NYSID graduation is right around the corner, and with it arrives a crop of fresh thesis projects. The work will be on view starting next week, spotlighting the talent of 24 graduates of the MFA-1 program and 13 graduates of the MFA-2 program, in addition to capstone projects from 18 graduates of the MPS programs in Sustainable Interior Environments and Interior Lighting Design. Student advisors Lissette Carrera, NYSID alumna and principal of Lissette Carrera Interior Design, Eric Cohen, senior associate principal at Ethelind Coblin Architect, and Terry Kleinberg, principal at Terry Kleinberg Architect, share with EAL insight into this class’s talent.
MFA-1 thesis project by Yiqing Liu
Was there a theme—either one that was specifically named or one that emerged—for this class’s projects?
Lissette Carrera: While there was no specific theme for this year’s projects, we always encourage students to ask themselves why they are taking on a specific focus and what the project will contribute to society and the community it’s being designed for.
What are the parameters for the projects?
Eric Cohen: Students must adaptively reuse an existing interior environment to explore a concept that they develop. The concept must pose and respond to a broader question about how interiors can improve a condition or respond to a problem. Students are encouraged to foster empathy for their users through interviews in addition to research. They develop a program of up to 50,000 square feet and select a site that they can visit throughout the semester.
Terry Kleinberg: The students are expected to select a project of sufficient complexity to incorporate all they have learned in their prior classes.
Carly Silver, MFA-1, The ACME Nashville boutique hotel
The students spent the 15-week fall semester doing research on their projects, including case studies, programming and base building drawings. In the spring semester, they designed the project and presented it to a jury, and now are displaying it as a part of the thesis exhibition.
Topaz Wong, MFA-1, Children's Museum of Manhattan
What are some of the highlights from the work? What are some characteristics you haven’t seen in prior MFA work?
Carrera: In my class, I noticed a trend toward very experiential design. Not only were there museum and exhibition designs, but also projects where the end user’s experience from start to finish was the driving force. For example, a refugee center in Germany that took on a holistic approach to the process of the Syrian refugee experience. Projects, as a whole, had very distinct story lines, which I was very excited about.
Kleinberg: More students are choosing topics that have personal meaning for them. The projects range from addressing homelessness among veterans to advocating for the arts to focusing on gender inequities. The students’ investment in these issues contributes to both the passion and intelligence they exhibit in exploring their solutions.
Joe-Hynn Yang, MFA-1, The Crucible: A Secular Monastery & Global Affairs Center
The appointment-only exhibition will be on view from May 18 to August 18 at the NYSID Graduate Center, 401 Park Avenue South. RSVP online or call 212.472.1500, extension 405.