Student and Alumni Feature: Zachary Leong

Courtesy of Zachary Leong

The Fall semester has officially begun and for this month’s student feature we are spotlighting Zachary Leong, a third-year Industrial Design student at Pratt Institute. This past summer Zachary studied in the Furniture Design Certificate Program at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. As a local to the tri-state area, Zachary was born in New York City and raised just across the Hudson River in the suburbs of New Jersey. Although he spent most of his life growing up in New Jersey, he considers both NYC and Jersey home. Currently Zachary lives in Brooklyn where he does everything from exploring the city to designing in the classroom with his girlfriend, a fellow Pratt student. Tune in below to learn more about Zachary’s journey as a Pratt student and his budding career in the art and design world.

Pratt SCPS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Zachary Leong: I find myself looking to nature as my main source of inspiration. I’m fascinated by what evolution has brought for all sorts of plants and animals and I strive to look for ways to include biomimicry in my designs. If that doesn’t work, the least I’d like to accomplish is to spread my appreciation for nature with everyone else.

Courtesy of Zachary Leong

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in art or design?

Zachary Leong: I spent my four years in high school specializing in computer science. However, that didn’t quite give me what I was looking for. I wanted to become more involved and hands-on with my work. The answer for me was industrial design. From there I quickly found out that I was able to materialize my ideas while still retaining the design aspect from computer programming. Anyone can learn to code or make a product, but designing robustly and with intent is what I’m after.

Pratt SCPS: What would you consider the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in pursuing this aspiration?

Zachary Leong: My biggest challenge was learning to open myself up – open to trying new things, to finding new methods of building something, and to seeing the world from another point of view. The past year or so I’ve learned to be more outgoing, which is all it took really. One trip to the woodshop by myself led me to learn about all the tools available to me here at Pratt. One “hello” to the classmate sitting next to me showed me a whole different world than that of America. All I had to do was take the first step.

Courtesy of Zachary Leong

Pratt SCPS: What part of the Pratt experience do you reflect on the most? If you’re still a student what courses have been the most influential?

Zachary Leong: I’m an incoming Junior at Pratt Institute in the Industrial Design program and thinking back to this past year, I’d say that my design courses have been the most influential. They taught me about the practically limitless opportunities and resources that are available to all of us today. I would never have known about the processes that occur to make everything around me possible ranging from an iPhone to a table to a plastic spoon. Having this knowledge helps give me a sense of my potential in this ever-progressing industry.

Pratt SCPS: What advice do you have for creative professionals who desire to launch their own art and design careers or companies in the future?

Zachary Leong: I’d say that the best results can come from the most outrageous ideas. Inspiration is everywhere you look and no thought is too crazy to start off with. Don’t be too quick to dismiss an idea, because as long as you’re doing what you love and you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll end up with something you’re proud of. And hopefully along the way you’ll inspire others to do the same.

Courtesy of Zachary Leong

To learn more about the Furniture Design Certificate Program visit the SCPS website.

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This Fall at SCPS – A Snapshot of What’s to Come

Courtesy of Karla Alexander

It’s that time of year again, when the leaves begin to change color and the days get shorter which undoubtedly heralds the beginning of the fall season. Although the days will be getting shorter and colder, there are a plethora of exciting events and programs occurring this fall at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies to keep you busy and inspired throughout the fall season.

Last week the fall semester kicked off at Pratt Institute and classes are officially back in session. This semester SCPS is offering an extensive schedule of fall programming for adult learners interested in taking advantage of one of the most lively time periods in New York City. For a complete overview of the fall programs being offered visit  our main website: Certificate Programs.

To accompany your studies this fall why not take advantage of the wide variety of campus events and activities taking place during these next few months at Pratt which include Blue Week, Archtober,  and The Future Of Fragrance panel. Keep reading to learn about a few of the most noteworthy events happening on campus during September and October.

Courtesy of Pratt Institute

The Future of Fragrance

On Wednesday, September 25th at 6:30 pm   The Future of Fragrance Panel will be taking place at the Pratt Manhattan Center. This must-see panel event will feature leading experts in the fragrance industry in a discussion about changes in the fragrance market as it has evolved over many years. Each panelist will be contributing a unique perspective to the discussion based on their individual backgrounds. The four industry experts are: Pamela Vaile, President of Pamela Vaile Consulting LLC; Raymond Matts, the founder of The Art of Perfumery; Raymond Matts, Founder, The Art of Perfumery; Kate Greene, Creative Director of Our House a creative marketing agency that analyzes consumer trends; and Herve Pierini, Head of Sales for Firmenich North America Fine Fragrance.  For more information about this event or to buy tickets to attend: The Future of Fragrance.

Blue Week (October 1st – 6th)

In just a few shorts weeks Blue Week begins at Pratt Institute. Every year at the end of September and beginning of October, Pratt Institute participates in this  week-long event which helps to encourage and support environmental awareness and sustainability. Throughout Blue Week, a schedule of campus-wide events and programs will take place which include panel discussions, film screenings, presentations, yoga classes and much more. The goal of Blue Week is to highlight the global significance of water and the  importance of preserving this vital natural resource as well as encouraging a continual dialogue about the importance of sustainability.  This year’s Blue Week schedule of events includes: Material Modification: Refashioning Ocean Plastics, a panel discussion featuring experts in the design field, Water-Inspired Yoga for the Planet,  and Rising Seas: Gotham on the Edge  a presentation and panel featuring Ted Steinberg. For more information about Blue Week including a list of all of the events taking place visit the Pratt Sustainability Coalition

Courtesy of Daniel Libeskind Studio

Daniel Libeskind: Edge of Order (October 15th)

On October 1st, Archtober commences in New York City.  This year world renowned Architect and Designer, Daniel Libeskind will be a guest speaker at Pratt Institute on October 15th. Libeskind will be discussing his latest projects and his most recent book, Edge of Order.   On top of being a sensational architect and artist, Daniel Libeskind is a visionary whose work has immensely influenced the field of architecture and urban design. One of his countless accomplishments includes being the master planner for the World Trade Center Development.  To hear all about this historic project and more outstanding achievements from Daniel Libeskind and his studio, make sure to reserve a ticket to attend his presentation on October 15th at Pratt.

For more information about events taking place across both the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses this fall check out the Pratt Events Calendar.

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