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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

ALVARO URIBE 

Bachelor of Industrial Design ’10

 

Photo by Diana Pau 


Did you come to Pratt from Bogota, Colombia, specifically to study industrial design?

Yes, I knew from an early age I wanted to study industrial design, and I was fortunate to meet people when I arrived here in New York who advised me and mentored me to go to the best place; but what I loved most about Pratt is that it had this outgoing and relaxed attitude that I didn’t expect in New York.

Was it a difficult adjustment to be a foreign student at Pratt?

I think the hardest part has been to connect with the new culture, without forgetting who you are and where you are from. I really miss Colombia, but opportunities are limited there.

What were the most important effects of your summer in Copenhagen as a Pratt student of Scandinavian furniture design and your semester at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, as a Pratt exchange student?

Copenhagen forced me to trust my instincts, because through the program you were the one who made all the decisions; the teachers were there to show you how to make your idea come true. The program also got me out of the school routine, and I had the chance to really get a grasp of what Scandinavian design is about.

Weimar gave me the space and time to learn about myself and to develop a design inspired by nature, which then ended up being exhibited in a museum.

How did study abroad complement your study at Pratt?

It made me a better and stronger person. When I came back I could talk more comfortably about my work. A lot of what we did in Bauhaus was share our views with others, and with the language barrier, it forced me to express my ideas better.

Can you talk about the many awards you have won during your time at Pratt?

Yes, I was a finalist for the George Kovacs Lighting Competition; I came in fourth place in the Lumex Bath Chair Competition; I was a finalist in the Billes Products Competition, and came in third place in the Nachtmann Glass Competition. I also came in third place in the Umbra Design Competition, and received the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award. Plus, I graduated with highest honors.

What’s the secret of your success?

I live by a series of principles and ideas: Dream, Desire, Dedication, Determination, Discipline, and Design. These keep me on track and describe my passion for what I do.

What comes next for you?  

I’ve started an internship at Studio Dror in Manhattan and I’m also looking to do a master’s degree in architecture, a field that has been growing on me lately.