The Twenty-Second Annual Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt Graduate Student Symposium on the Decorative Arts and Design
“Design and Mobility”
Parsons The New School for Design, New York.
April 26 and 27, 2013.
Mobility has long been a central concern of the decorative arts and design. The word for furniture in French, “mobilier,” includes the idea of mobility, as objects were made to be carried from room to room and castle to castle. It has become one of the defining traits of the age: new modes of living and transportation have created increasingly mobile lifestyles, aided by mobile communications networks, cultural products can move and spread across the globe with ease, and changing climate conditions are forcing relocations and rethinking of building patterns. On the individual scale, designers have worked with transformable and reusable products, or to help make individuals more mobile. Meanings and uses of designed objects can also be mobile, shifting over time, or from user to user.
We are seeking papers from students in a variety of fields that look at aspects of mobility in the decorative arts and design -- on a macro or micro scale, from a literal or a metaphoric perspective. We are especially interested in papers that investigate design and the decorative arts historically: looking at issues of mobility in the past, or relating past practices to current ones.
Some possible subject areas might include:
• Design and transportation
• Design for the mobility impaired
• Nomadic lifestyles, ancient and modern
• Virtual mobility: telecommunication, etc.
• Kinetic architecture and product design
• Mobility in urban design
• Changes in use or changes in meaning over time
• Globalization and the mobility of cultural products
• Design and the movement/dissemination of knowledge
Professor Edward Cooke of Yale University will be the symposium’s Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Keynote speaker.
To submit a proposal, send a two-page abstract, one-page bibliography and a c.v.
Dr. Ethan Robey
Associate Director, MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts & Design
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