• September 2014: Lab members gathered for a Fall overnight retreat at Mildred’s Lane. Two outcomes developed from retreat sessions were: the creation of 2 Graduate Fellowship positions to reenvision CDRL’s website and publicly articulate the mission of the Lab; the idea for a Curatorial Slam event in Spring 2015 that would highlight various curatorial practices across The New School. Retreat agenda available here.


The mission of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at Parsons is to create new opportunities for The New School community to engage in research towards designing innovative curatorial platforms that generate trans-disciplinary learning opportunities, provoke critical and cross-cultural public dialogues about the function of visual and material culture in contemporary daily life, and ultimately inspire “hands-on” participatory design projects that aim to effect change within local and global communities.

About the Lab

The Curatorial Design Research Lab is formed by individual members whose affiliations include the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Kellen Design Archives, The New School Archives & Special Collections, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the New School Art Collection, the Skybridge Curatorial Project, select Parsons’ graduate programs, and Eugene Lang College’s Visual Studies Program. All Lab members work in tandem with Parsons and New School faculty, students from multidisciplinary academic programs, as well as a range of significant cultural venues and diverse communities throughout the world. Dedicated to deepening our collective understanding of visual and material culture’s capacity to transform global socio-political conditions, Lab collaborators generate and exchange scholarly research, institutional resources and multidisciplinary expertise to design coordinated curatorial platforms.
The Lab welcomes faculty proposals that will broaden its network by connecting it to local and global cultural institutions, functioning as a local curatorial think-tank and global do-tank, with goals that include:

  1. Developing a rigorous critical discourse on historical/contemporary curatorial practices through Lab workshops, curricular offerings and extra-curricular opportunities.
  2. Designing participatory curatorial models addressing socio-political, cultural and ecological concerns and material practices of daily life.
  3. Partnering with local and global cultural institutions, businesses and NGOs to envision and realize its curatorial projects.
  4. Providing financial, intellectual and human resources as well as learning opportunities for scholars, artists, designers, curators and students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to share their expertise, debate topical issues and prototype collaborative curatorial projects in class and in the field.