Meagan Durlak, Research Assistant

Meagan Durlak

Meagan Durlak is a recovering graphic designer. After spending the last 5 years working with a handful of great clients, (such as the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canadian Film Centre, Journalists for Human Rights, MaRS Discovery District, Makeshift Magazine and the Royal Ontario Museum) she has come to realize that she wants to pursue design in a new way. In the hopes of making life a little more interesting, and exploring this new dimension of design, she is currently pursuing an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons the New School for Design. Meagan’s favorite boardgames to date are Race for the Galaxy, Eclipse and Twilight Struggle. Also, she will never refuse a competitive game of ping pong.

James Frankis, Research Assistant

James Frankis

James Frankis is an information designer and amateur coder with a focus on education and science. James is currently studying for a graduate degree in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons.

Kristen Kersh, Research Assistant

Kristen Kersh

Kristen is a New York City native who recently moved back after living in Colorado, Chicago, and Boston. She received her undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Fine Arts, Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kristen graduated last spring with a masters in Neuroscience and Education form the Harvard Graduate School of Education and she is currently a first year MFA candidate in the Design and Technology program at Parsons, The New School for Design. For the past four years Kristen has worked in various positions that involve education, technology and creativity. These positions have included her two years as a Teach for America corps member in Denver CO, her experience as an Account Executive at Groupon, and more recently a counsultant for Girls Write Now.

J. Matthew Griffis, Research Assistant

J. Matthew Griffis

With passions for games, music, writing, performance, and humor all demanding expression, Matt wasn’t sure there were enough hours in the day, much less one mode to unite all those interests. At last, an answer appeared in the form of video game design, which is what he wanted to do anyway. He currently pursues an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design and still despairs of sufficient hours in the day.

Colleen Macklin, Co-Director

Colleen Macklin

Colleen Macklin is a game designer, an Associate Professor in the school of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design and founder and co-director of PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab), a lab focused on developing games for experimental learning and social engagement. PETLab projects include curricula in game design for the Boys and Girls Club and via the website, a set of disaster preparedness games with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, and big games such as Re:Activism and the “fiscal” sport Budgetball. She is a member of the game design collective Local No. 12, best known for their collectible card game, the Metagame and The Leisure Society, a group exploring games and experimental narrative. Her work has been shown at Come Out and Play, UCLA Art|Sci Center, The Whitney Museum for American Art and Creative Time. BFA, Media Arts Pratt Institute, graduate studies in Computer Science, CUNY and International Affairs, The New School.

Patrick Schlafer, Research Assistant

Patrick Schlafer

Never wanting to engage in only a singular discipline, Patrick has always had a diversified set of interests. After graduating from college, this led to practices—both professionally and recreationally—in studio art, freelance design, web development, and others, that were inspired by contrasting fields. This spread of interests eventually contributed to him finding his way into the Transdisciplinary Design program at Parsons. In his final semester, Patrick is interested in the use of simple game mechanics to engage and encourage participants to contribute to crowdsourcing projects. Specifically, his thesis will explore how elements of projects such as Foldit can be used in other contexts (in this case, entrepreneurship).

John Sharp, Co-Director

John Sharp

John Sharp is the Associate Professor of Games and Learning in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design where he is co-director of PETLab (Prototyping, Education and Technology Lab). John is a game designer, graphic designer, art historian and educator. His research is focused on game design curriculum, videogame aesthetics, the history of play, and the early history of computer and video games. John is a member of the game design collective Local No. 12, which creates games from and for cultural contexts and conventions. He is also a partner in Supercosm LLC, a consultancy for non-profits and organizations in the arts, education and entertainment fields.