Textiles are literally and figuratively woven into human history and culture. Today communities of makers, designers, and scholars are exploring textiles — from locally crafted materials to 3D knitted matter to hand-embellished fabrics — and pioneering textile-based industries and theory. The
Master of Fine Arts in Textiles, launching in fall 2018, enables you to explore these dynamics creatively and reflectively, dissolving the boundaries between technology and craft. In the process, you are prepared for the growing array of creative and professional opportunities related to textiles in fashion design,
product design, interior design, textiles research, set design, fine arts, architecture, and hybrid fields.
This program is part of Parsons' School of Fashion (SOF).
In the two-year, 60-credit full-time MFA Textiles program, you develop a critical understanding of textiles’ sociocultural, environmental, and emotional dimensions throughout human history and into our future. You explore the potential to unite craft with innovative high-tech and bio-tech production. In studio courses, you develop skills in essential fabric-making techniques, such as fiber development and innovation, yarn sourcing and making, weaving and jacquard technology, knitting, pattern design, and textile embellishments. You refine your personal aesthetic sensibilities and understanding of sustainable practices on-site in NYC textile studios and design ateliers, deepening collaborative and conceptual abilities in weaving, dyeing, knitting, and printing. Instruction in business best practices is integrated into each aspect of the curriculum, bringing economic and conceptual real-world skills into the studio.
Your study in the MFA Textiles program is interdisciplinary by design. Coursework connects fields including art, architecture, interior and industrial design, as well as fashion and autonomous design. The curriculum unites concerns ranging from human dignity to environmental sustainability to social justice. Accordingly, the program welcomes applicants from various backgrounds in textile research and making related to the liberal arts as well as creative disciplines including fashion design, interior design, product design, fine arts, and architecture. The goal is to create a diverse textiles community committed to expanding the field and integrating the high-tech innovations of Silicon Valley with local craft techniques developed in the Hudson Valley. Your study prepares you for a future in which smart textiles play many roles, collecting and transmitting data in a variety of products, including domestic goods and woven technology.
Textiles are integral to a diverse array of institutions and industries — from fashion design, interior design, and scenic design to ubiquitous computing, automotive design, acoustic design, and health. At the same time, textiles fulfill the desire for tactile stimulation that accompanies the recent rise in digital and virtual culture. In the MFA Textiles program, you explore these dynamics creatively and reflectively, dissolving the boundaries between technology and craft, in keeping with contemporary practice. In the process, you take an active role in textile cultures and industries, preparing to reimagine textile mills and design businesses, lend studio skills to companies, launch a business as an independent designer or high-tech researcher, or pursue advanced studies.
New York Textile Month — a September celebration of textile culture initiated by MFA Textiles founder Lidewij Edelkoort, dean of Hybrid Design Studies at Parsons — highlights the community-based approach to promoting textile industries that students in the program will find. Local partners in the event become your direct mentors, inviting you into their studios and businesses one day a week to build your creative skills and networks. The growing global interest in textile-related creation brings international players into the fold to partner with the program, extending your understanding of conceptualization and production. The program also draws on Parsons’ institutional partners such as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with its extensive material collections and curatorial resources. Lectures and hybrid workshops by major international designers and producers add dimension to your learning.
The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. Transfer credits are not accepted. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the
university course catalog.
In this class, students build on Major Studio 1 and begin creating textiles and advancing their understanding of the history of the discipline and industrial development. Students propose new scenarios related to current movements
in the field, considering new ways to contribute to the local production and regional sourcing of textiles. Students investigate the prioritization, function, and impact of textiles in fields such as fashion, art, architecture,
and industrial design. In shaping their scenarios, students explore research methods while gathering and examining data.
In this course, students draw connections not only between humankind and textile creation, but also between long-standing traditions and modern developments. Students demonstrate knowledge of different materials and fibers
and their function in society. Through this course, students develop an understanding of the ways in which the culture of cloth is crucial to humans, over time and across cultures. Students assemble materials for a self-directed
research project focused on an aspect of human relationship to cloth. They use original source material and map a series of human interactions and conduct interviews dealing with the people's relationships with cloth. The
final research project and essay on the chosen categories of textiles and humans are illustrated with videos, photos, and textiles.
Students should explore their elective options with their advisors to create a coherent study plan.
In this course, students research a subject for a final textiles trend forecast (preparing for their final studio) and then write, sketch, and design a proposal for a collection of materials to be developed in the subsequent
capstone. Students continue to develop a hybridized practice by making use of theoretical and technical knowledge from various areas including craft in sustainable textiles, textile transformation, smart technology, and
industry and forecasting trends, knowledge they have acquired through their studio work.
In this course, students are supported by external partners and explore the way technology influences the aesthetics, function, and value of textiles in fashion. Teams of students are paired with external industry partners
to address contemporary issues related to textiles and develop an integrative approach to textiles and technology. The Textiles Industry Partnership course is framed around a problem introduced by the partnering organizations,
to which students research and propose and prototype solutions. Over the course of the semester, students are supported by course faculty and experts from the partnering organizations as they develop their ideas into well-thought-out
solutions and presentations. Each semester, the partnership will change, as will the assignment and approach. This course is required for MFA Textiles students and can serve as an elective for students from the MFA Interior
Design, Industrial Design, and Fashion Design programs, as well as graduate students in other aligned studies, resulting in cross-disciplinary teams.
In this class, students explore the communicative qualities of textiles and how weaving processes illustrate societal ideas. The course centers on conducting research and developing a personal philosophy of cloth. Students
investigate the way cloth has influenced and continues to influence people’s lives, reflecting the times they live in. They examine how construction choices might influence the way people use their fabrics, changing the
fashions and design in ways that mirror movements in society. Students produce a written description of their philosophy of the chosen category of cloth and the way it reflects our times, illustrated with photos and textiles,
demonstrating the impact of material making on our world.
In this course, students create a hybrid textile to be developed in close cooperation with industry and ateliers. They start with concept development and move through design iteration, critique, refinement, and application.
Articulation and evidence of the project’s social, environmental, and/or cultural value, as well as its ability to speak to the wide-ranging field of textiles, are essential to the project’s success. Emphasis is placed
on the application of learning and knowledge in the studio sequence and atelier experiences. The final textile collection is presented in a graduate installation.
*Courses may be offered during semesters different from those indicated above, with the exception of Major Studio. The timing of course offerings will depend upon industry partnerships, faculty expertise, and student interest, in consultation
with the program director.
The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space
availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.
Financial Aid Deadline
Merit Scholarships: All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. Scholarship awards are included in applicants’ admission decision letters. International
students are eligible only for merit scholarships.
Federal Student Aid: If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at
www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal
aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.
All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.
Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an
Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Some of your required materials will be submitted through
Preethi Gopinath, Program Director
Vanezza Cruz-Ruiz, Program Administrator
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