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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.





Honorees Include Tommy Hilfiger, Ellsworth Kelly, and Emily Fisher Landau; Rosanne Cash Performs

L-R: Legends 2010 honorees fashion designer Tommy Hilfger, artist Ellsworth Kelly, philanthropist and patron of the arts Emily Fisher Landau, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, MoMA President Emerita Agnes Gund, and Chairman and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation Emanuel Chirico. Click image above for more Legends 2010 photos.

More than 400 guests attended Legends 2010—Pratt Institute’s largest annual scholarship benefit—honoring fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, artist Ellsworth Kelly, and philanthropist and patron of the arts Emily Fisher Landau.

The gala took place on October 20 at 7 World Trade Center, in a 45th-floor glass-walled space with sweeping views of the city. (See more images from the gala.)

Legends 2010 raised more than $560,000 for student scholarships. More than $522,000 came through ticket sales, a Legends record. About $38,000 more came from two surprise, on-the-spot pledges. Pratt Trustee James D. Kuhn generously donated $27,660 in honor of his wife and event co-chair Marjorie Kuhn, so Pratt could meet its goal of raising $550,000 through Legends; Larry Leeds, chair of Buckingham Capital Management, donated an additional $10,000 in honor of Tommy Hilfiger.

Agnes Gund, president emeritus of The Museum of Modern Art gave a warm introduction to her friend Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly, who attended Pratt in the 1940s, talked about his time at the Institute, saying that it was at Pratt that he developed the style that would become his hallmark.

The Legends Award 2010: Created by industrial design student Klara Varosy (Class of 2011), the award is made from a bronze sheet cut into abstract shapes inspired by New York’s skyscrapers. “I learned about abstraction from Pratt, and I didn’t know then that it would form my life,” he said. “I want to thank Pratt for putting me on the road to becoming an artist.”

Tommy Hilfiger was presented with his award by Emanuel Chirico, chair and chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen, which acquired Hilfiger’s company last spring in the largest acquisition in the apparel industry’s history. Chirico called Hilfiger an “inspiration to the fashion industry, a shining example to students that hard work, dedication, and a passion for what you do can result in achieving an American dream come true.”

Hilfiger accepted his award by speaking of luminaries from his past, present, and future, including George Lois (Cert. Advertising ’51), art director, designer, author, and Pratt alumnus, and his wife Rosemary.

Philanthropist Emily Fisher Landau accepted the final award. In introducing Landau’s award-presenter, Bill Goldston, director of Universal Limited Art Editions, event co-chair Amy Cappellazo (M.S. ’97) reminded attendees that all the money raised at Legends goes to scholarships.

“Whenever I think I’m too busy to chair this event, I think of all the great Pratt students I knew when I was a student there who—myself included—needed a scholarship to go to Pratt and were really talented and wildly smart,” she said.

In receiving her award, Landau said that early on, she developed a keen eye for art. “You could take me into any gallery with art around the room and I could tell you which was the best. And that was usually the one the artist wasn’t selling,” she joked.

Undergraduate industrial design student Klara Varosy designed the Pratt Legends Award, and was on hand to present each honoree with an inscribed award.

After a dinner that included special presentations on the student achievements of the last year, the guests were treated to a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash, accompanied by her husband John Leventhal.

Legends 2010 was hosted by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt. Pratt Trustees Kurt Andersen and Amy Cappellazzo along with Pratt friend Marjorie Kuhn served as co-chairs for the event. 

“The success of Legends 2010 was a real tribute to the commitment so many have to Pratt and its students,” said Todd Galitz, vice president for Institutional Advancement.  “It was a wonderful example of how, together, we can make a difference in the lives of our students through raising new scholarship funds.”

 Photos: Kevin Wick



Students Expected to Save Money Renting Instead of Buying Supplies 

Pratt has received a grant for $991,300 from the United States Department of Education to launch a pilot program through Prattstore, the Institute’s campus book and art supply store, in the fall of 2011 that would allow students to save up to 50 percent on course books and other materials.

Twelve grants were awarded across the country, however Pratt is the country's only college of art and design to receive the grant, and the only institution in New York State.

Pratt will be the first member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, a consortium of art and design colleges throughout North America, to launch such a program, which is designed to provide an affordable alternative to buying books that addresses the unique needs of art and design students. Currently, approximately half of campus stores nationwide offer a rental program option.

Congress passed the Affordable Books for College Act in 2008, which had been introduced by New York State Senator Charles Schumer in 2005, to create a competitive grant program within the Department of Education to increase the number of college textbook rental programs on campuses nationwide.

"We are proud that Pratt has been selected as a site for this program, which will significantly lower college expenses for our students, many of whom are expected to purchase art and design supplies and materials in addition to textbooks,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. “We are grateful for the efforts of Senator Schumer in making it possible for the Institute to develop a model rental program.”

The Pratt Institute Course Material Rental Program, which is scheduled to launch in fall of 2011, will be overseen and administered by Roy Muraskiewicz, general manager of the Prattstore, in collaboration with Vladimir Briller, executive director of strategic planning and institutional research at Pratt. The program will cover supplies such as drafting tables, mannequins, easels, tripods, drafting and industrial design tools, and other art and design supplies as well as textbooks. Items will be for rent by semester with certain products available for weekly and daily rentals.

A rigorous assessment conducted by an independent external evaluator will allow the Institute to strengthen the pilot program during its implementation and identify key findings and best practices, which will be shared through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design  

Prattstore, which opened on Myrtle Avenue about a block from Pratt’s Brooklyn Campus in 2005, is the largest art store in Brooklyn and provides creative resources to Pratt’s approximately 4,700 students, as well as faculty and alumni while also serving the art supply needs of local residents and Brooklyn's growing art community.

Photo © 2007 Bob Handelman 



Mau Urges Optimism and Design-Thinking for Solving World's Problems

L-R: Bruce Mau, Jeff Bellantoni, chair of the Department of Communications/Package Design Mau spoke to a packed Memorial Hall on November 4 as part of the Department of Communications Design’s lecture series.

The Canadian-born designer described the sweeping changes he has seen in both his life—he grew up in a mining town where his home did not have running water during the coldest months—and in the design field.

When he first launched his firm Public Good 27 years ago, he recalls, “people were still using hot metal type,” and the notion of designers using their skills to do more than sell products, was almost unheard of.

“I was surprised at how much anger it generated,” he recalled. “Designers were angry. They were not doing that, and they knew it.”

Yet, he said, designers inherently want to do good.

“We are committed to improving and developing the world. That’s why there are so many of us.”

Mau showed examples of some of his major projects, including his work with Guatemala to change its citizens’ perception of their country; his collaboration with architect Frank Gehry on the design of the Panama Museum of Biodiversity; his design of a visual identity for the new Museum of Modern Art; and his work on a 20-year-plan for the city of Mecca.

Common to these projects was a notion that Mau says is integral to design these days: “Design the system, not the object.”

Mau was one of the first designers to bring this concept to the design field, beginning a collaboration in the late 1980s with Zone Books, one of the first publishers to use design not just to illustrate written content, but as the content itself.

“It introduced me to a world of authorship, a form and content marriage, that was about being an author in both of those realms.”

Most recently, Mau has focused on education and designing education systems that have a global impact.

 “The world we are experiencing was created by educating less than one percent of the world,” he said. “Imagine if we doubled that.”

In 2003, Mau co-founded the Institute Without Boundaries to consider how design thinking can be applied to solving the world’s largest problems such as crumbling infrastructure and the global housing shortage.

The question now, he said, is “Can we ‘massive change’ education? Imagine a global network of entrepreneurial design learning studios. If we could connect them to 100,000 designers committed to action, half of them might start new businesses.”

Mau ended his presentation with 10 lessons in line with his famous “Incomplete Manifesto,” a list of inspirational guidelines for being a successful designer.

Among his final words of advice to the students was: “Worst equals best. The more challenging a situation is, the better it is for a designer.”

Photo: Diana Pau