On September 23rd, 2017, with a 10:30 a.m. gathering time at Pier 83 at the Circle Line for a 2-hour boat tour for Parsons First Year students and faculty forming a line that comprised the circle of courses: Time stood as still as Space Materiality could; Sustainable Systems of Integrative Studio and Seminar presented Objects as History, at moments considered a matter of Drawing and Imaging.
Students formed a Circle Line history with a boat, which departed at 11:00 of the aforementioned morning. Students in seats—some inside, some outside, all an audience of participants.
Students took to boat perimeters as it charged toward Liberty. Students focused lenses and intended memory on her.
A 2-hour tour, enough time to watch a movie, but rather choosing and moving upon rivers fed by and to and fed from and for sea. Sustainable Systems lectures and discussions began for the 450 Parsons students and faculty and staff.
Martina Kohler spoke of design solutions to improve New York’s environment. She encouraged the passengers to process what they saw critically, not as tourists.
Jenifer Wightman took to the microphone next and with it revved spirits with a poem-as-thesaurus detailing “poop as palindrome.” She informed students that the river we traveled was a Superfund site of an oil spill that was just now being addressed. Her lecture weighed importantly upon minds. As she said, “We all live downstream from someone.”
Michele Laporte finished the lecture series by displaying water samples she had taken along the trip to measure PH balance. She encouraged students to exercise curiosity as artists and as citizens of the environment.
She asked, “What should we do with contaminated water?” Paolo Cruz answered that being aware of what we do with trash shouldn’t be separated from caring about future generations. We should think about more solutions like reusable water bottles. More solutions than reusable water bottles.
A Parsons student posed for a photo while taking a photo. She said about the trip: “I really like the meaning of the Circle Line trip; it not only lets us know the history of New York City but also gives us a close look at the development of cities and the pollution that comes from development. This can’t be experienced by a traveler.” She moved from HangZhou, China to study Fashion at Parsons.
“I wanted the best,” she said.
Diego Ledezma-Perez is a #ParsonsLastYear student (aka senior). He Live-Tweeted and posted Instagram stories about the trip for Parsons social media accounts. He had taken the Circle Line trip four years ago and underlined its impact on him by commenting that the trip changed his view of New York City. He also said that he still has friends that he made four years ago on the Circle Line. “It goes by too fast,” he added.
The Circle Line trip?
“Yes, that too.”