Aired March 27th, 2021 11:00 AM iHeart Radio | Mark Parsons is an artist, entrepreneur, designer, educator, and technologist. He is the founder and executive director of the Consortium for Research & Robotics in New York City, the director of the Science and Technology Entry Program (NYSED & Pratt), and the Director of Production Technologies for Pratt Institute Architecture, where he teaches advanced design studios and materials seminars. He sits on several industrial and educational advisory boards, including a 2019 appointment by the US Department of State as a US Speaker on creativity, innovation and technology.
Parsons has held teaching positions in design and art at Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and Cornell University. He has lectured at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China, SUNY Purchase, University of Massachusetts, ISE Cultural Foundation, Grounds for Sculpture, and presented a TEDx Talk titled “Making a Thing. Discovering aSpace.”
With projects ranging from residential to commercial, Parsons architectural designs often focus on tensile structures. Parsons was the lead designer and principal of the Haiti SoftHouse, a 2010 transitional shelter for Haitian communities after the 2010 earthquake. He has led teams to award winning designs at the Architectural Digest Home Design show (DIFFA Dine by Design), the Brooklyn Food and Wine Festival (UrBarn), and with New York City Parks projects (Putnam Pavilion).
As an artist, Mark Parsons is the recipient of the Jacob Javits National Fellowship (1997), is a VSA International Fellow (2004), is a two-time winner of the FIPSE Grant (Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education, 2009, 2011), recipient of the Wynn Newhouse Award (2012), 3 Faculty Development Grants at the Pratt Institute, and two Tectonic Fellowship Awards (2014, 2015) for community projects in Brooklyn, NY. He is a 2016 recipient of the President’s Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for his environmental sculpture Big BURR in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Parsons has exhibited art work at the United Nations, Kennedy Center for the Arts, Seaport Museum, New Bedford Art Museum, Springfield Art Museum, Provincetown Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, and private galleries in New York and abroad.
Before coming to New York City, Parsons rebuilt a 41-foot hurricane-destroyed boat named Lazarus, and sailed for 3 years and 30 thousand miles around the Globe; down the Atlantic Ocean, west across the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, around Africa, across the Atlantic, a hundred miles up the Amazon River, and home again. He returned to working as a carpenter in the northeast before heading to Cornell University to pursue an MFA, and then moved to New York.
Mark Parsons lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.