Parsons The New School for Design will explore the future of interior design and look back at a pivotal moment in its history with the exhibition Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985 (March 23-April 8) and the symposium Aftertaste: Immaterial Environments (April 1-2). Both events will take place at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons.
Aftertaste is an annual symposium dedicated to the critical review of interior design. It is organized by Parsons' groundbreaking MFA in Interior Design, which graduates its first class of students this spring. At this year's Aftertaste, a series of presenters including American installation artist Robert Irwin and Swiss architect Philippe Rahm will consider how the immaterial qualities of our surroundings affect our psychological and physiological experiences of interior space. Other participants include Lisa Heschong, author of Thermal Delight in Architecture and an authority in the benefits of daylighting; Alexander Wunsch, an expert in vibrational medicine and photobiology; and Natalija Subotincic, an architecture professor at the University of Manitoba who explores the realm between the psyche and physical space.
The concurrent exhibition Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985, will chronicle the radical transformation in the field of interior design in the 1960s and 1970s, as reflected in the evolution of the Interior Design program at Parsons. Underscoring the socio-cultural and political upheaval of the time, Parsons' renowned program underwent a dramatic overhaul during this period, breaking with traditional disciplinary barriers and embarking on an ambitious experiment to expand the role of design as an agent of social transformation. A panel discussion with faculty, staff, and alumni, including acclaimed designer Luis Rey, on the themes of the exhibition will be presented as part of Aftertaste. The exhibition, drawing on materials from the Anna-Maria and Steven Kellen Archives from this period, will be on view March 23-April 8 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue, and is free and open to the public.