As more and more of the global population are living in cities, designing for urban centers has become a challenge that no discipline can tackle alone. To prepare designers to understand the rapidly changing urban landscape, Parsons The New School for Design has launched a Bachelor of Science in Urban Design, the country's first undergraduate degree program of its kind.
The program is structured around a series of projects that address the roles of design in relation to critical issues facing cities such as sustainability, global migration, and economic instability. Through activities such as collaborative workshops and design studios, students engage directly within various New York City contexts to develop real-world design solutions to urban challenges.
"Cities have become far too complex for any one person, academic discipline, or professional practice to grasp alone," said program director Victoria Marshall. "Through a mix of studios, workshops, field work, and social science courses, students will critically engage with the aesthetic, cultural, ecological and political dimensions of urban life."
Parsons has expanded its noteworthy faculty to include international designers Aseem Inam and Miguel Robles-Duran. Inam is an architect and urban planner who specializes in infrastructure, disaster relief, and rural habitat development. Robles-Duran is co-founder of Cohabitation Strategies, an international cooperative for architecture and urbanism, where his work has focused on the design of interventions and strategies in uneven urban developments and areas of social urban conflict.
These new Urban initiatives are based on the School's strategy, which encompasses innovative programs that apply design thinking to study the intersection of cities, services and ecosystems. It also includes undergraduate programs in environmental studies, integrated design, design and management, and graduate transdisciplinary design.