Innovative research that can change our future happens every day at Pratt Institute. On March 30, the public can learn about more than 50 research projects led by Pratt faculty, staff, and students. The second annual Research Open House is a free, full-day event taking place throughout the Brooklyn campus, from art to architecture, to design, to digital tools. It features an afternoon of presentations, live demonstrations, and talks involving research in all its forms, including archeological visualization, participatory community development, place-based storytelling, sustainability in design, and augmented technologies.
“Pratt faculty, staff, and students are redefining what it means to be a researcher in the creative world, and in turn are redefining the creative world with their research. They conduct research that enables participatory community action, by exploring, aggregating, and documenting the needs of diverse people and contexts. You will see research in ways you never thought possible,” explains Allison Druin, Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships.
Among the spotlighted research are projects related to heritage conservation, such as Associate Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies Uzma Rizvi and Director of the Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative Jessie Braden who are collaborating on a 3D model of an ancient city in Pakistan, and Assistant Professor in the School of Information Monica Maceli’s DIY environmental monitoring sensors for archives, manuscripts, and artifacts.
Ecological design is considered in Packaging Design graduate student Ali Chen’s Grassroots Cactivism, which promotes the Nopales cactus as a sustainable crop for food and packaging, while Visiting Assistant Professor in Graduate Architecture and Urban Design Ariane Lourie Harrison’s Pollinators Pavilion is an architectural space that doubles as a visitor center and home for bees vital to non-agricultural pollination. Others are exploring how design can engage people with their senses, like AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow in Industrial Design Swati Piparsania’s objects that augment floor spaces into surfaces that playfully challenge movement, and Visiting Instructor in Digital Arts Mattia Casalegno, who is employing virtual and augmented reality for an experiment in immersive gastronomy. Ami Cai, an undergraduate in Communications Design, is also using gaming technology in Song Searching, which has players navigating through ocean noise pollution as a humpback whale.
These examples are just a sampling of the cutting-edge research that will be showcased at Research Open House. It kicks off in the morning with a welcome from Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet and two keynote spark talks and ends with a closing reception later in the afternoon.