Students manipulated pages from used books to create many different forms and effects.

In creating the White House installation, students manipulated pages from used books to create many different forms and effects. Image: Jonsara Ruth.

On October 8, a delegation of 31 students, as well as distinguished alumni, faculty and leaders from The New School’s Parsons School of Design were on site at the White House by invitation from the First Lady to take part in the first ever White House Fashion Education Workshop. In advance of the event, sixteen Parsons undergraduate and graduate had an intensive two week charette to develop a design for the event, and just a couple days to install their complex installation, which featured over thousands of pages reclaimed from hundreds of discarded books and subsequently transformed into objects at many different scales, from small fashion accessories to the large backdrop against which First Lady Michelle Obama spoke.

The 16 students came from each of the 7 graduate and undergraduate programs offered at SCE. They were led by Alison Mears, Dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons, Jonsara Ruth, Director, MFA Interior Design at Parsons, and stylist Helen Quinn, faculty at the School of Constructed Environments. Participating students are Sofia Burlo, Lauren Parikh, Amanda Evengård, Laura Yeh, Nelson DeJesus, Calvin Cheng, Alex Stewart, Mariam Alshamali, Mochi Liu, Julia Grunberg, Laura Suppan, Junrui Wang, Jordana Goot, James Clotfelter, Stephen Finney, and Marina Lodi Ferreira Da Cunha.

The photographs below illustrate how the students worked together to create and install their temporary environment.