Transdisciplinary Design

Rachelle Tai

As a student of the MFA program at Parsons The New School for Design, Rachelle’s studies focus on Transdisciplinary Design, a field of design which, for her, emphasizes the importance of designing the process as much as the product. She spends much of her time exploring conscientious system design; understanding how elements within the design and production process can be made sustainable, ethical and non-exploitative. As an individual, Rachelle believes that good design is present at all times even when it is not in use. Her passions include purposeful design that promote human interactions and social justice. Her current thesis project examines physical mediators as a tool to actively converse about difficult social issues. With supporters from ECPAT and advisors from Parsons and Columbia University, she is designing an interactive card game and toy to help middle school children be informed about child commercial sex trafficking and exploitation.

She received a BA from Ryerson University in 2013 where she studied fashion design and communication, with a minor in marketing. Her experiences include being a design assistant at Paragon Designs (a Hong Kong based design consultancy), graphic designer at U2R1 Media (a Toronto based brand marketing agency), research assistant to Simon Collins (Dean of Parsons School of Fashion), and production assistant at Altuzarra (a New York based luxury women’s RTW brand). Through a partnership with the Luxury Education Foundation and the Columbia Business School, Rachelle’s experiences also include strategic marketing work for Cartier (renowned craftsmen of fine jewelry); conducting targeted demographic research and designing a new promotional campaign.