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Collaborative Studio Available for Registration

Collaborative Studio: Urban Tactics & Media Ecologies of Sugar Hill

NMDS 5593, CRN 7522

Instructors: Melanie Crean (Parsons) & Nitin Sawhney (Media Studies)
Spring 2013: Wednesdays 3:50-6:30 pm
Room 1202, 16th Street (12th floor)

Course Description

This collab is a new cross-disciplinary design studio offered between NSPE’s Media Studies, Parsons’ Design & Technology, and Parsons’ Urban Studies departments. The course brings together perspectives from art, technology, and activism, to inform participatory, site-specific critical inquiry into the nature of site and design of creative interventions. Students will work in teams to research and design creative projects in neighborhoods of Harlem in uptown Manhattan, including Sugar Hill, an area of West Harlem between 145th & 155th Streets, where a new children’s museum is currently under construction. Students will work with the non-profit No Longer Empty (NLE), Broadway Community Housing, community-based organizations and artist-activist collectives to investigate and inform the design of their own site specific interventions created in conjunction with an exhibition taking place this spring/summer.

The course will examine issues emerging in contested urban contexts today, and how processes of social, artistic, media and design interventions may reframe issues, transform conditions and potentially lead to a change in our surroundings. Investigations will include issues of urban spatial justice, or the politics of how urban space is utilized; urban eco-futures and alternate modes of greening the urban environment; alternate urban economies and living configurations; and artistic urban intervention, or utilizing the city as a political and artistic canvas.

This week’s class (Feb 5) will include a guest lecture by Robert Sember of the international sound-art collective, Ultra-red and a discussion of Harlem’s cultural, social and urban context. Next week (Feb 12) we plan to do a site visit and walking tour of the Sugar Hill neighborhood in Harlem. We invite you to join us for this exciting collab this spring.
Note: Undergraduate students may enroll with permission of the instructors