Jessica Weber ’66
have generous support Alyce Williams Toonk Robin Glasser ’90 Claire S. Werner ’83
from companies for our Nancy Walker
Alan Wanzenberg
Dara and Jay Godfrey ’04
Victoria Hagan ’84
Oi Siong Yeunh and
Siew Lee Chew (P)
mission and students. Warnaco, Inc. Hallmark Corporate
Foundation
Eddy Yuen and
Katherine Chow (P)
$10,000–$24,999 Ronald and (P): Parent of a current
Jennifer Andrus (P) Cheryl Halpern (P) Parsons student.
Recently LF USA—a subsidiary of Li & Takis and Evita Arapoglou (P) Mary Harper (P)
Fung Limited, the Hong Kong-based global A|X Armani Exchange William Harper, Jr. (P)
consumer goods exporter—pledged funding Jane D. Hartley Frank Alvah
Stephen Berger and Cynthia Parsons Society
for two new scholarships at Parsons. C. Wainwright (P) William Hodgins ’63
The first, the Kathy Van Zeeland Scholarship, Hal and Andrea Harriet H. Holstein (P) Members of the Frank Alvah
named for the renowned fashion industry Burroughs (P) Ann ’76 and Joel Horowitz Parsons Society demonstrate
veteran and accessories designer, will support Condé Nast Publications Jewish Communal Fund their passion for and commit-
juniors and seniors in the internationally Beth Rudin DeWoody of New York ment to Parsons The New
recognized BFA in Fashion Design program. Donna Karan International Linda M. Kane and Gary D. School for Design by making
Drake Design II, Inc. Stewart (P) gifts of $1,000 or more to the
Scholarship recipients will be selected Mr. and Mrs.
on the basis of merit by a panel from the Jamie Drake ’78 Annual Fund. Members of
Gilt Groupe Matthew Kawamura (P) this group receive benefits all
School of Fashion. The scholarship is Debbie Kuo ’85
intended for students who plan to specialize Eck Meng Goh year, including invitations to
Bob Greenberg Kurt Salmon Associates lectures and exhibit openings
in accessory design. Nathan Laffin ’89
Reed Krakoff ’89 and recognition in re:D. More
The second LF USA scholarship will be Susan M. Lyne Joosun and Mi Kyung Lee (P) important, members make
awarded to gifted local high school students Anand and Anuradha Dominick Leuci ’92 a difference in the lives of
in Parsons’ acclaimed Scholars Program. Mahindra (P) Aura V. Levitas tomorrow’s design leaders.
For three years, Parsons Scholars take art Marie Claire Dee MacDonald-Miller ’75
and design studio classes, participate in R/GA Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Annual Fund gifts to Parsons
college preparatory workshops and cultural May and Samuel Rudin Mark Mancini ’85 provide unrestricted funds
field trips, and are mentored as they develop Family Foundation, Inc. Heidi Mathey ’02 that are allocated wherever
artistic skills and consider further art and Tomio Taki Michael McKinnon ’05 the need is greatest. These
design studies. Pamela Thomas-Graham Dr. and Mrs. Brian gifts are key to Parsons’
Kay Unger ’67 Mekelburg (P) ability to meet priorities
Thanks to donors like LF USA, Parsons can Lillian Zucker Anelle Miller ’74 such as scholarships, faculty
extend art and design education to bright Revocable Trust Andrew and Fatima Ng (P) recruitment and retention,
and talented students and deepen the and Jessica Ng ’10 and facilities improvement.
relationship between The New School and Sandra Davis Owen ’57
the communities of New York City. These $1,000–$9,999 Elizabeth ’95 and For more information on the
scholarships support young people who want Anonymous (2) Robert Pitts Frank Alvah Parsons Society,
to attend college to prepare for careers in Martha Alexander ’79 Tracy Reese ’84 please contact Melissa
art and design. Parsons also receives the AOL Time Warner Susan Roth (P) Cowley Wolf at the following
gift of a more diverse community of creative Arnold and Sheila Aronson Scott Sanders ’98 address:
individuals who can foster one another’s Gerald Barad (P) Christopher and
talents under the guidance of leading Lucia T. Benton ’00 Pascale Schmidt (P) wolfmc@newschool.edu.
teachers who are working professionals. Rita Blickenstaff (P) Kouichi Sekiguchi (P)
Chong Bok and Rok Ja Yi (P) The Arch W. Shaw
Gladys Bourdain Foundation
Mario Buatta ’61 Margaret J. Smith
Melissa Burnett ’06
28 cover story

re:D (regarding Design) FALL 2010

Executive Editor Nancy Donner

Editorial Board Jessica Arnold, Latoya Crump,

Cover
Sean Moriarty, Jen Rhee, Laetitia Wolff

Parsons Advisory Board Joel Towers, Hazel Clark,

Story
Simon Collins, Miodrag Mitrasinovic, William Morrish,
Sven Travis, Mark Hannah

Managing Editor Julie Novacek Godsoe

When invited to design re:D’s cover, Marcos Chavez Editor John Haffner Layden

saw a professional challenge for his BFA Contributing Writers Rose Cryan, Suzanne Bronski,

Communication Design students—one that they Kate McCormick, Gabrielle Mangino, David Sokol

met with sophistication and ingenuity. Alumni Relations Jessica Arnold, Mara Caruso,
Latoya Crump, Rachel Denny

Art Director Isa Gouverneur


Urban art and design schools often seek out partnerships with clients offering
students real-world experience. Parsons faculty member Marcos Chavez Senior Designers Paula Giraldo, Lisa Maione,
needed only to turn to the school’s alumni magazine to find such an opportunity. Shoko Tagaya, Alex Ku
Approached to create re:D’s cover, Chavez, principal and creative director of
Production coordinators Steven Arnerich, Sung Baik
TODA New York, proposed his Art Direction class as designers. Students met
with re:D staff to learn about the magazine’s audience, editorial voice, design, Copy Editor Leora Harris
and theme. They then formed teams to brainstorm concepts, which were formally
pitched to re:D’s editorial committee. The students’ understanding of and Produced by Communications and External Affairs,
creative engagement with the theme of the issue impressed the committee. The New School
In the selected concept, urban artifacts create the silhouette of a sylvan
Letters and Submissions re:D welcomes letters to the
landscape, capturing the interplay of built and natural environments. The concept
editor as well as submissions of original manuscripts, photo
required the students to construct a set, which they then photographed in two
submissions, and/or artwork. Unsolicited manuscripts, related
days of intense work. During the final stages, Andrew Goh remarked, “We’re
materials, photography, and artwork will not be returned.
gonna be up all night, but that’s what you do to stay in the game.”
Please include your year of graduation, degree completed,
and major or program.

Address Changes Please submit your address changes at


www.newschool.edu/alumni.

CONTACT US re:D, Parsons The New School for Design,


79 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY 10003
alumni@newschool.edu
www.newschool.edu/alumni/newsletters.html

PARSONS (760-830) Volume 28, No. 3, November 2010.


PARSONS is published six times a year, in July, October,
November, December, April, and May, by The New School, 66
W. 12th Street, NY, NY 10011. Periodicals rate paid at New York,
NY, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address
changes to PARSONS, 66 West 12th Street, NY, NY 10011.

credits: Ida C. Benedetto (News & Events); Rod Berg


(Alumni Message); Luis Berríós-Negrón (Table of Contents,
Pathways); Marcos Chavez (Cover Story); Rachel Denny
(Alumni Message); Massoud Hosseini (Pathways); Marty
Heitner (News & Events); Eric Laignel/Eric Laignel
Photography (Alumni Profiles); Dan Lecca (Table of Contents,
Portfolio); Conway Liao (News & Events); Eric Lugley (Alumni
Profiles); Kate McCormick (News & Events); Pure + Applied
(Faculty News); Martin Seck (Table of Contents; News &
Events, Portfolio, Community Centered); Clint Spaulding/
PMc (News & Events); Eduardo Staszowski (Faculty News);
Matthew Sussman (Table of Contents, Red-Handed); Charles
Votaw (Alumni Message).

The New School does not discriminate on the basis of age,


race, color, gender or sexual orientation, religion, religious
practices, mental or physical disability, national or ethnic
Marcos Chavez with communication design students. From left to right: Stephanie Kim, origin, citizenship status or veteran or marital status.
You Sun Min, Varenka Ruiz, Mutiara Kasih, Soo Song, Tina Lee, Ernesto Gutierrez, Andrew Goh,
Tina Fang, Simon Lugassy, Esther Yang, Anny Yang, Simoni Bhansali, Melanie Sugiura, Ward
Roberts, Soo Yen Lee. Not pictured: Scott Walker.
red-handed 29

red-handed
CARRIE MAE ’09
In 2007, Carrie Mae left the deserts of Arizona for the concrete oasis of New
York City, where she began an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons. For her
thesis, Confiscated Weapons of Mass Construction, Carrie Mae explored concepts
of security—spiritual and physical—in her new setting. She created sculptures and
wearable art out of scissors surrendered during airport screenings, arranging them
in rings that call to mind Tibetan sand mandalas or skeletons of plants or animals.
Carrie Mae connected the scissors with other artifacts of her surroundings: zip
ties and concrete. From a distance, their abstract geometries soothe, but closer
inspection yields provocative commentaries on security in the contemporary era.
www.carriemae.com
OFFICE OF ALUMNI RELATIONS, PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN
79 FIFTH AVENUE, 17TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10003

Visit Parsons’ dynamic new website: www.newschool.edu/parsons