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Gateway is the community newsletter of Pratt Institute. It is published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement. For a list of contributors, click here.

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AROUND CAMPUS

Wednesday
Sep082010

Work by Famous Sculptor Arman in Pratt Sculpture Park

One of the latest and most prestigious additions to the Pratt Sculpture Garden is a work by the influential 20th century sculptor Armand Pierre Fernandez, known simply as Arman (1928–2005).

The Arman piece on loan at Pratt is a piano, smashed so it collapses in the middle, and cast in bronze. It is called Accord Final in French; in English, it has the more amusing title They Wouldn’t Let Me Play at Carnegie Hall.

Corice Arman stands with the sculpture They Wouldn’t Let Me Play at Carnegie Hall, created by her late husband, the famed sculptor Arman. The piece is on display in the Pratt Sculpture Park next to the library, thanks to a generous loan from Corice Arman.The 1981 piece comes to Pratt thanks to a generous loan from Corice Arman, who works to bring awareness of her late husband’s sculpture to audiences around the world.

Arman, along with other artists, founded the New Realism movement in 1960, seeking to recycle and re-appropriate reality. His work often commented on materialism, and much of it involved creating sculptures from found objects. Among his most famous pieces is the 1982 piece Long Term Parking, a 50-foot-high tower of cars encased in concrete.

“Arman was provocative,” says Corice Arman. Indeed, Accord Final was done during a period in which Arman’s work focused on destroying—sometimes publicly and theatrically—large objects, such as musical instruments and furniture.

“It was thought-provoking for him,” explains Corice Arman. “There was rage, but it was controlled. He always knew which part of the objects he wanted to retain.” (She also stresses that Arman loved music and only smashed instruments that were otherwise unsalvageable.)

Arman died in 2005 and since then his wife has worked to preserve his legacy. Most recently, Corice Arman helped mount a restrospective of Arman’s work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Corice Arman says she is especially pleased to have Accord Final on Pratt’s campus, near the library. She says she met Pratt President Thomas F. Schuttle about five years ago and quickly became impressed with the work being done at Pratt.  Visiting the campus, she says,  “I found I loved the school and was pleased to do something for Pratt.”

She also says that lending Accord Final to Pratt fits with her mission to preserve Arman’s legacy. “What better way to have the piece at a school where young people can appreciate it and be inspired by it.” 

Photo by Diana Pau

Wednesday
Sep012010

PRATT TEAM DESIGNS WEST ELM COLLECTION

The Pratt Collection displayed at a west elm store

Modern home furnishings retailer west elm and Pratt have launched the Pratt Home Office collection, an eco-friendly office collection created in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. The centerpiece of the collection is a simple and highly functional desk made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. The collection also includes a chair, file unit, wall shelf and accessories set, and table lamp.

The collaboration between west elm and Pratt Institute, both Brooklyn-based organizations, began as a friendly competition between two groups of Pratt industrial design students. They were challenged to create a line of office furniture for west elm that embodied the brand’s mandate to “live a little greener every day.”

The design brief required the Pratt designers to develop a desk, chair, and lamp using sustainably grown and harvested wood, or recycled wood materials. The designers were also charged with using other eco-friendly materials and processes, such as non-toxic glues and water-based stains. In addition, the desk lamp had to use energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology.

Both teams presented their proposals to the west elm design group and continued to work with the company in an apprentice-type relationship.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce the Pratt Home Office collection as our latest west elm collaboration,” said Paulo Kos (M.I.D. ’02), director of furniture design at west elm and lead designer for the Pratt collaboration. “As a Pratt graduate myself, I am especially excited to see that the Pratt designers were innovative in their process and design, and the final result truly embodies our brand principles. The collection is well-designed, affordable, and sustainable.”

"The students had literally just taken off their caps and gowns," said Debera Johnson, director of The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. “We brought them together to work on the west elm project as they were making the transition from student to professional. It was a remarkable collaboration, and the results really show how Pratt has prepared them for their careers.”

The Pratt Office collection is available in west elm stores, on westelm.com and in the west elm catalog. The Pratt design team included Alex Binsted (B.I.D. ’09), Gregory Buntain (B.I.D. ’08), Sally Ann Corn (B.I.D. ’09), Evan Dublin (B.I.D. ’09), Sara Ebert (B.I.D. ’09), Rachel Feeser (B.I.D. ’09), Zachary Feltoon (B.I.D. ’08), Joseph Kent (B.I.D. ’09), Brian Persico (B.I.D. ’09), Jason Pfaeffle (B.I.D. ’09), Vanessa Robinson (M.I.D. ’10), Grace Souky (M.I.D. ’09), and David Wright (B.I.D. ’08).

The collaboration received coverage in The New York Times, the July issue of Interior Design magazine as well as on the blogs Apartment Therapy, Tree Hugger, and Core77.

Photo by Diana Pau

Thursday
Sep022010

PRATT NAMED TOP DESIGN SCHOOL IN NEW YORK STATE

TrendTopper Media Buzz, a twice yearly analysis of the nation’s top 300 colleges and universities, has named New York the Top State for Top Colleges and Pratt Institute its Top Design School. The list is assembled by the Global Language Monitor (GLM) an Austin, Texas-based company that surveys social media such as Twitter, as well as the Internet, blogosphere, and the global print and electronic media. This method, says GLM’s president, Paul JJ Payack “removes the biases inherently built into each of the other published rankings.”

Within New York, TrendTopper’s rankings are as follows:

No. 1 State: New York

Top College: Vassar College

Top University: Columbia University

Top Academy: United States Military Academy

Top Music School: Juilliard School

Top Design School: Pratt Institute

Top Surprise: NY as the No. 1 State

California ranks second, and Massachusetts came in third place.