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Summer Program


NYC Summer Program

The Milstein Summer Program at Cornell Tech is designed to be an immersive and collaborative learning experience, bridging the technological and humanistic understandings of our world through a series of mentored workshops, guest seminars, group projects, innovation challenges, and real-world engagements in New York City. Over the course of 8-weeks, students develop a situated appreciation for technological innovation, as well as the human context in which it unfolds.

Civic Innovation Challenges

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Physical Making

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Digital Making

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Critical Screenings

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Guest Speaker Series

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Tech Explorations

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City Explorations

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Summer Showcase

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The summer program encourages students to reflect collectively upon the political, social and economic implications of technology, to respond critically and creatively through emergent forms of interactive media, and to prototype new artifacts using the latest digital fabrication technologies. The program is also interleaved with experiential outings, connecting students to the vibrant life and fabric of New York City, including visits to cultural institutions and working with local groups on Roosevelt Island.
By the end of the summer, students cultivate a broad set of interests and skills through several group projects, research initiatives, and independent study pathways. Students will gain:

  • Interdisciplinary academic experiences at Cornell Tech that traverse theory, methods, technology, and texts;

  • Integrated learning within classrooms and other city contexts (e.g., museum trips, arts events, field work);

  • Collaborative opportunities within their cohort and other stakeholders;

  • Deep connections with diverse communities, people, and places throughout NYC


Summer 2021: Some of this year's stellar Milstein cohort visit the Museum of Modern Art, dwarfed by Milton Glaser's iconic design.


Summer 2021: The phenomenal Bob Balder (Cornell AAP) offered the Milstein students a comprehensive tour of Manhattan's downtown memorials and monuments.

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As Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 Four Freedoms speech marks its 80th anniversary in 2021, a talented cohort of Cornell students will spend 8-weeks contesting and redefining conceptions of monumentality and freedom in civic spaces. How do we challenge notions of power, materiality, form, figuration, scale, functionality, erasure and permanence within commemorative landscapes? Can a song, gesture, photograph, painting or poem serve as a more enduring and empowering monument? Do the affordances of technology hinder or remedy historical asymmetries? Grappling with these provocations, student teams will combine their design thinking skills with a suite of digital and physical-making applications to architect and activate a prototype memorial on Roosevelt Island, culminating in a summer showcase of their creativity, criticality, and newfound technical expertise. 



During their time at Cornell Tech, students will be instructed, supported and inspired by David Bering-Porter, Austin Bunn, Michael Byrne, Irwin Chen, Deborah Estrin, Jackie Klein, Angelica Kosasih, William Leon, Mor Naaman, Niti Parikh, Oscar Romero, Donna Rose, Sarah Rubin, Jagan Narayanan Subramanian, Hufsa Tasnim, Juliet Weissman and Lauren Zehner.

2021 Theme