Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2015–16

Nicholas Tanzman
Flâneur Society

Flâneur is the creation of a community of urban enthusiasts. We now use applications within our devices to navigate and decide our course of action within cities. Flâneur is an application in the form of a quarterly artist book that will revive interest in unguided exploration. Preservationists, anthropologists, tourists and locals will indulge and further appreciate the living museum that surrounds them that is the modern urban environment. A Flâneur is a urban explorer who idly trawls the arcades and streets.

Firstly we must understand our moment in human history. While major population areas have existed in the past, it is not until the industrial revolution that conditions have been suitable for the modernity that we know and the urban environment that has emerged. It is in the nineteenth century that we first observe people from all walks of life face to face with one another, confronting the dilemma of being immersed in a phantasmagoria of new crowded environments. In these last centuries we have come build these urban megalopolises but have failed adequately study their effects on the individual.

Today we stand at a crossroads of a new information age in which our instant access to information has made wandering or randomly searching obsolete. We are bombarded by new ways of searching, categorizing and locating destinations and are losing the art of leisurely discovery. The project unifies the ideas of unfettered exploration with the philosophies of the flâneur. Users will receive four issues a year and are encouraged to read these art books in public places in between walks to appreciate their surroundings while reading about them through the lens of previous flâneurs in history. There are also a series of objectives that are involve the user at the end of each chapter and an access code to unlock the Flâneur app. Within the app users are encouraged to keep their head up and eyes open and uses a minimal interface to not distract the user from streets ahead. Users can also browse images and completed missions that other flâneurs have uploaded for viewing. The combination of physical text with an online gallery creates a dynamism between the user, the city and the society of flâneurs recording their progress using the app.


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Vanshika Swaika
Parsons Engraved
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Ana Cecilia Thompson Motta
Night Court
Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015–16