Since 2012, Parsons has offered an MFA double major combining the established Interior Design and Lighting Design MFA programs. This unique curricular track allows students to investigate the design of environments and human inhabitation with a focus on the relationship between light, materials, and interior volumetric space. The three-year MFA double major enables students to develop critical sustainable design thinking and technical skills associated with lighting design and interior design. Human perception within the interior, and the corresponding psychological and physiological effects of design decisions, are basic to all investigations.
To learn more about the double major's curriculum, see the Curriculum section.
Design of the Interior
The MFA double major offers an opportunity for critical and speculative evaluation of the interior condition; its studio-centered, research-oriented focus challenges students to analyze the relationship between human behavior, comfort, perception, and social exchange with attention to light and the built interior. Human health and sustainable strategies associated with materials, indoor air quality, and energy allow students to position aesthetic and intellectual interests against tangible realities confronted in practice.
Through project-based learning and a culminating thesis year, students pose questions and develop independent ideas, interests, and problem-solving skills. Seminars focusing on technologies, analysis, application techniques, biology, and design theory complement the studio coursework. As the birthplace of interior design education in the early 20th century and of lighting design education in the 1970s, Parsons invites re-examination and innovation of these related design disciplines through its MFA double major.
How to Apply
Interested students should apply directly to the double major program; they will automatically be considered for admission to the individual MFA Interior Design and MFA Lighting Design programs as well. Admission to the MFA Double Major requires acceptance into both the Interior Design and the Lighting Design programs.