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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses

Identifier: PC-02-04-02


This record group consists of text, video, and audio files documenting theses created by students in Parsons School of Design's MFA program in Design and Technology between 2001 and 2019.


  • 2001-2022



36.2 Gigabytes (847 theses, 2104 files)

2 Items (1 poster and 1 CD/R)

Scope and Content of Collection

The Design and Technology theses in this collection are available solely in the form of electronic records. Each thesis is accompanied by an abstract, or "designer's description," written by the student. Most theses have a written component in which students describe their projects in detail. Some also include photographs, diagrams, and video recordings.

The collection inventory should not be considered a definitive list of all program graduates for a particular year. Some students choose not to place their thesis with The New School Archives. Additionally, for pre-2018 theses, The New School Archives may not have received all theses submitted by students in a particular year. For confirmation of graduation from the MFA Design & Technology program, it is necessary to verify with the university's Office of the Registrar.

Language of Materials

All materials in English.

Access Restrictions

Theses are available in electronic form only. Most of the collection is open for research use. For newly accessioned theses, some authors have requested that their theses not be made available online for one year from the date of submission, but have indicated that their theses may be viewed onsite in the New School Archives. In other instances, authors have opted to make their theses completely unavailable for viewing until one year from the date of submission. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

In accordance with The New School's Intellectual Property Rights Policy, copyright is held by each thesis's respective author. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the user.

Historical Note

The Master of Fine Arts program in Design and Technology (MFA DT) was launched in the fall of 1997 at Parsons School of Design, with the aim of bridging design principles and digital technologies. Sven Travis was the first chair of the new program. When Parsons reorganized in the 2000s, the program became part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). According to the program website, MFA DT's full-residency, two-year, 60-credit curriculum is "studio based, but critical thinking and study of the design process are central to the program." Students gain experience in the following areas of practice: interaction design, physical computing, game design, new media art, digital fabrication, data visualization, and critical design.

The program includes Collaboration Studio courses where students work on real-world projects with industry firms and nonprofit organizations. Past partners include Red Bull, Intel, Apple, Eyebeam, gameLab, Human Rights Watch, Mozilla, NASA, the Red Cross, Samsung, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students also collaborate with their peers from other programs and colleges of The New School. Besides the core courses, students may take elective courses offered throughout the New School. As of 2019, John Sharp is the Program Director. [1]

According to the course description for the Spring 2019 Thesis Studio, students are encouraged to develop a research-based artistic practice:

[The MFA DT thesis] is a systematic investigation of a research question based in the domains of art, design or technology. It requires students to identify an area of study, research its major assumptions and precedents, explain the significance and originality of their undertaking, set forth the process and method for proposing solutions, create prototypes, and offer a conclusion through the production of a body of work. The finished project must evidence originality and experimentation, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. The Thesis Project can take many forms, from fine art works, to soft/hardware tools, interactive installations, online experiences, or social experiments. It should demonstrate the application of ideas within an applied context, whether it be in the areas of design, art, commerce, or theory." [2]

[1] [2]

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year of submission and within each year in alphabetical order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The theses from 2001-2017 were submitted to the archives by program administrators from the Parsons MFA Design and Technology Department. As of 2018, electronic theses are submitted to the archives by students in the Parsons MFA Design and Technology program, with support from program administrators.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
June 26, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • May 27, 2021: Jenny Swadosh deleted thesis from 2008 series upon creator's request and updated Scope & Content note to indicate that the collection inventory should not be considered a definitive roster of program graduates.
  • July 21, 2021: Wendy Scheir added 2020 theses, revised collection date and extent to reflect these additions.
  • March 28, 2022: Wendy Scheir added files from a separate accession that go with a 2010 thesis by Amber Krishan; added instances and updated extent.