Press and Publications

January 18, 2013
PRATT RECEIVES $500,000 GRANT FROM EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.

The Empire State Development Corporation has awarded Pratt Institute a $500,000 grant through the Regional Economic Development Council as part of a series of awards for job creation projects in Brooklyn. The grant, which was included in the New York State Senate’s allocations, will support the expansion of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation by increasing its capacity and adding several new fashion start-ups to its roster of incubees.

“Pratt Institute is grateful to New York State Senators Martin Golden and Dean Skelos, and the entire Regional Economic Development Council for this exceptional grant, which will allow the Design Incubator to extend its highly successful business development model,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. “As an organization that has both helped to foster and benefited from the Brooklyn renaissance of recent years, Pratt also deeply appreciates Governor Cuomo’s and Lieutenant Governor Duffy’s foresight in launching the Regional Economic Development Council to promote the borough’s continued economic growth and prosperity.”

Established in 2002, the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation helps to launch sustainably focused business enterprises and is based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Since its inception, it has helped launch over 25 businesses in clean-tech, social innovation, fashion design, design consulting, furniture design, and product design. The businesses collectively support 60 jobs and $4 million in revenue per year. In March 2012 the Pratt Design Incubator, which is a part of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies at Pratt Institute, was cited in the Center for the Urban Future report “Designing New York’s Future,” as a prime example of an initiative that fuels new businesses and spurs economic growth.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amy Aronoff at 718-636-3554 or aarono29@pratt.edu

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December 19, 2012
PRATT INSTITUTE’S CENTER FOR CONTINUING AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES OFFERS EXCITING NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS IN DESIGN ENTREPRENEURSHIP, FASHION NEW MEDIA, PERFUMERY, AND URBAN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

Programs Designed for New Working Professionals Who Shape Their Own Career Path

NEW YORK, N.Y., December 19, 2012 — In spring 2013, Pratt Institute’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (CCPS) will offer four new certificate programs that can lead to exciting new career paths in design entrepreneurship, fashion new media, perfumery, and urban green infrastructure. The four new programs are: Design Entrepreneurship, a program to be conducted in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation (Pratt Design Incubator), which is part of Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies; Fashion New Media, a program to meet the needs of the fashion industry; Perfumery, a collaboration with France-based Cinquième Sens, to teach fragrance development or sales; and Urban Green Infrastructure: Green Systems Clean Water, an area in which Pratt has been in the forefront in New York.

The new certificate programs–which are designed for adults who are professional designers, fashion entrepreneurs, architects, landscape architects, green designers, and fragrance sales and marketing professionals–offer a range of foundation, core, and elective courses that lead to certification within one to three semesters. Pratt CCPS is based on the Institute’s Manhattan campus at 144 West 14th Street.
“Pratt’s new certificate programs are preparing workers for a new working world–one where you take the initiative to shape your own career path,” said Karen D’Angelo, director of marketing, Pratt CCPS. “Our students are working professionals who have a goal, budget, and deadline in mind for their road to success. These new programs will give them the skills that they need to succeed,” she added.

The Design Entrepreneurship program will prepare designers to establish their own businesses. The new certificate program will build business acumen and set the stage for developing a viable design-driven enterprise, whether in fashion, product, or design consulting. Sustainable best practices will be integrated to ensure that participants understand how to integrate the environmental and social impacts of their creative ventures into their economic success.

The program will be offered in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator, which has been turning creative professionals into successful entrepreneurs since 2002. Design Incubator Founder Debera Johnson will head the program and teach courses including “Design Your Life Like an Entrepreneur,” which will provide participants with the tools to identify specific qualities of entrepreneurship and the basics of contracts, proposals, and financial planning; and “RampUP!,” which is a program that takes existing start-ups through the process of turning a great idea into a successful business. There will also be “Start-up Intensives” for designers turned entrepreneurs in fashion design, product development, and shoe and jewelry design. All courses will bring in guest mentors from the Design Incubator to provide insight in marketing, strategic planning, and finance.

The Fashion New Media program will train designers, photographers, and social medial marketing professionals to produce photographs, websites, and graphics with the same industry standard tools the pros use. Drawing upon CCPS’s rich offerings, this new certificate program will help students develop a polished portfolio and learn to utilize their production skills to enter the fashion industry. Participants will also learn to grow their network and express their unique voice as they design new media for the highly competitive world of fashion. Internship opportunities are available to exceptional students.

The Perfumery program, which is intended for perfumery marketing professionals, distributors, and fragrance enthusiasts will offer two career tracks: one in the technique and language of perfumery needed to create new scents, and the other in selling fragrances. Participants in the first track will learn the language of scent and the culture of fragrances and their raw materials, while those who choose the second track will learn marketing and sales techniques in fragrance development and gain a deeper understanding of the emotional dimension of selling fragrances. This new certificate program will be conducted in partnership with Cinquième Sens, a perfume school founded in Paris in 1976, whose team of experts will share its passion for creating and transmitting a true perfume culture.

More topical than ever since Hurricane Sandy, the Urban Green Infrastructure: Green Systems Clean Water program addresses such vital concerns as storm water management and rainwater runoff from the impermeable surfaces that constitute about 70 percent of New York City’s acreage. The city is a leader in addressing national water quality standards, so the training offered through this program’s two-track curriculum will put participants in the vanguard of successful green infrastructure practices.

For further information about the new certificate programs, click here. Specific admission requirements are listed in the CCPS Spring 2013 catalog, which may be picked up at Pratt Manhattan’s CCPS office on the second floor of 144 West 14th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues or visited online at www.pratt.edu/prostudies. For further information and course advisement, contact Chris Ferrara, Customer Services Specialist, at 212-647-7199, cferrara@pratt.edu, or prostudy@pratt.edu.

Registration is open through April 15, 2013. Classes begin January 14, 2013 and Pratt alumni receive 10% discount off tuition.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kaitlyn Kurowsky at 718-687-5669 or kkurosky@pratt.edu
Mara McGinnis at 718.636.3471 or mmcginni@pratt.edu

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PRATT INSTITUTE STUDENTS TO PRESENT PROPOSALS TO DEVELOP CAMPUS GREEN ROOF ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 25

Student-Designed Roof to be Realized with Funding from the Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Grant Program
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View from the windows of Pratt’s North Hall of a proposed green roof design. Rendering credit: Catalina Parra.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., July 24, 2012 — Graduate students from Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development (PSPD) will present concept proposals for the development of a soon-to-be built green roof on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, from 5:30 to 8 PM. The presentations, which were developed as part of PSPD’s Green Infrastructure Design Build summer course, will take place in Room 306 in North Hall at 200 Willoughby Avenue in Brooklyn. Members of the news media who are interested in attending may RSVP to Amy Aronoff at aarono29@pratt.edu.

Students in the course learned about green roof systems, their various components, and the diverse green roof strategies being explored in New York CIty from leading professionals including Paul Mankiewicz, associate professor and executive director of Gaia Institute; Kubi Ackerman, project manager at the Urban Design Lab of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Ulrich Lorimer, native plant curator at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The green roof professionals will be in attendance when the students make their concept proposal presentations on July 25 and will be providing critical feedback in a Q&A session after the presentations.

The student-designed roof will be located on North Hall, a building that houses the campus cafeteria as well as classrooms, and will be planted with native species and monitored to measure storm water management and energy efficiency benefits. The roof will be realized through a $475,167 grant received by Pratt from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Infrastructure Grant Program.

Pratt was one of 11 institutions from across the city to receive the grants, which represent a key component of the New York City Green Infrastructure Plan that was launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2010 to support PlaNYC’s goals for improved waterways by implementing storm water management programs. The grant will also fund Pratt’s Cannoneer Court Permeable Parking Lot retrofit that will act as a potential model for a citywide parking lot design.

The roof will be built by green roof specialty contractors, Highview Creations, in accordance with the parameters of grant guidelines. Once built, the projects will be maintained and monitored by a team of students called the green infrastructure fellows. The grant-funded projects will also become a living lab for Pratt students and for community-based organizations that provide green infrastructure training.

In addition to the student team proposals, which explore the multiple benefits possible with green roofs, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 60% completion plan will be presented. One of the requirements of the DEP grant process, the 60% plan illustrates the layout and detailing approach of the green roof design and is reviewed by the DEP. Taking elements from the students’ individual design ideas from the first weeks of class, and refined through in-class charrettes, discussion, and debate, the DEP plan has been developed in parallel with the student team proposals. Finalized under the guidance of Jaime Stein, director of the Urban Environmental Systems Management program (part of PSPD); course instructors Gita Nandan and Elliott Malby, both of the Brooklyn design firm thread collective; Highview Creations, the green roof installers; and the Pratt facilities team, the DEP 60% plan achieves the water goals of the original DEP proposal within the budget allotted.

To learn more about the Green Infrastructure Design Build course and the North Hall green roof project, please visit the class blog.

ON-SITE MEDIA CONTACT:
Elliott Maltby at 718-666-6236 or elliott@threadcollective.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amy Aronoff at 718-636-3554 or aarono29@pratt.edu

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July 17, 2012
PRATT CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN STUDIES RECEIVES CORE77 AWARD

Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS) received Core77 2012 Design Award — Professional Notable in the Educational Initiatives category for its second annual day-long Sustainability Crash Course, which included a series of workshops featuring over 20 experts from Pratt’s sustainable design faculty and elsewhere. The award jury commented that “Our changing and fast-paced socio-economic environment demands of designers that they demonstrate unique agility and embrace lifelong learning in order to stay current in a variety of adjacent fields. The jury found that the Sustainability Crash Course is a new educational model that delivers effective ways to increase knowledge acquisition and build skills. The jury especially remarked on the value of a curriculum that targets the integration of academic and studio instruction and promotes a peer-to-pper learning environment that fosters collaboration.”

The event took place in conjunction with the Institute’s Green Week in during spring semester 2012. Established in 2007, Pratt CSDS is the centerpiece of Pratt’s transformative leadership in sustainable design education. A physical space and hub for resources, CSDS encourages the use of Pratt’s campus as a living lab for innovation to provide students with unparalleled experiences in sustainable design and serves faculty in development of educational experiences that help shape emerging curriciula in a time defined by complexity, change, and global challenge.

Pratt alumni members of TYTHEdesign, in collaboration with the non-profit Sustainable South Bronx, were also awarded a Core77 2012 Design Award — Professional Runner Up in the Educational Initiatives category for their work on the FABLAB Education Program, an after-school program to teach job and life skills focusing on sustainability and business basics through the lens of design. TYTHEdesign was founded by Pratt industrial design alumna and social entrepreneur Kris Drury.

Additionally, recent Pratt industrial design graduate Jason Hu received a Core77 2012 Design Award — Student Notable in the Packaging category for his Avex Male Contraceptive design, which was part of his Pratt thesis. The contraceptive imagines the future of oral contraceptives for men and explores its cultural and functional dimensions.

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PRATT INSTITUTE PRESENTS NEW DESIGN WORK AT THE PRATT POP-UP! AT DEKALB MARKET
Dekalb image
Images from left: ring by Yon Son Choe, bracelet by Katelyn Riley, ring by Alyssa Aizenstat, and porcupine pin by Katherine Morris. Photos: Courtesy of David Butler.

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 4, 2102 — Pratt Institute will present exhibitions and sales of new design work at the Pratt Pop-Up! at DeKalb Market at 138 Willoughby Street at Flatbush Avenue this summer. The Pratt Pop-Up! is a rotating showcase for the extraordinary talent of Pratt Institute students and alumni, who include some of the world’s foremost artists, designers, and thought leaders. The Pratt Pop-Up! is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

The show and sales for this summer are as follows:

Pratt Fine Arts Jewelry
Stunning jewelry designs from four stand-outs from Pratt’s Class of 2012
Now through June 12, 2012

The jewelry designs exhibited in the Fine Arts Jewelry Class of 2012 display stem from award-winning thesis collections by students from this year’s graduating class. They are Yun Son Choe (First Prize Outstanding Achievement), Katelyn Riley (Second Prize for Excellence), Alyssa Aizenstat (Third Prize for Distinction), and Katherine Morris (Honorable Mention). Their collections were inspired by human emotion, the architecture of bridges and their function for travel, vintage medical supplies, and Native American hunter-warrior culture. Each student used a unique combination of different media, including manipulated metals with found objects and uncommon stones; porcupine quills and metal; and plastics and recycled medical devices to fully realize his or her thesis project.

Dargelos Bicycle Accessories
Functional and fashionable bike accessories for the bike commuter
June 13-July 9, 2012

Dargelos, one of 15 businesses currently supported by The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, will introduce a bicycle accessory shop to the Pratt Pop-Up! Dargelos creates flexible accessories and garments to encourage bicycling in the city. The refined designs unite a minimalist aesthetic with safety, practicality, and durability. For more information, please visit www.dar-ge-los.com.

Holstee, Designing Hope, and Rubina Accessories
Sustainable home furnishing designs and fashion accessories made by Indian artisans
July 9-August 6, 2012

Holstee, designing hope, and Rubina are also supported by The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. The work on display will showcase a collaboration between Rubina and Designing Hope, and the work the three companies have done in India with local artisans.

Holstee offers practical and sustainable alternatives to everyday products. In addition to designing the products, the company has begun to curate products from like-minded designers and share them with the community through their website.

designing hope is a socially and sustainably minded design firm that consults with companies and non-profits to create social impact. In addition, this firm designs sustainable products that help to create awareness and positive change.

Rubina is a design company that brings to the surface designers and artisans who are working together to make innovative products through blending modern design and traditional craft. Through these unique collaborations, women artisans are afforded a sustainable income and the ability to preserve the traditional crafts that are currently dying out due to a lack of market access and industrial expansion.

For more information, please visit shop.holstee.com, www.designinghope.com, and rubinadesign.com.

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About The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation

The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation supports the entrepreneurial talents of designers, artists, and architects — including several Pratt alumni — by providing them with resources to launch businesses. The Incubator is part of Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research, which is led by Incubator Founder and Director Deb Johnson. The Incubator supports its companies with custom-tailored services for sustainable business endeavors. Incubator companies have access to a flexible curriculum in sustainable entrepreneurship mentor-based coaching and work among a thriving community of socially responsible entrepreneurs. Since its 2002 inception, the Incubator has supported the launch of over 30 companies, has created over 50 new jobs, and has consulted for 15 organizations.

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About The Pratt Pop-Up!

The Pratt Pop-Up! enables Pratt students and alumni to obtain hands-on experience in everything from opening a retail or gallery space to researching a thesis or product idea with the community. The interior of the Pratt Pop-Up! was designed and built by students and faculty from Pratt’s industrial design program. Their design brief required the creation of a space from sustainable materials that could easily accommodate a series of changing exhibitions. The design team transformed slatwall, an ordinary store-display material that uses interchangeable fixtures, to create this beautiful architecturally inspired environment. The work in the exhibition space will change throughout Pratt’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2012, allowing the Institute a special opportunity to celebrate its rich history of innovation and creativity.

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PRATT INSTITUTE ONE OF 10 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP IN INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY

Pratt Recognized for its Leadership Role in Creating The Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 14, 2012 — Pratt Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious independent colleges of art and design, was one of 10 colleges and universities nationally to be recognized with a Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Pratt was recognized for its leadership role in creating the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS), which has brought together 30 independent colleges of art and design and three state universities from across North America to integrate sustainability into academic programs. PALS was founded by Debera Johnson, executive director, Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS), Pratt Institute.

The awards are presented to ACUPCC signatory colleges that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future. The winners of these awards were among 20 finalists chosen by Second Nature’s board. The 10 recipients represent the diversity of institutions of higher education and are located throughout the United States. All winners will be recognized in an award ceremony with their peer institutions at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on June 21 and 22.

“These institutions are leading the way for the academic community by demonstrating how sustainable practices can be put into place on campus that have a long-term impact on creating a sustainable society for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. “They have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole.”
Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC, an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

Pratt is being recognized for the PALS initiative, a five-year commitment that began in 2010 and that brings together an active cohort of presidents, provosts, deans, and faculty members from colleges of art and design in a collaborative effort to link resources around critical environmental and social issues to ensure that graduates are prepared to meet the critical challenges facing the world. A goal of the partnership is to host inter-institutional studio classes that connect the schools’ intellectual resources and expand the network of each student upon graduation.

“Creating this partnership of 33 colleges and universities leverages our collective knowledge,” said Johnson. “We’re reducing our costs while increasing the academic value and developing new relationships between our faculty and students,” she added.

In 2007, Pratt’s President Thomas F. Schutte became one of the first signatories of the ACUPCC and that same year accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017, which is the central goal of the Institute’s climate action plan. This commitment resulted in the creation of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research (CSDS), an educational resource for sustainable best practices. The CSDS also operates the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which currently supports 12 start-up businesses and a design extension program that helps local industries reduce their climate footprint.

Pratt’s leadership and commitment to support sustainability was further underscored in January 2012 when it opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility, named Myrtle Hall, to house the college’s Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices. The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable design education.

Since 2010 Pratt has been cited as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review in its Guide to Green Colleges. The guide notes that Pratt’s “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice.”

Please see below for the full list of 2012 Climate Leadership Award Winners.

Allegheny College, Pa.
Arizona State University, Ariz.
Austin Community College District, Texas
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fla.
Haywood Community College, N.C. Luther College, Iowa
Pratt Institute and PALS, N.Y.
University of California System, Calif.
University of Central Missouri, Miss.
University of South Florida, Fla.

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PRATT INSTITUTE RECOGNIZED BY THE AMERICAN COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS’ CLIMATE COMMITMENT’S CELEBRATING SUSTAINABILITY SERIES

NEW YORK, N.Y., April 6, 2012 — Pratt Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious independent colleges of art and design, has been recognized as one of 15 top colleges and universities in the nation for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) as part of its Celebrating Sustainability series.

The ACUPCC is an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action. The Celebrating Sustainability series highlights colleges and universities that exemplify the initiative’s mission to re-stabilize the earth’s climate through education, research, and community engagement; the series is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

“As a founding member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, we are thrilled to be recognized with this honor,” said Thomas F. Schutte, president of Pratt Institute. “As a leader in sustainability education and in innovative design thinking, we understand that collaboration, sharing ideas, and trading best practices among schools, businesses, and students is the key to promoting sustainability,” he added.

Pratt has a long-standing commitment to supporting sustainability. In 2010, the Institute was at the forefront of a dynamic cohort of presidents, provosts, deans, and faculty members that made a five-year commitment to work collaboratively to integrate sustainability throughout academic programs.

In 2011, this effort brought together 33 independent colleges of art and design across North America and three state universities into a far-reaching partnership designed to transform the academic environment.

“Creating this partnership of 33 colleges and universities leverages our resources while reducing costs, furthering academic value, and creating the future model for collaboration among our institutions,” said Debera Johnson, academic director of sustainability, Pratt Institute.

“Pratt’s success in building a collaborative response to driving sustainable practices is central to our mission,” said Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC. “Pratt has demonstrated leadership and helped build a foundation with these 33 schools that will have a far-reaching impact on stabilizing our climate and creating a healthier environment.”

In 2007, Schutte became one of the first signatories of the ACUPCC and that same year accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017, which is the central goal of the Institute’s climate action plan. This commitment resulted in the creation of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research (CSDS), an educational resource for sustainable best practices. The CSDS also operates the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which currently supports 12 start-up businesses and a design extension program that helps local industries reduce their climate footprint.

Pratt’s leadership and commitment to support sustainability was further underscored in January 20122 when it opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility named Myrtle Hall to house the college’s Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices. The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable design education.

Since 2010 Pratt has been cited as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review in its Guide to Green Colleges. The guide notes that Pratt’s “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice.”

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PRATT INSTITUTE A CATALYST FOR THE CITY’S ECONOMIC GROWTH ACCORDING TO REPORT ISSUED BY CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE

Report Praises Pratt’s Design Incubator Program as the Only One of Its Kind in New York City

INC_NEW BUILDING
Photos from left: Pratt alumna Shannon South of reMade USA at work at Pratt’s Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which has helped launch 25 businesses since its 2002 inception, and Pratt Institute’s LEED-gold certified building, Myrtle Hall, which is an example of Pratt’s commitment to the revitalization of the local community. Photos from left: Jonathan Weitz and Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA.

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 30, 2102 — Pratt Institute is a major driver of New York City’s economic engine, according to a March 2012 report published by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a Manhattan-based think tank. Pratt was featured in the report for its support of entrepreneurs through The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation; for significant investments that demonstrate its active commitment to the local community; for the number of degrees it awards to designers and architects, many of whom work for New York City’s leading design and architectural firms; and for the talent it brings to the city from around the globe.

The report, titled “Designing New York’s Future,” draws from a wide range of institutional data, survey results, and extensive interviews with representatives from New York’s design and architecture communities. It acknowledges New York City’s design colleges as critical catalysts for innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth that are poised to play an even more central role in New York’s economic future.

“The results of the report are no surprise as Pratt Institute is one of the world’s foremost design institutions and has played an active role in New York City’s economy and culture for the past 125 years. I’m pleased that the report helps quantify Pratt’s impact in a way that illustrates the depth of its influence,” said Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte. “We take great pride in the fact the majority of our graduates stay in the New York City area, many near Pratt’s home in Brooklyn, to start their own businesses or to become leaders at the city’s top creative firms,” he added.

The report highlighted the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, the only one of its kind among colleges of art and design in New York City, as a prime example of an initiative that fuels new businesses and spurs economic growth. The Pratt Design Incubator was founded in 2002 by Debera Johnson to help student thesis projects move toward viable, sustainably focused business enterprises and is based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Since its inception, it has helped launch over 25 businesses in clean-tech, social innovation, fashion design, design consulting, furniture design, and product design. The businesses collectively support 60 jobs and $4 million in revenue per year.

The report cites Pratt Institute investments like Myrtle Hall, the Institute’s LEED-gold certified academic and administrative building located on the revitalized Myrtle Avenue commercial district in Brooklyn, as vital to community development. Myrtle Hall, which opened in 2010, was highlighted as an example of a multi-million dollar investment by a New York design college that “provided new amenities for students and benefited the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhoods.” Since becoming president of Pratt Institute in 1993, Thomas F. Schutte has worked tirelessly to revitalize the area surrounding Pratt, and serves as chair of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

One of the report’s key focuses is on the entrepreneurial talents of the city’s design college graduates, many of whom stay in the city upon graduation. The report cites a 2009 survey from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAPP) that found that 19 percent of all Pratt, Parsons, and SVA graduates, including non-design graduates like performing arts majors, went on to start their own businesses; the average for all the art schools surveyed by SNAPP was 14 percent. In CUF’s 2011 survey of trade association members, an equivalent 19 percent of New York City design college graduates indicated that they had either founded their own businesses or moved into an executive position at an existing one.

The report quoted Debera Johnson, founder of the Design Incubator and Pratt’s academic director of sustainability, on the successes of the Design Incubator and she talked about plans to triple its size. Pratt Provost Peter Barna was quoted as equating freelancers with sole-proprietorships, encouraging freelancers who want to be successful to function like a small business.

A number of Pratt alumni were also quoted, including Sam Cochran, Steph Mantis, and Diane Ruengsorn in a special Q and A section with young design entrepreneurs. Cochran, a member of Pratt’s Design Incubator, said the Design Incubator is the best resource for Pratt student designers in providing the expertise needed to start a business, and mentioned how, as a student, he would seek guidance from his Pratt professors for getting a business off the ground. Mantis talked about her experience in taking an idea she had for a product, manufacturing it, and selling it with great success. Ruengsorn stressed the need for business training to go “further and faster.”

The report also notes that New York City graduates twice as many students in design and architecture as any other U.S. city at 4,278, compared to the city with the second most graduates, Los Angeles, at 1,769, according to 2010 figures. Enrollment at New York’s design colleges has been growing at a faster rate than at other universities in the city, up 34% between 2001 and 2010.

Pratt is number six in the country for the number of design degrees awarded each year, and number eight in the country for the number of architecture degrees awarded each year.

The Center for an Urban Future is dedicated to independent, fact-based research about critical issues affecting New York’s future, including economic development, workforce development, higher education, and the arts. For more information, please visit www.nycfuture.org.

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PRATT INSTITUTE’S CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN STUDIES TO PRESENT SECOND ANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY CRASH COURSE ON MARCH 24TH

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 21, 2102 — Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS) will present its second annual Sustainability Crash Course as part of Green Week 2012 from 9:30 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, March 24 in the Engineering Building on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus. The day will include a series of workshops featuring over 20 experts from Pratt’s sustainable design faculty and elsewhere. Registration is free for all and is required. Members of the press who are interested in attending may RSVP to Amy Aronoff.

Highlights include:

A keynote discussion with Allan Chochinov, Pratt alumnus, partner, and editor-in-chief, Core77, and Mary McBride, chair, Pratt’s Design Management program, and partner, Strategies for Planned Change, that will examine what has been accomplished in sustainable design, what some of the barriers have been to success, and what the next step is for designers. Deb Johnson, Pratt’s academic director of sustainability, will moderate.

A presentation by Peter Barna, provost of Pratt Institute; Thomas Hanrahan, dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture; and Myonggi Sul, professor of interior design at Pratt Institute; on the Won Dharma Center, a zero carbon footprint 28,000-square-foot recreational and spiritual retreat located on 430 acres of forest and meadow in Upstate New York. It was designed by Hanrahan (hanrahan Meyers architects), Sul (Myonggi Sul Design) and Barna (Light and Space).

A hands-on workshop by Frank Millero, visiting assistant professor of industrial design, and Carolyn Schaeberle, assistant director of Pratt CSDS, on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of life cycle analysis. After presentations by Millero and Schaeberle, participants will examine simple products to discuss and map out the materials and energy needed to produce it.

A presentation by Alice Zinnes, adjunct associate professor of foundation art and a fine artist, on “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) and how it will affect the lives of New Yorkers. Zinnes will provide background information on the controversial gas drilling practice and will provide insight on how artists get involved in sustainable practices and advocacy.

A discussion with industrial design alumni Sahar Ghaheri and Ashley Thorfinnson (dh studio) and Kristina Drury (TYTHEdesign) about their work in the social sector. Both dh studio and TYTHEdesign help non-profits and social ventures address the issues they are passionate about by helping them work better, provide improved service, and realize their goals. Ghaheri, Thorfinnson, and Drury will explore the ways designers can create impact while working with limited resources and multiple stakeholders.

Additional presentations include:

Combat Paper Project: Turning Conflict into Art
Decoding Environmental Science
Eco Fashion: Made in New York City
Ecosystems: Where They Came From, How They Work, and Why They Stick Around
FuseProject’s “Clever Little Bag” Sustainable Packaging Design for PUMA
The Seven Golden Rules of Green Marketing
Sustainable Stormwater Management: Theory to Implementation
Urban Farming and Food Justice

For a PDF on the panels and speakers represented, please click here. For additional details on registration and some of the topics covered, please click here.

Pratt Institute’s annual Green Week celebration, to be held on the Brooklyn campus from March 24 through April 4, will feature gallery exhibits, competitions, talks, films, hands-on activities, and much, much more. Green Week has something for everyone, whether interested in sustainable materials, transportation options, environmental justice, biking safety, or the controversy of “fracking.” All events are free and open to the public. For more detailed information or to register for events, please click here.

Established in 2007, Pratt CSDS is the centerpiece of Pratt’s transformative leadership in sustainable design education. A physical space and hub for resources, CSDS encourages the use of Pratt’s campus as a living lab for innovation to provide students with applied experiences in sustainable design and serves faculty in the development of educational experiences that help shape emerging curricula in a time defined by complexity, change, and global challenge. It also houses a comprehensive case studies and materials library that provides access to life-cycle assessment tools, organizes professional development workshops on sustainability, and offers individual research and consulting services in an eco-friendly atmosphere.

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PRATT INSTITUTE NAMED ONE OF THE NATION’S MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE COLLEGES

The Princeton Review and U.S. Green Buildings Council Includes Pratt in its Guide to 311 Green Colleges
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From left to right: A typical residence hall room in Willoughby Hall on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus next to the Institute’s green residence hall room, which was created by undergraduate and graduate industrial and interior design students along with staff from Pratt’s Office of Facilities Management and Residential Life; solar voltaic panels installed on the roof of Pratt’s new green building, Myrtle Hall. Photos: Diana Pau; Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA.

NEW YORK, N.Y., December 9, 2011 — Pratt Institute is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com).The nationally known education services company selected the Institute for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants, titled The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges, which notes that Pratt’s “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice.”

Pratt was recognized by the publication for the sustainability focused education it provides its students and for its commitment to the greening of its campus buildings and grounds.

In January 2011, Pratt Institute opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility named Myrtle Hall at 536 Myrtle Avenue between Grand Avenue and Steuben Street to house the college’s Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices. The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable design education.

In fall 2009, Pratt submitted an official climate change action plan to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which documents Pratt’s commitment to reducing its campus greenhouse gas emissions and outlines a series of academic initiatives designed to educate faculty, students, and the local community on issues related to sustainability. To achieve the goals of the plan, Pratt created a unique model among colleges of art and design nationwide by filling two full-time positions: one for an administrative director in charge of campus facilities and another for an academic director in charge of educational, research, and enterprise initiatives.

In 2007, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte became one of the first signatories of the ACUPCC and that same year accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017, which is the central goal of the Institute’s climate action plan. Other major plans outlined in the document include the recent creation of a Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research; the development of an all-Institute sustainability minor at Pratt, utilizing the Pratt campus as a model for sustainable living, and working with local community groups to promote energy conservation and other sustainable living practices.

The Guide to 311 Green Colleges–which is based on a survey of 2,000 colleges nationwide–profiles the nation’s most environmentally responsible campuses including the college’s academic offerings and extracurricular options. The introduction to the publication states: “a holistic approach to sustainable living on campus binds these schools together, covering everything from procurement and building guidelines to green academic programs and preparation for sustainable careers, and a willingness to be accountable for their green commitments.”

From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, the Guide looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using USGBC’s LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC, www.usgbc.org), the Guide to 311 Green Colleges is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely upon institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities, and initiatives. The Guide was created as a response to “a rising interest among students in attending colleges that practice, teach, and support environmentally responsible choices.”

The free Guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.
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PRATT INSTITUTE HOSTING SECOND ANNUAL ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABILITY FOR INDEPENDENT COLLEGES OF ART AND DESIGN

Leaders Exploring the Future of Design Education Through Collaboration

WHO: Pratt Institute is hosting representatives from 30 independent colleges of art and design across North America and three state universities as part of the second annual Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS) summit (formerly the Pratt Academic Leadership Summit on Sustainability).

Summit fellows were appointed by the presidents of their institutions to participate in a collaborative effort that will link the resources of independent art and design colleges around critical environmental and social issues, and human-centered design.

WHAT: The 2011 PALS summit brings representatives from fellow institutions together to focus on the two following objectives:
Creating performance metrics that will help those in leadership positions at colleges of art and design assess sustainability curricula within academic programs. These metrics will be formed into a take-away presentation that will be implemented by the college presidents following the conference.
Developing a PALS Web-based platform for sharing sustainability case studies, curricula, and resources. The platform will serve as a catalyst for creating and linking knowledge resources and implementing a new type of collaborative education across PALS institutions.
WHERE: The PALS summit is taking place at Pratt’s Manhattan Campus, which is located at 144 West 14th Street, in room 213.

WHEN: Friday, September 30 (summit began Thursday)

Today’s highlights include:
2 PM presentation of the PALS Web-based platform
3:45 presentation of survey results to Thomas F. Schutte, president of Pratt Institute; Peter Barna, provost of Pratt Institute; Concetta Stewart, dean of Pratt’s School of Art and Design; Bill Barrett, director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design; and Robert Koester, director of the Center for Energy Research, Education, and Service and professor of architecture at Ball State University
Please contact Amy Aronoff for the full agenda.

WHY: The purpose of the summit is to provide PALS fellows with the tools and strategies they need to integrate sustainability into their programs and set the stage for art and design education for the class of 2030.

The PALS summit is designed to promote the integration of sustainability into academic programs and to find ways to collaborate through inter-institutional initiatives.
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PRATT INSTITUTE HOSTS YOUNG ARTIST FROM PORT-AU-PRINCE TO EXPAND HIS VIEW OF THE ART WORLD
Artist Shows Devotion to the Arts in the Face of Devastation
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Alex Louis at work in his 3-D Foundation class at Pratt Institute. Photo: Jonathan Weitz

NEW YORK, N.Y., July 27, 2011 — Two months ago, 19-year-old Haitian artist and high school student Alex Louis was living on Grand Rue in a small makeshift house in his home town of Port-au-Prince, a city still recovering from an earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010. Today, he is sitting in on classes at Pratt Institute, one of the country’s most prestigious colleges of art and design, gaining visual skills to take back with him to Haiti. The visit is thanks to the determination of Debera Johnson, director of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, who met Louis in Port-au-Prince while exploring how Pratt could lend its design expertise to help Haiti in its recovery efforts. Louis, who arrived the last week of June, is taking classes at Pratt through August 8.

According to Johnson, Louis’s more formal training at Pratt and general exposure to the New York art world will lead to his growth as an artist, and more importantly, his ability to take his skills back to his neighborhood, where they can be translated to other young and aspiring artists. Louis has also been a guest speaker at Pratt’s pre-college program, where he has shared videos from his “TeleGhetto” series of reports on life in his home country. The Institute is exploring a possible exhibition showcasing Louis’s work on August 9 before he travels back to Haiti.

“Pratt has given me an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of art and artists that will help me expand the materials and techniques I use in my work,” says Louis.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which was the worst in the region in over 200 years, was just outside of Louis’s hometown of Port-au-Prince. The natural disaster caused thousands of deaths including the death of Louis’s mentor, Louko; leveled countless dwellings, leaving many, including Louis, without homes; and brought suffering to what was already one of the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere. The region has yet to recover from the damage and is continuing with its efforts to rebuild and re-establish its infrastructure.

Louis mentors children in his home city by teaching painting, writing, and dance. He creates sculptural pieces in Haiti as part of Atis-Rezistans, an artist’s collective where two sculptors, Jean-Herard Celeur and Andre Eugene, mentor and feed local children while encouraging them to finish school and experiment with art. Louis has sold his work to make money for his education and to care for his family, who struggle to meet the daily needs of existence. Atis-Rezistans is situated off a busy street at the southern edge of downtown Port-au-Prince and is known for transforming wreckage such as engines, TV sets, wheel hubcaps, and discarded lumber into sculptural assemblages.

“Alex’s dedication to his art and his generosity in sharing his talents with others in Haiti is inspiring,” said Johnson. “Despite its hardships, Haiti is a country rich in culture, and we are thrilled that he is here at Pratt getting a more formal arts training to bring back to his country, ” she added.
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PRATT DESIGN INCUBATOR FOR SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION SUPPORTS NINE NEW COMPANIES AS PART OF ONGOING EFFORT TO LAUNCH AND GROW SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENTERPRISE
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Clockwise from L to R: B. Pietro Filardo of Pliant Energy Systems, Incubees from reMade USA and Eko-Lab, Shannon South of reMade USA, and David J. Krause from Alder. All are at work at the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. Photo Credits: Jonathan Weitz

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 3, 2011 — The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation has added nine new companies to its existing roster in the areas of fashion design, home furnishings design, and clean energy technology. The Incubator supports the entrepreneurial talents of designers, artists, and architects – including several Pratt alumni – by providing them with resources to launch businesses. The Incubator is part of Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research, which is led by Incubator Founder and Director Deb Johnson.

“Pratt has a longstanding interest in the economic development of small businesses in Brooklyn. The Incubator is a direct way for the Institute to help local entrepreneurs develop products and services that create jobs, support local industry, and bring innovative products to market,” said Johnson. “We’re looking to create a diverse mix of creative thinkers that can bring design, engineering, and technology together into an innovative eco-system based on sustainability,” she added.

The Incubator supports its companies with custom-tailored services for sustainable business endeavors. Incubator companies have access to a flexible curriculum in sustainable entrepreneurship mentor-based coaching and work amongst a thriving community of socially responsible entrepreneurs. Since its 2002 inception, the Incubator has supported the launch of 26 companies, has created over 50 new jobs, and has consulted for 15 organizations.

In addition to providing entrepreneurs with access to markets, networks, office infrastructure, training, talent, and capital, the Incubator taps its extensive network to provide sustainable design innovation to businesses and organizations that are seeking ways to improve their products and services in the areas of resource use, ecological impact, health, and social equity.

As a leading educational institution in art, design, and architecture, Pratt is committed to becoming a role model for art and design schools across the nation by educating students, faculty, and staff on sustainable practices and their role as socially and environmentally responsible citizens, artists, and designers, and by integrating sustainability into the curriculum and campus facilities management.

The nine new companies are listed as follows.

Eko-Lab is an ethically and ecologically driven fashion company that employs local artisans and production facilities to create clothing out of social and environmentally responsible fabrics.

Spectrum BioEnergy LLC is a renewable energy and waste management venture focused on next generation biogas — cutting-edge applications of traditional organic waste-to-energy technology. Biogas technology converts organic waste into organic soil nutrient, and a high-energy and clean biogas that can be used to supplement natural gas, generate power, or create renewable transportation fuel.

Pliant Energy Systems LLC explores novel methods of extracting energy from moving water and developing mechanisms for dam-free hydrokinetic electricity generation and self-powered irrigation pumps for use in developing nations.

Frank Millero Studio was founded by sustainable design consultant and educator Frank Millero. Millero works to design and develop home products and to implement design strategies and develop marketing messages in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

ReMADE USA is a design company that upcycles used materials to make one-of-a-kind bags and home accessories. The company’s vision is to design desirable objects out of discarded materials, which diverts waste from landfills.

Holstee offers practical and sustainable alternatives to everyday products. In addition to designing the products, the company has begun to curate products from like-minded designers and share them with the community through their website.

Life Cycle Solutions was founded with the goal of eliminating energy waste in buildings. The company offers efficiency consulting services and is currently developing Web-based software to encourage the implementation of efficiency projects and improve their continual performance.

designing hope is a socially and sustainably-minded design firm that consults with companies and non-profits to create social impact. In addition, this firm designs sustainable products that help to create awareness and positive change.

Dargelos creates flexible accessories and garments to encourage bicycling in the city. The refined designs unite a minimalist aesthetic with safety, practicality, and durability.

The three existing companies are listed as follows.

Alder is a Brooklyn-based clothing label that creates a sense of playfulness and ease in well-designed garments, with a focus on quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Alder believes that quality, honesty, and sustainability should all come together to make their customer happy, and focuses on being honest and upfront about their manufacturing, and letting their customer know exactly where their fiber comes from, where it was printed, and where it was sewn to create the final, beautiful product.

Domestic Aesthetic offers consumers affordable home products that adhere to environmentally and socially responsible standards.

Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT) connects and provides for people in pursuit of a zero footprint lifestyle by creating a rich portfolio of products and a dense network of relationships.

For more information on the Incubator and on the companies listed above, please visit http://incubator.pratt.edu.
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PRATT INSTITUTE OPENS FIRST LEED-GOLD CERTIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION BUILDING IN BROOKLYN

Myrtle Hall Demonstrates Pratt’s Commitment to Innovative Design, Environmental Sustainability, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Effort
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Clockwise from top left: north side of Myrtle Hall from Myrtle Avenue; Digital Arts Gallery; atrium view from the second floor of Myrtle Hall, facing Willoughby Avenue; south side of Myrtle Hall from Willoughby Avenue. Photos credit Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA.

NEW YORK, N.Y., January 5, 2011 – Pratt Institute has officially opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility named Myrtle Hall at 536 Myrtle Avenue between Grand Avenue and Steuben Street to house the college’s Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices.

Designed by the New York City architecture firm WASA/Studio A, the new building is expected to meet the United States Green Building Council standards for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification based on its eco-features that include exterior sun shades; a green roof that absorbs rainwater, reflects heat, and sequesters greenhouse gasses; and solar photo-voltaic panels that generate on-site electricity. It will be the first higher education building project in Brooklyn to receive any LEED certification and the first academic building to receive a LEED-gold certification in Brooklyn.

The new building will have a tremendous impact on the surrounding Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods and on the Pratt community. It will serve as a physical manifestation of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable design education and will further promote the revitalization of Myrtle Avenue, which has undergone a major transformation in recent years.

Myrtle Hall will afford Pratt’s Digital Arts program the space and facilities necessary for its faculty and students to continue their cutting-edge design and research including state-of-the-art wired studio/classrooms, a digital resource center, animation labs, a recording studio, graduate studio spaces, and a prominent all-glass gallery in the atrium. The building will also soon allow for an incredible improvement to the Pratt student experience by consolidating all student services offices under one roof.

“This is a momentous occasion for Pratt as it demonstrates the Institute’s commitment to innovative design, environmental sustainability, the renewal of Myrtle Avenue, and most of all to its students,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, who also has been a driving force in the economic revitalization of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill for more than 10 years as chair of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. “Myrtle Hall will move forward our academic program in Digital Arts and will tremendously improve Pratt’s services for students while serving as a point of pride for the campus community and our neighbors as the first green building in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area.”

The design of Myrtle Hall involves two site-specific wall types — a glass curtain wall and a paneled masonry wall that relates to the surrounding mercantile brick structures that are found along Myrtle Avenue while maintaining a contemporary look. Connecting the two wall systems is a four-story atrium with views into and through the building from both sides. The atrium is the building’s most prominent feature and will serve as a second-floor gallery outside of the Office of Admissions to display alumni work, while the fourth-floor gallery will display the work of Digital Arts students and faculty. The atrium also serves as a symbolic gesture of transparency connecting Myrtle Avenue to the campus and illustrating Pratt’s openness to the community. Other prominent design features include a loft-like light-filled interior that is consistent with the industrial character of Pratt’s creative workspaces.

“Our building design is meant to explore the relationship between Pratt — a great New York institution — and the larger community within which it resides, and the development of the two principal wall systems, tied together by the transparent central gathering space, is meant to be a metaphor for that relationship,” said the building’s design architect, Jack Esterson, AIA, who is Partner-in-Charge and Lead Designer of the Myrtle Hall building project and Partner-in-Charge of Design at the architecture firm WASA/Studio A. “We hope that it fully expresses a positive relationship and the quality of design innovation that Pratt represents to its students, faculty and staff, as well as to the city at large.”

WASA/Studio A beat out several other firms for the job after a highly competitive bidding process. Esterson is a graduate of Pratt’s School of Architecture and is a long-time resident of Clinton Hill, where Pratt’s 25-acre Brooklyn campus is located. He has practiced architecture in New York City for 34 years and has served as an adjunct instructor at Pratt, where he received an Alumni Achievement Award in 2000.

Despite its location in a neighborhood of historic importance, Myrtle Avenue began to lose some of its energy in the early 1970s with the decommissioning of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the demolition of the elevated subway line, which contributed to the decline of the commercial strip. In recent years, it has begun to regain its vitality with Pratt as a major influence. The Institute first opened Prattstore, the college art supply and book store at Emerson Place, in 2005 on Myrtle Avenue driving thousands of students, faculty, and staff to the avenue. The new building will move 200 faculty and staff to Myrtle Avenue and will further promote foot traffic and business along the bustling strip.

Administrative offices at Pratt that will occupy the new space include the Pratt Center for Community Development, the offices for Admissions, Financial Aid, Bursar, Registrar, Human Resources, International Student Affairs, and Institutional Advancement.

Myrtle Hall will provide the Office of Admissions with visually stunning space for visitors including much needed office space for advisement sessions, convenient parking for prospective students and families, and a large lecture hall for information sessions. The move of the three student services departments — Registrar, Financial Aid, and Bursar — to Myrtle Hall will dramatically improve service to students by locating the three offices in one area. The adjacency of the three departments will serve as a tremendous improvement to Pratt’s student services as it enables the cross-training of staff and a more integrated approach to provide better and more efficient service to Pratt’s 4,700 students.

On the Willoughby side of the new building is a landscaped park designed by Pratt Professor of Architecture and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Principal Signe Nielsen that provides an attractive and quiet public space. The park features light-colored pavement that reflects sunlight to reduce the “heat-island” effect as well as native and drought-resistant plants that require only rainwater. The landscaping was designed to recall the main campus in order to give the complex a sense of continuity.

Myrtle Hall also contributes to Pratt’s ranking as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com), which published its Guide to 286 Green Colleges and noted that Pratt’s “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design.”

The building embodies Pratt’s commitment to innovate and demonstrates putting green design into practice. Several years ago, Pratt was one of the first colleges in New York to become a 2030 Challenge Partner and accept Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2017. As a member of the Leadership Circle of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, Pratt reinforces its commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating educational efforts to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

The Kresge Foundationawarded Pratt a $75,000 Green Planning Grant for the design of Myrtle Hall. Kresge’s Green Building Initiative, launched in 2003, supports non-profits to pursue sustainable or green buildings practices and encourages organizations to build green.
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PRATT INSTITUTE’S GREEN RESIDENCE HALL ROOM PROJECT ONE OF FIVE WINNERS IN STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION

Project Exemplifies Pratt’s Commitment to Innovate and Demonstrate a Sustainable Lifestyle Through Design
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From L to R: Renovated room from “1702 — Living Laboratory” project; “before” and “after” chair comparison; Alternate view of renovated room from “1702 — Living Laboratory” project.
Photo credits: Diana Pau (L) and Sean Hemmerle (Center and R)

NEW YORK, N.Y., December 14, 2010 – Pratt Institute ‘s “1702 — Living Laboratory” green residence hall room project was selected as one of five projects to be featured in Storefront for Art and Architecture, Architizer.com, and Actar Publisher’s “Total Housing 01: Apartments” exhibition that addresses the incongruity between outmoded ideas of domestic space and contemporary urban lifestyles. The project was selected from nearly 400 submissions and will be on display at Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare Street, Manhattan, from December 15, 2010 through January 22, 2011. The opening reception will take place on Tuesday, December 14 at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Pratt’s “1702 — Living Laboratory” project will be on display alongside two U.S.-based projects and one project each from firms in France and Spain. The winning entries will be elaborated upon with a live gallery performance during the opening reception, and the exhibition will be accompanied by a newsprint publication edited by Actar that will be available for purchase for $3.

According to The Storefront for Art and Architecture, the projects on display “demonstrate innovative thinking through material applications, programmatic arrangements, or technological implementations through experiments that address notions of age, territory, policy, and education.” Total Housing is a series of competitions launched to create today’s definitive source for residential designs that go beyond standardized and canonical models of inhabitation. “Total Housing 01: Apartments” is the first in the series.

Pratt Institute undergraduate and graduate industrial and interior design students, along with staff from Pratt’s offices of facilities management and residential life, worked collaboratively to design and build the “1702 – Living Laboratory” green residence hall room model in Willoughby Hall on the Brooklyn Campus. The project began in Spring 2009 as an interdisciplinary studio course that examined the ways that campus and urban living can reduce the use of resources and address environmental health and toxicity. The space includes the sustainable renovation of the kitchen, bathroom, and living area along with energy-efficient lighting, new storage and shelving options, and new furniture using wood from the original residence hall.

The project was initiated through Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and was led by Anita Cooney, Chair of the Interior Design Department; Stephen Brennan, Director of Maintenance and Operations; and Chris Kasik, Director of Residential Life. The interdisciplinary course was taught by Pratt faculty members Robert Langhorn, Julie Torres Moskovitz, Corey Yurkovich. Over 20 students participated in the project as part of the design team.

The green residence hall room project exemplifies Pratt’s commitment to innovate and demonstrate a sustainable lifestyle through the use of sustainable materials, local manufacture, water conservation, energy efficiency, environmental health practices, and greenhouse gas reduction. It is currently on view to the Pratt community and visiting school groups as an exhibition space and is also open to current students and campus visitors as a guest room and living laboratory. To schedule a tour of the space, please contact csds@pratt.edu or 718.636.3727.

Pratt Institute was one of the first colleges in New York to become a 2030 Challenge Partner and accept Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. Additionally, as a member of the Leadership Circle of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, Pratt reinforces its commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating educational efforts to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. The Institute was listed in The Princeton Review’s 2010 Guide to 286 Green Colleges, which noted that Pratt’s “reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design.”

The “1702 – Living Laboratory” project was made possible with partial funding provided by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Storefront for Art and Architecture competition and exhibition were made possible with the generous support of NRI, Sciame, and Miele. For more information, please visit www.storefrontnews.org.

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INDUSTRIAL DESIGN TRIPS LET STUDENTS GAIN EXPERIENCE, INSPIRATION
From GATEWAY Community Newsletter of Pratt Institute
VOL. 21 • NO. 5 • FEBRUARY 2011

nicaragua _gateway

biomimicry class1

Left: Jenny Su snorkels in Belize. Right: (L-R) Angela Lin, Billy Bausback, Hailey O’Connor, and Abby Wilkinson in Nicaragua, building a play structure from bamboo.Click above to see more images from Belize and Nicaragua.

About two dozen industrial design students traveled abroad over the winter break to practice solving real-world design problems and draw inspiration from nature.

Adjunct Professor Karen Stone led a group of 11 undergraduate students to Nicaragua to observe the coffee harvesting process and create design ideas related to workers’ farming processes, as well as to other aspects of daily living, such as childcare.

Adjunct Professor Rebecca Welz led 10 students on a snorkeling trip to Belize as part of her course Biomimicry: Design and Nature. Once in Belize, the students met with biologists who gave lectures on mangroves, coral reef systems, and fish; then the students donned masks and fins to explore the underwater world and sea life for themselves.

The idea of biomimicry is that “nature is the best designer,” explains Welz; design can draw on nature’s efficiency and ingenuity, allowing people to design more economical and sustainable products and systems.

“Seeing firsthand the world that is under the surface of the ocean is a way to increase awareness and hone design thinking.”

Welz says students took copious notes and made sketches, and are now working on product prototypes based on their underwater observations.

One student, Gretchen White (M.S. Art and Design Education ’12) describes finding inspiration in “glittering fish moving in and out of towering coral, graceful turtles, fluttering stingrays, alluring conch shells, and fleshy jellyfish.”

Welz says students are now working on product prototypes based on their underwater observations of eels with retractable jaws, sea urchins, and star fish, among other sea creatures.

“We not only had the experience of peering below the surface of the ocean, but of asking ourselves: How does nature do it? What solutions in nature can we learn from?”

In Nicaragua, Stone’s students— members of the Pratt Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America—focused on what they could design to improve the daily lives of migrant coffee pickers.

The group stayed at the farm and nature preserve Santa Maria de Ostuma, about two hours from Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. Santa Maria de Ostuma farms shade-grown coffee for a California-based coffee company. The group spent several days observing the coffee-harvesting process then brainstormed several projects, including designing harvest baskets and more ergonomic tools.

Many students on the trip say they were struck by seeing life in the world’s second-poorest country firsthand.

“In the U.S., many people seem to judge quality of life based on the size of a house and the possessions a person owns. In Nicaragua, the people have very little, yet their quality of life is through the roof. After staying on the farm for only a few days, the strong culture and sense of community was extremely apparent,” says Billy Bausback (B.I.D. ’13).

Students say they also witnessed—and drew design inspiration from—the way even small scraps of material are reused.

“I was really excited to learn about how they use and reuse their objects, both those that are made from natural and non‐natural materials,” says Abby Wilkinson (B.I.D. ’11). “The workers on the farm let nothing go to waste. The bags that held the corn flour for tortillas were used to attach the harvest baskets to their bodies and also to carry their clothing from farm to farm during the harvest.”

Over the eight-day trip, students worked on designs that would make food preparation more efficient for the workers, and ones that would give the workers’ children more tools for play.

The group ultimately created play structures out of bamboo growing on the farm, (learning to use machetes to clean the stalks), as well as old tires and rope.

“It was very important to the students that they leave something behind,” says Stone. “The workers’ children often had little to do during the day, so having an outlet for play was important.”

Stone says watching the students learn so much in such a short amount of time was unparalleled.

“Having the opportunity to lead a group of students, take them out of their comfort zone where they are working so hard to become designers, and taking them to a new place was amazing. They really learned that you have to understand a lot about the world around you, the culture and the environment of the place, to be a good designer.”

Photos: I-Chao Wang (Belize), Karen Stone (Nicaragua)

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