On September 23rd, Dale Dougherty, founder of Make: and Maker Faire, visited the MFA Products of Design department to talk about "Making as Community Service." After an introduction by department chair Allan Chochinov, Dale offered an impassioned argument for the power of the maker movement—and the power of individuals—to create ever-more purposeful work and consequence around people "just getting to it."
The Class of 2017 was welcomed to the department with a six hour Futuring Workshop, led by Elliott Montgomery, co-founder of The Extrapolation Factory. An imagination-based studio for design-led futures studies, The Extrapolation Factory develops experimental methods for collaboratively prototyping, experiencing and impacting future scenarios. After an introductory lecture presenting three conceptual frameworks for talking about and imagining the future, students were launched into their first assignment: imagine what the future of communication might look like.
We are thrilled to be hosting the U.S. book launch party for faculty member John Thackara's latest book, How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today, published by Thames and Hudson. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 11th, from 7-9pm. Space is limited, so you'll need to RSVP here to attend.
We are thrilled to announce the addition of Rachel Abrams to the faculty at MFA Products of Design. Rachel will be teaching the new Design and Ideology course introduced into semester 3 of the program.
On September 1st and 2nd, 17 new grad students took part in our 2015 Orientation sessions—from futuring in front of Madison Square Park to creating Amuse Bouche entries in a juried food competitions. Enjoys some photos of the workshops below!
This year's Open House and Information Session will take place on Friday, November 6, 2015—from 2-5pm. Attendees will be able to meet faculty, alumni, and current students, learn about the program, tour the studio, classroom spaces, and Visible Futures Lab, and ask questions about life at Products of Design.
We are delighted to announce our Visiting Lecture Series lineup for the Fall 2015 season! (Please note that select lectures are open to the public, so RSVP early!)
Michael Chung, celebrated film maker and faculty member, just put the finishing touches on a new film about student life here at the MFA Products of Design program. We have always been huge fans of Michael's work, and were thrilled to engage him in putting together a video that would simultaneously show what it was like to be a student in the program, along with providing a broad representation of the kinds of people who, well, "live here." We asked Michael about challenges of the project, along with the role that video now plays in the designer's toolkit.
Steve Hamilton’s master’s thesis, Enough is the New More: Reframing Scarcity to Feel Like Abundance, began with a manifesto of dialectics, eschewing our persistently growth-based metric for success, rejecting the last several centuries of western economic culture that led to the consumerization of happiness in the United States, and offering a more humane and sustainable alternative. His early research centered around a plethora of “wicked problems”—including those pertaining to vastly embedded systemic structures such as energy, materials, transportation, and the design of our cities—and culminated in a set of radical artifacts that speculate on an alternative future.
Design strategist and storyteller Julia Plevin did not realize how much of an effect the environment had on her wellbeing before she moved to New York City to attend the Products of Design program and found herself yearning for nature. After a harsh New York City winter left her depressed and out of whack, she realized that she suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And she realized she was not alone. According to the National Institute of Health, 6% of the U.S. population suffers from seasonal affective disorder and 14% of the U.S. population suffers from winter blues. These numbers are even larger if you consider many Americans live in places like California or Florida that do not have long, cold winters.