#sustainableTNS Courses Spring 2017


Need to register for classes for Spring 2017? We’ve got a list of  #SustainableTNS Courses prepared for you.

The New School has a long history of engaging in and offering creative solutions to society’s most pressing issues. At the Tishman Environment and Design Center, we are dedicated to supporting opportunities for all New School students to engage in project-based learning and multidisciplinary classes challenge students to promote sustainable living in innovative ways.You can connect your studies to sustainability in Spring 2017 with this guide of interdisciplinary courses. Find something for you and your area of study or interest!


Environmental History, Race and Natural Resource Management

Mia White,  8075Public Engagement, LangThis course explores historical and contemporary experiences of African Americans, American Indians, European Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos in relation to the use of natural resources. We start with the contention that natural resource management is premised upon historically and culturally distinct relationships between humans and nature, and associated social and economic systems. These, in turn, are conditioned by struggles between individuals and groups over access to and control of land, water and other resources. We focus on political economy, property, ecology, identity, representation and narrative to investigate complex relationships between humans and nature, and how these have influenced urban and rural social life and landscapes. For instance, we examine how racial difference has shaped Indian rights to forest resources and management practices in northern California, Chinese American access to farmland in the California Delta, the environmental and social contexts of water management and drought in California, and divergent experiences of New Orleans residents before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.Environmental EconomicsDavid Howell, 8204Public EngagementThe objective of this graduate-level environmental economics course is for students to be able to use economic concepts to assess environmental problems and policy design. The course will provide the theory and analytical tools for addressing environmental externalities, valuation of natural resources and environmental services, and design of effective, efficient and equitable environmental policies. The course will begin with an overview of economic principles (market failure, externalities, public goods, valuation, etc.), continuing into the application of economic incentives and instruments relevant in the environmental context (regulation, pollution taxes, emissions trading, etc.). There will also be some exploration of other environmental economic theories and approaches (ecological economics, natural capital accounting, and green growth). The economics of addressing global environmental challenges like climate change will also be considered, as will the intersection between economic globalization and the global environment. Students will apply environmental economics theory and analytical tools to particular real-world case studies and problems, including in different types of countries at different levels of development. This is an advanced course. Basic knowledge of economics is required. Prerequisite NURP 5001 Economics for Management and Public Policy or equivalent level course.

Ecology Lab

Timon McPhearson, 5897Public EngagementEcology LAB is a laboratory course designed to teach ecological research methods including experimental design and analysis in a laboratory setting while examining theoretical ecology questions important in both rural and urban metropolitan sites. The nature of ecological science is interdisciplinary and the nature of urban ecology more so. Therefore, this course by necessity links empirical science with theory to explore ecology generally and urban ecology specifically. This will not be a standard laboratory course. Rather, you will design a meaningful research project that can be done in the course of the semester using proven microcosm scale designs to build multi-trophic ecological communities to test ecological theory. A major goal of this course will be to help you gain comfort with science as a process, with ecology as a science, and with laboratory methods of investigation.

Genes, Environment & Behavior

Katayoun Chamany, 5797LangThis course uses a critical pedagogy to challenge the normative assumptions made about the dynamic relationship between our genetic make up and our environments and explore the field of epigenetics. Course sessions and assignments will retrace the experiments that led to the discovery of genes and their inheritance patterns, review molecular analyses to understand the functional products of genes, and reveal how the acquisition and accumulation of mutations and sex lead to diverse human behaviors that can be influenced by environmental factors in changing social environments. Course readings include newspaper articles, secondary scientific literature, and a textbook, while videos and CD-ROMS depicting molecular DNA techniques and their automation will clarify the more technical aspects of the course. Prerequisite for all biology intermediate level courses, satisfies the Foundation requirement for the Interdisciplinary Science major, and satisfies the elective for the Psychology Major, Gender Studies Minor, and Civic Engagement Minor, and the "subject by subject" course requirement for Journalism + Design Major. This course is offered every spring.

Green Roof Ecology

Timon McPhearson, 7406Public EngagementThis course links urban ecology, urban agricultural development, and urban design through a civic engagement project at a rooftop farm. Green roofs are examples of green infrastructure, often seen by policy makers and community members as a way to increase biodiversity in cities, mitigate urban heat island effects, and absorb stormwater. Yet, there is less research-based evidence quantifying these ecological benefits in the context of a rooftop urban farm, and therefore limited information about how they can be enhanced to produce environmental benefits. In this course, the first in a two-semester suite, we examine specific ecological and environmental aspects of urban agriculture and learn urban field ecology and participatory research design techniques in partnership with Brooklyn Grange, a worldwide pioneer in rooftop farming with large-scale green roofs in Brooklyn and Queens. We connect scientific knowledge with design skills as we study urban wildlife needs and urban rooftop ecology, building the knowledge base for designing insectaries and bird homes to enhance wildlife diversity at the project site in the Fall 2016 semester course. We will meet at the project site on the roof of Vice Media headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and other green roofs several times throughout the semester. Students may enroll in one or both courses (Spring 2016 and/or Fall 2016) for credit.

Spatial Thinking with GIS

Dara Mendeloff, 3308Public EngagementWith the rapid growth of computing technologies, geographic information systems (GIS) have become an important tool for examining many crucial urban issues, including human health, social equity, urbanization, and climate change. GIS are used extensively by nonprofit, business and government sectors to examine the spatial aspects of these issues and inform research, planning and decision making practices. This course offers a conceptual, technical and practical introduction to the field of spatial analysis and GIS. In collaboration with local nonprofit organizations engaged in practices of environmental planning and social justice, students and class partners will co-create knowledge and practices through applied GIS projects. Through these hands-on projects with class partners, students will experience project design and management, gain literacy in spatial data models and methods of spatial analysis, engage with theoretical underpinnings of spatial reasoning, and critically examine responsible methods of spatial analysis and cartographic representation.

Environment and Health in Latin America

Ivan Ramirez, 8291LangThis interdisciplinary course will introduce students to contemporary environment and health issues in Latin America. Course resources will focus on people and their relationship with the environment and how interactions influence health vulnerability in the region. An appreciation of the underlying processes of human-environment interactions will contribute to a deeper understanding of regional responses to environmental change and increased globalization, and efforts towards sustainability and environmental and health justice. Topics include: Natural Regions and Environmental Hazards, Economic-Crisis, Ecology, and Epidemics (e.g., Cholera and Zika), Disaster and Health Vulnerability, Political Ecology and Ecosystem Approaches, and Capacity Building for Public Health. Class discussions will provide a critical analysis of frameworks that focus on disease and populations rather than the individuals making up the population and their capacity to achieve wellness. Students will be evaluated based on critical writing assignments, presentations and a final project. There are no prerequisites. This course satisfies the electives for the Interdisciplinary Science Major, Global Studies Major, and Environmental Studies Major.

Community/Social Justice

400 Years of Inequality

Mindy Fullilove, 8278Public Engagement2019 will mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in Jamestown to be sold into bondage. While there was inequality before this event, African slavery became the organizing force for inequality in the US, eventually encoded into the US Constitution as instructions that the census count slaves as 3/5's of a person. Inequality has been constantly contested without being fully eradicated. This anniversary offers an opportunity to the spirit of inquiry and the solemnity of commemoration to this dynamic process. This course will explore the experiences of the 400 years through readings, films, speakers and discussion.

Alternative Food Networks

Bradley Christensen, 3528Public EngagementIn recent decades, alternative practices of food production and consumption have emerged in response to concerns about the environmental and social impact of the global industrial food system. Farmer's markets, community-supported agriculture, food co-ops, and urban farms are examples of alternative food networks, which are place-based, socially embedded, and intended to change the way we grow, know, and get our food. In this class, we examine the history of these and other alternative food enterprises. Using critical theory, we evaluate the promise and limitations of alternative food networks as a means of creating more sustainable and just food systems. Readings are drawn from the fields of economic geography, rural sociology, community psychology, critical theory, and public health. Case studies from the popular press serve as a basis for class discussions about the practices brought together under the umbrella of alternative food networks.

Resilient Anthropocenecity

Stephen J Collier, 7738Public EngagementThis course will explore how vulnerability and resilience have become key norms, political problems, and principles of urban planning and design. The central focus will be on planning in post-Sandy New York, which has incorporated a range of global practices of planning and design for a climate-changed future. But the course will look more broadly at global cities, and at the global circulation of new kinds of knowledge and forms of governance. Among other topics it will examine: design as a set of practices for organizing expert decisions and democratic participation in imagining urban futures; the interface between financialization of risk (through mechanisms like insurance) and urban planning; the different meanings and politics of vulnerability (social and physical) and the relationship between them; the histories of contemporary forms of knowing about and preparing for urban disaster, from metropolitan/regional planning to nuclear preparedness to the present.

Planning Sustainable Cities

Joseph Heathcott, 8289LangThis course explores how urban planning affects the sustainability of cities, for better or worse. Students study land-use practices that have, over decades, led to traffic congestion, air pollution, inefficient energy consumption, loss of open space, inequitable resource distribution, and the loss of community. They explore and evaluate planning principles and tools that are designed to halt, reduce, and reverse the negative effects of poor planning on the urban environment. There are presentations by community activists, government planners, and private developers who are working in the New York metropolitan region to advance sustainable land use planning.

Advanced GIS for International Crises, Development and The Environment

Eric Brelsford, 4354Public EngagementThis course expands the desktop GIS skill set acquired through GIS for International Crisis, Development and the Environment to mapping within the geographic web. Building on introductory GIS concepts, students will learn web-based technologies necessary for interactive, online mapping. Proficiency with web based, online data visualization is a high demand skill set for a myriad of sectors and initiatives within the international development field. With current trends in social media as well as increasingly open data sources, students who possess a foundation of desktop GIS analysis coupled with interactive mapping skills will significantly leverage their effectiveness within institutions and organizations tasked with delivering data-driven solutions to an increasingly vulnerable world. Weekly lectures will cover the history, underlying fundamentals, tools and programming languages required for the geographic web. Corresponding lab sessions will introduce technical fundamentals for each week's topics, followed by weekly assignments where students can master successive programming skills necessary for online mapping. Towards the end of the semester, students will develop their own web based mapping project using the tools and strategies learned throughout the course. The final project will allow students to demonstrate their ability to integrate core geographic technologies and concepts in the online environment. Prerequisite: GIS for International Crisis, Development and the Environment.

Climate Justice

Ivan Ramirez, 7742LangThis course examines climate ethics and equity issues that emerge from climate-society interactions, including the economic and political dimensions of climate change and variability. A very important question the course explores is, "is there a climate debt?"

Food Hubs & VBSCS

Dennis Derryck, 4505MilanoLocal food has become a mantra for many and changed the way food is being produced, sold, and even eaten. Values-based producers using environmentally sustainable practices need new ways to reach consumers interested in their products. Producers within values-based supply chains (VBSCs), and the food hubs that aggregate product from these producers, are hoping to achieve a "new mainstream" food system that will challenge, if not replace, the conventional food supply chain. This surveys recently published research to examine the adoption of sustainable practices among small and mid-sized farmers; compare VBSCs to mainstream food systems; explore the benefits, barriers, and concerns of VBSCs; and identify the best practices among the many recent case studies that have been published. Field trips to food hubs that are part of the VBSCs in the New York City region are possible.

Food and Media

Stefani Bardin, 7174Adult BachelorsFood finds itself at the center of frequent and significant interactions, as it occupies an increasingly visible role in today's world. This course examines how food representations establish, question, reinforce, reproduce, or destroy cultural and social assumptions about individuals and communities. Students will examine and critically analyze advertising materials, TV shows, films, cookbooks, social media, magazines, blogs, and videos, among other media, to identify elements and themes, connected with eating and ingestion, that shape popular culture and its impact on contemporary social and political debates.

Urban Resilience

Timon McPhearson, 4525Public EngagementThe aim of this course is to ecologically examine the past, present and future relations between cities, urbanization and nature; to introduce students to urban ecosystem science as a methodology for exploring resilience of complex urban systems and to encourage empirical, normative and imaginative reflection on the possibilities (and potential pathologies) that lie behind discourse of 'urban sustainability' and 'resilience'. The central objective of this course is to explore: historical and current scientific perspectives on human ecosystems and resilience; future prospects of the study of cities as ecosystems and how they can be resilient to rising urban pressures including climate change and development; key terms, concepts, frameworks, and models in urban ecology; issues involved in exploring socio-ecologies of urban systems; systems thinking and analysis. Urban Resilience provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding urban environments by integrating biophysical and socio-economic forces (e.g., biology, economics, social science) to understand, predict, and manage the emergent phenomena we call cities so that they can be resilient to current and future change. We will cover such key questions as: What are complex adaptive social ecological systems? What has the recent study of urban ecology uncovered in the short time since it emerged as a new field of inquiry? Can cities be designed as sustainable and resilient systems? What is resilience and how are cities vulnerable to disturbances disasters and changing climate regimes? Students must have completed UENV 2400 prior to enrolling in this course.


Sustainability Perspectives and Practice

Ana Baptista, 4510Public EngagementThis course provides an array of perspectives from which sustainability issues are viewed, including ecopsychology, environmental history, deep ecology, ecofeminism, environmental justice, bioregionalism, Green political movements, ecological identity, and consumer-behavior studies. The course will introduce specific competencies for sustainability practice, including negotiation, conflict resolution, decision making, communication, interprofessional collaboration for systemic change, and reflective practice.The goal is to inform professional practice by broadening students views on relevant issues through multiple lenses, while also focusing problem-solving, seeking to balance knowledge generalization and specialization. Requirement for the MS, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management and Advanced Certificate in Sustainability Strategies.

Energy & Sustainability

Bhawani Venkataraman, 7015LangWhy are we a "fossil-fuel-based" economy? Why have we been unable to transition to a cleaner energy source? Are there feasible alternate sources of energy? What are the arguments for and against fracking? This interdisciplinary course will investigate these questions through physical, chemical, and biological perspectives. The course discusses what energy is, why we need it, and the consequential impact of energy use, including the nexus of energy, air pollution and climate change. It includes a student-led project that applies the science of energy to debate a current energy-related topic. This course is required for the Interdisciplinary Science major.

 Climate Change and Cities

Michael Flaherty, 6577MilanoClimate change is altering the ways our cities are planned and managed; affecting more than half the world's households and most firms. United Nations estimates that three billion people will be added to cities by 2050, predominantly in slums of Africa and Asia. In this course students learn about this critical global environmental challenge and explore city responses to climate change. The focus is on familiarizing the students with practical applications of frameworks for city climate risk assessment. The course provides an introduction to the importance of climate science, the tools to unpacking urban risks, adaptation and mitigation mechanism, and policy options for urban sectors like energy and transport, and their system-wide interactions through land use and governance. To develop problem solving strategies for environmental planning and management, students will learn the importance of including economic, social, and technical analyses that are spatially and temporally disaggregated, drawing on case studies from major cities around the world. Requirement for the MS, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management and Advanced Certificate in Sustainability Strategies. Elective in the Milano School Global Urban Futures and Leading Sustainability Areas of Specialization, as well as the Cities and Social Justice Concentration for the Masters in International Affairs.

Leadership for Sustainability and Environment

Hilary Semel, 4415MilanoSustainability has been elevated to a key driver for business today. A number of organizations, large and small, are now creating and implementing strategies that address critical environmental and social issues while delivering value to a range of stakeholders. The main objectives of this course are twofold. First, we explore the contextual framework for sustainability leadership in terms of policy, environmental and social trends, stakeholder expectations, and competitiveness. Second, we explore the practical tools, technologies, tactics, and communication necessary to lead a robust strategy for sustainability. Through case studies, analysis, discussion, and presentations by practitioners, we examine the complicated factors that leaders (both individuals and teams) must consider. We examine organizations leading the way in sustainability, look at the lessons learned from successes and failures, and identify some of the most critical factors for successful leadership when developing and executing strategy. Requirement for the MS, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management and Advanced Certificate in Sustainability Strategies. Elective in the Milano School Leadership and Change, Social Entrepreneurship, and Leading Sustainability Areas of Specialization.


Topics: Water and the Elements

Jean Gardner, 5163Parsons"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water." ~Loren Eiseley, anthropologist & natural scientist. Is water a resource, a right, a property, a life necessity? Is it taken for granted? What is its relation to the other basic elements -- earth, fire, and air? Artists, policy makers, designers, scientists, architects, economists, lawyers, religious leaders, politicians, educators, students-they all need, work with, and have something to say about water and its relation to energy, our stuff, air, and the way we live. But which group knows what they are talking about? Which group do you identify with? And how can these differing modes of existence provide a basis to agree on a common future? Our objective is to contribute to the possibilities opening to us if we deepen our relation to water. Our exploration will begin with your lived experiences of water. We will also dive into the differing cultural experiences of water. We will explore current conflicts related to water and predictions about its future. Then we will develop ways to communicate what we have rescued from the sea of data on water. We will emphasize process, reflection, internal critique, and activism as our points of departure for weaving together new ways of being in relation to water. Our goal is to create a teaching-learning seminar for understanding the current status of water and the possibilities water embodies. We will do this by creating a place in which we can play as "the highest form of research." Because as physicist and philosopher Albert Einstein also famously said: "Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them."

Collab: Tracking Marine Pollution to Change Policy

Barent Roth, 3404ParsonsDesign DIY Citizen Science Trawls and Digital Tools for Tracking Marine Pollution. Join this unique initial Sp17 offering between TestingOurWaters.net + 5Gyres.org + NyNjBaykeeper.org. Focus will be on creating smart phone app and online digital platform that will allow users to: document where and when they collected the pollution, build a community of other citizen scientists, track changes in the amount of pollution in the waterways, raise public awareness to the problem, and importantly notify the appropriate local officials accountable for maintaining that particular region’s healthy marine ecosystems so that environmental policy change may be enacted. Data collected will add to a global data set and ideally identify the source of the aquatic debris to prevent it from entering the water in the first place.

Economics and Ethics of Sustainable Design

Dagny Tucker, 1654ParsonsThis course introduces students to the multiple meanings of sustainability for those in design and in business, including environmental stewardship as well as organizational, economic, and technological sustainability. Students consider the various pressures that globalization exerts on these multiple ideals of sustainability, and learn what kinds of structures, standards and (self-) regulations designers and industries may use to define and monitor their relation to these ideals. Students read texts on the cultural, technological, and business issues involved in sustaining growth and innovation, and explore the economic and ecological implications of "business as usual," in order to begin conceptualizing alternatives to traditional business practices.

EcoFash: Sustainable Solutions

TBA, 3290ParsonsThis course celebrates the fashion industry's eco-pioneers and introduces students to sustainable solutions. Students will learn how to determine their carbon footprint and devise a strategy to lower it. Fashion Design and Marketing students will examine the culture of sustainability from design concept to the consumers' perspective through retail sales. The course topics will address social and environmental concerns related to textile and apparel manufacturing. It will make possible the opportunity to learn about, and use sustainable raw materials. Through social awareness and conscience this course will allow Parsons emerging fashion professionals to set forth positive change upon entering the global fashion industry. This course enables students to examine eco sourcing and manufacturing options.

Food, Research, Design

Fabio Parasecoli, 6172University Lecture ProgramThis seminar/studio hybrid is designed for students working on food-related topics and issues for their final projects, researches, and theses. In-class discussions of shared themes, presentations, and hands-on collaboration among students and faculty constitute the core dynamic of this course. The course syllabus, readings, and content will develop to reflect the students interests and learning priorities, with the goal of deepening their knowledge of food-related issues from both a methodological and practical point of view.

ARS: Constructed Environments

VariousParsonsAdvanced 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.

Design Build: Urban Public Space

TBA, 5699ParsonsThe DOT Street Seats program is a seasonal public space that reclaims portions of New York City's streets for much needed public space. These public spaces generally include decking, guardrails, and seating/tables for a neighborhood. The intent is to develop an attractive setting for eating, reading, working, meeting a friend, and taking a rest. This course will collaborate with the DOT to create a proposal that evolves the standard design. Our proposal will provide thoughtful public space at the Northeast corner of 13th Street and 5th Ave. The 40ft x 6ft structure will incorporate necessary seating and tables, but there is further opportunity to incorporate vegetation, landscape, graphic identity, outdoor exhibition space, and solar illumination. These additional amenities will be integrated into the form and construction of the structure, which will be fabricated in house and assembled on site. All design and construction will occur in the Spring 2016 semester.

Designing Sustainable Foodscapes

Rositsa Ilieva, 6525ParsonsThis course challenges conventional notions of food in the city and examines the ways in which architects and urban designers can use it as a tool for sustainable urban development. Students learn about a wide range of urban food system innovations - from rooftop gardens and vertical farms to agriurban districts and continuous productive landscapes - and critically assess what works and why. By engaging in seminar discussions and field visits to pioneer food urbanism projects in New York City, throughout the semester, the class will explore the diverse roles that design professionals specifically can play in remaking the urban foodscape and the extent to which this can bring about more environmentally sound, equitable, and healthier cities. There will be guest lectures by sustainable food advocates from public, business, and not-for-profit organizations operating in the New York City metropolitan area.

Daylight & Sustainability

Davidson Norris, 1704ParsonsDaylight Methodology is a companion lecture course to Studio II, educating designers in the observation, analysis, description, manipulation, and evaluation of daylight, as well as its effect on the quality of interior spaces. Topics include solar motion and prediction methods; calculations; the interaction of daylighting with building orientation, interior finishes, window configuration and control devices, including interior and exterior shading. The impact of light and electric generation is a critical element in the discussion of sustainable architecture.

Urbanization, Sustainability and Public Space

Ionna Theocharopoulou, 7731ParsonsFor the first time in human history, more than 50% of the world's population now lives in cities. Aside from the increased need for housing, more urban dwellers will demand a right to public amenities such as water, food, sewage, and transportation. This seminar will ask what the fundamental shift from a predominantly rural world into an urban one will mean for the culture of cities, particularly in respect to issues of public space. How has the concept of public space changed during the last century and what are the public spaces -- or commons -- of the twenty first century? How will we learn to negotiate our access to the earth's finite resources? What does "sustainability" mean in terms of urbanization? To consider these questions we will explore the relationship between sustainability and development, the environmental implications of urbanization, and the issue of resources, such as the production and supply of food. We will ask what are the political aspects of the rights to public space, such as the status of migrant workers in developing countries. We will use case studies from a variety of cities both from the North and from the emerging megacities of the South and will pay attention to the informal areas growing around these cities. In addition, we will seek to understand critically the ways in which some new ""sustainable"" cities such as Dongtan and Masdar are being designed and planned. Some of the questions we will consider include, what are ways that cities can be modified or redesigned to address sustainability? Who are the stakeholders in these issues? And what relations can be developed between public and private space?

Sustainable Systems

Various, variousParsonsThis course provides an introduction to the systems inherent in adaptive, resilient design practices. What are the challenges and opportunities for designers when they create products, systems, and services that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable? This course begins to address that question. The curriculum is structured around four major themes; Climate Change, Materials, Energy, and Water . These interrelated themes frame students' observations as they study real conditions that are both local and accessible and in­class discussions teach students to translate research into creative solutions. The class activities combine field trips, lectures, studio­based workshops, lab experiments and seminars. Both the fieldwork and applied research methods are then developed into creative works that support diversity, adaptability and resilience in the face of ever changing conditions.

Environmental Design

Various, variousParsonsThis course addresses the principles, process and practice of environmental design, at the interior design scale. It looks at the links between environmental and formal design, and the effect of that developing connection on the future of design theory and practice. It does this through lectures, exams, studio work, and site visits.

Designing Urban Agriculture

TBA, 5357Design points us beyond surface level understandings of urban agriculture's ecological, social, and public health benefits toward an integrated approach that can help create more democratic food and environmental systems. Through fieldtrips, class discussions, and interdisciplinary readings from design and the social sciences, this course investigates how urban gardens and farms can be connected to larger transformations of social and material structures in our cities. Course themes include ecological, social, political, infrastructural, cultural, and educational design elements of urban agriculture projects. These concepts are contextualized through New York City's expansive and networked urban agriculture system, with discussions of corollary work in cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Students will engage with the complexity of urban agricultural systems in the city as they reflect on their own relationship to gardens, foods, and cities.

Ext Projects: Care and Wear

Brittany Dickinson, 8466This course is a collaboration between Parsons and Care+Wear to investigate critical issues of garments and wearables in the healthcare industry and to generate viable, real-world design solutions. Care+Wear is a company that is redefining the patient lifestyle by creating healthwear that is both functional and visually appealing to afford more positive and effective healing experiences for patients. In this interdisciplinary studio, students will collaborate in teams to develop healthware innovations with a specific design challenge of re-imagining the hospital gown. Particular emphasis will be placed on working with and developing innovative materials and design solutions that consider the entire lifecycle of a product. The goal is to introduce the most successful prototypes developed in this class into the marketplace. Students will then work with experts from Care+Wear to facilitate production of the most successful designs. This course will use systems-based design strategies and user-centric research and development methods that engage real people. Students will work with doctors, nurses, patients and healthcare industry experts throughout all phases of the design process - research, sourcing, design, prototyping, user-testing, production, and critique. This course is open on an application basis to students from disciplines and schools across Parsons.Lucy Jones will be co-teaching the course with Brittany. Lucy is a 2015 Parsons School of Fashion graduate whose senior thesis, titled “Seated Design,” helped her to win Womenswear Designer of the Year as well as the Eileen Fisher x CFDA Social Innovator Award. Lucy brings her passion and wealth of knowledge in user-centered design to this dynamic new course.


Digital Equity Lab: Technology, Design, and the Policy Landscape

Maya Wiley, 8368Public EngagementTechnological development is radically changing how we receive and share information, how we interact with one another, what jobs we are creating, and even how our major institutions, like government, function. From "smart cities" to applications for artificial intelligence, society is in the midst of a paradigmatic shift. The implications are enormous. Cities like New York are inundated with sales pitches from private companies promising the "Internet of Things" to support efficiencies. And few are yet coming to terms with the impacts that application driven technologies and artificial intelligence are and will have on low income and communities of color. How will innovation impact equity? Are there tools or strategies that will serve cities as they grapple with bringing disinvested communities into the digital age? How equitable will "Smart cities" be as cities focus on efficiencies and information collection? And how will all of this relate to the rapidly changing tech sector? Digital Equity is a critical social justice issue of central importance to cities. It requires ensuring that everyone in our society has equal access to technology tools, but also that communities can consider these implications for their development and inclusion and that regulators consider their implications for driving solutions to social problems. Through discussions with City government officials and local and non-profit community leaders, students will develop a set of questions on digital equity to answer and submit to the Mayor's Office and elected leaders to shape strategies for digital inclusion at the local level. Skills sets students will develop include engagement design and strategies, strategic analysis and multi-media persuasive presentation of ideas. 

Capitalism Versus Nature

Nancy Fraser, 7645NSSRHow should we conceptualize the social forces that are currently undermining ecological sustainability? Is the culprit anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism, and/or masculinism, as many claim? Or should we look rather to industrialism, imperialism, or neoliberalism? In this seminar we entertain the hypothesis that the root problem of the problem is capitalism. Interrogating the relationship between capitalism and sustainability, we consider whether the latter can be assured within the terms of the former? What do we mean by nature anyway? And how should we understand capitalism if we aim to develop and ecological critique of it? What sort of critical theory can clarify these matters? And what, after all, is to be done? We shall read and discuss texts by such thinkers as Marx, James O'Connor, Murray Bookchin, Andre Gorz, Rudolph Bahro, John Foster Bellamy, Timothy Mitchell, Jason W. Moore, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Robyn Eckersley, Jedediah Purdy, Neil Smith, Tim Di Muzio, Elmar Altvater, Rob Nixon, Joel Kovel, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Matthew Huber, Andreas Malm.

Eco-Socialist Critique

Nancy Fraser, 6847LangHow should we conceptualize the social forces that are currently undermining ecological sustainability? Is the culprit anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism, and/or masculinism, as many claim? Or should we look rather to industrialism, imperialism, or neoliberalism? In this seminar we entertain the hypothesis that the root problem of the problem is capitalism. Interrogating the relationship between capitalism and sustainability, we consider whether the latter can be assured within the terms of the former? What do we mean by nature anyway? And how should we understand capitalism if we aim to develop and ecological critique of it? What sort of critical theory can clarify these matters? And what, after all, is to be done? We shall read and discuss texts by such thinkers as Marx, James O'Connor, Murray Bookchin, Andre Gorz, Rudolph Bahro, John Foster Bellamy, Timothy Mitchell, Jason W. Moore, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Robyn Eckersley, Jedediah Purdy, Neil Smith, Tim Di Muzio, Elmar Altvater, Rob Nixon, Joel Kovel, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Matthew Huber, Andreas Malm.

Economics of Climate Change

Willi Semmler, 7958NSSRThe economics of climate change has recently become an important topic both in academia and in public policy debates. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPPC) has undertaken extensive work on the causes and effects of climate change. The economics of climate change is related to environmental as well as resource economics. By employing the theory of externalities in economics, this course will focus on the causes of climate change, the latest research in climate change, and the mitigation policies proposed to combat climate change, such as cap & trade, and the carbon tax. We also will study new technologies that may help to mitigate climate change. In this context an important topic will be the transition to renewable energy. We will study non-renewable and renewable resources and their roles in the transition from fossil fuels to an economy based on renewable energy. International climate negotiation and treaties will be discussed as well as the impact of climate change on employment. Prerequisites: GECO 6190, GECO 6191, and some quantitative skills.

Economics of the Environment

Yaella Depietri, 7922MilanoThis is an introductory course to the field of ecological economics and related topics in environmental economics and political economies. It covers basic approaches to the relationships between ecological and economic systems covering both traditional and alternative economic theories and worldviews. Overall, the course examines the role of economics in understanding and valuing environmental problems. Current environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, ocean acidification and freshwater use are introduced through this framework. Students will be guided through multiple approaches and analytical frameworks developed historically and by unconventional economists to frame and interpret these issues. Finally, the course looks at the application of ecological economic principles to environmental problem-solving by presenting a set of policies targeting areas such as pollution and natural resources management. Throughout the semester, students will learn how to think about the relationship between the economy and the environment, the role of economic analysis in understanding and valuing the environment, and examine approaches to problems of social and economic development, environmental and related policies.

Food, Farming and Capitalism

Christopher London, 6303MilanoThis course examines the intersections of states, humans and nature through the political ecologies of food and farming inside and outside of capitalism. Political Ecology is a field that draws on critical social theory, case study research and ecological science to examine the historical processes, both natural and social, through which relations between humans and environments are formed and sustained. The course is divided into four moments. Foundations introduces macro and micro approaches to conceptualizing the intertwining of humans and nature. Global Structures examines the emergence and structural effects of monocultural capitalist agriculture. Agroecology as a Terrain of Struggle delves into the socio-technical regimes of modern and peasant farming. Finally, Transitions and Revolutions debates the potential for an eco-social agricultural regime and what that could mean for humans and the planet. Student research is focused on building political ecological case studies in which you 1) identify an ecological problem, 2) develop an historical analysis of its causes, 3) describe the political struggles around it and 4) reflect on what the future holds and what you think should be done.

Food, Global Trade & Development

Sakiko Fakuda-Parr, 7619MilanoWhile food security is a basic human right and an urgent global priority for people in countries rich and poor, the causes of food insecurity and the means to achieve it are subjects of intense controversy. Multiple discourses shape debates from food sovereignty and to sustainable food systems to the new Green Revolution. The role of global markets are central to these controversies, such as: How can geographical indications be used to enhance opportunities for trade? Was speculation the driver of recent price hikes in world food markets? From a cultural and ethical perspective, is the global intrinsically bad and is the local intrinsically good? Or how do global value chains help or undermine local food systems? This course, taught by two professors draws on Food Studies and Development Economics explores key policy approaches and challenges for food security in the context of the rapidly evolving global food systems. This course complements the GPIA course on International Trade.

New Global Food Policy Tools for Sustainability

Thomas Forster, 7658Public EngagementIn 2015 two global policy events, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Climate Accord, presented the best chances for sustainable development in a world challenged by climate change, constantly displaced peoples, and rapid urbanization. Food system change has become are a central part of the solution. Local governments and civil society will be decisive for these new policy commitments to succeed. This course will provide grounding in the changing policy landscape that gives local governments and local peoples new tools, resources and technical support to integrate sustainable development goals through strengthening city region food systems. 

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