Verge NYC – Invisibility, a 2.5-day design event organized by students at Parsons School of Design, will take place from the 22nd to the 24th of February 2017.

This year the event will focus on the theme of invisibility, with the idea of highlighting “Invisibility as an opportunity for new strategies to impact our societies” and using “design and trans-disciplinary collaboration as acts of seeing, revealing, and creating new perceptions which investigate invisibility”. 

Through panel discussions and conversations the theme of invisibility and of restoring visibility to the unseen will be observed in relation to different issues, ranging from urban regeneration to migration, from inequalities and inclusion to civic engagement, with the aim of confronting complex and transdisciplinary questions such as: “How might we continue to reveal intangible aspects of society and human behaviors? How can we restore visibility to the unseen, unheard communities disenfranchised/displaced by power and politics? In the face of unprecedented social issues emerging from the ongoing refugee crisis how do we highlight contradictions of different inclusion strategies? What aspects are better left invisible?”.

LabGov’s co-founders, Sheila Foster (Fordham University) and Christian Iaione (Luiss University and UniMarconi) will be present at the event, which will bring together leading thinkers, field experts and change-makers with the aim of investigating the invisibility theme. In particular, on Thursday the 23rd from 12.15 to 1.15PM Professor Foster will moderate a panel discussion on “The in/visibility of the urban commons”, which will see the participation of Professor Iaione together with Paola Canavò (Associate Professor of Urban Design at University of Calabria) and Francesco Rossi (Deputy Governor for Urban Planning, Housing, Transport, Calabria Region).

Furthermore, Professor Foster and Iaione will take part in the two-days conversation on “Invisibility in urban commons – envisioning and reclaiming spaces” that will take place in the afternoon of the 23rd and 24th. The conversation, which will be leaded by Cynthia Warner & Lissa Fedrizzi from the University Transdisciplinary Lab, will also involve Eduardo Staszowski, Director at Parsons DESIS Lab. The conversation will stimulate a reflection on the possibility of adopting the “urban commons” framework as a way to create “new social arrangements that enable sharing of (not always visible) spaces, resources, and information among urban denizens, to meet their needs”. The potential of the urban commons and the possible obstacles to their growth will be analyzed through the lenses of un/reclaiming spaces, dynamic and inclusive governance, and alternative economies. Furthermore, the “urban commons” framework will be considered as a possible arrangement to apply in the specific urban case study of the 14th Street in Manhattan, which will be closed to private transit during upcoming repairs to the subway line, offering the opportunity to imagine totally new uses, relationships, and interactions for the street landscape.

The program of the event is available on the website (where it is possible to find the panels and conversations complete list).