Public Programs And Events

(New) Public Goods: Labs, Publics and Practices

(New) Public Goods: Labs, Publics and Practices

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
General Public 

The 2013-2014 Stephan Weiss Lecture Series at Parsons The New School of Design, concludes with a day-long event entitled “(New) Public Goods: Labs, Publics and Practices.” The event builds on conversations from the Fall 2013 Weiss Lecture, “(New) Public Goods: Design, Politics and Aesthetics,” and will seek to move some of the conceptual ideas that emerged out of the previous event into conversation with more practical, grounded or project-based examples of “design for the public good,” “design for public policy,” or “design for social innovation.”

This event will also mark the conclusion of a two-year project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation entitled “Designing Services for Housing,” and will include a presentation on the project outcomes.

Join us for a day of stimulating presentations and conversation around a growing set of sites and practices working to effect new kinds of innovation in the public realm. Distinguished invited guests represent a broad international range of “public innovation places” or labs, and they will present and critically reflect on their current work within such spaces.

Order of Events:

9:30–10:00 a.m.
Institutional Introductions/Opening Comments from Organizers

10:00-10:30 a.m.
Key Note: Christian Bason (MindLab, Copenhagen) 

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Morning panels/Moderator: Fred Dust (IDEO)
Publics and Inclusion: How are we imagining the publics we are designing for? How are we facilitating inclusionary practice amongst citizens?
Guest: Sara Schulman (InWithForward, Rotterdam) 

Design as Politics/Political Design: What are the values that are driving work in this field? Is the lab a vehicle for promoting specific political or ideological values (e.g. user-centered practice, challenging bureaucracy, diversity is good, etc.)? If so, how might this fact inform or shape the work of the lab?
Guest: Nigel Jacob (New Urban Mechanics, Boston)

Situated Knowledge or “Design from Somewhere”: How does the position from which we design solutions (e.g. public vs. private sector, geographic location, designer training and background, etc.)?
Guest: Gabriella Gomez Mont (Lab for the City, Mexico City)

1:00– 2:30 p.m.
Afternoon panel/Moderator: Bryan Boyer (MakeShift Society)
Designing Public Goods: How are problems of social and political complexity rendered as “design problems”? Inner complexity of government/bureaucracy as design problem vs. outer complexity of social realities. How can designers serve as mediators or facilitators in this space?

Guest: Seth Schoenfeld (iZone, NYC)

Design for Capabilities: How are design methodologies and design research practices being used to drive innovation among a range of civil servants? How might design principles and practices help enable the development of new capabilities for creating social change?
Guest: Abby Wilson (OPM Innovation Lab, DC)

Public and Collaborative: Co-Designing and Co-Producing Public Service
Guests: Chelsea Mauldin (Public Policy Lab, NYC) and Eduardo Staszowski (Parsons DESIS Lab, NYC)

2:30–3:30 p.m.
Concluding remarks
Joeri van den Steenhoven (MaRS Solutions Lab, Toronto)

This event is free, but reservations are required by clicking on the top right register button.

Submit your application


To apply to any of our Bachelor's programs (Except the Bachelor's Program for Adult Transfer Students) complete and submit the Common App online.

Graduates and Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctural, Professional Studies Diploma, Graduates Certificate, or Associate's programs, or to apply to the Bachelor's Program for Adult and Transfer Students, complete and submit the New School Online Application.