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  • Industrial Design MFA

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    Yvette Chaparro, Director

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  • The MFA Industrial Design program prepares you to negotiate the seemingly contradictory forces at play in the growing product design industry. You 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). You combine advanced making skills with critical inquiry and hone your skills using Parsons’ state-of-the-art product prototyping and testing facilities.

    Program Highlights

    • Purposeful Practice

      Learn to integrate and reconcile competing interests such as economical and sustainable production, consumerism, social improvement, and global and local production.

    • NYC Design Hub

      Access the country’s capital for creative-sector jobs and top design talent, New York City, with local industry events and collaborations with commercial and nonprofit partners.

    • In-Demand Skills

      Learn 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.

    • Creative Collaboration

      Share fabrication and studio spaces with students from related graduate programs in Architecture, Lighting Design, and Industrial Design, fostering interdisciplinary work.

    • Applicant Profile

      The program attracts students with experience in product design but also accepts candidates from other professions and disciplines such as engineering, fine art, management, and anthropology.

    • Degree Master of Fine Arts
    • Format Full-time, on campus
    • Credits 60
    • Duration 2 years
  • Curriculum

    In their second semester, MFA Industrial Design 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.

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  • Career Paths

    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, and toy design.

  • Student Work

  • The Industrial Design faculty of design practitioners aim to develop a community of designers committed to improving industry, protecting the environment, and promoting the quality of life.

  • Beyond the Classroom

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      Research Labs

      Research is integral to the Parsons learning experience, and students and faculty work together to challenge existing paradigms and advance emerging scholarship and practice. Explore the thematic research laboratories housed at Parsons and throughout The New School.

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      Industry Engagement

      Connect to the organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs driving global creativity and commerce. In classes, internships, and extracurricular projects, you gain marketable problem-solving skills in sectors ranging from government and nonprofits to tech and creative industries.

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      Internships

      New York City’s thriving creative industry and cultural institutions are part of your Parsons education. Our Career Services Office is enmeshed in the art and design industries and can help you advance your career with industry-oriented internships. 

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      Funded Opportunities

      Funds are earmarked for graduate travel, research, and work to support your study. Opportunities include paid teaching assistantships, research fellowships and assistantships (including ones offered throughout The New School), ample student employment, and other grants available to U.S. domestic and international students alike.

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      Making & Academic Resources

      Enjoy access to extensive resources including New School libraries, computer labs, archives, and studios, along with Parsons’ state-of-the-art Making Center, facilities offering a broad array of tools to support your creative and academic growth.

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