Adjusting to online classes can be challenging! Here are a few tips to get the most out of your experience and connect with your instructor and fellow learners.


1. Review instructor feedback. Make time to review prior feedback and notes before class. Have a list of questions ready to ask about anything that isn’t 100% clear. SCPS instructors will make time for Q&A; they want you to get all you can from your courses! There are no stupid questions, only lost opportunities.

[Provide feedback, too! Let your instructor know if there’s something they did in class that you liked. This will help them improve their online teaching skills—they are looking for ways to engage you.]

2. Take photos of your work. Take photos of your work and share files through Canvas. This also gives you a digital record for the future!

[Feel free to send to photos of your work, photos of you creating your work, or photos of you attending class to Kristen at kdabro13@pratt.edu. We’d love to show prospective students what it’s like to take classes & create at Pratt!]

3. Make sure your files are in the right format. When it’s your time to upload files for a presentation or class assignment, ensure your files are the right type and size for uploading well before class begins so you’re not crunched for time at the last minute.


4. Turn on your camera.

I know. You didn’t brush your hair. However, if you have camera access, use it! It creates a more personal learning experience, allows the teacher to see your reactions, and connects you to other class members. Don’t be a silent observer! You paid for the class; you deserve to get ALL you can from it.

Understand that your instructor may not feel “camera-ready,” either. They are working hard to adjust to the online format. Finding the ideal light/angle may not be at the forefront of their priorities! 

5. Use the chat box. Especially if you don’t have camera access, the chat box can be your best tool for communication. Make sure you are participating! It can also be a good way to get your questions in without interrupting at an inopportune time.

6. Check every tab. View every tab in Canvas—Files, Downloads, & Discussions—so you don’t miss any important content.

7. Capture comments. When instructors make comments on your assignments in Canvas, experiment with the best way to capture them for future reference. One method is to take a screenshot, retitle it, and save it to your class folder.


8. Download course files. Use Google Drive, Base Camp, an external hard drive, or a flash drive to store course files & class recordings after each session. NOTE: OneKey remains “live” for 31 days after a class ends. After that, class access is closed.


9. Network! We cannot emphasize this enough! Not only does this help with class content and assignments, it also creates a community and a networking base for the next stage in your career.

10. Use free search tools. org is a huge, wonderful resource! Download and save whatever is FREE and RELEVANT to your course of study or field of interest.

Special thanks to Roy Pachecano (Lecturer, Pratt SCPS; President, Portico R.E.I. LLC; Assistant Adjunct Professor, Columbia University) for helping out with this post! Roy is an amazing professor with the Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Architecture Program.

Nina Edwards, Fashion Illustrator and Pratt Professor, Discusses Her Inspirations, Passions and Career Achievements

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Nina Edwards is a fashion illustrator based in New York City. She currently teaches Introduction to Fashion Illustration, Portfolio and Special Projects, and Creative Careers at Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). She earned her BFA in illustration from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and her MFA from California State University, Fullerton. Nina has been active in the fields of graphic design, editorial illustration, greeting cards, and social expression for over 20 years. Her expertise includes digital and watercolor illustrations and the integration of opposing elements such as traditional and modern, Eastern and Western, and art and technology into illustrations and designs.

Nina’s work has appeared in numerous publications, book covers, books and magazines editorials, licensing products, and art galleries. Her portfolio of clients includes: Art Hearts Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, New York Garment District Alliance, Scholastic, Bridal Guide Magazine, Girls’ Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan Magazine to name a few. Keep reading to learn about Nina’s inspirations, passions, career achievements and her journey as a Professor at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in the fashion world and where do you draw your inspiration from? 

Nina Edwards: My passion is to inspire and empower myself and others to live the best version of ourselves. I use fashion art as a vehicle to develop and elevate for excellence. I get inspiration from everything in life. Movies, music, museums, art galleries, other artwork, fashion shows, flea markets, magazines, internet posts, my children and husband, friends, nature, people walking down the street, my dreams, etc. I believe we don’t go looking for inspiration. It will come to you on its own, like happiness.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Pratt SCPS: What has been your greatest professional achievement and what would you consider the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in order to achieve it?

Nina Edwards: I was working full time as a senior graphic designer in a mid-size San Francisco advertising agency in the beginning of my career. My great professional achievement was to art direct and design collateral for huge brands including Starbucks. My biggest challenges in that position were my communication and presentation skills. To overcome my shortcomings, I joined a Toastmasters club where I learned and fine-tuned my public speaking and interpersonal communication skills, and gained many opportunities to network with professionals in the design and art licensing industries.

Pratt SCPS: When did your Pratt journey begin and what do you enjoy most about being an educator in this field? 

Nina Edwards: My journey at Pratt started in the winter of 2015, when I was invited to conduct an art licensing and intellectual property law workshop at Pratt. It was well-received and about 40 people attended. I enjoy sharing my professional experience with students from different countries and backgrounds and teaching and inspiring them to be better artists and designers. As a teacher, all my illustration, design, and communication skills are put into practice while I am teaching and guiding my students. I was born and raised in Taiwan and speaking Mandarin is an asset for me when teaching students from China and Taiwan.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

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

Nina Edwards: Know who you are, develop clear art styles for your brand, think outside the box, networking constantly in person and online, and never stop learning. Know who you are, develop a unique art style for your brand, think outside the box, network constantly in person and online, and never stop learning.

This fall Nina will be teaching Intro to Fashion Illustration in the Creative Careers program at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Make sure to follow Nina on social media to view her most recent portfolio work and to learn about her upcoming events and projects.

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Around the City: Online Galleries and Digital Collections

Courtesy of The New York Public Library, The New Natural History

At Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, we believe your art and design education isn’t complete without taking advantage of all the incredible art and cultural resources available to you in New York City.  Although we may not be able to currently visit museums and galleries to view exhibitions in person, there are many digital resources available to the general public at no cost. Whether your interests are in motion graphics and sound design, or fashion illustration and metal art, check out our list of must-view digital collections available online from a few of New York City’s most prominent cultural arts institutions.

1. The New Natural History by Richard Lydekker

The New York Public Library (Digital Collections)

The NY Public Library has an extensive digital collections archive featuring the work of prominent and historic writers, poets, photographers, architects, illustrators, painters and designers. The New Natural History digital collection is one of hundreds of digital exhibitions which features over 100 illustrations of wildlife from around the globe that includes pieces from John James Audubon and Mark Catesby to name a few. It’s an impressive collection of historic artwork. To view the complete archive of digital collections: New York Public Library Digital Collections.

2. Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Brooklyn Museum (Digital Collections)

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum presents a dynamic collection of feminist art work from the last forty years. This digital collection includes over 200 pieces of work from feminist artists, painters, and sculptors featuring work from Faith Ringgold, Hannah Wilke, Dread Scott, Judy Chicago, Ruth Orkin, Dara Birnbaum and more. Selected pieces from collection include artist’s profiles and details about the art work and the artist’s inspirations and aesthetic. An example of this is Faith Ringgold’s piece, Early Works #25: Self Portrait which gives you the feeling of being at the Brooklyn Museum taking in the exhibition in person. To view the complete exhibition and more visit the Brooklyn Museum: The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Courtesy of The MET, Costume Institute Fashion Plates

3. Digital Collections: Costume Institute Fashion Plates

The Metropolitan Museum of Art  (Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library)

Fashion lovers and enthusiasts, if you’re yearning to view an astounding  collection of historical to modern fashion art pieces from the comfort of your home, make sure to check out the Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library digital collection at The MET. Included within this the digital collection is an extensive library of fashion plates, photographs, illustrations, and sketches, organized by date that goes as far back as the early 1600s. If you’re interested in learning more about early 20th century fashion take a moment to view the collection of costume fashion plates from the Women 1922 collection or the Menswear 1930s – Italian collection. To view the complete digital collection of costume fashion plates at The MET Costume Institute:  Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library.

Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, Russell Wright, Bowl

4. Decorative Arts

Brooklyn Museum (Digital Collections)

The Decorative Arts collection includes an archive of decorative pieces acquired by the Brooklyn museum over the past century. Featuring work from artists that include Edward Lycett, Peter Muller-Munk, and Vladmir Kagan. The collection, according to the Brooklyn Museum, provides a reflection on the evolution in “domestic life and design from seventeenth century to the present.” The more than 17,000 objects showcased in this digital collection include decorative pieces made from a range of materials such as silver, glass and ceramics. To see the complete collection visit the Brooklyn Museum’s website: Decorative Arts.

5. MOMA: The Collection

Museum of Modern Art (Digital Collection)

Indulge your love of contemporary art by perusing through the digital collection available at Museum of Modern Art. Their digital collection features digital versions of many of their current exhibitions which aren’t open to the public. A must see is their 1940s – 1970s collection which includes twenty three galleries of artwork focusing on individual themes and genres. This specific collection features digital versions of the following exhibitions: Action Painting II, New Monuments, and In and Around Harlem. Action Painting II is a fascinating exhibition which showcases the work of abstract expressionist artists like Helen Frankenthaler. View this collection and more on the MOMA’s website: MOMA: The Collection.

6. Sounds Collection

The New Museum (Digital Archive)

The New Museum has an extensive digital sounds collection which features a host of audio and sound recordings that includes artist interviews, performances, lectures & discussions, artworks, oral histories, and audio guides dating back as far as 1975. One of the most recent additions to their digital sounds collection is an interview with artist Carmen Argote who recently exhibited her work at the New Museum: Carmen Argote in Conversation with Curator Margot Norton. Explore and listen to the complete collection of sound types available online at the New Museum: Sounds Collection.

For information about digital art and design archives at Pratt Institute visit the Pratt Libraries website.  Subscribe to DESIGNTERRA to stay up-to-date on all the latest content.


PreCollege Student Abigail Kahn Reflects on her Pratt Journey and Discusses Her Passion for Writing

Courtesy of Abigail Kahn

Meet Abigail Kahn, a senior in high school from Virginia. She loves to write, read, research women’s history and spend time with her dog. During the summer of 2019, Abigail had the exciting opportunity to explore her love of creative writing more intensively as one of almost 400 students in the PreCollege Program at Pratt Institute. Keep reading to learn more about Abigail’s experience living as a college student at Pratt, as well as her interests, her future career plans, and read one of her most recent literary pieces titled, Saint Apollonia.

Pratt SCPS: As a student in last summer’s Pratt PreCollege Program how would you describe the experience of living and studying like an art and design college student?

Abigail: It was completely independent and exciting. It felt refreshing in the sense of having the chance to work in an area of study that you love so much. It didn’t feel as daunting as I thought it would because of how quickly everyone in my group got along. It was fun to see all the other art students and witness the process of their projects. It was especially prominent in this program because I’ve been used to having a little art program at my school back home and all of a sudden there was this diverse range of classes everyone was part of. There’s so many chances to incorporate your own interests and areas of research into your projects. It motivates you to be around so many talented people who are engaged in an area of interest that they chose. No one is stressing about algebra or physics, everyone was just constantly inspired. There was also the addition of being around people who came from far away or were commuter students and knew the city perfectly which was always cool to be around.

The experience of being in a city was incredible, too. There was one day where one of our professors took us into the city to visit book stores and it was one of my favorite days in the program. Having the chance to get familiar with Brooklyn was definitely a key factor I was anticipating as someone who has grown up in a single neighborhood. Finally having the chance to discover a new area was definitely a memorable part of the program.

Pratt SCPS: What valuable lessons were you able to gain from your time at Pratt and what part of the Pratt experience do you reflect on the most?

Abigail: The classes I had were unlike anything I had ever taken. It was a dream to be able to purely study writing. I think within those classes there were so many lessons between my professors that I still reference in my writing. I’ve found myself going back to a lot of the messy notes I took in class for this school year. My understanding of texts and how to deepen my analytical thinking has been something I’ve kept closest to myself outside of the program. For writing, it’s heavily implemented into you to trust your writing. Whenever you begin to second guess or think of stepping back—that’s when you should submerge yourself into the writing even more.

At this time in my school year, I find myself looking back on my classes the most. I went through more growth as a writer than I thought I would within a month and that’s something I’ve held onto for myself for motivation. The professors challenge you each day to step outside of your comfort zone because they know that’s the way you’ll enhance your work and develop a more sophisticated voice. They do this with the texts they introduce in class, too. I’ve had a lot of days since leaving the program where I miss all the plays or short stories I was assigned because of how they were unlike anything I’ve ever been given in English classes before. The work they introduce to you in the program never felt like a reused curriculum from other teachers. It held personal connections from the professors themselves, which always made the class discussions more stimulating.

Pratt SCPS: As a blossoming creative writer where do you draw your inspiration from?  What motivates you to create and write?

Abigail: I draw the most inspiration from women. The majority of my writing is influenced by the relationships with women in my life or the historical female figures I find the most solace in. “Maddening women” is a pretty common theme in my writing—in terms of women who I think were justified for their “anger” or memories I have of my sisters. I’m always interested in dissecting why certain women in history were seen as vile or controversial at the time and why they were given that reputation. I like the idea of reclaiming what used to be seen as something to be fearful of in women, such as female hysteria and witchcraft, and then juxtaposing it with modern girls and how those terms are something to take pride in. I think I’ve spent so many years being trained to take in media that devalues women or condescends them that I’m now able to unravel those moments and understand how it affected me and how I can adjust those perspectives to fit my choice of representation for women. All forms of writing, even the angry little rants on my notes app have all helped me find relief in history or the present that can feel distressing. I’ve been really fortunate to grow up around observant, opinionated women who value their first impressions on certain events or people—and I owe all my writing to them.

Pratt SCPS: Where do you see yourself in a couple years? Do you envision yourself studying creative writing and pursuing it as a professional career or do you envision yourself exploring other areas that interest you?

Abigail: I hope I’m at a point where I’m studying subjects that truly interest me and I’m able to challenge myself in those areas of interest. I definitely want to continue studying creative writing for as long as I can and with that, make a career out of it. The idea of getting a book deal feels very unreal as of now, but it is something I’m striving for the most. If any point I’d be offered a chance to write about women, I’d be immensely thankful.

I’d also like to study art history and go into curator or archivist work in museums. Writing will always be my first choice for anything, but I’m still waiting to graduate school and I’m definitely open for whatever comes next.

Saint Apollonia written by Abigail Kahn 

To learn more about the PreCollege Program at Pratt Institute visit our website. Make sure to follow Pratt PreCollege on social media: Facebook and Instagram. 


Summer 2020 at SCPS – An Overview of Upcoming Online Courses, Intensives and Workshops

Courtesy of Fiona Szende

The spring semester is wrapping up at Pratt Institute which means it’s time to get ready for the summer! Registration is currently open for the summer term at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). In accordance with the stay at home and social distancing measures in place across New York City due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pratt Institute has transitioned its summer programming to an online format. For information about the efforts Pratt has in place to continue to support students throughout this unique time period visit the Pratt Health Advisory webpage.

The transition to virtual teaching presents a range of exciting possibilities for the Pratt community to learn and create together. We encourage current and prospective students to take advantage of the opportunity to study remotely at Pratt SCPS through our online summer programming. Students will have the option to select from a wide range of courses and intensives that can accommodate all schedule types. Whether you’re looking to build your art and design portfolio or simply interested in diving into a new subject area, consider enrolling in one of our credit or noncredit intensives.  To make the selection process easier, here’s a roundup of all the programs taking place this summer online at Pratt SCPS.

The first set of courses offered online this summer are Credit Summer Intensives. There are two sessions taking place with classes meeting virtually over the course of four weeks during the months of June and July. Students interested in registering for the credit summer intensives can choose from the following areas: creative writing, digital photography, drawing, fine arts, fashion design, architecture graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, sustainable design, three-dimensional design. To learn more  about the intensives being offered in each summer session: Summer Credit Intensives.

Student Painting
Courtesy of Daniel Terna

If you’re interested in enrolling in summer courses that have even more flexible class time schedules, consider registering for one or more of the Two-week, Three-Week and Four-Week intensives.  These intensives will be taking place from June through August. Select from an assortment of intensives that include lighting design, design leadership, human centered design, exhibition design and visual branding.  To learn more about the noncredit intensives being offered throughout the summer: Noncredit Summer Intensives.

In conjunction with the array of course options available to students through our Summer Intensives programming, is the online PreCollege Summer Program geared specifically to high school students. Students interested in the online PreCollege Program have the opportunity to select from a range of credit and noncredit courses modeled off of Pratt’s undergraduate programs and taught by Pratt faculty. The online PreCollege Summer Program is a great opportunity for high school students to explore their creative passions, prepare for college, and create an exemplary art and design portfolio. To learn more about the courses offered to to high school students at Pratt Institute this summer: PreCollege Summer Online Program

With the beginning of the summer term just six weeks away there is no better time than right now to plan out your summer. Make the most of this time by registering for one or more online courses at Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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An Insightful Conversation with Master Florist and fleursBELLA founder, Bella Meyer

Courtesy of fleursBELLA

For the month of February, we are spotlighting Master Florist, and creator of fleursBELLA, Bella Meyer. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Bella about her incredible family history and learn more about her immense portfolio of accomplishments which includes obtaining a Ph.D. in Medieval Art History from the Sorbonne in Paris and working for the French Embassy in NYC. Bella Meyer was originally born in Paris, but raised in Switzerland, and naturally found herself immersed in the world of art being the granddaughter of historic artist, Marc Chagall.  As fate would have it, Bella Meyer was destined to build upon her grandfather’s legacy in the art world through creating her own impact in the field of floral art and design.

In 2005, Bella created her floral design studio, fleursBELLA and officially opened the doors to its current location in downtown Manhattan in 2010. Her voyage through the world of art into the field of floral design is as enchanting as her magnificent floral design studio. This spring Bella will be teaching an exciting workshop in the Floral Art for Interiors program at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Keep reading to learn more about Bella’s professional achievements, family history and her journey as an educator at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS:  Bella you have an incredible resume of accomplishments and a profound history within the art field, could you share a little about your background and what led you into the world of floral art and design?

Bella Meyer:  Art was always the focus in my life. I grew up in a family which believed that art was essential to existence. My father needed to reflect through an art work to understand a thought process. My mother’s main attention was directed towards her father’s work, my grandfather Marc Chagall, who in turn, fiercely believed in the necessity in Art, and its spiritual powers. And so I came to understand that I needed art! Reflecting on its meanings, continuously inspired by daily discoveries of artistic creations, old and new, I also felt the need to make things, to paint, to draw, but this maybe more as expression of great respect to whatever I saw. This need of extrapolating what I felt around me, lead me to design and build theater and dance costumes and props, and even puppets to tell some fleeting stories. I wanted to bring vibrant colors to spaces and moments.

Thus, it was an extraordinary revelation when I was introduced, led by a floral designer, to the richness of the flower market on 28th Street, as we entered the ominous 2 room caverns of Fischer & Page. What magic! I couldn’t believe it: There it was: the complete world of thousands of colors just glaring at me! Tulips, ranunculus, roses, scabiosa, all made me understand that they owned the wisdom of all hues in nature, and only they could lead me to an understanding of this immense world of colors. I had been familiar with the street flower markets in Europe, and readily bought them, always attracted by their colors, to bring and give to my mother, my grandfather, my friends; Yet the possibility of using them, or working with them, to create a specific message, had never occurred to me before. It took me another few years, after learning about floral design, through reading, taking classes and interning, to have the courage to create fleursBELLA.

Courtesy of Saskia Kahn

Pratt SCPS:  How would you describe your artistic aesthetic and what inspires you?

Bella Meyer:  My aesthetic is probably more organic, but strong lines, movement and colors are equally prevalent. Nature is my inspiration. A walk in the forest will always give me clues and answers. The sky, and its light, will give me such encouragement. And then, yes, a single little flower, or a leaf, and the deep silence of a prairie are equally as important, as is any message which might emerge from some one’s art work.

Pratt SCPS: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement so far? 

Bella Meyer:  Walking into our studio fleursBELLA, with my team organizing the flowers in the front to welcome customers, or working on some wonderful, unique designs for various events, makes me feel very grateful and quite proud! And then I reflect on the large installations we did over the years, whether they were for BAM, on their main Opera Stage (Hermione), or transforming the huge then still raw 2 World Trade Center floors into a large forest, or covering the Frank Gehry staircase of Signature Theatre with thousands of orchids and ticket stubs. Having a colossal but ever so ephemeral looking angel fly down into the rotunda of the Art Museum in San Diego blessing nature and all visitors.

I love for us to take on challenges to respond to smaller art shows, and ever so respectfully and delicately create a dialog with the work exhibited. Bringing in large flowering branches, or small accents to a restaurant, thus creating a mere quiet backdrop to the diners, seems to be just as big an achievement as surprising knowledgeable guests to any Botanical Garden Gala party. Each project brings its own inspiring challenges, and thus feels to be yet our greatest professional achievement

Pratt SCPS:  When did your Pratt journey as an Instructor begin and what has it been like?

Bella Meyer:  My journey with Pratt started in the fall of 2017, when I was still teaching periodically for Flower School New York. Eileen Johnson, its founder and now former director, had introduced me to this wonderful new program incorporating Floral Art into the various disciplines which Pratt has to offer. Each season, I have been greatly inspired by how much the students are bringing into the class.

Pratt SCPS:  As a Faculty Member in the Floral Art for Interiors Program what legacy do you hope to impart to your students?

Bella Meyer:  Well, legacy is maybe too ominous a word, but I hope to give students the freedom to approach each floral creation in their very own and unique ways, while reminding them of listening to each flower’s movement, colors and needs. A floral design can only shine, if it tells a story; thus each arrangement is unique, created from the designer’s heart.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bella Meyer and her upcoming workshop at Pratt SCPS, A Wild Duet: Celebrations of the Arts via Foraged Materials, visit our main website.

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Spring at Pratt SCPS – A Roundup of Events, Programs and Workshops

Courtesy of Daniel Terna

Next week the spring semester officially kicks off at Pratt Institute. With the official start of the spring semester just days away, we at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) would like to invite current and prospective students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered through our spring programming.

There are a plethora of exciting courses, events and workshops occurring this spring at Pratt SCPS to keep you busy and inspired throughout the spring season. With the flowers blossoming and the days getting longer, why  not make the most of this spring. If you’d like to learn a new skill or sharpen your current skill sets,  explore one of the extensive array of programs offered this semester which include sustainable design, branding and digital marketing, exhibition design, perfumery, digital design, fashion new media, fine art, furniture design and much more. For a complete overview of the spring programs check out: Certificate Programs.

To accompany your studies this semester make sure to check out the campus wide events and activities taking place during these next few months at Pratt. A few upcoming events on the horizon at Pratt SCPS include  a Perfumery Workshop, Fragrance Day and Green Week. In addition to this, for those who enjoy traveling, keep reading to learn about two incredible upcoming study abroad trips taking place this May in Paris and Barcelona through Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Courtesy of Saskia Kahn

Perfumery Workshop  (Pratt Manhattan)

On Thursday, January 23rd, at 6:30 PM, Pratt Institute School of Continuing and Professional Studies will be presenting an exciting Perfumery Workshop in collaboration with Cinquième Sens. This workshop will feature Pratt faculty members Raymond Matts, the founder of The Art of Perfumery and Pamela Vaile, the President of Pamela Vaile Consulting LLC. Guests will have the opportunity to learn a bit about the perfumery field from these two visionary experts and get a glimpse of the Advanced Perfumery Certificate program at Pratt SCPS taking place this spring. For more information about this event or to buy tickets to attend: Perfumery Workshop.

Green Week (March 2020)

Every year during the month of March, Green Week takes place across campus.  Pratt Institute participates in this  week-long event which helps to encourage and support environmental awareness and sustainability. Throughout Green Week, a schedule of campus-wide events and programs will take place which include panel discussions, film screenings, faculty lectures and presentations, undergraduate and graduate student exhibitions,  yoga classes and much more. For more information about Green Week including a list of all of the events taking place visit the Pratt Sustainability Coalition

Courtesy of Daniel Corneschi

Study Abroad Trips (May 2020)

During the month of  May,  Pratt SCPS will be offering two incredible study abroad trips: Urban Sketchers in Barcelona and Paris Fragrance Odyssey. If you’re passionate about drawing and sketching sign up for the urban sketching trip. Led by artist and esteemed Pratt faculty member, Mark Leibowitz. Students will have the opportunity to  explore Barcelona and take in  the city’s incredible architecture through sketching and drawing. To learn more about this exciting upcoming trip: Urban Sketchers In Barcelona. Perfumery and fragrance lovers are invited to join us for the Paris Fragrance Odyssey in collaboration with Cinquième Sens. Students will have the opportunity to discover the secrets and history of the fragrance field in the city that houses some of the oldest perfumery establishments in the world.  To learn more about this once in a lifetime trip visit: Paris Fragrance Odyssey .

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

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The Collaborative Faculty Leading the Sustainable Design Certificate Program at Pratt SCPS

Courtesy of Daniel Terna

At Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS), sustainability isn’t just a passing thought or popular trend, it’s one of the cornerstones of our art and design educational curriculum. The Sustainable Design Certificate program led by Joelle Danant, with Tetsu Ohara’s guidance as Academic Consultant, provides the opportunity for students to learn the necessary skills and techniques to apply sustainable design practices and methods into their careers and professional work. This program features an exceptional team of faculty which includes Tetsu Ohara, Kat Choate, Daniel Penge and Danielle Trofe. This dream team of educators possesses expert knowledge and experience in the fields of sustainable design, biomimicry and biodesign.

As a faculty cohort within the Sustainable Design Certificate Program at Pratt SCPS, they collaborate, co-teach and support all facets of the certificate program to ensure that students receive a first class educational experience in sustainable design. This month we are spotlighting this incredible team of accomplished designers and educators. Keep reading to learn more about each of these faculty members including their career achievements, pedagogical approaches, and what motivated them to become sustainable design educators at Pratt Institute.

Tetsu Ohara is an accomplished Designer and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Interior Design Department’s Graduate Program at Pratt Institute. As a FIPSE grant recipient, he serves as coordinator for the Pratt Sustainability Coalition (for the Annual Green Week Event Series). Tetsu began his Pratt journey in 2007. For well over a decade Tetsu has been teaching Pratt students about the inspiring world of biomimicry and sustainable design. As one of the leading educators at Pratt, Tetsu has had an immense impact across campus in supporting the education of future experts and leaders in these fields. This past summer, Tetsu served as the faculty adviser and mentor for a team of Pratt undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the 2019 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, an annual competition organized by the Biomimicry Institute, and the team won third place. To read more about the exceptional achievements made by these Pratt students check out this wonderful feature from Pratt News: Adaptations in Nature Inspire Students in Award-Winning Design to Reduce Food Waste.

Tetsu Ohara’s relationship with sustainable design began many years ago. As a child, Tetsu was most drawn to feature films produced by Studio Ghibli, the iconic Japanese animation film studio known worldwide for its animation feature films. He recalls having been particularly captivated by the important portrayals of “the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature” in films such as Nausicaa (1984). As an adult, Tetsu was able to travel the world which fueled his appreciation for its beauty.  This discovery would inspire him to pursue a career path in sustainable design. Currently, Tetsu teaches Biomimicry in both the Graduate Interior Design Program (Pratt Interior Design Department) and the Sustainable Design Certificate program (SCPS) among other related courses at Pratt Institute.

Courtesy of Fiona Szende

Kat Choate began their journey at Pratt Institute as a student in the Bachelor of Architecture program, minoring in Sustainability Studies. As a student, Kat had the opportunity to learn from Professor Tetsu Ohara, in his Biomimicry course.  Kat’s first teaching experience would be at Pratt two years ago, where they co-taught a course in the undergraduate architecture program. Soon after Kat received the opportunity to join the faculty within the Sustainable Design Certificate program at Pratt SCPS, where they co-teach with Daniel Penge.

As an educator, Kat Choate wants their students to see the challenges and obstacles the planet faces as opportunities to develop “creative design solutions”. The only way to guarantee a sustainable world for future generations is for the current generation of artists, designers and creative minds to “design it”. Kat believes that sustainable design is simply good design. A large part of their inspiration is influenced by how the field of design can and will impact the future. They are interested in “investigating the increasingly ambiguous boundaries between the built and natural environment.” Kat and their partner recently received an honorable mention for their entry into the 2019 Blank Space Project’s Outer Space competition.  There are many exciting things on the horizon for them.  This upcoming Spring semester Kat Choate and Daniel Penge will be teaching the Sustainable Design Foundation course, the Sustainable Design Theory & Practice course, and the Sustainable Materials and Processes course within the Certificate Program.

Courtesy of Daniel Terna

Daniel Penge is an alumnus of the Industrial Design program at Pratt Institute. He credits his portfolio of work and the network he has built as being directly influenced and shaped by his experiences as a student at Pratt stating, “knowing that I am continuing and expanding upon the work of my academic mentors keeps me galvanized in my efforts, enthusiastic, and informed.” He was excited to receive the opportunity to become a faculty member within the Sustainable Design Certificate program at Pratt SCPS. As a designer, Daniel believes his greatest professional achievement thus far has been collaborating with his peers to “pursue circularity endeavors.” These collaborative opportunities include getting to work with leaders in design at companies like Nike and IDEO.

As a faculty member in the Sustainable Design Certificate program, the message he hopes to impart to his students is “to leave our classroom with a new ability to see the world.” Daniel hopes that when his students become leaders in their respective fields that they frequently ask themselves “questions that break preconception, such as, “Sustainable for whom?” as well as understanding how design intersects and is interconnected with  all other industries and almost every facet of life.  Daniel’s deep interest and dedication to collaboration and teamwork is highlighted in his teaching collaboration with Professor Kat Choate.

Courtesy of Fiona Szende

Danielle Trofe is a Designer and certified Biomimicry Specialist, who holds a Master’s Degree in Biomimicry and specializes in biodesign and biomimicry. Danielle studied marketing and entrepreneurship as an undergraduate student and later returned to school to complete her master’s degree in biomimicry. She began her journey at Pratt Institute three years ago when she taught a biodesign studio course in the Industrial Design program. When reflecting on this experience Danielle recalls how intrigued and inspired she was, “to learn how to best communicate methodology as a designer moving into a teacher role. Working with students has been both inspiring and informative and continues to harvest growth and discovery in a realm that entertains many interdisciplinary possibilities.”

As a biodesign expert and educator, Danielle Trofe credits nature as the biggest influencer and motivator in both her personal and professional life. Her pursuit to study and learn about the natural world guided her towards biomimicry, biodesign and teaching. One of Danielle’s greatest professional achievements is being one of the first designers to work with “living mycelium–biofabricating a product line for commercial and retail markets may be one of my crowning achievements to date.” Currently Danielle teaches Biodesign Lab in the Sustainable Design Certificate Program at Pratt SCPS. As an educator, her intention is to break down the barriers preventing designers from being able to seamlessly foray into sciences. Her philosophy is that “you don’t have to be a scientist to do science.” This motto is infused in Danielle’s approach to teaching and she hopes to continue to share her expertise in biodesign to both educate and inspire her students at SCPS to pursue biodesign.

To learn more about the Sustainable Design Certificate program at Pratt SCPS (Brooklyn Campus) and to register for upcoming courses visit our website.

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