Welcome Message from President Bronet (Fall 2019)
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
How great it is to have all of you back on campus. The energy is contagious and ignites the possibilities for an amazing year ahead.
The new Strategic Plan for Pratt, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in May, will shape much of the work this year. We have the ability to push the edges of learning and research, to pursue bold new ideas and projects, and to develop questions and solutions that can make real change. As leaders in art and design, we are committed to building cultural excellence. At the same time, our community of creative thinkers has taken on critical roles in addressing the world’s most complex challenges, from climate pressures to social and economic inequities, and we do this in careful collaboration.
Partnerships are essential for driving innovation forward. Our ongoing and most recent alliances, especially in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY), are creating dynamic opportunities for research, collaboration, and community engagement:
- Construction will begin this fall in the BNY to ready it for a new facility that will house many of Pratt’s research centers and research accelerators, groups currently housed on 18th Street in Manhattan. Once the Pratt Research Yard opens next year, we look forward to the opportunity to partner with Brooklyn STEAM Center’s public school students to engage in research projects alongside Pratt faculty and students, and BNY company leaders.
- Pratt’s Consortium for Research and Robotics is a long-time resident in the Navy Yard. Led by Executive Director Mark Parsons, the Consortium is now bringing education and industry together for technology-driven research and STEM programs that invest in the local community, as well as the incubation of small businesses.
- The Pratt CreativeXchange (a Pratt Research Accelerator), led by Interior Design Professor Jon Otis, shares cross-departmental research and design incubation with rural communities through creative involvement and workshops. For the group’s project in Kingston, New York, a multi-disciplinary team of Pratt faculty and students launched a new program empowering local high school students to pursue creative careers and connecting them to the local artisan community.
- Uzma Rizvi, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies, and Jessie Braden, Founding Director of Pratt’s Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI), helped assemble a team of interdisciplinary faculty and students to form the new research accelerator: the Laboratory for Integrated Archaeological Visualization and Heritage. Together they are developing non-invasive data collection methods for mapping the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan that will help the local community study their own heritage for years to come.
These are just a few examples showing how the critical skills and ingenuity of our Pratt community are being applied to have local, national, and global impact.
I’m excited to see the new investigations that many of you have already begun. I look forward to hearing about your projects in and beyond your classrooms and studios, and at events on campus.
Best wishes for meaningful endeavors and enduring partnerships,