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.


New in Stores: Student Designs for Sale at Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble

Clockwise left to right: Shiva Alipour (M.S. Comm-D ’11), Create pencil cup; Steven Johnson (M.S. Comm-D ’11), Clearnote; Lauren Manning (M.S. Comm-D ’11), Cassette Tape journal and Odds & Ends pouch; Daniel Wiggins (M.F.A. Comm-D ’11), Inspire art pouch and Inspire art sketchbook

Several stylish new products are in stores this fall as a result of collaborations between Pratt and two corporate partners.

For the third year in a row, Pratt has partnered with Barnes & Noble to design journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, and pencil cases for Barnes & Noble’s Back to Campus collection. The items are available exclusively in the gift departments of Barnes & Noble stores nationwide, online, and at select Barnes & Noble College bookstores.

The students who designed B&N products were: Lauren Manning (M.S. Comm-D ’11); Daniel Wiggins (M.F.A. Comm-D ’11); Steven Johnson (M.S. Comm-D ’11); and Shiva Alipour (M.S. Comm-D ’11). The faculty advisor to the project was Tom Dolle, adjunct professor in the Department of Communications Design.

In addition, the Department of Fashion Design and Urban Outfitters recently collaborated on a design competition that challenged nine Pratt Fashion Design students to create a dress completely made out of jersey in six weeks. The three winning dress designs by Fashion Design students Kindall Almond (Fashion Design '13), Simone Kurland (Fashion Design '13), and Sam O'Brien (Fashion Design '13)—which were selected by Urban Outfitters dress buyer Robbin Choi and Urban Outfitters executive design director Gayle Smith—are available in Urban Outfitters stores this fall as part of the Designed By: Pratt Institute collection.

Left to right: Fashion Design students Kindall Almond (Fashion Design '13) and Simone Kurland (Fashion Design '13), winners of this year's "Designed By: Pratt Institute" competition with Urban Outfitters. The dress in the center was designed by Sam O'Brien (Fashion Design '13), not pictured.

Left to right: Silence & Noise Dolman Sleeve Kaftan by Sam O'Brien; Silence & Noise Cut-Out Maxi Dress by Simone Kurland.

Text: Abigail Beshkin
Photos: Jonathan Weitz


Pratt Townhouse Renovation Lets Lucky students live in historic homes

Emily Hale (Graphic Design '12) and Brendan Farrell (Digital Animation '12) recently moved into a Pratt townhouse.

For the first time in Pratt’s history, students are now living in Pratt’s gracious, historically landmarked townhouses. Twenty-four juniors and seniors moved into four of the townhouses this fall.

The homes were completely renovated and transformed over the summer. Available exclusively to juniors and seniors, the townhouses provide each student with a private bedroom as well as the use of a common space and bathroom on each floor, a kitchen, and basement laundry room. Green features were used in construction. The redesign was done by The Hall Partnership Architects, LLP, whose principal John F. Davies (B. Arch.’75) is a Pratt alumnus.

The renovation of the townhouses marks the first time Pratt has offered apartment-style living; on-campus housing at Pratt is typically suite- or dormitory-style.

Constructed between 1901 and 1907, these historic townhouses were originally built by the Pratt family to provide housing for workers. Most recently, they served as faculty housing and office space. The first four to be renovated had been empty for years. Pratt plans to renovate the remaining 23 over the next few years to accommodate 162 students in its renovated townhouses along Willoughby Avenue, Steuben Place, and Emerson Place. 

To see more scenes from this year's freshman move-in, view the video below:

Text: Abigail Beshkin
Photo and Video: Jonathan Weitz


Pratt Sponsors Haitian Artist, Earthquake Survivor 

In the wake of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, members of Pratt’s Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation traveled to Haiti both to offer design expertise in the recovery effort and to sponsor an artist intent on studying briefly at Pratt before returning to Haiti to share his new skills with other young artists. They chose 19-year-old Alex Louis

Video: Jonathan Weitz


New Myrtle Avenue Street Furniture Shows off Pratt Designs  


Left to right: Myrtle Avenue tree guard Blossoms by Natalie Apuzzo (B.I.D. '10); Myrtle Avenue tree guard Looking Back: The Myrtle Avenue El Train by Designing Hope — Sahar Ghaheri (M.I.D. '11) and Ashley Thorfinnson (M.I.D. '11)

Forty trees along Myrtle Avenue now sport custom-designed tree guards and benches created as part of a collaboration between the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP), a local non-profit whose board is chaired by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. The benches and tree guards were designed to allow local artists to customize the panels that make up three sides of each piece. About half of the winning design submissions for the decorative plasma-cut panels were created by Pratt alumni.
The street furniture project began as part of a junior industrial design studio course taught by Debera Johnson, academic director of sustainability and director of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, and Samantha Razook-Murphy, who took on MARP as a client for their street furniture design initiative. The students worked with the local community to gather data and get feedback on the designs of 10 different street furniture elements. At the end of the semester the students presented their ideas to MARP's staff.
MARP decided to focus on further developing the tree guard concepts that had been presented, and worked with the Incubator to refine the designs and create soft and hard prototypes for both the bench and tree guard. Together, they focused on the use of sustainable methods and materials as well as local fabricators where possible. They also created the modular design that was at the heart of MARP's vision, since it allowed for the customization of each tree guard by local artists. “We were looking for ways that Pratt could use its design capabilities to engage with the neighborhood, so this was the perfect project,” says Johnson. “Through the classroom and the Incubator, Pratt wants to have an impact on the economic development of the neighborhood and lend its design expertise to the Myrtle Avenue–area community.
After the overall design was complete and slight modifications made to the prototypes, MARP put out a public call for artists to design the plasma-cut panels, and then fabricated and installed the benches. In early October, MARP will be launching an adopt-a-bench and tree guard program to raise funds for the maintenance and care of each piece and its corresponding street tree.

A reception for the street furniture project will be held on Monday, October 3 at Putnam’s Pub & Cooker, located at 419 Myrtle Avenue, from 6-8 PM.

The Pratt alumni chosen for inclusion in the project were Natalie Apuzzo (B.I.D. ’10); Ellie Balk (M.F.A. '05); Daniel R. deSoto (B.F.A. Comm-D ’04); Designing Hope — Sahar Ghaheri (M.I.D. '11) and Ashley Thorfinnson (M.I.D. '11); Sara Ebert (B.I.D. ’09); Gray Edgerton (B.F.A. ’07); Michael Gerbino (B.F.A. Comm-D ’82), who is also an adjunct faculty member at Pratt; Brekke Guerringue (B.I.D. ’10); Margaret Kim (M.P.S. ’10); Manoela Madera (B.F.A. ’07); Jason Pfaeffle (B.I.D. ’09); and the Incubator design team including Sergio Silva (B.I.D. '05), Matthew Bradshaw (B.I.D. '05), Kris Drury (M.I.D. '09) and Johnson (B.I.D. '86).

Match the tree guard designs below with photos of Myrtle Avenue from MARP's Flickr photostream here.

Text: Abigail Beshkin
Photos: Jonathan Weitz


Scholarship Named in Memory of Monica Shay 

Monica ShayThis summer, the Pratt community mourned the untimely death of Associate Professor Monica Shay, who headed the Institute’s program in Arts and Cultural Management for the last 11 years.

To honor Shay’s memory and her many contributions as a faculty leader and mentor, Pratt Institute has established a scholarship in her name. The Monica Shay Scholarship will be awarded to students in the Arts and Cultural Management Program. 

Contributions to the fund may be made online.

Checks should be made payable to Pratt Institute and sent to the attention of Emily Moqtaderi, Pratt Institute, Division of Institutional Advancement, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205. Please include “Monica Shay Scholarship” in the check's memo line.

Photo: Courtesy of the Shay family