parsons school of design announces 2021 graduate festival celebrating creativity, innovation, and sustainability

MFA Textiles' "Emerging Fibers" show is on display at Donna Karan's Urban Zen until May 23rd

Communication Design students created this year's digital platform, bringing the five schools of Parsons together in a vibrant and interactive atmosphere

Parsons Festival 2021 Logo Design: Chloe Gad, BFA Communication Design '22

May 18, 2021, New York - The New School's Parsons School of Design presents Parsons Festival 2021, a virtual celebration and exhibitions program featuring the class of 2021’s unique and cutting-edge graduate thesis presentations and capstone projects.

Although Parsons has been remote since the COVID-19 pandemic began, students were able to create exceptional interdisciplinary work that reflects the school’s leading art and design education from around the world. This year’s thesis work showcases the students’ resiliency, flexibility, and creativity, with projects that are focused on sustainability, inclusivity, social justice, and more.

The virtual program exhibitions feature student works ranging from Architecture, Product Design, and Data Visualization, to Illustration, Photography, Strategic Design and Management, Integrated Design, Textiles, and more. Additionally, communication students in a semester-long class taught by Lucille Tenazas, Henry Wolf Professor of Communication Design, designed an online festival portal to showcase work from across all of Parsons’ 39 degree programs.  

In addition to the online exhibition, the windows on the ground floor of the Parsons building at 2 W. 13th street have been transformed into a video installation featuring work from students, which will play on a loop. The projection design was also created by the Communication Design students who designed the festival portal.

“Our amazing 2021 graduates are completing their studies at Parsons remotely, and for the second year in a row, we will showcase their thesis collections in a bold virtual exhibition,” says Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. “The added bonus of the extraordinary work that they’ve created for this virtual festival is that it can be shared with an even larger and more geographically-diverse audience in the art and design community than ever before, and for a longer period of time. Despite the adversity presented by COVID-19, this festival embodies our students' best qualities as designers, artists, strategists, and scholars who are committed to creative problem solving, critical thinking, and social justice.” 

Parsons is also participating in NYCxDesign, where student work will be featured in a digital yearbook, as well as on LinkNYC campaigns throughout the city. Students have also been selected to present their work as part of a residency program with Hudson Yards and ARTSThread.

Works by MFA Textiles students will be exhibited at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen until Sunday, May 23rd. Guests can book a timeslot to view the show here

The following is a list of each program’s student work that is currently available for viewing.

School of Art, Media, and Technology

  • Communication Design - AAS, BFA
  • Data Visualization - MS
  • Design and Technology - BFA, MFA
  • Fine Arts - BFA, MFA
  • Illustration - BFA
  • Photography - BFA

School of Constructed Environments

  • Architecture - MArch
  • Architectural Design - BFA
  • Industrial Design - MFA
  • Interior Design - AAS, BFA, MFA
  • Lighting Design - MFA
  • Product Design - BFA

School of Design Strategies

  • Design and Urban Ecologies - MS
  • Integrated Design - BFA
  • Strategic Design and Management - BBA, MS
  • Theories of Urban Practices - MS
  • Transdisciplinary Design - MFA Coming Soon
  • Parsons Scholars

School of Art and Design History and Theory

  • Fashion Studies - MA
  • History of Design and Curatorial Studies - MA

Parsons Paris

  • Art, Media, and Technology - BFA
  • Fashion Studies - MA
  • Fashion Design - BFA Coming Soon
  • Strategic Design and Management - BBA

School of Fashion

  • Fashion Design - AAS, BFA Coming Soon
  • Fashion Management - MPS Coming Soon
  • Fashion Marketing and Communication - AAS Coming Soon
  • Textiles - MFA Coming Soon

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.


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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
[email protected]

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