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Between 2013 and 2015, we ran a series of courses at Parsons called “Translations” that explored how forms could be generated and translated from the analog to the digital and vice versa. Students worked throughout the semester to create new forms which were collated and bound into a visual compendium. Led by nothing but their intuitive sense of form, the results were revealing of their inward identities as designers.

The preface from the books read:

All stories have a beginning.

In creation mythologies, the beginning explains the order of the world: the triumph of Zeus and his siblings over the Titans or the slaying of Ymir by Odin and his brothers. No less true is this in the Latin Vulgate where creation is set forth in a deliberate manner. But in the Vulgate, there are curiously no reasons given for each creative act other than an affirmation repeated simply: Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum (And God saw that it was good).

Designers are often circumspect of creating anything without a justifying logic and a definitive order. But in our private encounters with design, we often come across resounding statements of intent that belie their nature as affirmations occurring after-the-fact.

The truth is rather prosaic: each designer responds to the material world differently and weaves their own mythologies into their creative works. When we see and make something that is good, we repeat until an entire work is born.

The interaction between intuition and form and the translation between vision and media are the genesis of creativity. It is only by learning through making that we serendipitously discover the real reasons why we are attracted to certain forms and the joy that results from their discovery.

During this semester, we asked students to trust their eyes and their hands in order to understand how this translation occurs and to see why it is good.

Translations 1 (2013)

  • Gabriel Berrios
  • Hanna Chang
  • Abby Chen
  • Justin Cheung
  • Elaine Il Ji Choi
  • Roderic David
  • Jonathan De La Rosa
  • Jessica Hutchison
  • Thanh Cong Huynh
  • Jane Kim
  • Iris Li
  • Julio Montás
  • Emilio Sanchez
  • Mary Scahill
  • Jeemin Shim
  • Wannina Somboonvechakarn
  • Kathleen Wang
  • Taylor Zanke

Translations 2 (2014)

  • Mercedes Beach
  • Gabriel Berrios
  • Zoe Bortz
  • Shamma Buhazzaa
  • Brittany Diperi
  • Fabiola Einhorn
  • Maryann George
  • Claudia Von Hillebrandt
  • Shi Won Jang
  • Byoungok Kim
  • Hyerin Kim
  • Joan Koo
  • Haijing Liu
  • Rachel Mak
  • Riho Mineta
  • Wren Sieber
  • Boyun Yang
  • Immanuel Yang

Translations 3 (2015)

  • Miles Barretto
  • Jan-Luca Berger
  • Harlie Brindak
  • Douglas Escalante
  • Em Grey
  • Albert Hicks IV
  • Da Min Lee
  • Jayne Lee
  • Seung Hyung Lee
  • Samyukta Madhu
  • Samah Mudasar
  • Wynn Mustin
  • Supisara Ngaovithunvong
  • Marcos Scheidt



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