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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.


Otto von Busch

Otto von Busch is Associate Professor in Integrated Design at Parsons, The New School for Design. He has a background in arts, craft, design and theory and many of his projects explore how design can mobilize community capabilities through collaborative craft and social activism in the support of social sustainability, peace, and justice.

OTTO VON BUSCH is Associate Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons, The New School for Design. He holds a Ph.D. in design from the School of Design and Craft at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and was previously Professor of Textiles at Konstfack, Stockholm. More of his work can be found at

In his research, Otto explores the emergence of a new hacktivist designer role in fashion, where the designer engages participants to reform fashion from a phenomenon of dictations, anxiety, and fear into a collective experience of empowerment and liberation. Taking inspiration from various forms of social activism, this is an engaged and collective process of enablement, creative resistance and DIY practice, where a community shares and develops new capabilities of craftsmanship for social engagement. In this practice, the aim is not to make fashionable goods, as much as to cultivate the social conditions by which users become fashion-able.