Parsons Compass Project

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In a recent collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design, students in Laura Sansone’s design lab were sent out into the city with the mission to create a unique City Atlas compass for each of New York’s five boroughs. As the groups explored and traversed their assigned borough they each designed a compass that would help its user (residents as well as visitors) navigate in a way that helped them understand the unique characteristics of the borough as well as some element of sustainability or environmental concern important there.

Project #1: Reclaiming the Boarding Pass
Designers: Brenda Benson, Dinisha Gagoomal, Aishwarya Pandit

The first Queens group chose to highlight the airline industry – an appropriate topic given the enormous portion of Queens’ workforce that depends on the airlines, airports and transport services for their livelihood. Rather than create a new object to distribute to travelers, this group chose something that is already in every traveler’s pocket and transformed it into a compass.

Their beautiful re-designed boarding passes and sleeves feature information about Queens’ airport industry (and the satellite industries that depend on it) as well as statistics about the environmental impact of flying. By re-imagining the boarding pass and sleeve to be more of a source of information than an advertisement, they found a way to teach incoming and departing visitors to NYC about both the culture of Queens the environmental significance air travel. A beautiful, simple idea that is easily adaptable to every airport around the world.

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These City Atlas Compass designs were created by the students enrolled in the Design Laboratory Course at Parsons The New School For Design, School Of Design Strategies, Fall 2012. The students participating in this project shall own all right, title, and interest in and to any copyrights, trademarks and all other intellectual property rights in any of the designs, projects, products and works.

For more information about this project please contact:
Laura Sansone:
Part-Time Assistant Professor
Parsons The New School For Design
School Of Design Strategies

For media inquiries, please contact:
Deborah Kirschner (, (212) 229-5667 x4310 The New School/Parsons with the Associate Director of Arts Communications, Communications and External Affairs