For the cover of this exclusively digital edition of Prattfolio, we highlight a selection of works that speak to themes of adaptation, transformation, and response to change, which run throughout the Fall/Winter 2020 issue. These student projects, drawn from the portfolios of graduates featured in Pratt Shows 2020, reckon with environmental crises to devise creative solutions, reflect on the mutable nature of the self and imagine a more expansive future, and observe and investigate transitions to gain a deeper connection to the world.
Lucy Zakharova and Ted Lu, both BArch ’20
For their Bachelor of Architecture degree project, Lucy Zakharova and Ted Lu designed a program dedicated to researching and preserving endangered marine animal and plant species in a critically compromised oceanic environment. Responding to a complex human-generated problem—the accumulation of plastics waste in marine waters—they propose methods of transforming the situation and aiding native species, in efforts toward resiliency, recovery, and a more interconnected, sustainable future.
Titled EN·CAP·SU·LAT·ING, the project envisions sea-borne structures located in the Northern Pacific Gyre, one of the locations where debris released into the ocean is currently concentrated. Their program includes facilities for observation, research, and education; collection and processing of plastic waste; and algae farming to generate organic material that can replace plastic, along with submerged safe havens for sea turtles to lay eggs.
“Our project is non-static,” Zakharova and Lu state in their presentation. “It moves cyclically through a dynamic and ever-changing Pacific Ocean. A cluster of vessels in international waters that work together to benefit not only humans but also other species that are important to this oceanic environment. . . . Although we are encapsulating now to resolve the issues that humans have created, one day we will be decapsulating; then we can eliminate the barriers between all living species.”
Read more about the research and concept development behind Zakharova and Lu’s work on the Pratt Shows website.
Cleo Carrera, BFA Digital Arts ’20
Cleo Carrera’s 3-D animation capstone glides and zips through a world of contrasts, glimmering but desolate, familiar but unfamiliar, with vibrations of presence and absence. Carrera’s poetic narrative across these visuals speaks to sensations of being “undefined” that, while deeply personal, resonate on a universal level—particularly in our current moment, with its uncertain edges.
“Although this film is my own self-expression and my experience of being lesbian, I was making this film for the many people in my life who have been confused by my lifestyle,” Carrera writes of the project. “I am lucky to not be a solitary person, and to be surrounded by people that love me, but I think that the idea of wishing to be someone else, and trying, and failing, will always be present in my work. In the future, however, I want to start expounding on some of the kinder themes that I carried in mind while making this work. . . . I feel a great deal of love from the people that support me, and I would like to make work about that and my future with these people. It does no good to linger on the past, and the negative feeling associated with that time. My film is filled with hope for my future.”
Read about Carrera’s process—from hand painting textures, to compositing in Photoshop, to animating in Unreal Engine—on the Pratt Shows website.
Yiren Wang, MS Data Analytics and Visualization ’20
The Colorful NYC
Originally from southern China, in a region where the progression through seasons was subtle, Yiren Wang was captivated by the foliage and flower changes upon moving to New York City. “I was shocked at the first time I encountered New York’s autumn,” Wang writes in an overview of the project. “There were so many levels of colors, and the scene out of my window changes almost everyday.” Wang delved into the data on these transitions to generate a series of dot maps showing the ways urban flora fluctuate as sunlight shifts from season to season.
This project was created in the Introduction to GIS (geographic information systems) graduate course at Pratt, where Wang used visual design and spatial analysis to develop a colorful portrait of a changing urban landscape. Using Tree Census data, NYC Parks’ Bloom Guide, and other sources, Wang mapped how the most common 15 tree species New York—nearly 500,000 living specimens that line the streets of the city—transform throughout the year.
Discover more about Wang’s process and other projects on the Pratt Shows website.