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Parsons School of Design Dean's Office oral history project

 Collection
Identifier: PC-07-01-03

Summary

This collection consists of audio interviews with alumni of Parsons School of Design recorded between 2013 and 2015. Interviewees include James Drake, Nancye Green, Michael Donovan, Marc Jacobs, Dee McDonald-Miller, and Kay Unger. Interviewers include Executive Dean of Parsons Joel Towers and The New School Archives Director Wendy Scheir. The interviews are retained as digital files.

Dates

  • 2013-2015

Creator

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Digital transcripts (PDF file format) for each interview are also available for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish or post in any public form all or part of a recording or transcription from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Interviewer Biographies

John Haffner Layden
As of 2016, John Haffner Layden was associate director of messaging and editorial content in The New School's Marketing and Communication unit. He has been employed at The New School since 2008 and was previously a freelance writer and editor.
Wendy Scheir
Wendy Scheir came to The New School in 2008 to direct the Kellen Design Archives for Parsons School of Design. In 2012, while continuing to lead the Kellen Design Archives, Scheir established the first ever university archives at The New School. Prior to starting at The New School, Scheir worked for the New York Public Library, where she was project archivist on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to process the records of the New York World's Fair Corporation, 1939-1940. She holds a BA in English Literature, an MFA in Film, and an MA in History and Archives, all from New York University.
Joel Towers
Joel Towers is Executive Dean of Parsons The New School for Design, a role in which he has served since 2009. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design, and was the dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons before being appointed to his current positions. Prior to joining The New School, Towers taught in Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. A practicing architect for two decades, Towers co-founded the firm Sislian, Rothstein and Towers (SR+T Architects). Towers came to The New School in 2004 as the first director of Sustainable Design and Urban Ecology. In 2006, he became the inaugural director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center and Associate Provost for Environmental Studies. Towers received an M. Architecture from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Extent

2.75 Gigabytes (14 digital audio files; 5 transcripts)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of digitally-recorded audio interviews with alumni of Parsons School of Design recorded between 2013 and 2015. Narrators include Jamie Drake, Nancye Green, Michael Donovan, Marc Jacobs, Dee McDonald-Miller, and Kay Unger. The interviews are conducted by executive dean of Parsons Joel Towers with The New School Archives and Special Collections director, Wendy Scheir. The exception to this is the interview with Marc Jacobs, which is led by Towers and John Haffner Layden, associate director of messaging and editorial content for The New School's Marketing and Communication unit. The project was initiated by Joel Towers with a view toward using a set of interviews with prominent Parsons alumni as the seed for a website that would invite alumni to record and upload their own narratives about attending Parsons. One of Towers's principal objectives for the project was to draw alumni out on the subject of how a Parsons education had fed alumni's professional lives and careers. The website project did not progress beyond this initial stage.

Arrangement

Interviews are arranged alphabetically by name of interviewee.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

New School Archives and Special Collections Director Wendy Scheir assisted with conducting the interviews, which were recorded using equipment provided by the Archives, and files were accessioned immediately upon download.

Existence and Location of Copies

Original Wave recordings have been converted to MP3 files for patron access. The New School Archives and Special Collections also commissioned transcripts and offers them as PDF files.

Related Materials

The New School Archives holds oral history interviews with other Parsons School of Design alumni, faculty, and staff in the Parsons School of Design oral history program (PC.07.01.02) and the Parsons School of Design centenary oral history project (PC.07.01.01).
Title
Guide to the Parsons School of Design Dean's Office oral history project
Status
Completed
Author
Cami Haladay and New School Archives and Special Collections staff
Date
January 22, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin