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Parsons School of Design Advanced Research Seminar student manifestoes

Identifier: PC-02-10-01


Collection consists of student projects created as a final assignment for Professor Esther Choi's Advanced Research Seminar: Constructed Environments during the fall 2016 semester. All students were undergraduates in The New School's Parsons School of Design, primarily in architecture, interior design, and product design programs. The projects take the form of design manifestoes, combining text, images, and different forms of presentation.


  • 2016 December



0.8 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of student projects created in two sections of an Advanced Research Seminar (ARS) course taught by lecturer Esther Choi. During the fall 2016 semester, Choi taught two of the five offered sections of ARS: Constructed Environments. All of Choi's students were fourth year (or higher) BFA or BAFA students majoring in product design (11 students), architecture (6), interior design (3), integrated design (1), or design strategies (1). Product design, architecture and interior design are programs all situated within the School of Constructed Environments.

The assignment prompt was to create a personal design manifesto. According to the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus online, manifestoes are "public declarations or proclamations of political, social, artistic, or other principles" (

Not all students in Choi's two sections decided to donate their manifestoes to the New School Archives; this collection only contains the work of students who opted to make a formal donation.

On December 14, 2016, Choi organized a "Manifesto Extravaganza" for students to share their work. A copy of the event program is included with the collection.

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

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

Historical Note

Advanced Research Seminar is a requirement for bachelor's degree-seeking students enrolled in Parsons School of Design. It is typically taken during a student's penultimate or final year. While course oversight is situated within the School of Art and Design History and Theory, sections of the course are divided by school: Constructed Environments, Fashion, Visual Culture (School of Art, Media and Technology), and Art & Design Practice (interdisciplinary).

The following is taken directly from an online course description of Esther Choi's section:

Advanced Research Seminar is a new course in Art and Design History and Theory that emphasizes advanced research and writing skills in the discipline and literature of the art, design and architecture fields. The course, required for most Parsons students, will prepare students for a thesis or capstone project in the fourth year and ground their art, design and architecture practice in the context of a broader historical and theoretical framework. The class builds on material and skills introduced in the required first-year Objects as History and Integrative Seminar 2 courses and in the second-year history and theory classes. Providing historical context and advanced critical and research methodologies in sections dedicated to art and design practice, the constructed environment, fashion, and visual culture, the instructor will, through lectures, discussions, conferences, readings, and first-hand study of objects and environments guide students through significant research and writing projects. The Constructed Environments inflection presents an opportunity to investigate how the built environment is created through the complex interaction of historical, cultural, social, material, and economic forces. How does the built environment shape our contexts and, by extension, our understanding? What potential lies in an interior's design? How does a product instruct a user? When does a building determine action? Students will explore the interconnectedness of large-scale thinking with on-the-ground user experience to explore the complexity of a designer's engagement.

Esther M. Choi, a PhD student in Princeton University's School of Architecture, taught at Parsons School of Design for one semester in 2016. She holds a BFA and an MFA in photography from Ryerson University and Concordia University, respectively, and an M.DesS. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Previous teaching experience includes teaching in the Criticism & Curatorial Practice and Photography programs of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). Her dissertation is titled, The Organization of Life: Architecture, Biotechnics, and the Life Sciences in Great Britain 1929-1950.

Source: "Esther Choi." Princeton University School of Architecture. Last modified July 8, 2013.

Organization and Arrangement

Intellectually arranged in guide by course section and within each section alphabetically by author. Physically organized in boxes by dimension.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the New School Archives by each student author under the coordination of Esther Choi, 2016.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design Advanced Research Seminar student manifestoes
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
March 13, 2017
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