Integrating sustainable design strategies with new developments in technology and materials, the two-year, full-time professional MFA in Interior Design program prepares a new generation of designers to address social changes and demographic shifts shaping clients’ needs today. A faculty of distinguished practicing professionals work with students to imagine new possibilities for the design of habitable space. The program hosts “AfterTaste,” an international conference dedicated to exploring the connections between interior design and fields including art, architecture, film, science, psychology, philosophy, medicine, and music.
The 60-credit studio-based and research-oriented curriculum challenges students to analyze the relationship between human behavior and perception of the interior. Courses investigate materials and their environmental impact, fabrication and manufacturing processes, building systems and operational energy consumption, drawing and digital representation, and the history and theory of interior design. During the second year, students develop a thesis project, written thesis book, and exhibition. This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
Using New York City as an urban laboratory, the curriculum draws on Parsons’ long-standing connections to design firms, manufacturers, galleries, and museums. Students supplement core classes with electives offered throughout Parsons and the rest of The New School in fields such as design and technology, anthropology, psychology, and environmental and urban studies.
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New York City boasts the country’s largest number of creative-sector jobs and attracts top design talent. Local industry events and collaborations with commercial and nonprofit partners deepen connections to the field. In the MFA Industrial Design program, students combine advanced making skills with critical inquiry to design for production at all scales, from low volume to high volume, employing methods ranging from desktop manufacturing to systems involving global supply chains. Students develop their knowledge and skills at the university’s state-of-the-art product prototyping and testing facilities.
The MFA Industrial Design curriculum balances competing interests such as economical production and sustainability, consumerism, social and environmental improvement, and global and local production, investigating ways to integrate and reconcile these forces as a whole. In their second semester, MFA students explore limited-run making in New York City, and in the third semester they can investigate large-scale global production through virtual collaborations or study abroad at sites including Parsons Paris. A specialized thesis project offers opportunities to develop designs that advance — or challenge — industrial design theory and practice.
Parsons’ Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design program offers an innovative two-year, 60-credit full-time graduate curriculum that prepares students to negotiate the seemingly contradictory forces at play in the growing product design industry. Students explore the way goods can be produced in both localized contexts (a “making in place” approach, which relies on regionalized needs and constraints) and globalized contexts (employing design principles focusing on universal needs). Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments includes graduate students in Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design, creating a unique learning community.
This program is part of Parsons' School of Constructed Environments (SCE). Learn about the SCE community and explore our SCE blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
The faculty of design practitioners aims to develop a community of designers committed to improving industry, protecting the environment, and promoting the quality of life. The MFA Industrial Design program attracts motivated, reflective students with experience in product design but also accepts candidates from other design professions and disciplines such as engineering, fine art, management, and anthropology. An innovation-focused university with programs in the social sciences, business and management, media studies, and the performing arts, The New School offers complementary courses that enrich design practice.
Students graduate equipped with the ability to integrate the many considerations involved in product design and to lead as socially aware makers, strategists, and industry specialists. Graduates emerge prepared to design innovative products and lead the industries that produce them as well. Career paths include industrial design, product development, manufacturing, furniture design, humanitarian and service design, toy design, design management, and architectural building systems.