The New School
Progressive education for a better-designed world
Design and social research meet to form an intellectual hub at The New School—right in the heart of New York. But the university was not yet top-of-mind for many prospective students, despite boasting academic credentials that rival the best schools in the world. Further, The New School was not capitalizing on the success of its constituent parts.
Despite Parsons’ status as an elite design school, few grasp how profound an impact its placement within a full-service university has on its progressive approach. So when The New School came to AREA 17 with a mandate to “deliver one university,” we were thrilled at the challenge.
The New School knew that a lot of their prospective students were self-starters, but weren’t always sure which academic path to take. So we helped those students explore fields of study through a card-based visual browse experience organized around high-level topics, not courses.
With light and fast interactions that allow users to get a quick overview and links to additional information, students get a bird’s eye view of how they might carve their own academic path at The New School.
To tell the story of the university, we crafted a user experience with a strong central narrative and channels to discover individual schools and programs.
We built a robust content-publishing platform so the The New School can feature the groundbreaking research and work done by students, alumni, and faculty. And with a mandate to deliver technology that can be used across other sites in the future, we developed a modular front-end that opens the door for consistent experiences across The New School’s digital platform.
The look and feel of the user interface reflect the values of a university looking not just to expand conventional boundaries but to redraw them. We brought their progressive ethos to life online with a bold, open and airy system that extends the type-driven visual identity by Paula Scher and team from Pentagram.
While invigorating us as designers, the dynamic brand required intense focus to control across a myriad of screens and devices. To solve this, we designed site-wide templates as a foundation for all content, then collaborated on page-specific effects that reflected the spirit of the university.
“Our redesigned website perfectly captures what makes The New School unique, highlighting our distinctive approach to higher education and our dynamic, creative community.” — Anne Adriance, Chief Marketing Officer
“I was so delighted by AREA 17’s redesign of The New School website. They brought my typographic identity to life in a completely functional and intelligent way. The identity of the school, expressed by its eccentric font, is apparent and powerful on every page, while the school’s unique offer is communicated with great clarity and navigational ease. The result is an incredibly strong, memorable site, exactly what The New School needed.”
— Paula Scher, Partner at Pentagram