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LEARNING CURVE: Parsons The New School for Design Paris is aiming high.
“Our objective is to have 500 students at the Paris school within five years, from 88 [undergraduates] in our first [academic] year,” said David E. Van Zandt, The New School president during a press conference on Tuesday at the Paris school.
It’s located at 45 Rue Saint-Roch, not far from the boutiques lining Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris’ first arrondissement.
Others in attendance included Renaud Dutreil, president of Parsons Paris; Tim Marshall, The New School provost, and Susan Taylor-Leduc, Parsons Paris dean.
Beginning in fall 2014, Parsons Paris will offer a master’s degree program in design and technology, and one in the history of decorative art — both led by the educational team including Jasonpaul McCarty, director of the school’s fashion department.
A total of 152 students will matriculate in fall 2014.
“Once we reach the 200-to-300 [student] mark the space will become critical,” Van Zandt said, adding the university is already looking for additional locations across the city to expand.
“Our goal is to have 50 percent of students coming from Europe and 50 percent from the rest of the world,” Van Zandt added.
The breakdown currently includes 20 percent from Europe.
The first Parsons Paris graduation ceremony and show featuring students’ creations are to be held in May 2015. Van Zandt said some Paris students could also show during Parsons New York’s annual runway presentation.
Paris is no stranger to Parsons: The school became the first American art and design school to establish a campus in the City of Light in 1921. Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs are among Parsons alumni who studied on the Paris campus at some point.
In addition to Parsons Paris, the university is developing projects in Mumbai and Shanghai, among other major urban centers.