Graduation in the year 2020 is anything but normal, but the resilience and creativity by schools and graduates is inspiring. Parsons Art, Media, and Technology alumni have designed a virtual platform bringing the five schools together in a vibrant, interactive, and party atmosphere that is the Parsons Festival 2020.
The intent of the platform is to create a virtual celebration of the leading art and design school’s graduating students’ intellectual, innovative, and cutting-edge artistic achievements. The online exhibition encourages repeated viewing and compelling ways to engage and interact with student work.
Students’ work is currently available for viewing on the recently launched site from departments including Architecture, Data Visualization, Design and Technology, Fine Arts, Photography, Interior Design, and Strategic Design and Management. In the coming weeks, the work of Communication Design, Integrated Design, and Transdisciplinary Design students will be added to the website, culminating with the School of Fashion in early July.
Award-winning musician Solange Knowles and her creative agency Saint Heron are partnering with the School of Fashion to launch Here and Now, a virtual festival that will highlight the work of students across the fashion programs.
Upcoming special events include the School of Art and Design History and Theory’s Spring 2020 Festival showcase on May 30, and on June 5, the Urban Graduate programs at Parsons will host From the Epicenter: Infrastructures of Inclusion, a project that addresses the inequities and injustices of the last four decades of global development and economic growth policies.
“Parsons students pivoted quickly and responded to the moment with creativity, resilience, and perseverance,” says Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. “The added bonus of the extraordinary work that they’ve created for this virtual festival is that it can be shared with an even larger audience in the art and design community than ever before, and for a longer period of time. Despite the adversity presented by COVID-19, this festival embodies our students’ best qualities as designers, artists, strategists, and scholars who are committed to creative problem solving, critical thinking, and social justice.”
“When approached to design and develop the Parsons Festival online portal, we knew we wanted to create a platform that captured the excitement of graduation, while also highlighting the resilient spirit of the Parsons class,” said alums Nika Fisher and Dylan Fisher of the design firm Labud. “Through a series of lighthearted real-time interactions, we gave students the opportunity to celebrate together, but at a distance. The site keeps tally of these interactions and prominently displays how many users are currently viewing the site to reinforce this idea of a communal party and encourage users to come back for another visit.”
This year’s group of artists, designers, filmmakers, illustrators, architects, and photographers have produced a body of work that encourages repeated viewings and the opportunity for extended immersion in that work.
Dive in. Get lost. Be inspired.
Photo: via Parsons