Congratulations to all of our awards winners! We celebrate your commitment to your research, particularly in this challenging time, and your noteworthy contributions and achievements. We can’t wait to see where your research goes from here!

 Lined-up, small samples of bioplastics blocks

Bioplastics: Materials for a Sustainable Future

Sustainability Award

Bioplastics is an inspiring example of promoting sustainable practices in art and design through the integration of scientific research, utilizing biodegradable materials to replace traditional plastics that are harmful to the environment. Through studying and classifying these materials by their flexibility, degradation, and application, this research is opening up possibilities for real world impact on numerous modes of making and creating.

green coriander plant with working prototype in the planter

Sonic Bloom: What If Plants Could Talk to Us?

Innovation Award

Sonic Bloom is an innovative and interactive solution to plant care for those that enjoy plant life in our homes, but might not possess a green thumb. By creating a visual and auditory element for the user through a circuit board and corresponding app, plant owners become more aware of the health of their plants and, by extension, their understanding of the natural environment.

The Impact Award has two winners this year, as the Office of Research & Strategic Partnerships saw two compelling projects, with impressive impact within the Pratt community and beyond.

Overhead view of a line of striking students on Pratt’s campus

Preserving Activism Beyond and Between Pratt’s Gates

Impact Award

Preserving Activism is a truly institute-wide project, with researchers from the Pratt Institute Library, School of Art, School of Design, and School of Architecture endeavouring to foster dialogue about social justice and activism at Pratt Institute and beyond. By examining ephemera, oral histories, and texts with the Institute Archivist, the research group has highlighted the incredible impact students, especially students of color and women, have had on the fight for justice and equality, bringing to light the impact of student activism and how it has shaped Pratt Institute. By preserving this work, this research honors and fosters its continuation with students today.

group of people seated and standing on fictional dating show, Love Triangle

A Civic Shift

Impact Award

COVID-19 brought and highlighted numerous challenges and inequities in our society, while also coinciding with a presidential and local election. Typically conducted in shared physical space and activity, much of community activism and community engagement was shifted into the digital realm out of necessity. A Civic Shift took on this challenge by hosting performative digital events, which brought together grassroots organizers, artists, and NYC City Council candidates to discuss topical, pressing issues of our time and successfully motivated and sustained community engagement in an engaging, creative, and often playful way.

Dragonfly on a plant compared to the Wing Guard device

The Wing Guard: An Insect Repelling Device for Temporary Food Services

Start-Up Power Award

The Wing Guard is an ingenious solution to health and hygiene concerns at temporary and transient food establishments, like wet or farmer’s markets. By mimicking the dragonfly’s visual, sonic, and motional characteristics, the device repels flies from landing on food, thereby preventing the spread of disease. This device could be easily produced and marketed, and is a very timely solution for concerns regarding the spread of infectious disease.

Teenage girls in portrait, surrounded by objects that mean something to their identities

Fashion and Identity: Representation, Self-Esteem, and the Muslim-American Narrative

People’s Choice Award

More than 300 people voted and this year’s winner is Fashion and Identity: Representation, Self-Esteem, and the Muslim-American Narrative from Shireen Soliman, who was a 2019-2020 Seed Grantee. We’re so thrilled that Shireen and her team were selected this year, as they continued to foster community and identity among young Muslim women—in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic—and empowered them to be their most authentic selves.

Congratulations again to all of our winners!