School of Art, Media, and Technology

BFA CD Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Newton

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Caroline Newton is a NYC based graphic designer and artist. She graduated with a BFA in Communication Design from Parsons the New School for Design in 2015. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her cat and works at T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

Her project A Bedroom For Strangers started in Brooklyn where artist Caroline Newton invited strangers (via friends) to share pillow talk with her in her personal bed at home.

Caroline then took the project to Los Angeles and invited participants to join her in a dreamlike bedroom installation that she specifically created in the Meeting Room Gallery at Navel. Participants were encouraged to book an appointment between the dates of May 16th – 19th, 2018. The project ended with a one night exhibition at Navel. The portraits taken from each session were displayed and the installation was open to the public to experience.

Although A Bedroom For Strangers is an experimental project, Caroline carefully designed the installation to offer a safe, welcoming space for anyone to enter. Whether you need to talk something through, discuss the weather, escape your fast paced life, even say nothing at all, or simply see what this project is all about, you are encouraged and welcomed.

How did the Communication Design program at Parsons transform you as a designer? 

Freshman year at Parsons, I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew at the time was 1) I liked books and printed matter 2) I liked fine art and work associated with social experimentation and 3) I wanted to make sure I could get a job after graduating. Given all of that, Communication Design seemed like the best fit and I have not regretted that choice. It has been over 7 years since that freshman 1, 2, 3 list and although my lifestyle is much different, that perspective hasn’t changed much since. The only difference now is, I have the confidence under my belt to realize that it’s ok to not know what you want to be. It’s ok to not fit into a box and it IS possible to maintain a career path while simultaneously growing as an artist with a personal practice. It can be a juggling act at times, but i’m used to the lack of sleep and time management skills from my Parsons days anyways. Plus, it’s all so exciting!

What were some courses that you took at Parsons that played a key role in developing your design thinking leading you to build this project? 

The awesome thing about Parsons is there are so many classes available. As long as I met the requirements of my Communication Design major, I was able to dive into screen-printing, performance art, book-binding, painting, etc. – the list goes on. Towards the end of my time at Parsons I was really excited about performance art, video art and work that pushed social norms. I took classes that allowed me to fully dive into this new interest. From there I learned new languages and perspectives that allowed me to develop my own practice in this type of work. A Bedroom for Strangers is actually an idea I had during my senior year at Parsons. I was looking through old notes about a year ago and thought to myself: “I want to make this idea come true!”

What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

It has been an exciting journey to see my career unfold since Parsons. While in school, I constantly maintained an internship or freelance gig on the side. One of the greatest things about going to college in NYC, is the amount of real world work experience at your fingertips (if you desire to partake). My first big job out of college was at the Wall Street Journal Magazine. I was hired as an Art + Production assistant and during my 3.5 years there I was promoted to Junior Designer and then Designer. I learned so much during my time at WSJ. and now I am excited to be the Contributing Senior Designer at T: New York Times Style Magazine. Although I am at T Magazine most of the year, this new gig allows me to have slightly more time off. I’m planning to fill any open time with freelance projects that excite me and most importantly, I will continue exploring my growth as an artist. I’m excited to see what 2019 brings!

Want to know more about Caroline Newton? 

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