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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.


Industry Icons attend 2011 Pratt fashion show 

A look from runway collection by Fashion Design senior MaRu Jung; Editor in Chief of Vogue Anna Wintour, Designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Vogue's European Editor at Large Hamish Bowles attending 2011 Pratt Fashion Show

Click to view a slideshow of images from the event.

Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington attended the 2011 Pratt Fashion Show on April 27, viewing the best work of the graduating class of 2011 and celebrating the career of Vogue European Editor at Large Hamish Bowles, who received Pratt's Fashion Icon award. 

The event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district attracted about 700 viewers. Professional models showed off the work of 18 graduating seniors in the Department of Fashion Design, many of whom were clearly inspired by street fashion and urban grunge.

The show began with the presentation of the 2011 Pratt Fashion Icon Award to Vogue’s European Editor at Large, Hamish Bowles, by the 2006 award recipient Diane von Furstenberg, famed designer of the immensely popular wrap dress. Von Furstenberg described Bowles as “a true Renaissance man…with a true love and passion for fashion.” 

Bowles—author, critic, curator, and recognized historian and authority on fashion, lifestyle, and interior design—beamed with joy as he graciously accepted the award. He praised Pratt for its commitment to providing students with exposure to a variety of creative fields, whether they’re majoring in fashion design or film production. He also credited his parents with encouraging his early interest in art and design: “I’m not sure every parent would indulge their 10-year-old child’s Christmas wish list request for a subscription to Vogue,” he said. Bowles concluded by thanking Anna Wintour for a job he described as “thrilling, challenging, terrifying, and fulfilling.”

Seated in the front row were Wintour in her signature dark glasses, Coddington, Pratt Board Chair Mike Pratt, and Trustee, alumnus, and faculty member Marc Rosen (M.F.A. ’70) with his wife, actress Arlene Dahl. Fashion industry professionals watched from their seats throughout the room as models paraded down the catwalk displaying the seniors’ designs to lively, upbeat music with a distinctly urban vibe.      

Graduating senior MaRu Jung won the Alfredo Cabrera Sportswear Award; Dara N. Rosen won the Outstanding Achievement Award; and Gianna Lucci won the Renee Hunter Eveningwear Award.

A video installation in the lobby showed graduate communications design student Anthony Acock spray painting graffiti of the word “Inspiration” on a brick wall in Brooklyn. The video was created by Department of Communications Design Chair Jeff Bellantoni and faculty member Katya Moorman.

Also on display in the lobby were the winning designs of junior-year fashion design students Matthew Bruch, Theresa Deckner, and Juan Pozo, who took part in a semester-long competition requiring them to design outstanding sportswear using 98 percent cotton fabrics. (See Student Spotlight for an interview with Juan Pozo.)

The competition was sponsored and managed by Cotton Incorporated. Linda DeFranco, the company’s director of product-trend analysis, took the lectern to thank the students for their hard work and dedication.

This year, for the first time, Thread N.Y., WNBC's fashion news program and blog, covered the final fittings and the runway show in two separate segments; both aired for five weeks in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., on New York Nonstop, a 24-hour entertainment-oriented news service broadcasting on a digital television subchannel of WNBC. 

Funding for the Pratt Fashion Show was awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt Institute by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated.

This year’s runway show, the 112th in Pratt’s history, was also a fundraiser, preceded by a champagne reception and followed by a cocktail benefit with music by The Misshapes. The event raised $150,000 for Pratt’s Department of Fashion Design. 

Photos: René Perez; Patrick McMullan Company

Video: Jonathan Weitz


Student Design Will be Official Pratt 125th Anniversary Logo

Pratt's 125th Anniversary Logo designed by Communications Design student Jared Bell

A logo inspired by Main Building and designed to symbolize Pratt’s pioneering achievements in the arts will be the official logo for Pratt’s 125th anniversary celebration.

The logo, designed by student Jared Bell (Comm-D '12) was selected in an online competition that invited alumni, faculty, students, and staff to vote for their favorite design.

Pratt will launch 16 months of anniversary celebrations this fall that will include activities, events, and lectures. Bell’s logo will be used on materials branded for these 125th anniversary celebrations, including posters, street banners, invitations, and commemorative products.

More than 200 designs were submitted, then reviewed by a nine-member jury that included students, faculty, and other design experts. The entrants remained anonymous during the judging process. The jurors ultimately chose Bell’s submission and two by Gregg Lukasiewicz (B.F.A. Comm-D '80) as the three finalists. The Pratt community was then invited to vote.

More than 3,400 votes were cast, with the winning logo receiving almost 1,300 votes.

Lukasiewicz’s design that turns the number “125” into flames representing creative energy came in second place, while his design creating the number “125” out of positive and negative space placed third.

About his winning design, Bell says he was inspired by Pratt's campus.

"The environment of Pratt and the campus is so beautiful, so I started incorporating it. That’s really when the logo started clicking," he says.  

He also says Main Building embodies Pratt’s core values.

“The building shows character, history, and strength," he says. "The rising verticality inherent in the design symbolizes the school’s pioneering achievements in the arts. Pratt’s diverse students, faculty, and alumni are represented through the bold interlocking numbers, which personify a connected, forward-thinking community that is ready to engage the world.”


New Appointments Across the Institute as School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Names Dean

Chairs also Appointed in School of Architecture and School of Art and Design

Pratt Institute has appointed Andrew Barnes, an expert in cultural and gender theory and interim associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University of New Jersey, to serve as the new dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS).

Pratt has also named several new chairs: Amir Parsa, visiting associate professor in the Department of Critical and Visual Studies and director of the Alzheimer’s Project at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will serve as chair of the Department of Art and Design Education; Leighton Pierce, who heads the film and video production program at the University of Iowa will serve as chair of the Department of Film/Video; and Dagmar Richter, chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell will serve as chair of the undergraduate Department of Architecture.

Andrew Barnes, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Andrew Barnes’s appointment begins July 1, 2011; he replaces Dr. Toni Oliviero who will take a year’s sabbatical, then return to teaching after more than a decade as the school’s dean.

Barnes has been serving as the interim associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University of New Jersey since 2009. Prior to that, he taught in the English Department and served as its graduate director. As interim associate dean, Barnes was especially instrumental in curriculum development, helping re-shape the university’s core curriculum, and developing a new M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing, the school’s first terminal degree.

Barnes’s research areas include early modern English literature, science studies, economic theory, religious studies, cultural theory, and gender theory. His latest book, Post-Closet Masculinities in Early Modern England (Bucknell University Press, 2009) has earned significant praise from scholarly journals in the field.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Indianapolis; a master’s degree in humanities and social thought from New York University; and a doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook.



Amir Parsa, Chair, Department of Art and Design Education

Amir Parsa has been teaching as a visiting associate professor in the Institute’s Department of Critical and Visual Studies since 2009.  He also served as director of the Alzheimer’s Project in The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Department of Education. He co-authored Meet Me: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia (MoMA, 2009), a resource for creating art programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

An accomplished writer who has 13 published books in English, French, Persian, and Spanish, Professor Parsa leads and presents at education conferences nationally and internationally.

He received master’s degrees in comparative literature and French theory and literature from Columbia University, where he also completed doctoral studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University. His appointment begins July 1. 


Leighton Pierce, Chair, Department of Film/Video

Since 2000, Leighton Pierce has been heading the film and video production program of the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, where he developed and instituted Iowa’s successful M.F.A. in film and video production.

His works have been exhibited in major art museums and film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial, and the San Francisco and New York film festivals. In the last five years, he has been a subject of dozens of retrospectives, curated screenings, and juried exhibitions. He has also received several prestigious fellowships and grants for his work.

Pierce received a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s School of Art and a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Iowa, following earlier studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His appointment will begin July 25.

As of this fall, Photography will be split off from Film/Video to serve as its own department. An acting chair for the new Department of Photography will be named this summer.


Dagmar Richter, Chair, Undergraduate Department of Architecture

Dagmar Richter has been a teaching professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in Ithaca, New York, since 2009. In that capacity she has overseen the accreditation for both Cornell’s bachelor of architecture program and its master of architecture I program and developed a new vision for the department.

Richter has also taught and lectured at top architectural programs around the world and held professorships at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union, Columbia University, and the Art Academy in Berlin and in Stuttgart.

Richter is the principal of DR_D, a design research practice in Berlin and Los Angeles, known for its inventive design approach and research-oriented experiments. Her design work has garnered numerous prestigious competition prizes and awards, including second prize for the design of the National Library of Denmark in Copenhagen and a first prize for an office-park design for the Shinkenshiku Membrane competition in Japan.

Her work is the subject of two monographs: XYZ: The Architecture of Dagmar Richter (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001) and Armed Surfaces: Architecture and Urbanisms 5 (Black Dog Press, 2003). Her writings have appeared in many publications in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Japan, and the United States. Her work has been exhibited internationally including shows at the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

She was educated at the University of Stuttgart, the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen (where she received a master’s degree in architecture) and the Städel School in Frankfurt, and has practiced and taught throughout Europe and the United States.

Richter will begin her appointment on January 1, 2012. Until then, Erika Hinrichs will continue serving as the department’s acting chair.

Photos: Jonathan Weitz (Barnes), Janett Parra (Parsa), Leighton Pierce (Pierce), Zachary Tyler Newton (Richter)