Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
66 Fifth Ave
Parsons School of Design

(under)REPRESENT(ed) is an exhibition that features Parsons alumni of color whose creative practices explore the lived experience of race and aim to dismantle systems of racism.

Ron Morrison, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15

Ron Morrison is a designer, artist, and urbanist. Their practice works to create strategies using art and design that help people understand how urban systems work and how to act within their fissures and inconsistencies. From these dissonant spaces, we learn to rework and retune systems towards an increased potential for collaboration and action. With a strong background in community development and social advocacy, they believe that people should have full access to shaping their cities and communities and see design as a medium for creating knowledge and moving beyond paralysis in the face of complexity. From building open source platforms to upend the continued practice of solitary confinement to crafting community-based archives to combat gentrification, their work investigates cartographies of slow violence, dispossession, embodied data, and blackness. They have been a collaborator with design teams that implemented projects in New Orleans, Ghana, Colombia, Ethiopia, New York, and Venice and have had work featured in AIA New York, the UN World Urban Forum, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Ron holds degrees in Psychology and Gender Studies, as well as a graduate degree in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons School of Design. They currently teach in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons School of Design.


Ron Morrison, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15
web-based interactive mapping project

To understand the constantly disruptive present is to extend our fabulist arch back in time. Redtimed is a web-based interactive mapping project using redlining geographies taken from the 1938 Home Ownership Loan Corporation (HOLC) security maps as a lens to view contemporary tax lot and unit data in Upper Manhattan. Using the redlining maps, a foundation in which race was codified as data and equated with risk, this piece calls into direct question the slow violence of white supremacist logic hidden behind big data that we can still see the effects of today. By understanding the spatial histories of policy in this way we become better able to understand longstanding connections between dispossession, blackness, time, and policy.

The Argus Project

Raquel de Anda, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15; Ayodamola Okunseinde, MFA Design and Technology ’15; Gan Golan; Julien Terrell; Ronald Morrison, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15; Ligaiya Romero

Inspired by the Greek myth of Argus — the giant with 100 eyes who served as an eternal watchman for the gods — The Argus Project promotes a heroic narrative around citizen journalism and the courageous act of filming the police. A transmedia project that is part wearable device, part video installation, and part community organizing platform, The Argus Project jumps directly into the current debate over police accountability and state surveillance. The creators say, “Our goal is to challenge deep systemic mythologies that normalize police violence by creating a counter-myth that shifts power into the hands of communities. In doing so, we aim to help build a culture of accountability, increase community safety and reduce both state violence and the surveillance that it depends on.” The video traces the story of Argus, an awakening giant who serves as a metaphor for a citizen body opening its many eyes to the reality of police violence. Told through the eyes of Argus, the video reveals how policing has become an acute nexus of oppression, fusing unregulated state surveillance with the ability to commit physical violence with impunity. The result is a toxic combination aimed at the bodies of working-class people and people of color. In a time where we expect these challenges to increase, the story ultimately posits how we as citizens can concretely and effectively respond.

How would you describe your day to day job and/or artistic practice?

I am endlessness engrossed by the mutual constitutive mutilectic between race and space as mitigated and codified by data. Day to day I spend my time reading and researching, teaching, sketching, always seeks new representational forms for articulating my research.

In what ways have your identities impacted your education and career paths?

This feels too large to condense into a Google Form. Come find me and let's chat.

What advice would you share with current Parsons students?

You are not bounded by falsely constructed imaginaries. Rather we must understand them and reinscribe our own alternatives ways to living and thriving.

Posted in Artists.