On Thursday, November 9, Pratt Institute will present Legends 2023. The annual scholarship benefit pays tribute to icons of art, design, and architecture and serves as a fundraiser for scholarships that prioritize diversity, inclusion, and equal access to education. This year, three distinguished Pratt alumni—celebrated furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, visionary architect Edward Mazria, and renowned artist Kay WalkingStick—will be honored at the historic Weylin in Brooklyn.
Legends 2023 will celebrate the achievements of these remarkable Pratt alumni and raise vital funds to provide scholarships that foster diversity within the Pratt community. Eighty percent of Pratt students rely on financial aid to pursue their educational aspirations and contributions from events like Legends 2023 play a pivotal role in shaping the future of creative talent. Through the Legends scholarship program, Pratt is able to support and foster the inclusion of diverse artists, designers, architects, and creative thinkers.
“We are thrilled to host Legends 2023 and pay tribute to these three exceptional honorees, who are also esteemed Pratt alumni, and have made remarkable and responsible contributions to the creative world,” said Pratt President Frances Bronet. “This event underscores our commitment to fostering diversity and providing opportunities for talented individuals to pursue their educational dreams. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of creativity and philanthropy.”
Kenneth Cobonpue is an award-winning industrial designer and manufacturer from the Philippines, known for his unique handmade designs. A Pratt Institute graduate in industrial design, he honed his craft in Italy and Germany before returning to the Philippines in 1995. Cobonpue founded his own brand in 1998, which has grown to over 300 employees and craftsmen based in Cebu, with global offices and showrooms. His designs, praised for their fusion of nature, craftsmanship, and technology, have earned him international accolades, including the Good Design Award, Design for Asia Award, and TIME magazine’s recognition as “rattan’s great virtuoso.” In 2020, he received the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ highest honor for his contributions to Filipino culture and design. Additionally, Cobonpue is involved in academia, government, private sector leadership, and global design advocacy, consistently inspiring the next generation of designers in Southeast Asia and worldwide.
Edward Mazria is a visionary architect and founder of Architecture 2030. Over the past four decades, his research into the sustainability, resilience, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment has helped redefine the role of architecture, planning, design, and building in reshaping our world. He was awarded the 2021 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for his “unwavering voice and leadership” in the fight against climate change, the 2021 Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization’s 2021 President’s Award, Mumford Award from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, The Purpose Prize, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council for Science and the Environment, among many others.
Kay WalkingStick is a renowned Cherokee/Anglo artist with over 30 solo shows in the US and Europe. She is celebrated for her work in prestigious collections like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. As an Emerita Professor at Cornell University, she taught painting and drawing for 17 years and received honorary doctorates from Pratt Institute and Arcadia University. In 2015, her retrospective at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian traveled across the US, earning acclaim as one of the best exhibitions of 2016 by Hyperallergic. Currently, her exhibition Kay WalkingStick/Hudson River School is on display at the New-York Historical Society until April 7, 2024.
Legends 2023 will be an exciting evening, featuring compelling speeches, engaging discussions, and a vibrant celebration of art, design, architecture and creativity. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with fellow supporters of cultural institutions, network with Pratt alumni, and contribute to the empowerment of future generations of creative thinkers.
The Legends benefit begins at 6 PM with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and the awards ceremony at 7 PM. Visit Legends 2023 to learn more, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation.