March 18, 2016

e-waste Tsunami

Parsons School of Design at The New School

Shaun Fynn, E-waste workers, Mustafabad, Delhi, 2013.

The New School’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center presents e-waste Tsunami, an exhibition that peers behind the virtual worlds conjured by our computers and mobile phones to the very real world of electronic trash.

A collaboration between StudioFYNN and Parsons School of Design’s MFA Industrial Design program, the exhibition traces the journey of electronic products from the desktops of affluent households to the poorest corners of the world, defining new ways to see and connect the global ecosystems behind the creation, use and disposal of e-waste.

“Understanding the interrelation of the ecosystems is key to the design of new products and services that will address and alleviate the e-waste problem,” said Rama Chorpash, director of the MFA Industrial Design at Parsons. “How can industrial design, which plays a major role in creating this problem, be part of its solution?”

The exhibition features documentary photographs and video interviews of individuals from Delhi, India who work with e-waste on a daily basis, a film exploring the experience of the industrialized landscape of the e-waste worker, along with data visualizations revealing the scale of the problem by New York- and Los Angeles-based StudioFYNN. Real data and “exploded view” models by MFA Industrial Design students explore the nature of product manufacture and assembly.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Constructed Environments, and the India China Institute at The New School.

About the Parsons MFA Industrial Design 
“Designers must now navigate increasingly complex constraints such as sustainability, consumer needs, and workers’ rights. Industrial design has become a rich point of intersection in the global economy,” said Joel Towers, Executive Dean of Parsons.

Parsons’ 60-credit MFA Industrial Design is a vital response to this evolution, expanding the notion of product design to include a greater understanding of global supply and value chains and toward balancing economic and social inequities.

Designed for professionals who want to further develop their industrial design practice, or who are new to the field, the MFA in Industrial Design gives students the opportunity to employ advanced making skills and critical inquiry to design products at various scales of production, from low- to high-volume, and from desktop manufacturing to systems involving global supply chains. Study culminates in a specialized thesis project that develops innovative or provocative designs carrying forward or challenging industrial design theory and practice.



Industrial Design students present e-waste Tsunami at Parsons School of Design

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