Prattfolio Spring/Summer 2013 "Makers" Issue

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spring/summer 2013


M akers In c ub at in g E n t re p re ne ur s T he 21 s t - C e n t ury C r a f t s m a n T he 3 - D Re v o l u t i o n

In Focus Jonathan Stanish (M.F.A. Printmaking ’13) and Zelda Blair (B.F.A. Painting ’13) prepare to hang a large-scale print at the 2013 Big Damn Prints. Held each spring, the event attracts students and faculty from across the Institute’s Brooklyn campus for a full day of collaborative printmaking. Coordinated by the Department of Fine Arts’ printmaking program, the event was launched in 2006 by Adjunct Assistant

Professor Dennis McNett to give the Pratt community a chance to experience the camaraderie of large-scale printmaking. For each print, teams of four or five people ink and position the print blocks and stretch the muslin over them before a steamroller presses the image into the cloth. Music adds to the festive atmosphere of what has become one of the most anticipated annual events on campus.

spring/summer 2013





T he 21 st- C entury C raftsman Artisanal Design in the Digital Age

T he 3 -D Re vo lution A New Design Era Explodes on Campus

I ncubating Entrepreneurs Is Pratt the Next Hive for Start-ups?

DEPARTMENTS 2 S ocia l@Pratt 3 From the President 6 I nspired Don Genaro, B.I.D. ’57: The Trimline Telephone 8 I nside Loo k At Home with Margit Cook, B.S. Home Economics ’54, and Roger Cook, Certificate in Advertising Design ’53



M akers In c ub at In g E n t rE p rE nE ur s t hE 21 s t - c E n t ury c r a f t s m a n t hE 3 - D rE v o l u t I o n

32 N e w and N ote worth y Items in the Marketplace Created by Pratt Alumni, Faculty, and Students

54 F ina l T houghts Adam Friedman on Revitalizing America’s Manufacturing Sector

38 R y erson Wa l k Recent Campus News and Activities

56 in memoriam

44 B e yond the G ates Pratt's Presence in the Public Realm 52 Wor k in Progress Bioprinter

about the cover The “Frankenbot” is a 3-D printer created by the Digital Futures Lab in the School of Architecture. Under the direction of Adjunct Assistant Professor Richard Sarrach, the printer was built using a MakerBot kit and then retrofitted with a number of upgrades to enhance its performance. Read more about “Frankenbot” in “The 3-D Revolution” feature on page 18.



{ Social@Pratt { Via our social media sites, we asked people in the Pratt community what they think of the tools and trends discussed in this issue. Here’s what they said.


In the digital age, handcraf ting is making a comeback. What do you think of this creative trend?

Tangibility is crucial to my creative process. To get your hands in the work is everything. >> Kelly Vetter, B.F.A. Communications Design and Art History ’89, M.F.A. ’94 Digital lacks passion and the mistakes that make art beautiful. >> Maria Ruggiano-Alekseev, B.F.A. ’09 Printmaking I have been handcrafting for the last 30 years. Wouldn’t have it any other way. >> Robin Kusten Hartmann, B.F.A. Communications Design/ Illustration ’78



rom crowdfunding to F digital marke tpl aces for handmade goods, social media is changing the way designers and artists operate. Love it? Hate it?

I love it. It’s helped me connect with fans worldwide and allowed them to participate in four successful Kickstarter projects. Plus I get to deal directly with people who support and love what I do. >> Adam Wallenta, B.F.A. Communications Design/Illustration ’96

hat do you think of W tools like 3-D printers and l aser cu t ters that le t consumers customize products and designers fabricate for themselves?

aser cutters and 3-D printers are such great tools allowing one to L create perfect scale prototypes. >> Gretel Schwartzott, M.I.D. ’01

I like being part of a vast network of creative people. Being able to share a message or compliment someone’s work across the globe makes me feel connected. >> Mark White, B.F.A. Environmental Design ’75

Totally awesome! Means less waste on the other end because you’re only fabricating something when needed, to your own specs. >> Anna Walant, B.I.D ’14

Got something to add? Share your thoughts by following Pratt on Twitter @PrattInstitute, liking us on Facebook at, or by emailing

spring/summer 2013


from the President


Thomas F. Schutte

t’s often said that, at Pratt, making is thinking. Our alumni, faculty, and students approach the world in a hands-on way that informs their work and transforms both their fields and society at large. This issue of Prattfolio explores

many aspects of making—from handcrafting to 3-D printing—and the impact they are having on entrepreneurship. With this issue of Prattfolio, we are also debuting a new design for the magazine that reflects the Institute’s visual identity and incorporates feedback we received from a broad cross section of Prattfolio readers, including alumni, parents, and friends. The new content emphasizes the role that Pratt plays as a living laboratory of craft and creativity—a thread that also runs through the stories in this issue. From imparting the values and skills that allow our students to become the master craftspeople of the digital age, to providing a collaborative, interdisciplinary framework to explore printing everything from Stradivarius violins to living cell tissue, the Institute prepares students to use their talent and passion to create meaningful, personally satisfying work that also defines innovation. Such work, like that of the nearly 150 artisanal and niche-manufacturing tenants of the Brooklyn Navy Yard—home to Pratt’s Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation— also holds a key to our nation’s economic future, as Pratt Center for Community Development Director Adam Friedman explains in this issue. Each of the stories on the pages that follow reveal how Pratt alumni, students, and faculty are living the Institute’s longstanding values of craftsmanship and innovation—

Prattfolio is published by the Office of Communications and Marketing in the Division of Institutional Advancement for the alumni and friends of Pratt Institute. ©2013 Pratt Institute Pratt Institute 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 Vice President for Instit u tional Advancement Todd Michael Galitz Execu tive Director of Communications and marke ting Mara McGinnis Managing Editor Charlotte Savidge Creative Director Christine Navin Senior Editorial Manager Bay Brown Contribu ting Designers Anthony Cudahy Josh Graver Michael Quinlan Kara Schlindwein Copy Editors Jean Gazis Ruth Samuelson Contribu tors Amy Aronoff Jolene Travis Kate Ünver Senior Production Manager David Dupont Photography Christine Navin Peter Tannenbaum

and, in so doing, shaping the current and future state of manufacturing and the marketplace. I hope you are inspired by their dedication and vision and that you take pride in being part of this remarkable community.

Please submit address changes to or call 718-399-4447. The editorial staff of Prattfolio would like to hear from you. Please send comments, ideas, questions, and thoughts on the redesign to Unfortunately, we cannot publish all unsolicited submissions, but we consider all ideas and greatly appreciate your feedback.

BIg Ideas Bold thInkers BrIllIant dIalogue

Pratt Presents ComIng fall 2013

Original public prOgramming develOped by Pratt InstItute Visit www.prat for more details.

A tree still grows in Brooklyn, but money doesn’t grow on trees.

The Fund for Pratt provides essential resources to support every aspect of the Pratt educational experience. Student scholarships. Faculty development. And maintaining the 25-acre landscaped Brooklyn campus—and all those trees.

Make your gift today. Visit or call 718-399-4295 to learn more about leadership giving to The Fund for Pratt.



inspired don genaro, B.I . D. ’57: The Triml in e Tel ephone

“Scandalously easy to use,” proclaimed a 1968 ad for Western Electric’s Trimline telephone. Pratt alumnus Don Genaro developed the design in the mid-1960s for Henry Dreyfuss Associates, which became known for introducing ergonomics to the industrial design field. Genaro joined Dreyfuss in 1956, before even graduating from Pratt, and stayed with the company for nearly 40 years, serving as senior partner from 1979 to 1995. While he and his colleagues developed many telephones for AT&T, the Trimline remained the seminal design. In 1977, Fortune magazine described it as “one of the 25 best products available in America today.” Prattfolio talked to Genaro about the phone.

P: What made the Trimline so groundbreaking?

P: What challenges did you face in designing the Trimline?

P: What do you think of smartphone design?

DG: The Trimline broke from traditional telephone design by combining the transmitter, receiver, dial, and most important components in one lightweight unit. Placed on its base, the design is viewed as a single sculptural piece. It was a radical departure from previous models.

DG: Developing a rotary dial—the most prevalent dial when the phone was first in production—with a small enough diameter to fit in the handset posed a particular challenge. The solution lay in creating a finger stop that moved, allowing us to eliminate the area between the “1” and the “0/Operator” holes and reduce the diameter. The next year, the Touch-Tone Trimline went into production, further reducing the phone’s girth. It quickly became the desired version due to its better handling, improved use, and very appealing form.

DG: At Dreyfuss we had certain incontrovertible requirements in telephone design such as ear seal, button spacing, and comfortable grip. These tenets of comfort and optimized connection have given way to what seems almost absurd: people holding those flat, toy-sized phones hard against their temples with the mic pickup halfway to their ear. But then I remember some old-timers at AT&T who thought this Trimline that we dreamed up would never amount to anything.

Dreyfuss, we had certain “ Atrequirements in telephone design, such as ear seal, button

spacing, and comfortable grip.

i n s p i r e d

solution lay in creating “ The a finger stop that moved, allowing us to eliminate the area between the ‘1’ and the ‘0/Operator’ holes and

reduce the diameter.




inside look

At home with Margit Cook, B.S. Home Economics ’54, and Roger Cook, Certificate in Advertising Design ’53

“Design is a way of life with us,” says Roger Cook. One visit to his home—which he shares with his wife, Margit Cook— confirms that fact.

The home Designed by Pratt alumnus Gerard Valk (B.Arch. ’55), the house in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, is a showcase inside and out. With eight-foot-high windows and sliding glass doors that open toward the surrounding woodlands, the structure blends into the landscape, which provides dramatic views from within.

The collection Margit and Roger’s passion for form, line, and other elements of design comes through particularly strongly in their collection of more than 300 antique potato mashers, 200 of which line their kitchen walls, creating a dramatic visual effect. “These antique wooden mashers were designed using simple shapes,” said Roger. “Yet, it would be hard to find two in our collection that are exactly alike. These were early American kitchen tools that every home had, and it’s interesting to see the different ways they were designed.” Even the masher that inspired the collection (pictured center right)—the one given to Margit by her grandmother, Lydia—is favored for its form. “The shape is beautiful,” said Margit.

The Furniture The Cooks’ furniture collection features a number of Bauhausinspired chairs, including an Eames lounge that reminds Roger of Pratt instructors like Herschel Levit, a professor emeritus of design, who nurtured the aspiring graphic designer’s understanding of the discipline. That understanding allowed Roger, co-founder of the corporate communications firm Cook and Shanosky Associates, to create print materials for IBM, Volvo, Subaru, and Black & Decker. He and Shanosky also designed the U.S. Department of Transportation symbols that appear on signs in airports, train stations, transit hubs, and historic sites around the world.

Kelly Horrigan

Ana Linares

Shana Luther

Ambrosia Sullivan

Elizabeth Vallenilla

Eli VandenBerg Handmade shoes by Ambrosia Sullivan


The 21st-Century Craftsman Pr at t Alumni on Artisanal Design in the Digital Age

By Charlotte Savidge


ver the past five years, Brooklyn has become synonymous the world over with handcrafted products ranging from beer to bracelets. While media from The New York Times to NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion question whether the passion for

Kings County’s artisanal goods has gone too far, true craftsmanship remains central to Pratt Institute’s teachings—and its alumni’s success. In the pages that follow, six Pratt graduates discuss the role that artisanal values play in their work—particularly in the digital age.



Kelly Horrigan (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’98) Kelly Horrigan Handmade Adjunct Associate Professor, Fashion Department Brooklyn-based fashion designer and educator Kelly Horrigan established Kelly Horrigan Handmade (KHH) in response to mass-produced commercial fashion. KHH creates jewelry and one-of-a-kind leather accessories that combine old-world techniques with experimental finishes and a modern aesthetic. KHH work has been worn by Janet Jackson, featured in The Fader, Surface,, and The New York Times, and seen on NBC’s The Voice, Bravo TV, and here! Do you consider yourself an artisan? Absolutely! I find it empowering to create a finished product knowing that it came from my hands. Working in leather connects me to the earth and to the animal from which it came. What drew you to handcrafting? I spent my childhood crafting with three generations of women from my maternal side. I attended craft fairs with my greatgrandmother, who made upholstered car seats for Ford Motor Company. I feel blessed to carry on this legacy of crafting. Teaching allows me to pass the knowledge on to new generations. What do you like most about making your products by hand? It allows for design choices at every step. I can make adjustments on the fly and end up with a stronger product. I let the personality of the materials dictate my approach, so it differs with each piece. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? I use laser cutting and am currently working on pieces that integrate rapid prototyping with handmade elements. What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? Artists are integrating these technologies into their work and creating things our grandparents could never have imagined. We want to grow and obtain new knowledge and techniques. At the same time, these technologies have pushed artists back to traditional methods in response to the mass production that stems from technology.

What do you think of the increasing prevalence of artisanal products in the marketplace? It’s wonderful to see people from all levels of craft putting their mark out into the world. What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? Competing with mass production. My solution is “don’t.” I am not a machine, nor do I ever wish to become one. I offer my designs in limited production, ensuring quality and originality. You won’t walk into a room and see someone else wearing the same piece. Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? My desire to work in leather stemmed from my experience riding horses. I have always wanted to learn how to hand-build a horse saddle.


What do you think about the increasing prevalence of artisanal or handcrafted products in the marketplace? Handcrafted products are considered one of a kind. People relate to them in a very personal way. They tell a story.

Ana Linares (B.I.D. ’07) Ana Linares Design Ana Linares specializes in residential furniture design, material consulting, and product development. Her designs have been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, Art Basel Miami, 100% Design in London, and at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. Most recently, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) selected her Duo Bookshelf from more than 1,000 designs for Destination: NYC, a collection of designs made in New York that are sold in MoMA’s New York and Tokyo stores.

What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? Keeping prices low and reasonable. I was very lucky to find an amazing team of people to fabricate my products at a very competitive cost, allowing me to keep all my production local. Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? I grew up in Colombia surrounded by exquisite and colorful artisanal work. I am currently working on jewelry that incorporates weaving techniques. I want these pieces to help create awareness of the importance of keeping the artisans’ work alive.

Do you consider yourself an artisan? The word artisan usually relates to products made entirely by hand. In my design process, I personally test the materials that I work with, but my production process includes both artisan and digital techniques. What drew you to handcrafting? I have always been drawn to materials and processes. What do you like most about your production process? Part of my design process is about touching, testing, and challenging my materials. For example, when I work with metal, I use cardboard and paper to simulate what I want the metal to do. It’s a conversation between the model making and the prototypes. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? I communicate with my production team through digital technology. Once I finish the design ideas and models, I turn these into digital designs which will later be cut on a laser-cutting machine. What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? These technologies have replaced some artisans but have also empowered the artisanal sector. The challenge lies in designers’ ability to enrich the handcrafted aspect through their designs.




Shana Lu ther (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’00) Shana Luther Handbags A Pennsylvania native, Shana Luther launched SML Bags shortly after graduating from Pratt. She worked directly with customers to create one-of-a-kind designs that she assembled in her home studio. In 2012, Luther expanded her business and renamed it Shana Luther Handbags. That same year, she was chosen as a finalist for a Martha Stewart American Made Award. Do you consider yourself an artisan? I consider myself a designer with artisan sensibilities. Design and quality craftsmanship go hand in hand for me. You can’t have a sellable product without good execution. What drew you to handcrafting? It’s just something that has always been part of me. What do you like most about your production process? I love the initial sketching I do when I’m trying to nail down designs. There’s something freeing about throwing rough sketches onto paper and seeing what your brain comes up with. Seeing your sketch come to life in the form of a prototype is just as thrilling. No matter how many times I go through the process, I always get excited about it. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? I funded my first production run through the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It also helped me meet new customers, get feedback, and garner some great press. What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? I think crowdfunding sites and social media will continue to grow, and artists can definitely use them to get noticed. I gained new customers and inquiries just by posting photos of my work on Instagram. What do you think about the increasing prevalence of artisanal or handcrafted products in the marketplace? What’s important for me now is the increasing number of campaigns devoted to Made in America products. With domestic manufacturing taking a huge hit during the past several years, consumers really notice where their products are manufactured.

What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? I’m always concerned about quality. Whether it’s the leather, hardware, craftsmanship, or design, I’m constantly asking myself if a woman would be happy carrying my designs. My customers spend hard-earned money on their purchases and I want them to feel and see that great quality in their new bag! Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? New pillows for my couch!

Ambrosia Sullivan (B.F.A. Painting ’07) Ambrosia Sullivan Design Ambrosia Sullivan made her first pair of shoes in 2011 and Ambrosia Sullivan Design was born. Since then, she has created and executed custom designs—including sandals, oxfords, derbies, and pumps—for both men and women. Each pair is truly one of a kind. She is currently developing a custom pair of Victorian-inspired wedding shoes. Do you consider yourself an artisan? Absolutely. My background in fine arts has guided me in expressing myself through shoemaking. Every detail is my creation. What drew you to handcrafting? I felt a need to go beyond painting. I’ve had a secret shoe obsession since childhood. My grandfather was a shoemaker, so it’s in my blood! What do you like most about your production process? The prototype stage. This is where I find challenges like making sure the pattern fits and the design works. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? Programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator let me test colors, patterns, designs, and wild ideas without wasting pricey materials. It’s an efficient way to visualize a final product. What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? I think you’ll see more creative designs. I know I can experiment much more, forming almost anything I can imagine. I can create without wasting materials or money.

What do you think about the increasing prevalence of artisanal or handcrafted products in the marketplace? I think it’s important to remember that quality items still are made by master craftsmen. They’re more precious than something mass-produced. Time and craftsmanship add personality to products. Perfecting your craft takes time and patience, but it’s a true form of creation. What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? Doing more with less. I’m faced with finding clients, competing with big retailers, sourcing materials on a small scale, finding ways to expand, and investing the time and money it takes to run a successful business—all while trying to make a quality pair of shoes, which can take from one to three months to complete. Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? I would love to create my own heels and outer soles as well as developing the hardware, like buckles—a complete shoe, every bit handmade by me for my customers.



Eliz abe th Vallenill a (B.F.A. Painting ’11) Founder, Daniela Valle Jewelry Originally from Houston, Elizabeth Vallenilla began working with small jewelry companies while she was still an undergraduate at Pratt. Vallenilla established her own jewelry label in 2012. She creates her work primarily using the traditional lost wax–casting process. Her latest collection, Galactic Metropolis, was inspired by images from NASA’s Hubble telescope. Vallenilla’s work has been shown with Mighty Tanaka Gallery, Underline Gallery, and the Fountain Art Fair in New York City.

Do you consider yourself an artisan? I don’t think I have ever referred to myself as an artisan. I have always just considered myself an artist, applying my skills and craft. What drew you to handcrafting? My grandmother, who is my biggest influence, introduced me to jewelry design at a young age. She taught me the basics and I was able to hone those skills at Pratt. She and I are constantly teaching one another new techniques. What do you like most about your production process? Carving. There is something very appealing about the tactile nature of carving. People always ask me if my work was created using a 3-D printer, but I don’t think I would be able to make the same discoveries without working with my hands. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? I use social media networks to spread the word. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow me to reach a broad audience on a slim budget. What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? Technology can both help and hinder. However, I think it is important to embrace the changing world and evolve within it. What do you think about the increasing prevalence of artisanal or handcrafted products in the marketplace? It’s great that people are thinking about production and have the ability to push their product within a variety of environments. It is inspiring as an emerging artist to know that there are an increasing number of locations embracing my craft. What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? I am constantly faced with pressure from businesses that can afford mass production. To keep up in the marketplace, I try to remain consistent and fresh. Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? I would love to create large-scale sculptures.

Photo: Ryan Collerd


What do you like most about your production process? I appreciate the tactile nature of letterpress. It transforms an image into a physical object that you can hold in your hands and feel its weight and physicality. Taking apart an image to create a print also gives me a deeper understanding of the final product. What role do digital and emerging technologies play in your business? Basement Press uses a combination of polymer plates and handset type. If a client wants to use a particular typeface, we can lay that out digitally rather than buying a new set of cast or wood type.

Eli VandenBerg (M.F.A. Printmaking ’05) Co-Owner, Basement Press Basement Press is a custom letterpress and design studio that works directly with artists and illustrators to create letterpress editions using vintage handset type combined with modern technologies. Basement Press also works with artists to create unique, customizable designs for paper goods including wedding invitations, business cards, and personalized stationary. Do you consider yourself an artisan? Absolutely. Both I and my collaborator, Katie Baldwin, were trained as printmakers. It is impossible not to draw upon our sensibilities as artists when publishing a project for Basement Press. What drew you to handcrafting? I really love process and parameters. Printmaking forces you to plan and work within a system. That said, the possibilities for employing those techniques are endless.

What impact do you think these technologies have had or will have on the artisanal movement? They’ve had a positive impact and will continue to do so. But there is an authenticity that is imparted through the artist’s hand that can’t be achieved by hitting the print button on your computer. What do you think about the increasing prevalence of artisanal or handcrafted products in the marketplace? It allows artists and artisans to develop a different product, on a different timeline, with a different price point, for a different audience. The audience for handmade products is definitely growing. People’s standards of design and quality are changing and major retailers like West Elm and Paper Source have taken notice. What challenges do you face running an “artisanal” business? Making money. Sharing a tactile experience when so much business is conducted online can also be a challenge. Beyond what you make now, if you could make anything by hand, what would it be? I’m learning to quilt and brew beer. I would love to learn woodworking. I love the idea of building functional objects.

the 3-D Revolution A Ne w Des ign Era Explodes on Campus

By Bay Brown

Imagine sitting at home and printing out a Barbie for your child that actually looks like you—your curly tresses, your olive skin, and your freckles. As such mass customization becomes more accessible, both in terms of cost and ease of use, 3-D printers may become as ubiquitous as iPads in the not so distant future.



n his State of the Union address last February, President Barack Obama invoked 3-D printing as having “the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” This official nod affirms that 3-D printing and related technologies like CNC (computer numerical control) milling and laser cutting have the capacity to fuel new jobs for American designers and techies. Such technologies have the potential to launch a new industrial revolution, according to former Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson and author of the recent book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Through open-source design and 3-D printing, today’s entrepreneurs are driving a resurgence in American manufacturing from their desktops, he argues. “This generation of ‘makers’ will help drive the next big wave in the global economy,” Anderson writes. Of course, these tools have special relevance to colleges of art, design, and architecture where these emergent makers are learning their crafts. At Pratt, those using 3-D-manufacturing methods believe that the Institute is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of the revolution in a truly cross-disciplinary manner. While 3-D manufacturing may give the consumer access to mass customization, it gives designers even greater opportunities.


At Pratt, 3-D printing has been used for rapid prototyping in the Industrial Design Department for more than a decade, but recent technological advances have increased the machines’ quality while decreasing their cost. Not long ago price tags for 3-D printers were in the $400,000 range, making them within reach only for government agencies and established companies. Now, Brooklyn-based MakerBot is selling its smallscale 3-D printer, the Replicator 2, for $2,199—a price that doesn’t require a NASA-size budget.

Pratt Provost Peter Barna, currently the Institute’s chief academic officer but formerly chair of the Industrial Design program, sees growing demand for 3-D output on campus as a natural evolution that should be embraced. Accordingly, Barna sees expanding campus production facilities as a top priority. He is also enthusiastic about the potential to partner with commercial venues that operate on a cooperative subscription basis. Such operators can provide cost-effective access to large-scale equipment that can make entire chairs or architectural window-wall systems, for example, in one piece.

(Top) Pratt’s Digital Futures Lab in the School of Architecture made its own “Frankenbot” 3-D printer from a MakerBot kit; (left) Mark Parsons oversees the production facilities in Higgins Hall.



“It is remarkable how digital technology has evolved and now can be linked to the physical,” says Barna, alluding to skeptics who have seen the digital realm as divorced from the physical. “Before, digital technology was seen as a virtual, parallel universe. The ability to have 3-D digital output creates a fortuitous bridge between those two worlds.” With regard to concerns over the impact of 3-D technologies on teaching the foundation of design, he compares it to the initial reception of applications like AutoCad, PhotoShop, and Illustrator and their early impact on drawing and drafting.

Technology 3-D primer Primer At Pratt, the most commonly used 3-D technologies for digital output include 3-D printing, CNC milling, and laser cutting. All of these machines work with computer-aided-design (CAD) drawings created using a 3-D software application like Solidworks or Rhino. These CAD files depict the object to be manufactured cross-sectioned into thousands of layers.

3-D Printing 3-D printing is an additive process, wherein an object is created one layer at a time. Taking liquid, powder, or sheet material as a building material, 3-D printing commonly constructs plastic and metal parts. Once used just for rapid prototyping, printers now can create finished products. CNC Milling Computer numerical control (CNC) milling is a subtractive process of using a rotary bit that goes back and forth, and up and down, three-dimensionally cutting material—typically wood, foam, and metal—away from a base. The CNC-milling process engraves objects and creates relief effects. Laser Cutting Laser cutting is also a subtractive process, wherein a high-power laser cuts materials including wood, paper, fabric, plastic, and Plexiglas®. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes, or is blown away with compressed air, leaving an edge with a highquality surface finish.

“These technologies allow designers to fail often—and quickly—during the design process. It allows them to test quickly and move on to a more refined solution,” he says, describing advances in 3-D production. At Pratt, few believe that do-it-yourselfers and their printers are threatening trained designers. The Institute teaches a mastery of art and design—the theoretical understanding, ability to conceptualize, and celebration of individuality— that sets its graduates apart.


For Mark Parsons, director of production and technology in the School of Architecture, access to 3-D production blurs the line between students’ intentions and the actual realization of their ideas.


“Students are learning the relationship between designing on a computer and making at full scale,” says Parsons. “In a world that is historically about the narrowing of professional fields through job specialization, we now see an unexpected shift—the ‘designer’ and the ‘craftsman’ can now be the same person,” Parsons added. Among other responsibilities, Parsons runs the School of Architecture’s production facilities. It’s home to four laser cutters, two 3-D printers, and two CNC-milling machines—equipment the school has acquired over the past eight years. Most of the “print jobs” are architectural models or furniture, but some are pushing the envelope, creating things like a suit of armor, and, in one case, a working violin. “I have played violin since I was three years old,” says Oliver Allaux (B.Arch. ’13). “I have wanted to make one for some time.” Allaux, who took the course Methods and Materials with Parsons, is in the final stages of crafting a full-size violin using a CNC miller, laser cutter, and 3-D printer, as well as the traditional wood and metal shops. Allaux found two-dimensional plans on the Internet for a violin modeled after the Stradivarius. Then he transferred the design into the software program, Rhino, and created the templates. Next he used a CNC miller to cut out the large pieces of wood that compose the body of the violin. Finally, using a large-scale 3-D printer—that runs approximately $100,000—the smaller parts were formed out of plastic silicate powder. The entire production took about two days. Allaux plans to make three slightly different violins, each with a small adjustment in form to experiment with sound. He acknowledges that his process may be considered somewhat illegitimate by traditionalists. “Violin makers would be upset because historically this sort of woodworking is taught by a master to a student,” he says. “With my process, a machine is ripping through sacred wood.” While Allaux has great respect for ancient methods—he hopes to tour luthier workshops in Europe soon—he is intent on pushing the boundaries of conventional craftsmanship by introducing modern construction methods.

(Top) Oliver Allaux’s violin in the process of being assembled; (right) Allaux with his violin


3-D manufacturing is also finding its way into the Fine Arts Department. Professor Patricia Madeja, who coordinates the jewelry program, is launching a new course in fall 2013 called Digital Tools for Object Making. Open to students across the Institute, the course will teach how to use 3-D printing to create jewelry, sculpture, art objects, and molds that are part of the larger fabrication process. Pratt’s Digital Output Lab, which serves students Institute-wide, will be getting new equipment, upgrading electrical for the entire building, and expanding its floor space in part to accommodate the growing need in the Fine Arts Department. According to lab supervisor Paul Petruccelli, the Institute will be installing four MakerBot Replicator 2X 3-D printers and a large-capacity 3-D printer that builds in wax, which will be geared toward



Schwartz says that the more affordable machines geared toward consumers are still producing rather unfinished products. “The products I get from places like Shapeways are more finished, there are many more material options, and it means I don’t have to spend my time learning how to operate a machine.”


To the other extreme, Richard Sarrach, adjunct assistant professor and director of the Digital Futures Lab within the School of Architecture, follows the credo of history’s most famous carpenter: Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

those students taking the new course Digital Tools. The 3-D printer will create an object in wax, and, in turn, the student will use the traditional lost-material-casting method, wherein the mold is encased in a plaster medium with a tube leading into it. The wax will then evaporate and molten metal is poured into the space. “It is absolutely essential that our students gain 3-D production skills since this is where the industry is going,” says Madeja. Pratt alumna Erica Schwartz (M.I.D. ’07) exemplifies this trend. Schwartz creates jewelry out of laser-cut bamboo and 3-D-printed steel and nylon. She uses commercial 3-D printing services like Ponoko and Shapeways that manufacture projects on their high-end printers overseen by a team of engineers. “There is no need for me to own the machines. That’s part of the beauty of the technologies,” says Schwartz. “If I owned one machine, I’d be invested in one production method. This way I can use them all.”

Rather than students queuing to use the school’s large-scale printers or investing in more affordable off-the-shelf MakerBots, Sarrach is on a mission to teach students not only how to operate these machines, but how to build their own 3-D printers. The rationale is that it is cheaper than purchasing a MakerBot, you actually learn how the printer works, and you can build your own replacement parts for the printer as they wear out, which happens frequently. According to Sarrach, building a MakerBot-like 3-D printer is fairly straightforward. Most of the assembly is done with a simple Allen wrench. Through opensource technology, the designs are readily available online, as are all the components. He says that a student could build a printer in about two days.


In the Digital Futures Lab, Sarrach and colleagues have two 3-D printers they have built. Affectionately dubbed the “Frankenbot,” the first was made from a MakerBot kit but has many upgrades to enhance its performance. (MakerBot recently stopped selling kits in favor of preassembled complete 3-D printers.) Nearby is the “BKMM,” or the “Brooklyn Magic Machine,” which they made from scratch and which has more than double the output capacity of the Frankenbot. Sarrach’s team took Frankenbot to MakerBot’s offices in downtown Brooklyn to show the engineers what they had created. “I think they were impressed,” recalled Sarrach. “They were looking at it and then repeatedly kept leaving the room to bring more staff in to see it.” While the cost per cubic inch for big printers, like those made by Stratus or 3-D Systems, is $8-$12, the Frankenbot can print for only 20 cents, says Sarrach. “Using a printer no longer has a cost barrier. For a final model, with the big printers it costs $300-$400. You can’t afford to do tests on those printers,” says Sarrach. “These machines also have substantial wait times. You can gain access to the tool sooner if you have your own.” One can buy a MakerBot for $2,000 or make his or her own for $1,000, according to Sarrach, though he concedes the process is not for everyone. “For those who aren’t mechanical, they should probably buy a MakerBot.” Sarrach noted that some are critical of these technologies because they think they are anticraft. “Plastic can have beautiful qualities, varied texture, and striations. The craft is in the planning, not so directly in the hand,” says Sarrach. Sarrach certainly has a kindred spirit in Pratt Provost Barna. “Design was never only about eye– hand coordination,” says Barna, “Design is a way of thinking about problems.”

Clockwise from left to right: A necklace designed by Anthony Tammaro, who will be teaching jewelry students how to use the Institute’s new 3-D wax printer; Richard Sarrach and his team built the “Brooklyn Magic Machine” 3-D printer from scratch; in the Industrial Design Department, the traditional hands-on approach is just one way students are taught about craft- and form-making today; a piece by Erica Schwartz (M.I.D. ’07), who designs jewelry that is 3-D printed in metal and plastic.



incubating entrepreneurs


The view from the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Is Pratt the next hive for start-ups? New initiatives are creating a culture of entrepreneurship at the Institute. For Debera Johnson, graduation used to be a bittersweet time. As chair of the Industrial Design Department between 1997 and 2005, she “saw a lot of students with brilliant ideas. And those brilliant ideas would turn into portfolio pieces.” Then, the students would graduate, get jobs, and these ideas would “just evaporate,” says Johnson. They never became actual products.

Johnson was particularly saddened in 2002 when she was about to lose two star students: Mike Marra and Peter Valois. “I just adored these guys,” she says. “They were smart. They were funny. They were talented.” At graduation, she was singing their praises, saying to Marra’s aunt that she hated to see them leave Pratt. Marra overheard her and apparently felt enticed. “If you give us a place to start our business, we’ll stay,” he said. So she gave Marra and Valois a project space in the basement of the Engineering Building and dubbed it the “Design Incubator.” The young graduates had the space for a year and Johnson



required them to hire a student intern and, most importantly, to talk about their experiences to inspire their peers to be more entrepreneurial. “I called it ‘starting a business out loud,’” she says.


Today, 11 years later, the discussion about entrepreneurship is flourishing at Pratt. Throughout the community, students and alumni are being encouraged to channel their creative energy into starting businesses. The Incubator is now a bona fide Pratt institution. In 2005, it was officially named the Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. Johnson expects all the businesses to be reducing their waste, producing locally (when possible), and using healthy,

eco-friendly materials as best they can. The goal is to grow the local economy by creating companies that create jobs. In 2007, the Incubator outgrew its quarters on campus and moved to a 5,500-square-foot space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Today, it serves as a community space for entrepreneurs to build their companies and share connections and advice. Thus far, roughly 30 companies have moved through the Incubator, and more than 75 percent of them have continued on. Currently, it houses 12 businesses selling jewelry, toys, gardening products, clothing, and other products.

Clockwise from left to right: Michael Weaker, one of the founders of Really Brothers, a company based in the Incubator; a variety of Really Brothers’ Obos toys; one corner of the Incubator, a 5,500-square-foot space; David Krause and Nina Zilka, the designers behind menswear line Alder, based at the Incubator; pieces by Fluma, an Incubator-based company focusing on urban gardening


“It allowed us to reach into the campus, talk to professors, get their feedback— conceptually, it allowed us to get off the ground,” Spater says about being in the Incubator. Having an office “makes it a lot easier to say here’s the physical address, you can visit us. It’s getting over that hump and saying, �yes, we are a company.’” The Incubator’s current occupants say it has been a godsend in large and small ways. Fashion designer Nina Zilka (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’10) came to the Incubator right after graduating from Pratt in 2010. She says she’s tapped the Incubator community for guidance on a wide range of issues. Recently, she emailed a number of Incubator colleagues about finding a new accountant.

The Incubator distinguishes itself in a few ways: It is not the prototypical business incubator associated with a large engineering or computer science department at a university. Its businesses are very young, and they’re usually product-oriented, rather than tech start-ups, focused on web-based platforms, angling to sell their products for millions to Google. The companies are interested in the “idea of producing locally and knowing their supply chains,” says Johnson. One of the Incubator’s greatest success stories is the brand Kurgo, run by Kitter Spater (M.I.D. ’03). Now based in Massachusetts, the company sells pet carriers, dog beds, booster seats, and other products for traveling with animals. It made roughly $6 million in revenue in 2012 and expects $8 million this year. Spater and his then-partner, Ryan Meers (M.I.D. ’03), were in the Incubator during its second year.

“And in minutes, I’d gotten three recommendations from people—which is great because no one is going to give you an accountant who costs thousands of dollars,” says Zilka, who along with David Krause (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’10), runs the men’s clothing line Alder. Both also teach fashion draping and pattern making in the Fashion Department.



Clockwise from left to right: clothes by the menswear fashion company Alder, based at the Incubator; David Krause, of Alder, cutting cloth; detail of the workspace of Eko-Lab, a company in the Incubator

Another Incubator benefit: The rent is very affordable. Before moving into the Incubator, Michael Weaker (M.I.D. ’09) worked at home, which he hated. “I just felt cooped up,” he says. “I would wake up, take a shower. And then work in the same place I took a shower. And then eat. And then stop working. And then I would still be there, and then go to bed. It didn’t work for me,” he says. In 2012, Weaker and his partner, Omid Sadri (M.I.D. ’09), headquartered their toy business, Really Brothers, in the Incubator. Using her experience with the Incubator, Johnson is now working on two new initiatives related to entrepreneurship. She recently launched a Certificate Program in Design Entrepreneurship, a

three-week intensive course dedicated to helping working designers strike out on their own. Its inaugural session occurred this June. (Read more on page 31.) In addition, she is planning to expand the current Incubator into a Brooklyn fashion center, which will host 30 start-up companies focused on apparel, jewelry, and products that fall under the fashion umbrella. Johnson says the new accelerator will have a small-run production facility catering to orders between 25 and 75 units helping young designers “transition from made by me to made by others.” “One of the biggest barriers to success for young companies is scaling up. You can either make it yourself and sell it—sort of the Etsy model—or you need to have order for 1,000 or more that get produced in China. We’re looking to bridge this gap, to support local manufacturing, and to create jobs,” she says. Through Johnson’s efforts, Pratt has been awarded more than $1 million in funding from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and New York State to make this design accelerator a success. “We’re very interested in making Brooklyn vibrant and supporting its manufacturing base, supporting middle-class jobs, supporting the development of small businesses, and empowering people to have their own economic viability,” says Johnson.



UNLISTED: THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR A number of other initiatives at Pratt are encouraging entrepreneurship. Pratt Institute’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is spearheading new efforts to help students and alumni start their own businesses. This past winter, it organized Unlisted: The Creative Entrepreneur, an exhibition of alumni entrepreneurs’ work displayed in the Pratt Library as well as a related series of workshops. The Unlisted title refers to corporate positions that are listed on job boards versus unlisted positions that entrepreneurs create for themselves. “Not every industrial design major becomes an industrial designer. Not every writing major becomes a writer,” says Brynna Tucker, associate director of CCPD. Pratt can provide the “skill building that allows students to really be flexible and nimble,” she says.

Isabel Roxas’s (M.S. Communications Design ’04) work appeared in the Unlisted exhibition and she led a packed workshop called “Self-Promotion for Wallflowers.” Roxas is a prolific illustrator and graphic designer. Her company, called Studio Roxas, runs an Etsy shop, which has sold tote bags, posters, rubber stamps, note cards, and other products. She has created illustrations for magazines and children’s books like The Case of the Missing Donut by Alison McGhee and created graphics for small businesses. During her workshop, she talked about how young entrepreneurs can reach new customers and clientele. Roxas knows a thing or two about starting a company from scratch. Between 1998 and 2008, she bounced between her native Philippines and Brooklyn several times, relaunching her freelance career repeatedly from both locales. Her studio’s currently based in Greenpoint. But in that decade-plus period, a lot has changed for her small, artistic business—most importantly, the Internet has become a key tool. The first time Roxas needed to print some note cards, she had to search through a phone book for a printer.


“With websites, you can at least kind of gauge if people are trustworthy, but with the yellow pages you have to go check out the business,” she says. Now printers not only share their prices and products online, there are time-saving websites, like Inker Linker, devoted to aggregating, categorizing, and reviewing printers. And with blogs and social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, artists also receive free advertising through links, posted images, and online buzz. The whole craft culture has exploded in the last decade. “You can reach anybody, and you can be anywhere,” Roxas says of Etsy, which launched in 2005. “When I started selling my stuff, it didn’t exist.” Craft fairs have proliferated recently, too. Roxas participated in a number of fairs—including Craftacular in New York and Art Star in Philadelphia—thinking that she might meet a children’s book editor poking through the stands. And it worked—that’s how she connected with an editor at Penguin. She’s currently illustrating her second book for the publishing house.

It all points toward the fact that “the model is changing,” says Roxas. Self-starting entrepreneurs now possess more advantages than they had even a decade ago. Building on the success of Unlisted, CCPD is planning more programs geared toward entrepreneurship, says Brynna Tucker. She hopes to organize more related workshops with topics like business plan writing, time management skills, and legal issues for businesses, as well as networking events between alumni and other arts and design schools in New York. Tucker’s also studying organizations like Pave and Upstart, which provide funding to young people beginning their careers or new ventures. “We’re trying to help students create an opportunity that’s specific to their own vision,” she says. “There’s a lot of risk in that, and there’s a lot of unknown. There’s not much we can do to solve risk, but we can certainly help with the unknown.”

Clockwise from left to right: Isabel Roxas in her studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; a selection of Roxas’s postcard, book, and magazine work; Debera Johnson

Custom-Made Entrepreneurial Studies This summer, the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, led by Debera Johnson, launched a new Certificate in Design Entrepreneurship program. Aimed at professionals in fashion, product design, footwear, jewelry, design consulting, or social entrepreneurship, the three-week entrepreneurship immersion program gives designers the tools to establish their own businesses.

“I wanted to create a curriculum of ‘on demand’ classes that would be valuable individually,” says Debera Johnson, who conceived the program. “Negotiation or writing a business proposal for example— these are critical skills that everyone should have.”

Courses can be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. All certificate recipients are required to take certain broad courses like Getting to Your Market and Design Your Life Like an Entrepreneur. Other courses are week-long, “deep dive” intensives, says Johnson, focused on specific design sectors like footwear, design consulting, or jewelry. Program faculty includes Pratt professors as well as experts in the field from outside the Pratt community. “We think of our faculty as curators who will ramp up the experience by inviting their favorite industry connections to stop by,” says Johnson. Going forward, Johnson expects to run the program twice a year—in January and in June.



NEW AND NOTEWORTHY Items in the marketplace created b y Pratt alumni, fac ulty, and students

Inside Prefab: The Ready-Made Interior

Graphic Design and Architecture: 20th-Century History

Deborah Schneiderman, Associate Professor,

Richard Poulin, B.I.D. ’77

Interior Design

>>$55 (Rockport Publishers, 2012)

>>$24.95 (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012)

Covering the principal themes, major technological developments, important manufacturers, and pioneering designers of the last 100 years, Poulin’s groundbreaking volume provides a comprehensive examination of the relationship between graphic design and the built environment. Available online at

In Inside Prefab, Schneiderman offers a fascinating history of prefabricated interior design, followed by 24 contemporary case studies. This first book-length discussion and showcase of the prefabricated interior environment includes projects by established architects and firms including Shigeru Ban, Atelier Tekuto, and Greg Lynn as well as up-and-coming firms. Available online at

2 AM Clutch Rebecca Cole Marshall, M.I.D. ’10

Alessi Vessels Peter Zumthor, Industrial Design ’66-’67 >> $ 70–$90

Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architect Zumthor has created a family of etched crystal glass containers with stainless steel stoppers. The five-piece set of organicshaped canisters includes an oil/vinegar cruet, salt and pepper shakers, spice canister, and sugar pourer. Available in July online at


A finalist for the 7th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards and one of five designs competing for the Timberland Best Green Handbag award, the eco-friendly 2 AM Clutch by Paper No. 9 is made of paper and comes with an optional chain cut to custom lengths. Limited edition of 50 per color: grass stain, 10 oz. gold, obsidian, poured concrete, and pom-pom pink. Available through Summer 2013 at

All photos courtesy of the artists unless otherwise noted

Photo: Francesco Mattuzzi for Alessi

Photo: Deborah Feingold

Photo: Makotoyoshida, courtesy Yasuhiro Yamashita/Atelier Tekuto

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QR Messages Collection Necklaces

Michael Weaker, M.I.D. ’09 and Omid Sadri, M.I.D. ’09

Miriam “Abbo” Merenfeld, B. Arch.’94



Constructed of sustainably manufactured paper and recycled paperboard, with limited packaging that also serves as an instruction manual, these ecologically friendly toys feature interchangeable parts so hundreds of different Obos can be created from the initial series of six. Available online at

Merenfeld’s QR Messages Collection Necklaces incorporate symbolic and inspirational messages, videos, photos, or website links via a QR code readable using a smartphone app. Pieces can be purchased with preselected messages or can be personalized by special order. Each piece is available in three different finishes: sterling silver, 18K gold plate, and satin antique. Available online at

Obos Toys

Guide to Graphic Design Scott W. Santoro, Adjunct Associate Professor,

Scrunch Bracelet Melissa Zook, M.I.D. ’09 >>$100

One of the most popular items in Zook’s jewelry line of wearable sculpture, the Scrunch Bracelet is fashioned of soft, supple lambskin around a metal band that can be molded to the wearer’s wrist. The bangle comes in a variety of colors, including red, brown, black, seafoam green, light gray, light purple, and gold. Available online at and

B.F.A. Communications Design ’82 >>$62 (Pearson Education, 2013)

Santoro, faculty in Pratt’s undergraduate Communications Design program and principal of the New York graphic design studio Worksight, features a number of Pratt student works in this textbook. Available online through and




Alder Natural Hair Powder

Toobalink Toys

David J. Krause, B.F.A. Fashion Design ’10 and

Sara Ebert B.I.D. ’09 and Will Sakran

Nina Zilka, B.F.A. Fashion Design ’10



Cardboard paper towel and toilet paper tubes have long been used for children’s arts and crafts projects. Now Ebert and Sakran have developed a kit that lets children’s imaginations run wild to create a variety of objects and structures by linking the tubes with the plastic Toobalink connectors. Available online at

Considered the “best natural hair powder on the market” by fashion website, Krause and Zilka’s is made of rice powder, kaolin clay, organic horsetail powder, and bergamot essential oil and packaged in a four-ounce recycled glass bottle. Available in four scents: bergamot, eucalyptus, lavender, and patchouli. Available online at

Create Your Art Career Grill Wrangler

Rhonda Schaller, director, pratt’s center for career and professional development

Peter Wachtel, M.I.D. ’92

>>$19.95 (Allworth Press, March 2013)


In Create Your Art Career: Practical Tools, Visualizations, and Self-Assessment Exercises for Empowerment and Success, Schaller, director of Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development, provides insights and practical tools for readers to cultivate an inspired, sustainable art career. This self-help guide features more than 50 career planning exercises and tools which Photo District News says “transforms an inherently intuitive process into a pragmatic step-bystep method.”

Featured in March 2013 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Grill Wrangler combines barbecue tongs, a spatula, and a fork into one brushed stainless steel tool. Wachtel developed the product through, where more than 700 members offered feedback and ideas. Available at Williams-Sonoma and online at


SUBMISSIONS ALUMNI, FACULTY, AND STUDENTS We invite submissions to New and Noteworthy. Send information and images of your latest


creation for sale in the marketplace to with the subject New and Noteworthy.


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RYERSON WALK Recent Campus News and Activities

$2.5 Million Gift Establishes Nation’s First Chair Uniting Mathematics and the Arts at Pratt In honor of Pratt Mathematics and Science Chair Carole Hochman Sirovich, her husband, Lawrence Sirovich, and their son, Matthew, have made a $2.5-million commitment to establish the Sirovich Family Professorship of Mathematics for the Arts in the Institute’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The professorship, which also honors Libby Silverstein Sirovich, Lawrence’s mother and Mathew’s grandProfessor Carole Hochman Sirovich mother, will promote cross-disciplinary collaborations and initiatives to explore connections between mathematics and art, design, and architecture. The Sirovich family’s gift will support the professor’s research activities, scholarly pursuits, and other related initiatives and will bolster Pratt’s increasingly strong reputation in the liberal arts and sciences. “Pratt is unique among the nation’s art and design colleges for its robust liberal arts offerings, particularly in mathematics and science,” said Andrew W. Barnes, Dean of Pratt’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I anticipate that the Sirovich Family Professorship in Mathematics for the Arts will allow Pratt to create a groundbreaking academic and research program at the intersection of mathematics, art, design, and architecture and will revolutionize the approach to these disciplines.”

Fashion Department Implements New Curriculum Informed by Future Direction of Industry A new curriculum for the fashion program has been implemented that will ensure students graduate with exceptional construction and pattern-making skills; are conversant in 2-D and 3-D processes that allow for innovative design; have an in-depth knowledge of materiality including working with emerging textiles and technology; are able to communicate and place their design philosophy in the context of culture and fashion history; have strong conceptual and critical thinking skills; and are able to design, produce, and present cohesive, progressive, and authentic collections. “This revised curriculum ensures a solid foundation that provides collaborative learning environments where creative ‘concept-led, craft-based’ expression can thrive,” said Chair of Fashion Jennifer Minniti. “Fashion has become a truly interdisciplinary subject where practitioners and scholars from multiple areas exchange ideas that push our understanding of the social impact and meaning of the originating practice as well as the practice itself.”

Renderings courtesy of WASA/Studio A

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Construction to Begin This Summer on State-of-the-Art Film/Video Facilities A new cutting-edge production facility for Pratt’s Department of Film/Video will soon be under construction at 550 Myrtle Avenue, the former location of the Prattstore. The new facilities will support the department’s new curriculum, which was approved earlier this year and will emphasize fundamental techniques of digital cinema production, while encouraging the development of nontraditional video content. Aspects of the new curriculum will be adopted in fall 2013, with the full curriculum to be implemented in fall 2014 when the department will relocate to 550 Myrtle Avenue. The new facilities are being designed by architectural firm WASA/Studio A, which was the firm that designed Myrtle Hall, Pratt’s green administrative and academic building at 536 Myrtle Avenue. Plans for the new Film/ Video space include two sound stages, a sound-mixing facility, a screening room, as well as studios and classrooms featuring the latest equipment. “These changes will transform Pratt’s film/video program for both students and faculty allowing for an extraordinary learning and teaching experience that aligns with current technological advances in the industry,” said Acting Dean of the School of Art and Design Leighton Pierce. These additions also will help pave the way for a new master’s degree program in Film/Video that is currently being developed.

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New Graduate Programs in Media Studies and Writing Launched

Plan to Create a School of the Arts and a School of Design Announced

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS) will welcome its first class of graduate students in the new Media Studies program in fall 2013 when the new Master of Arts degree program begins. The intensive program, which will be led by Jon Beller, professor, Humanities and Media Studies, will be closely linked to the art, design, and architecture environment of Pratt and to the city's burgeoning mediascape. Classes will be small and will be taught by faculty who are media studies scholars and media makers themselves. “Enrollment exceeded our expectations for this first year, which speaks to the strength of the program’s faculty and curriculum,” said SLAS Dean Andrew W. Barnes. In addition, SLAS is now recruiting for its new M.F.A. in Writing program, which will launch in fall 2014 and be led by Christian Hawkey, professor, Humanities and Media Studies. The program will focus on collaborative literary projects and it will revolve around several core elements: mentored studies; a weekly student-led symposium; a core, teacher-guided seminar on the history, form, and theory of collaborative and engaged writing practices; and a fieldwork residency in which students will spend significant time in an organization or space of their choosing.

Provost Peter Barna has announced that beginning July 2014 the Institute’s current School of Art and Design will be replaced with two new schools at Pratt: a School of the Arts and a School of Design. Two deans will administer the various academic departments reporting to each area. “Creating separate schools will further the Institute’s educational mission by allowing for more specialized and cross-disciplinary programming with each of the new units,” said Barna. The decision was approved in May by the Pratt Board of Trustees and endorsed by the Provost’s Council and senior administrative staff following several years of consideration.

The 25-acre Brooklyn campus burst into color with cherry blossom trees, rose bushes, and other flowering plants. Coupled with the Pratt Sculpture Park, which Public Art Review recognized in 2006 as one of the 10 best college and university campus art collections, the landscaping, completed over the past decade, has made the campus a destination for New York City residents and tourists alike. The beautification efforts also complement the Institute’s numerous historic and modern buildings that earned Pratt a place on Architectural Digest’s list of the 10 colleges nationwide with the best architecture.

Pratt’s Board of Trustees endorsed the Institute's current five-year Strategic Plan after a seven-month planning process that engaged representatives from the entire campus community, including graduate and undergraduate students. The plan, which covers four key themes—enriching the academic experience, expanding horizons, creating dynamic environments, and building capacity—calls for refinements to the undergraduate curriculum, increased investment in the development of graduate programs, greater emphasis on Pratt’s Brooklyn and Manhattan locations as well as its global connections, new opportunities for cross-disciplinary research and education, and increased fund raising and enhanced infrastructure to support these goals. To read more about the strategic plan, visit www.pratt. edu/strategic_plan.

Photos: Alex Weber

campus in bloom

Institute Sets Strategic Goals Through 2017

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125th Anniversary Communications Garner Accolades

DesignIntelligence Gives Institute Programs High Rankings

Pratt’s 125th Anniversary marketing effort, which focused on iconic work by Pratt alumni and faculty over the last 125 years, is receiving significant recognition for the quality of its various components from major industry organizations. Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute, the documentary on Pratt’s history that aired on NYC PBS station Thirteen/WNET, was nominated for a New York Emmy in the “Historical/Cultural: Program/Special” category. In addition, the design of the anniversary advertising campaign received a Bronze Certificate from the Collegiate Advertising Awards and the 125th anniversary Prattfolio received an American Graphic Design Award and an American Inhouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA magazine. Also, a short video promoting the anniversary celebration garnered a Bronze Circle of Excellence Award in the informational video category from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and was one of only seven winners out of more than 100 entries from colleges and universities nationwide. The anniversary website received a Bronze Anvil of Commendation Award from the Public Relations Society of America and was one of 89 winners out of more than 700 entries from for-profits and nonprofits across the country.

Pratt’s graduate program in Industrial Design was recently ranked No. 2 in the country, up from No. 7 in 2012, based on surveys completed by industry professionals who are readers of the monthly architecture and design report, DesignIntelligence. Pratt’s undergraduate Industrial Design program ranked No. 3, up from No. 9. For the second consecutive year, the Institute’s graduate program in Interior Design ranked No. 3. The rankings were informed by skills assessment survey of hiring firms, which emphasize the Interior Design Department’s strengths in preparing students for cross-disciplinary teamwork. The rankings are part of the 2013 America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools issue.

Chief Engineer Conrad Milster Establishes Scholarship for Industrial Design Students Pratt’s Chief Engineer Conrad Milster, who has been overseeing the Institute’s Power Plant and Engine Room for close to 50 years, has recently established the Phyllis and Conrad Milster Endowed Scholarship, which will provide scholarships in perpetuity to students in Pratt’s Industrial Design program. “If an organization provides your livelihood, it should be a two-way street,” said Milster.

Pratt Ranked 10th Nationwide for Media Coverage Pratt Institute is ranked No. 10 in the nation for the quantity and quality of its coverage in global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere, and in social media outlets, according to the Global Language Monitor’s TrendTopper MediaBuzz TM 2013 rankings, which were released earlier this year and measure the strength of a college’s brand. The move up to No. 10—from No. 11 in 2011, No. 14 in 2010, and No. 28 in 2009—reflects the steady rise in Pratt’s brand value. The Institute is ranked No. 2 among the country’s multidisciplinary colleges of art and design for overall media presence.



rising from the flames


Community Comes Together After Main Building Fire

Photo: Glenn Gordon

n Friday, February 15, a four-alarm fire broke out in Main Building, destroying the roof and sixth floor of the landmarked 1886 Romanesque Revival structure and causing significant smoke and water damage to the fifth floor as well as water damage to all of the floors below. As a result, a number of departments within the School of Art and Design and some Institute-wide administrative offices, including those of the president and provost, were displaced. There were no injuries, but as many as 200 students, including many preparing for their final thesis presentations, lost artwork. Restoration of Main Building is underway and it should reopen by early 2014. Main Building, the day after the February 15 fire

Pratt Community Rallies to Recover By the Monday after the fire, all dislocated classes were held in new spaces and by midweek all offices and operations housed in Main Building were relocated, for a total reallocation of 1,000 people and 40,000 square feet. A Fire Recovery Task Force, comprising senior leadership as well as affected students and faculty, was also created to coordinate and expedite programs and services to help students recover from fire-related losses and to address other issues affecting the community related to the impact of the fire. In the days and weeks following the fire, alumni and members of the greater community extended generous offers to help with the recovery efforts. Students themselves launched impromptu fund-raising events including a pop-up art sale outside the Student Union and a sale sponsored by the Print Department. Student clubs also made donations to recovery efforts. As of May 1, more than 175 donors had contributed gifts totaling nearly $125,000. By March 18, senior painting students relocated to temporary studio spaces constructed in the ARC Building, and all art that was salvaged was returned.

Senior painter Maria de los Angeles Cornejo (B.F.A. Painting, ’13) quickly got back up to speed in her studio constructed in the ARC Building.

Paintings by Rachel O’Donnell (B.F.A. Painting ’13) (left), and Catherine Wooley (B.F.A. Drawing ’13) (right) in the ARC studios

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Left to right: Aby Rosen, Thomas F. Schutte, Larry Gagosian, and Chrissie Erpf

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Sally Novak (B.F.A. Painting ’13) shows her installation, Dermis, to gallery visitors.

Gagosian Gallery Show Lifts Spirits The semester ended on a celebratory note with Flameproof, a group exhibition organized by Pratt with the assistance of prominent gallerist Larry Gagosian. Curated by Eugenie Tsai, the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, Flameproof featured the work of 44 undergraduate students and included drawings and paintings produced by students before and after the fire. The exhibition was held in the International Style skyscraper at 375 Park Avenue in space donated by the building’s owner, Aby Rosen of real estate company RFR Holding LLC, while the exhibition itself was underwritten by trustee emeritus and alumnus Bruce Newman (BFA Interior Design ’53). The students chose the show’s title, Flameproof, as an expression of their determination that—even in the aftermath of a disaster—their creativity will thrive. As The New York Times reported in a major feature on April 10, the high-profile show has been “an exciting watershed in a healing process,” motivating students to throw themselves back into their work. “Having the senior fine arts exhibition in such a prime location in Manhattan is a dream come true for many of our students,” said President Thomas F. Schutte. “The caliber of work on view at Flameproof illustrates their commitment to their work and the process. The Pratt community is grateful to Larry Gagosian, Aby Rosen, and Bruce Newman for making this all possible.”

Clockwise left to right: Daniel Barragán (B.F.A. Painting ’13); Rachel O’Donnell (B.F.A. Painting ’13) with Bride II; Matt Black (B.F.A. Painting ’13), Snake Banner



beyond the gates Pratt’s Presence in the Public Realm

Photos: Sung-Ah Jun

Pratt’s 125th Anniversary Culminates in Exhibition of Iconic Alumni and Faculty Works Sixteen months of festivities commemorating the 125th anniversary of Pratt Institute’s founding in 1887 culminated with the exhibition 125 Icons: A Celebration of Works by Pratt Alumni and Faculty, 1887-2012 at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery from November 30, 2012, through January 19, 2013. The items in 125 Icons were selected by alumni, faculty, students, and staff from more than 300 works by alumni and faculty that comprise Pratt’s online “Icon Gallery.” Among these were the Chrysler Building, designed by School of Architecture alumnus William van Alen; Esquire covers created by advertising design alumnus George Lois; Scrabble, created by Architecture alumnus Alfred Mosher Butts; the Corvette C5, redesigned by industrial design alumnus John Cafaro; and the Dunkin’ Donuts logo, developed by industrial design alumna and faculty member Lucia De Respinis. Todd Galitz, vice president for Institutional Advancement, spearheaded the effort to identify the iconic designs and artwork and organized the exhibition that brought this impressive body of Pratt alumni and faculty work to the public. And the public responded: 125 Icons had the second highest visitation rate in the history of Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Works on view at the 125 Icons exhibition at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery

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Rendering courtesy of AE COM

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Construction to Begin on Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza in Fall 2013 Myrtle Plaza, New York City's $6-million capital project to reconstruct the streets and sidewalks of Myrtle Avenue between Hall Street and Emerson Place, is scheduled to break ground in the fall. The project (shown in rendering above) will create approximately 25,000 square feet of new pedestrian space by reconfiguring two blocks of the four-block service road and the southeast corner of Myrtle at Hall. In addition to improved crossings and new bus stops, the plaza will feature dozens of new trees, large planters with ornamental shrubberies, game tables, a water fountain, a permanent art installation, and movable tables and chairs. Given the long and narrow geometry of the site, the plaza was designed with different “rooms” to offer various amenities to shoppers, residents, and students.

The project, which will enhance the area adjacent to Myrtle Hall and Pratt’s new Film/Video facility at 550 Myrtle Avenue, was spearheaded by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, which is chaired by President Thomas F. Schutte. The Partnership will be the city’s maintenance partner and will be responsible for upkeep and programming. The project is part of the first round of the New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) capital Plaza Program. Funding was provided by Councilmember Tish James, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and NYC DOT. Construction is expected to last 18 months.

2013 Alumni Achievement Awards Celebrate Accomplished Leaders On March 21, Pratt Institute honored six accomplished alumni at the annual Alumni Achievement Awards luncheon in Manhattan. The awards recognize outstanding graduates who have distinguished themselves in their fields, have earned a high degree of respect among their colleagues and in the general community, and whose impact has been felt on a regional, national, or international level. Selected by a jury of accomplished professionals, the 2013 recipients were Michael Flynn (M.S. City and Regional Planning ’06), New York City Department of Transportation director of capital planning and project initiation, who received the Early Career Award; Bill Gold (Advertising Design ’40), prolific creator of more than 2,000 movie posters including those for Casablanca, The Exorcist, Dog Day Afternoon, and Dirty Harry, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Sherry Onna Handlin (B.F.A. Art and Design Education ’67), Dance Theater of Nepal co-founder, who received the International Career Achievement Award; Dwight Johnson (B.I.D. ’72), Black Alumni of Pratt co-founder, who received the Distinguished Service Award; Louis Nelson (B.I.D. ’58, M.I.D. ’64), visionary artist and designer, who received the Career Achievement Award; and Yuko Nii (M.F.A. ’68), founder of the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, who received the Community Commitment Award. Left to right top row: Bill Gold, Michael Flynn, Dwight Johnson; Left to right bottom row: Louis Nelson, Yuko Nii, and Sherry Onna Handlin




Commencement 2013

2013 Pratt graduates celebrate outside Radio City Music Hall.

Kurt Andersen delivering the 2013 Commencement address

Left to right: Lee Friedlander, Daniel Pink, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, and Françoise Mouly

Professor Theoharis David

2013 Commencement Celebrates 1,400 Graduates and Honors Lee Friedlander, Françoise Mouly, and Daniel Pink Encouraging students to always try new things and maintain “the amateur spirit,” Pratt Trustee, Studio 360 host, and celebrated journalist and author Kurt Andersen addressed graduates at the Institute’s 124th Commencement on May 14. For the fourth time in Pratt’s history, the event was held at Radio City Music Hall, with 1,470 students, both graduates and undergraduates, crossing the stage and becoming alumni. “Tomorrow, you can call yourself a certified professional,” Andersen told the crowd of graduates, noting a degree should not “replace the amateur spirit, but empower it.” He said the meaning of “amateur” had been “debased” over time—it should not be used pejoratively, but should be related to doing something different and fascinating. The Institute also awarded honorary degrees to visionary photographer Lee Friedlander; publisher, illustrator, and New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly; and journalist, political speechwriter, and New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink. Undergraduate Architecture Professor Theoharis David received the Distinguished Teacher Award for 2013-2014.

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Photos: Josh Wong

A look by Aileen Garbousian (B.F.A. Fashion ’13) on the runway at the 2013 Pratt Fashion Show

Fashion Department Chair Jennifer Minniti (right) and Madeline Gruen (B.F.A. Fashion ’13) with model in one of Gruen's designs

Thom Browne Honored at 2013 Pratt Fashion Show Pratt’s senior class of fashion designers presented their final thesis collections at the 2013 Pratt Fashion Show on April 25, during which renowned American designer Thom Browne received the 2013 Pratt Institute Fashion Visionary Award. Funding for the fashion show was awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board (managed by Cotton Incorporated). Also at the show, Madeline Gruen (B.F.A. Fashion ’13) received the Liz Claiborne Award—Concept to Product, a $25,000 grant funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation to help one stellar fashion graduate each year create his or her first professional collection. The runway show at Center548 in Manhattan was followed by an exclusive cocktail benefit in honor of Browne at The Top of the Standard. Proceeds from the fashion show and cocktail benefit support student scholarships at Pratt and the Department of Fashion.

Left to right: Elizabeth King, Vice President, Importer Relations, Cotton Board; Linda DeFranco, Director, Product Trend Analysis, Cotton Incorporated; Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte; Thom Browne; Hamish Bowles, International Editorat-Large, Vogue; Bruce Gitlin, Chair, Pratt Board of Trustees

Pratt Raises $350,000 at Annual Art of Packaging Award Gala More than 300 guests attended the annual Pratt Institute Art of Packaging Award Gala at a private club in Manhattan on April 30. The gala, which attracts the top tier of New York City's multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry, raised $350,000 in 2013 and has raised more than $3.5 million over the last 24 years to support the Marc Rosen Scholarship and Education Fund for Packaging by Design. Award-winning designer,Trustee Emeritus, and alumnus Marc A. Rosen (M.F.A. Packaging Design ’70) established the Pratt scholarship in 1989, and it remains the only such award available to college students looking to pursue careers in cosmetics and package design. A professor in Pratt’s Graduate Communications and Package Design program, Rosen teaches cosmetic and fragrance packaging design. The Art of Packaging Award, which is presented each year to a beauty/cosmetics company that has excelled in the art form, was awarded to the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of The Estée Lauder Companies. Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president of The Estée Lauder Companies' Aramis and Designer Fragrances, BeautyBank, and IdeaBank divisions, accepted the award from Trey Laird, chief executive and creative officer of Laird+Partners.



Industrial Design Department Launches Groundbreaking Global Study Partnership Beginning in September 2013, seven second-year graduate students in Pratt’s Industrial Design program will spend a semester at Keio University in Tokyo and then go on to the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London for another term as part of the inaugural class of the new Global Innovation Design (GID) program. The international study partnership was jointly designed to allow students from each institution to spend a semester on each campus, taking advantage of the three schools' greatest strengths. At Keio University they will study media design, utilizing the school’s high-tech prototyping and robotics programs; in London, the curriculum will focus on engineering, invention, and prototyping; and the Pratt component will emphasize the core principles of design in which the Institute was a pedagogical pioneer. In addition to their local studies, all students participating in the 2013-2014 academic year will meet every week via teleconference to work on a large-scale international project. This prestigious global study partnership was initiated by Steve Diskin, Pratt’s chair of Industrial Design, and Professor Katrin Mueller-Russo, program coordinator, with senior colleagues at RCA, Imperial College, and Keio University. Marianthi Zikopoulos, associate provost at Pratt, also championed in this groundbreaking collaboration. By capitalizing on the expertise of each participating school and the distinct cultures of the three locations, the GID program will give students a unique perspective on global design and entrepreneurship.

Pratt students volunteer in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy

Campus Community Rallies for Hurricane Sandy Victims The Institute’s historic Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses were largely spared from Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York City last October, but many members of the Pratt community lost power, water, and had their homes damaged and left uninhabitable. The worst damage in the New York area occurred in Coney Island, the Rockaways, Red Hook, Gowanus, and parts of New Jersey. Pratt students, faculty, and staff quickly organized to collaborate on everything from sandwich making to long-term disaster relief planning. Within days of the hurricane, the Pratt Community Engagement Board had partnered with students from the Programs for Planning and Sustainable Development to form the Pratt Disaster Resilience Network (PDRN), a grassroots disaster assistance planning group that organized donation collections for relief efforts and coordinated volunteer groups to work on-site in the Rockaways. In addition, 2012 undergraduate communications design alumni Walter Shock, Anshey Bhatia, and Jesse Resnick launched Storm Support, a website that donates proceeds from the sale of T-shirts and tote bags to local charitable organizations helping to rebuild the lives of Sandy victims.

Pratt students in London will benefit from the Imperial College’s and RCA’s engineering and invention programs.

Keio University’s facilities and robotics program will provide exceptional learning opportunities for students in the GID program.

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49 Photo: Hélène Binet

Pratt Hosts Conversation on Design’s Future During Inaugural NYCxDesign During New York City’s inaugural NYCxDesign week, Pratt hosted a panel discussion about the future of design that filled to capacity the auditorium at the Museum of Arts and Design. The panel, titled Differentiating by Design: How the Creative Community Will Drive the Next 125 Years, was moderated by Linda Tischler, a senior editor at Fast Company, and featured panelists Peter Barna, Pratt’s provost; Jonathan Bowles, executive director for the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank; and Kevin Slavin, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Area/Code, a social gaming company. The conversation centered on New York City’s design community, its economic impact, and how it can raise its profile, as the city’s burgeoning tech sector has done. The panelists also discussed design education and Pratt’s role in preparing young graduates to launch their own businesses.

The Museum of Arts and Design hosted the Pratt panel on the future of design.

Photo: David Minder

Alumni Come Together in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Left to right: Dawn Mostow (MFA '08), Ben Gould (BID '08), and Eliana Strauss (BID '04)

Pratt alumni from the Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. areas had a chance to reconnect with each other and their alma mater at local alumni events in May and June. In Philadelphia, 50 alumni gathered at the African American Museum, where fashion faculty member Liz Goldberg (M.F.A. ’81) spoke about her work exploring the theme of the diva and portrayals of female empowerment. The presentation was followed by a tour of the museum’s Come See About Me exhibition of the Mary Wilson Supremes Collection. In Boston, alumni came together at the offices of Bruner/Cott & Associates, space provided by alumnus Leland Cott (B.Arch. ’66), for an update from Jaime Stein (M.S. Urban Environmental Systems Management ’08), academic coordinator for Pratt’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, on the Institute’s City and Regional Planning, Historic Preservation, and Urban Environmental Systems Management programs. Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte was also on hand at the Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. events to greet alumni and provide an update on the Institute’s plans for the next five years, as laid out in the 2012-2017 strategic plan. More regional alumni events are planned in the next year.

Creating a legacy like Pratt’s takes time. Let’s start yours today.

From retirement accounts to naming the Institute in your will, Pratt offers a variety of ways that alumni and friends can help build the Pratt legacy—and their own— by supporting future generations of creative leaders. Your planned gift will also benefit you and your heirs—providing you with income for life or helping offset income or estate taxes. To find out more, contact Drew Babitts, Major and Planned Gifts Officer, at or 718.399.4296.

Center for Continu ing and Profes sional s t udies

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Image above: Work by Center for Continuing and Professional Studies student Evans Simpson in collaboration with instructor Eric Kachelhofer

Prat t Manhat tan | 144 West 14th Street | New York, NY 10011 Prat t Brooklyn | 200 Willoughby Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11205



Work in progress B ioprinter

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53 Lab photos: Ruy Klein

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Microscope photograph shows an initial printout of living cell tissue.

-D printers allow designers to create everything from prototypes to copies of Stradivarius violins. But what about living cells?

That’s just what a team of Pratt School of Architecture faculty members and scientists from Genspace, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit biolab, are doing—and, by adding bioluminescence (like the light emitted by fireflies), taking it a step further to create artwork made of living cells. A unique collaboration between art and science, Bioprinter represents the first time 3-D printing technology is being used to produce living design objects. Bioprinter grew out of an ongoing exploration of the cultural and aesthetic implications of new technologies. David Ruy and Karel Klein, professors of Graduate Architecture and co-founders of the design firm Ruy Klein, sought to push the boundaries of 3-D printing by using living cells as toner.

Michelle Fowler (M.Arch. ’12) cultivating cells in the lab.

protein so that they would glow in the dark. The team then began the process of growing the transfected cells in an incubator to cultivate for use in the printer. As of this past spring, the original 500,000 cells had multiplied to nearly a billion. For now, Bioprinter has been used to produce what the team refers to as “disembodied tattoos”—ornamental, abstract patterns made of living cells. Only four inches square, the images appear flat to the human eye. But what does this have to do with architecture? The project, which began last year, is a “thought experiment” about architectural form and definitions of materiality. “The project is attempting to examine the relationship between media and content,” says Ruy. In one sense, architecture has “come a long way from bricks and mortar—these days, it’s not unusual to use laser beams to cut wood, or robots to mill a mold.” But older, traditional architectural elements—like standardized sheets, blocks, and powders—remain. “Can

represents the first time 3-D printing technology “ Bioprinter is being used to produce living design objects. ” To create their novel 3-D printer, Ruy and Klein turned to Pratt undergraduate Architecture Professor Richard Sarrach, who had previously constructed six 3-D printers. The Institute’s Faculty Development Fund, which awards grants of up to $5,000 for faculty research, projects, and related travel, provided seed funding to construct a prototype of the printer and cover the costs of lab time at Genspace, where the printer could be operated in the controlled environment necessary for work with living cells. The project also appealed to the FRAC Centre, a leading museum for experimental architecture based in Orléans, France, which plans to exhibit Bioprinter at the opening of its new building in September. Working with synthetic biologist Oliver Medvedik, who helped to found Genspace, and tissue engineer Nina Tandon, whose research focuses on growing artificial hearts and bone, the team chose mouse cartilage cells to use as tissue cultures. They began with a single vial containing approximately half a million cells. These were genetically modified—a process called transfection—with green fluorescent

living matter be treated as a generic medium, such as toner for a 3-D printer? What does it mean to give form to that which already has form?” The latter point raises the question of what, exactly, will be displayed at the FRAC Centre. Ruy acknowledges that the experiment raises some strange questions. “What is the focus of the exhibition—the print or the printer? Is the printer itself the focus? Should the prints be kept alive for the exhibition?” The full implications of the experiment are also unclear. Eventually, more robust machines could produce such living output for medical transplants or even as food. For now, Bioprinter demonstrates the type of truly groundbreaking work being done by Pratt faculty members who are committed to testing the limits of technology and moving beyond current conceptions of what is possible. As Sarrach says, “We could not even think in such a way two or three years ago.” — Charlotte Savidge



FINAL THOUGHTS R evitali z ing A merica’s M anufacturing S ector By Adam Friedman


broad national consensus has emerged that the revitalization of our nation’s manufacturing sector is critical to creating well-paying jobs and restoring our nation’s prosperity. The unresolved debate is about how to do it. Part of the answer lies in finding the successful models that are being piloted in cities across the country and that can form the foundation for new city, state, and federal policies that support their replication.

lowed Ferra Designs to grow and succeed financially without having to compromise quality.

City, state, and federal policy should build on the success of the BNY model in a variety of ways. It should recognize that manufacturing is increasingly concentrated in cities and address the special challenges facing urban manufacturers, particularly around real estate. It should create the financial tools nonprofits need to acquire the older buildings that dot city landscapes, renovate, divide, and rent the new, smaller spaces for today’s modern manufacturers. For example, The Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY), a 300-acre city-owned industrial the federal government should create an Industrial Development park in New York City, is one such model. Nowhere are the chalFund that provides grants to cities to seed such projects and thereby lenges to urban manufacturing greater create a revenue stream to underwrite adthan in New York, which has high labor and ditional development. The Congress should utility costs, an aging infrastructure, and Over the past ten years, the also revise the Industrial Revenue Bond where residential development can pop up (IRB) program that provides financing for almost overnight. However, over the past 10 Brooklyn Navy Yard has been industrial buildings to make IRBs useful for years the BNY has been transformed from a multi-tenanted rental properties. decaying backwater into a thriving home for transformed from a decaying 330 companies employing 5,800 people and At the local level, cities should stop selling off generating close to $2 billion in economic the industrial properties they acquire, often backwater into a thriving output, an increase of almost 400 percent through tax foreclosure, and work with nonduring this period. profit developers to renovate the spaces and home for 330 companies reactivate them for industrial use. In New Several factors contributed to the BNY’s York, the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Desuccess. It is owned by the city and managed employing 5,800 people and sign Center acquired a 400,000-square-foot by a nonprofit organization whose mission building from the City and turned it into a is to support the growth of industrial busigenerating close to $2 billion. center for woodworkers, helping to preserve nesses and job creation. That combination of dozens of businesses and hundreds of jobs. nonprofit management and public ownership allows the BNY to make strategic investment The success of our national policy rests on the ability of cities to credecisions and to select tenants based on both financial and jobate environments that allow entrepreneurs to launch and grow their growth objectives. It plows rent revenues back into the development businesses. Cities throughout the United States are piloting new and maintenance of space and services for tenants. Knowing that ways to strengthen their manufacturing sectors— such as the BNY. their landlord is committed to manufacturing also provides the tenThe challenge is to find the successful models, understand the critiant companies with the long-term stability against real estate specucal ingredients, and develop policies that replicate their success. lation that they need to reinvest and grow. In fact, for these reasons

and more, many Pratt graduates have made the BNY the home for their creative businesses. For example, Pratt Industrial Design program alumnus Robert Ferraroni, who founded Ferra Designs, a metalworking, building, and design company whose 12-person staff includes six Pratt graduates, has been able to expand twice within the BNY—once to gain office space in the same building as its manufacturing facility, and the second time to create an exclusive design studio. Ferraroni believes that such stability, coupled with working alongside like-minded craftsmen and creative companies, has al-

Adam Friedman is director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a founding member of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance. The Pratt Center recently published a report on the economic impact of the BNY, which can be downloaded at report/brooklyn-navy-yard-analysis-its-economic-impact.

Illustration by James Gulliver Hancock



IN MEMORIAM 1920s Lydia Skiff Ernst Dressmaking, 1929 Costume Design, 1931

1930s Irene Ciemnolonski Shea Institutional Management, 1934 Ellen L. Wiley Art and Design Education, 1935 Clarence G. Norberg Industrial Electrical Engineering, 1936 Eugene J. Cattaneo Mechanical Engineering, 1939

1940s Morton F. Harris Mechanical Engineering, 1940 Jane Beebe Rosen Interior Design, 1941 Anne Haberman Sekuler Homemaking, 1941 Paul Wrablica Industrial Design, 1942 Mary Jane White Hack Interior Design, 1943 Rebecca Boyer Merrilees Interior Decoration, 1943 Carolyn Spies Comandich Home Economics, 1944 Edward E. Boccia Art Education, 1947 Ruby Wells Kelley Home Economics, 1947 Joan Doblin Vogel Illustration, 1947 Communication Design, 1978 Rita Giardina D’Alessio Industrial Design, 1948

Frances Shaver Lauda Home Economics, 1948 Philip Lempert Advertising Design, 1948 Irene Haas Clark Illustration, 1949 Charles Heston Illustration, 1949

Leon Krasnoff Mechanical Engineering, 1949 Vincent W. Norako Sr. Electrical Engineering, 1949

1950s Maria Louise “Lou” Love Interior Design, 1950 Robert P. Mott Mechanical Engineering, 1950 Philip L. Stanger Mechanical Design, 1951 Joseph P. Allegro Advertising Design, 1953 Vincent A. Ansaldi Advertising Design, 1954 Stephen O. Frankfurt Fine Arts, 1954 Richard T. Mayo Mechanical Design, 1954 Theodore E. Scheuble Mechanical Engineering, 1954 Ann Marie Wallen Illustration, 1954 Bernard C. Wollmeringer Industrial Design, 1954 Ralph R. Mazza Jr. Mechanical Design, 1955 May-Brit Swanback Fashion Design, 1955 Geraldine Dunlap Vandegrift Interior Design, 1955 John A. Cavanagh Structural Technology, 1956 Richard L. Huggins Industrial Design, 1956 Nancy L. Copley Vagenas Oliver Architecture, 1956 Nancy L. Vandenbroek Home Economics, 1956 James H. Frakes Jr. Industrial Design, 1957 William Horozan Library Science, 1957 Albin H. Rothe Architecture, 1957 Eugene P. Zvara Graphic Arts and Illustration, 1958

Cornelius “Chris” W. Christie Jr. Industrial Design, 1959 Robert T. Kennedy Applied Science, Electrical Technology, 1959 Arthur Carl Spangler Graphic Arts and Illustration, 1959 George L. Theophelis Industrial Design, 1959

1960s Henry E. Romani Mechanical Engineering, 1961 John Nance Industrial Design, 1963 Elizabeth Mayer Merkelson Library Science, 1964 Jaroslaw “Yar” Kunycia Architecture, 1967


Faculty/Staff John M. Johansen Adjunct Distinguished Professor, Architecture Bobby Knight Visiting instructor and technician, Film and Video Dorothy “Dottie” E. Satori Associate Director of Financial Aid Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs Jack Sonenberg Professor, Fine Arts

trustee emeritus Herbert M. Meyers Advertising Design, 1949

Lee E. Reichlie Food Science and Management, 1970 Joyce L. Schaffer Library Science, 1973 Howie B. Leifer Fine Arts, 1977 Chris E. Twomey Fine Arts, 1979

1980s Kathleen “Kate” Sullivan Foster Architecture, 1982 Roland J. Hilaire Architecture, 1988

1990s Peter V. Bliss Civil Engineering, 1990

2000s Monika “Nikki” B. Metrinko Illustration, 2004

Pratt Institute mourns the loss of these individuals who have touched the lives of so many, both within our community and beyond. Although we will miss their presence, they leave a permanent mark through their contributions to their fields and to society. Gifts to The Fund for Pratt can be made to honor the memory of a loved one. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at 718-399-4211 for more information. In the future, death notices will be published online at To notify Pratt about the passing of an alumnus or former faculty member, please email


From handmade shoes and solar ivy to telephones and logos for leading corporations, Pratt alumni and faculty creations are everywhere—on city streets and gallery walls, in offices and living rooms, on smartphones and big screens.

Now we’re asking you to send us photos of your latest creations. Bonus points if you collaborated with a Pratt faculty member! Winning photographs will be announced at Alumni Day, September 28, 2013, and posted on the Alumni Relations website. To enter, visit prattalumni, become a fan of Pratt Institute Alumni, and post your photos to our wall. Or email your photographs to for consideration. Entries must be received by September 13, 2013. All submitted photos will retain the copyright of the original photographer. The Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving will contact contestants to ensure that proper credit is given.

Questions? Visit or email

pratt institute INSTITUTional Advancement 200 Willoughby Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11205

Because connecting doesn’t only happen online. Alumni Day and Reunions Saturday, September 28, 2013 Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus

Alumni Day: All alumni welcome register: VISIT CALL Megan McCurry at 718-636-3635 EMAIL

Reunions: Celebrating the 10th, 25th, 35th, 40th, and 50th+ classes (graduating years include 2003, 1988, 1978, 1973, and 1963) register: VISIT CALL David Minder at 718-230-6826 EMAIL David Minder at

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