About Gateway

Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.



It is your last chance to see Kinesthetics: Art Imitating Life, an exhibition of sculptures that echo the movement of natural forms and human experiences with elegant gestures. The group show is currently on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery through Saturday, April 27.

The exhibition explores the aesthetics of movement and includes kinetic sculptures that move, through mechanisms composed of wires, motors, strings, pulleys, hydraulics, and high tensile fabric. They are alternately powered by hand, plug-in electricity, and solar cells.
"Each artist's sculpture reveals a kind of persona that evolves over time,” said Linda Lauro-Lazin, co-curator and adjunct associate professor, Department of Digital Arts, Pratt Institute. “We as viewers start to assign life-like attributes to the works and they begin to transcend their artificiality."

Participating artists include Alan Rath, Chico MacMurtrie, U-Ram Choe, Casey Curran, Reuben Margolin, Meridith Pingree, Adriana Salazar, Bjorn Schulke, Zimoun, and Pratt alumnus Che-Wei Wang. Some works examine movement in nature by re-animating specimens of plant and animal forms and by tapping into our culture's anxiety about and fascination with technology. Others mimic human creative endeavors such as mark making and sound making and replicate everyday tasks such as tying shoelaces.

Kinesthetics is curated by Linda Lauro-Lazin and Nick Battis, director of exhibitions, Pratt Institute. Click to see the sculptures in action and to hear the curators discuss the exhibition's inception.

Through Saturday, April 27
Monday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM; Thursdays, 11 AM-8 PM

Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, Second Floor

Text: Amy Aronoff


Green Week Ushers in spring at Pratt

Carolyn Schaeberle, assistant director, CSDS, presented “Eco-Design and Life-Cycle Analysis: Strategies, Tools, and Case Studies," arguing that it is critical for designers to be talking about sustainability.

Pratt kicked off spring with the Institute’s tenth annual Green Week, a series of events, exhibitions, and workshops about sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Between March 22-29, a highlight of Green Week was the third annual Sustainability Crash Course, a free, day-long event focused on sustainable design. More than 20 presenters—from inside and outside Pratt—discussed topics ranging from ecology and biomimicry to packaging design. The Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS) organized the event, which drew nearly twice as many attendees as last year’s gathering.

A particularly well-attended talk was “Eco-Design and Life-Cycle Analysis: Strategies, Tools, and Case Studies” presented by Carolyn Schaeberle, CSDS assistant director. For Schaeberle, it is critical to be talking about sustainability with designers.

The School of Architecture exhibited a number of projects looking at sustainability as part of Green Week."Designers are the ones who are building the environments that we are living in, making the cars, constructing the buildings, designing the cities,” Schaeberle urged the audience. “It is up to us designers to get smarter about the decisions that we are making. CSDS's role at a design institution is to arm our future designers with the information to make those decisions.”

A few more high points: Dan Wright, assistant professor, Math and Science Department, discussed actionable ways that New York City can reduce its carbon footprint by 90 percent in 2050. Carl A. Zimring, associate professor, Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies, gave a historical overview of upcycling, a process that diverts materials from the waste stream and enhances their value, with special emphasis to aluminum’s use in design.

Debera Johnson, CSDS executive director, moderated the closing keynote panel on how city residents can bring about change in the world. Participants included: Mary McBride, chair, design management; Adam Friedman, director, Pratt Center for Community Development; and Yeohlee Teng, fashion designer.

All panelists stressed the role that individuals can play in changing society. Friedman discussed a Pratt Center program to retrofit low-income community housing. Capitalizing on the redundancy of housing types, the city adopted the program in other neighborhoods. Fashion Department instructors Van Lupu and Kelly Horrigan had their students create for Deconstruct & Reconstruct, an exhibit was curated by Rachel Miller.Teng is part of a greater movement that is gaining traction in the city that advocates for manufacturing in New York. McBride challenged the term “consumer,” noting that people that are “friends” and “followers” of companies expect more and carry greater power. She spoke about her personal path towards change in the interest of social justice.

Organized by Tetsu Ohara, visiting assistant professor, Department of Interior Design, and coordinator of the Pratt Environmental Coalition, Green Week closed with the announcement of the 2013 Student Leadership in Sustainability Award, given to graduating students. The winners are Casey Daurio (B.I.D. ’13), Jacquelyn Morris (M.S. Interior Design ’13), and Leonel Lima Ponce (M.S. Urban Environmental Systems Management ’13). Nominated by fellow students or faculty members, the recipients will be acknowledged at the Graduation Awards Convocation Ceremony.

To learn more about the Crash Course and see video highlights, click here.

Text: Bay Brown, Amy Aronoff
Photos: Tetsu Ohara



Whether designers are setting out to start their own company or simply want to hone their skills to successfully compete in today's fast-moving business environment, it is essential that creative professionals have entrepreneurial awareness and knowledge. Running from June 3–27, the Certificate in Design Entrepreneurship (CDE), a three-week entrepreneurship immersion program, will give designers the tools to create their own businesses. Aimed at design professionals interested in starting businesses in fashion, product design, footwear, jewelry, design consulting, or social entrepreneurship, this certificate program was developed by the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation.

The program will include general business courses of interest to all design entrepreneurs, as well as intensive courses in specific disciplines. Designed to meet the needs of working professionals, the schedule features Pratt faculty and industry professionals accomplished in their fields.

“These days entrepreneurship is a critical life skill that will allow a talented person to design and live the life they want,” said Debera Johnson, executive director, Pratt Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). “The CDE program will do a deep dive into the business of design and give the participants the tools they are missing to bring their start-up to life.” 

“I wanted to create a curriculum of  ‘on demand’ classes that would be valuable individually. Each of the classes in the CDE has been designed for designers and covers areas that are rarely covered in depth in design school,” explained Johnson. “Negotiation or writing a business proposal for example—these are critical skills that everyone should have."

Courses may be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. A sampling of courses include:

  • Getting to Your Market
  • Start-up Your Design Consultancy
  • Turn Your Idea Into a Product
  • Starting a Fashion Business
  • Design Your Life Like an Entrepreneur
  • Tools and Strategies for Sustainable Design
  • How to Give a Ted Talk
  • The Power of Negotiation
  • Made in NYC
  • Starting a Jewelry Studio

For information about certificate requirements, course descriptions, and dates, please go to the CDE website.

For further inquiries and to pre-register contact CDE@pratt.edu. Online registration begins on April 22. Housing is available on the Pratt campus for those who need it.

“The CDE faculty have been selected because they are great teachers who are successful design entrepreneurs,” said Johnson. “But we think of our faculty as curators who will ramp up the experience by inviting their favorite industry connections to stop by.”

Program faculty include:

  • Miquela Craytor, vice president, Industrial Initiatives at the New York City Economic Development Corp.
  • Kevin Crowley, footwear designer and partner, Unstitched Utilities
  • Kris Drury, designer and founder, TYTHE design
  • Debera Johnson, executive director, Pratt Center for Sustainable Design Studies
  • Robert Langhorn, product designer
  • Patricia Madeja, jewelry designer and coordinator of Pratt’s jewelry program
  • Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, designer and founder, RPF Design Studio
  • Sam Shipley, CFDA fashion designer, Shipley & Halmos

The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation was created in 2002 to help launch and grow social/environmental enterprise. Since its inception, the Incubator has supported the launch of 30 companies and consulted for 20 organizations. Our businesses generated more than $4.2 million in revenue and 50 jobs. The Incubator is a part of Pratt's CSDS.

Text: Bay Brown
Photo: Bob Handelman


jewelry thesis show dazzles again

Pratt Institute’s jewelry graduates recently exhibited their work at the Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery. The Senior Jewelry Thesis Exhibition is an annual opportunity for the public to view firsthand the extraordinary talent of the jewelry design students in Pratt’s undergraduate Fine Arts Department. The curriculum embraces all aspects of design, creativity, fabrication, and social responsibility in jewelry and metalsmithery.

Photos: David Butler


Hello Etsy at Pratt: Reimagine the Marketplace

The premiere purveyor of D.I.Y. products Etsy co-sponsored “Hello Etsy at Pratt: Reimagine the Marketplace,” a weekend-long conference held from March 22-24 aimed to empower independent, creative business owners—and those who soon will be—to explore new methods of production, new patterns of consumption, and more lasting, purposeful ways of working.

Jaime Stein, a visiting assistant professor who heads the masters program in Urban Environmental Systems Management, moderated the panel “Re-imagining Community.”

“The existence of both virtual and physical communities was striking, so I felt it would be interesting to explore how physical and virtual communities interact/synergize,” said Stein. “There was a remarkable fusion and synergy between technology-driven, virtual spaces, such as Etsy, and physical spaces, such as neighborhoods/public spaces/Pratt,” said Stein.

A number of the Etsy talks looked at big picture issues affecting creativity and productivity. Alumna Ashley Berger (B.F.A. ’06, M.P.S.’12), who is also senior alumni outreach officer at Pratt, attended “Making Fear Your Best Business Partner,” led by corporate executive and mindfulness teacher Michael Carroll, who taught participants how entrepreneurs can use mindfulness to embrace fears.

“Carroll asked the audience to think of one word, the first word we could think of when we are asked the question: ‘At work I want to be _____,’” said Berger, recalling that the number one answer is typically “happy.” According to Carroll, a fearless mind thinks that vulnerability is power. “Rather than trying to buffer our lives with artificial deals, we need to be willing to be completely vulnerable and exposed because the essence of being human is being vulnerable.”

“At the end of the talk, Carroll had the entire auditorium participate in a mindfulness meditation where the entire group sat still and silent for at least 15 minutes,” said Berger. “It was a pretty powerful participatory experience at the end of a long day of talks and networking.”

Text: Bay Brown