School of Art, Media, and Technology

Meet the Awesome People in DT: Katherine Moriwaki

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The Design and Technology MFA program is full of energetic, unique individuals who work together to think, inspire, and create with technology. This series, by journalist Rachel Signer, provides a glimpse into some of the people in the DT division of the Art, Media, and Technology program who work that make DT such a great place to work and study. This one is about Professor Katherine Moriwaki, who thrives on multi-disciplinary projects and using the urban environment to create art.

What is your main involvement in the AMT program?

I’ve been teaching at Parsons since 2001, and I’ve been full-time in AMT since 2009. I currently teach a Scrapyard Challenge Collab Studio for D&T with Jonah Brucker-Cohen, and Major Studio, which is the core studio within the program.

What is your favorite thing about being here at Parsons?

Everything! If I had to pick one thing, I would say great energy and enthusiasm in the student body, and the community overall.

What do you like, and not like, about living in New York City?

Fantastic diversity and incredible amounts of activity. But I don’t like excessive crowding – but that comes along with all that diversity and activity.

What are you working on right now that is exciting to you?

I am working on a project to modify and expand on the scrapyard challenge workshops that I’m working on with Jonah. We’ve been doing it since 2003 and now we’re expanding them to provide stand-alone, self-contained boards that will allow us to bring the workshop to a wide variety of audience. We improvise with junk to make electronics. We’ve been invited to various cities around the world to source materials, usually junk, from waste streams, and then we meet in a space where participants are given free rein to do whatever they want to do with the space and use our electric input and output boards to make these strange, conglomerate objects. It’s a workshop around critically-design objects and appropriate material affordances to create new objects and new forms.

What’s something unique about your background the influences how you work?

I have for the most part been involved in cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary practice for a good portion of my adult life. so this area, which is rapidly changing and moving into more disparate directions – my background in this field makes me comfortable with it, with the ambiguity and with change, and with helping others learn how to teach themselves. I think that’s important in environments where the future in unpredictable.

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