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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

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Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based at The New School for Social Research, GIDEST incubates transdisciplinary ethnographic research at the intersection of social theory, art, and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university. GIDEST draws on The New School’s tradition of politically-engaged, historically-grounded, and theoretically-innovative social research, and our strengths as a center of design thinking and practice.

As well as our popular bi-weekly public seminar series with presenters from the social sciences, arts, and design, we annually support six faculty fellows and five doctoral fellows, and provide members of the campus community with a lively and inventive research environment as well as a focused interdisciplinary space in which to develop their ideas. Through our lab at 63 Fifth Avenue, we serve as a university-wide hub for collaborative faculty research, interdisciplinary doctoral dissertations, and innovative scholarly practice that draws substantively on ethnographic methodologies and sensibilities. 


The bi-weekly GIDEST seminar is a site for the exploration of work-in-progress presented by scholars and practitioners who share our commitment to innovative and substantive exploration of design, ethnography, and social thought. The seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1.30pm in the GIDEST Lab at 411, 63 Fifth Avenue. Sessions are entirely devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance from our Seminar page.


GIDEST annually supports six faculty and five doctoral fellowships drawn from New School faculty and doctoral students. Please visit our Application page for information on our fellowship competition. 


The GIDEST Steering Committee oversees the Institute’s activities and planning:
Carin Kuoni, Director, Vera List Center for Art and Politics                                                                                                                       Laura Y. Liu, Associate Professor of Global Studies, The New School for Public Engagement                                                               Will Milberg, Dean, The New School for Social Research                                                                                                                      Fiona Raby, Professor of Design and Emerging Technology, Parsons School of Design
Hugh Raffles, Director, Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought
Joel Towers, University Professor, Parsons School of Design Rafi Youatt, Associate Professor of Politics, Eugene Lang College & The New School for Social for Social Research                          


To inquire about our fellowship program or seminar series, or to be added to our mailing list, please write to 


Video direction and camera: Orfeas Skutelis                                                                                                                                                   Website:  Matthew Tarr                                                                                                                                                                            Special thanks to Jennifer Bressler and Sharon Simpson                                                                                                                        About page image: James Ewing                                                                                                                                                         
Jussara Raxlen image: Linda Peters
Margot Bouman image: Paulo Salud                                                                                                                                                          Vijay Iyer image: Jimmy Katz                                                                                                                                                                     Tanya Kalmanovitch image: Yola Monakhov Stockton                                                                                                                                      Virag Molnar image: Annette Hornischer/American Academy in Berlin                                                                                                 Creative Commons images used for Kumar, Parasecoli, and Sherman:,,,,,,,