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Course Description

This hands-on design course introduces students to the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and product design. Students meet online daily with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time creative and technical design instruction, project design development guidance, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory design course incorporates structured away time from the computer in which students investigate world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for design inspiration, direction, and production. Students engage in an iterative creative process that includes synthesizing observation and analysis, critical reflection, drawing, model making, and selecting and evaluating healthy materials. Students build technical skills and develop an understanding of scale, form, and spatial relationships needed to interpret the built environment. The design process is explored and documented through problem solving and integration of essential representation skills such as drawing, rendering, and iterative prototyping of three-dimensional forms. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. The three-week experience includes guest speakers from industry and virtual field trips. From the start of the course, students keep an online journal to document research and project developments for architectural, interior, and product designs. Students leave the class with a better understanding of the interconnectedness among the built environment, ecology, and human experience, empowered to critically engage with cultural understandings of the field.

Learner Outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the virtual art/design studio environment and practice by participating in a variety of synchronous (real-time interaction) and asynchronous (away-time) activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative and technical processes, including themes derived from observing and interpreting world events, social issues, and personal experiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital process journals/sketchbooks documenting research, ideation studies, resolved art/designs, commentary, and self-reflection.
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of art/design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual and evolving art/design identity.
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