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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.

John Bruce


The GIDEST seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1:30pm. All seminars take place in the GIDEST Lab at 63 Fifth Avenue, Room 411.

Sessions are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance by clicking on the presentation title below.


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John Bruce

End of Life

To date, the End of Life project has included ethnographic fieldwork with five people experiencing various stages of the end of life. The fieldwork began in the spring of 2012 and is ongoing with three people, two having died. The 42-minute assembly of video images and sound prepared for the GIDEST seminar is a work-in-progress for an anticipated feature-length film. Four of the five people are introduced in this initial segment. The video is best viewed in one continuous session with careful attention to the sound.

John Bruce is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Management at the School of Design Strategies at Parsons. His teaching and professional practice involve empathy, ethnography, and creative intervention. He serves as senior strategist at Forward Mapworks, a whole­systems consultancy, providing insight and design for ventures and movements operating in complex ecosystems. John's work in a variety of media formats explores possibilities for modes of immersive experience, engagement, and exchange. He studied painting and installation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and sustainable systems at Pinchot in Seattle.

End of Life is a non-fiction moving image project focused on people experiencing various stages of the end of life. During a research period of more than three years, John’s fieldwork, in collaboration with filmmaker Paweł Wojtasik, involved five different people within varying contexts in the U.S. The durational nature of the fieldwork conducted and the media works created from these experiences attempts to address the distances created between the living and the dying. 


Earlier Event: April 1
Laura Y. Liu
Later Event: April 29
Lawrence Abu Hamdan