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Research Open House Awards

Congratulations to all of our award winners! We celebrate you, your accomplishments, and your contributions to research. A special thanks to our judges, in particular Constantin Boym, Donna Heiland, Jon Otis, Rhonda Schaller, Carolyn Shafer, and our participating Foundation Research Leaders.

And now for our winners…

Sustainability Award

The Pollinators Pavilion is an extraordinary example of sustainable design research. With a clearly developed mission, the project successfully demonstrates a scalable concept that addresses the multiple facets of sustainability through the combination of a shelter for native bees, solar power to learn about them and monitor them, the use of sustainable material properties in its design and construction, and an interactive learning and visitor center on its site in Hudson NY. The design perfectly balances form, function, and the compelling integration of technology. This project provides an innovative and sophisticated means to advance the scientific study of pollinators. It also creates an educational opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and their impact on food production and security.

Impact Award

Money Does Grow on Trees offers an invaluable digital platform for communities, giving quantifiable data on the importance of urban green spaces and the value of their protection from development. Showing data that shows the benefit from community gardens, ranging from water filtration and runoff mitigation, temperature regulation, and methane mitigation, the platform is a compelling argument for the protection of community gardens that goes beyond the obvious benefit of well-being for humans and nature in an urban context. Its potential for impact in communities is exponential.

The Start-Up Power Award has two winners, as the judges saw two projects with equally compelling potential in different contexts: for-profit and not-for-profit.

Start-Up Power Award (For-Profit)

Smart Hives is accessible and appealing in its technology and its aesthetic. People of all ages will have fun doing their part—from their own windowsill or backyard—to support non-pollinating bees and the ecosystems they are part of. This MVP prototype is sustainably designed with a host of natural and recycled materials, and will benefit both bees and customers. We look forward to its progress into the market.

Start-Up Power Award (Not-For-Profit)

Brain Bridges is testimony to the power of co-design. Kids and researchers together developed, tested, and validated their product—and clearly had a great time doing it. This MVP prototype looks ready to launch. Once the right channels have been identified, its distribution should be a success.

Innovation Award

Out of Thin Air is an interdisciplinary project of considerable complexity that combines input from many fields: biology and forestry, history, sensorial data, and environmental educational practices. The comparison of pre-logging forests’s smell with the smell of today’s forest gives a sensory insight into issues of forest succession and climate change. Surprisingly, this seemingly scholarly pursuit is expressed in offering a line of beautifully resolved items: essential oils from fragrant plant species in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, from old-growth to current and future plants, complete with elegant packaging and typography.

People’s Choice Awards

With more than 200 voters participating, Informed Misuse was the clear winner among votes from research enthusiasts among and beyond the Pratt community. Identifying the ways architecture contributes to math and math to architecture, the researchers are clearly passionate about guiding middle school students to expand learning and exploration through inquiry in these fields.


Thank you again to all of our judges and voters for selecting these winners and for your efforts in acknowledging research at Pratt Institute. We couldn’t have celebrated without you!