The mission of the Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships is to foster new and exciting research opportunities for faculty, staff, and centers at Pratt Institute, and to help make connections with each other, as well as industry and community partners beyond the gates of the Institute.
The Pratt Research Talks began in 2019 as a collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and our Research Brown Bag Lunch Series. Throughout the semester, we met in person for an informal presentation and discussion during lunch, where presenters from across the schools, as well as the provost centers, shared their research and answered questions. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our world and our office began work remotely, we wanted to continue these talks as a way to connect and inspire researchers through sharing the incredible work people at Pratt Institute do everyday.
We expect to continue offering these talks, and are currently curating our fall series. If you are interested in presenting, or think someone you know would be great for our series, please get in touch via
“THE DESEGREGATION THINK TANK” Jerrod Delaine The COVID-19 outbreak in America in the spring of 2020 has disproportionately impacted the Black community in America, exposing long-standing vulnerabilities. This impact has shed a long-overdue light on the connection between wealth, health, housing, and race in America. The epidemic itself did not create the disproportions of this disaster; it was created by housing policy installed and uncorrected over generations of American history. The Desegregation Think Tank is an advocate for change in housing policy. In America, federal/state/local housing policies and incentives have created and maintained segregated communities. This collective analyzes the systems impairing communities and provides solutions that will lead to better communities for all Americans. BIO: Jerrod Delaine is an experienced real estate developer as well as designer and builder. He’s a currently a professor at Pratt Institute.
“ANIMAL-COMPUTER INTERACTION AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING BEES” Nancy Smith This talk will explore key ideas in the emerging field of animal-computer interaction, and the ways in which our technologies are increasingly involved in the lives of animals. This creates both challenges and possibilities around sustainability, conservation, and animal wellbeing. I will share a particular case study around my research with bees, and will highlight some of the ways I have been thinking about animals and design. BIO: Nancy Smith is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information, where she teaches in the Information Experience Design Program. Her primary research is focused on understanding the relationship between digital technologies and the environment, which includes work in sustainability, environmental justice, and speculative design. She has a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Indiana University.
“SUSTAINABILITY TOOLS FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE PRESERVATION” Sarah Nunberg Life cycle assessment has been a valuable tool for architects, engineers, and industry in evaluating the environmental impact of materials and actions from cradle to gate and cradle to grave. In 2019 the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works was awarded a National Endowment for Humanities grant to develop an LCA tool populated with materials used by custodians of cultural heritage and a library of case studies examining actions carried out in cultural heritage preservation. The grant team is composed of Northeastern University engineering students led by professor Matthew Eckelman; Pratt Institute communication design graduate students and professor, Eric O’Toole; and conservation students and professors from graduate programs at NYU, UCLA, University of Delaware, and State University of Buffalo. This talk will summarize the goals of the project and describe the work carried out to date. BIO: Sarah has been working in private practice as an objects conservator in Brooklyn NY since 2006. Starting in 2012 Sarah began to research sustainable practices and life cycle assessment through her work with the American Institute for Conservation Sustainability Committee. In January 2020 she and her co-Principal Investigators from Foundation for American Institute for Conservation, Northeastern University, and Sustainable Museums were awarded a Tier II Research and Development Grant to fully develop a life cycle assessment ( LCA) Tool and Library. As a visiting professor at Pratt Institute she teaches an undergraduate course on in the Math and Science Department on material degradation and an Art History Master’s course in the ethics of conservation. Sarah received her advanced certificate in conservation and her MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center at New York University in 1994 and her MA in Archaeology from Yale University in 1990.
“PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH & EATING TOGETHER AGAIN” Amanda Huynh Social Practice Kitchen is a mobile kitchen, designed to be a site of interdisciplinary investigation across the School of Design. Using food as both a material and tool for communication allows for an exploration on the topics of food waste, cultural impact, community building, social innovation, food security, and service design. This talk will link the Social Practice Kitchen with another on-going project about co-designing together while physically apart. BIO: Amanda Huynh, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design, Pratt Institute works at the intersections of community-building, social innovation, and sustainable design.
“SOUND PEDAGOGY: SOUND ART AND SOUND INSTALLATION” Daniel Bergman and Ilayda Altuntas This collaborative research project between Ilayda Altuntas of Penn State University and Pratt’s Center K-12 is designed to assess the impact of curricula that invite New York City youth to express and explore their identity, language, and socio-cultural backgrounds using the methods of listening, producing, and recording the sounds of their own choice of environments. Through this research, we aim to meaningfully contribute to art education by exploring the meaning of silence, noise, and rhythm from environmental sounds. The sound art program consists of ten sound art lessons for 9-12 grades and focuses on creating sound art pieces using a wide range of materials, including string, wire, mini-electric motors, rubber bands, ping pong balls, balloons, and wooden sticks, inviting students to explore sound and place. ABOUT THE PRESENTERS: Ilayda Altuntas is a 4th-year Ph.D. Candidate in Art Education with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State University (Bunton Waller Award Recipient). She currently serves as co-president of the Graduate Art Education Association and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant on ART 20: Introduction to Drawing. Her dissertation focuses on a sound curriculum called “Tuning in NYC for Art Education”, a teaching resource focusing on experiencing, creating, and composing soundscapes of environments.” Daniel Bergman is the Director of Pratt’s Center for Art and Design Education and Community Engagement, K-12. Prior to coming to Pratt, he has had a career as a K-12 arts educator and administrator in schools, non-profits and museums. He has a B.A. in Visual Art and Intellectual History from Wesleyan University, M.F.A in Painting and Sculpture from S.V.A and an M.S Ed in Educational Leadership from The University of Pennsylvania.