Pratt Institute is launching a new fellowship program in design and architecture thanks to the generosity of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation, chaired by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. It will be awarded to two first-year graduate students, one in the School of Architecture and one in the School of Design, for their first year of graduate study at Pratt. The fellowship will be focused on students from underserved communities whose work concentrates on issues related to climate change.

“Excellence comes through all voices, and the generous support of donors like Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel is essential as we continue to work to bring the most talented and diverse voices to Pratt,” said Pratt President Frances Bronet. “Diverse perspectives and approaches are vital as we work for a better, more equitable architecture, art, and design landscape and engage fully to address solutions to the existential global challenge of climate change.”

The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation’s gift is in honor of the leadership of President Emeritus Dr. Thomas F. Schutte, who served at Pratt from 1993 to 2017. A longstanding member of the Pratt community, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel is a leading champion of the arts in New York City. Having served as New York City’s first director of cultural affairs and as the city’s longest-serving landmarks commissioner, she is also the author of several books on the design and architectural heritage of the five boroughs. In 1994, she received Pratt’s Founder’s Day Award and in 2008 she was honored with the Legends Award. In 2010, the Institute bestowed Diamonstein-Spielvogel with an honorary degree.

Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, chair of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation, said: “We are pleased that these six new fellowships will create further opportunities for climate change study in design and architecture at Pratt. Through the immersive learning found at Pratt, it is our hope that the fellowships will be an inspiring experience for emerging design professionals, especially those from historically underrepresented communities. We can not think of a more appropriate manner to honor the educational legacy of Dr. Thomas F. Schutte, whose remarkable tenure had such a profound impact on Pratt, and its students.”

The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellows will be selected based on their portfolios of work that address the impacts and challenges of climate change. A call for applicants will be held in the spring prior to the fellowship year, and selection will be announced prior to the beginning of each fellowship year.

To elevate diverse voices in this field, the program will focus on students in groups and communities that are often underrepresented in design and architecture. The establishment of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship Program reflects and furthers Pratt’s commitment to empowering people of all backgrounds to propose and create solutions and ideas for the far-reaching effects on the planet caused by climate change.

For more information on the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship Program, please contact Natalie Capannelli, Director of Graduate Admissions, at Learn more about graduate programs in the School of Architecture and School of Design.