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Parsons School Launches Sustainable Design Review
Emily Gertz, 24 Sep 07
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Parsons, the design school of The New School university in New York City, recently held its first Sustainable Design Review -- and it looks like it attracted some really fun, thoughful, and future-forward ideas. Organized, according to the school, "by a team of Parsons students to promote awareness of sustainability by showcasing the work of students from across the disciplines at The New School, from the liberals arts to business and management to the social sciences..."

“The Sustainable Design Review asked students to define sustainability in their own creative way and present a concept that exemplifies their unique notion of this issue,” said Rishi Desai, a student in Parsons Design and Management BBA program. Desai founded the review along with fellow Design and Management students Justine Abu-Haidar, Patricia Ormaza, and Tanye Prive and Communication Design BFA student Aritz Bermudez Monfort in response to growing student interest in sustainability and its relationship to design. The competition was open to students from all eight of the university’s schools. “We were delighted by the overwhelming response to the competition,” said Desai.

The winning entry is something almost anyone living in a big city can appreciate: a project to bring natural light into in underground subway stations using fiber optic technology and sunlight collection panels. Writes the designer, Caroline Pham,

[The Subway Light Project] is a public art piece that promotes energy saving technology and the well being of people in urban spaces. In large cities, people tend to spend most of their time inside and therefore lack exposure to sunlight, an important factor for the body's hormonal regulation. Through the use of fiber optic technology I intend to introduce natural sunlight in one of the most frequented enclosed public space: subway stations. My piece acts as a sunlight flooded-window adorned with graphics evoking nature and the urban landscape. The outside brought in the inside, is not only conceptually mood-lifting, but also allows subway riders to enjoy a healthier amount of sunlight per day, with no further harm to the environment.

Second place went to a proposal for an eco-friendly food vendor cart; other finalists’ designed ranged from rainwater harvesting canopy to a child's how-to craft book composed entirely of waste materials.

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