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. To stay up to date on student and alumni features from DESIGNTERRA make sure subscribe. Don’t forget to follow Pratt SCPS on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

The Student Leadership Team behind the PreCollege Summer Program

(from left back row, Sam, Madison, Veronica, from left front row, Janelle, Eva, Laura, Moby & Urva) – Courtesy of Sam Stuart

The PreCollege Summer Program wrapped up a few weeks ago, however it would not have been a resounding success without the dedication and hard work of this summer’s Pratt PreCollege staff and leadership team. The Pratt PreCollege Summer Program is a month long academic program geared to high schools. It’s a wonderful opportunity for close to 400 students to explore  their interests in art and design and to get a glimpse into what the college experience is really like. At the conclusion of the program students receive elective college credits and have the honor of showcasing all of their hard work in a Final Exhibition. In recognition of the successful end to another exceptional PreCollege Summer Program, we’ve chosen to spotlight the amazing contributions made by the Pratt PreCollege leadership team this summer.

The leadership team was comprised of eight current Pratt Institute students. Each team leader had an extremely active role in all facets of this summer’s program. As a group, the leaders were responsible for their individual roles and duties which included student advisement, coordinating operations, field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities, as well as overseeing the mentors. There were over 30 student mentors this summer all of whom are Pratt Institute students. Who better than Pratt students to mentor, guide and advise PreCollege students about the Pratt experience. Being a part of the PreCollege Summer Program is an experience like no other. Current Pratt students are able to gain highly useful skills that will guide them in both their academic and professional careers.

In recognition of their invaluable contributions to the success of this summer’s PreCollege Program, we’d like to introduce you to the dream team that helped to make this summer’s program a truly exceptional and memorable experience for our PreCollege high school students. Meet Eva, Veronica, Urva, Samuel, Madison, Moby, Janelle and Laura, the Pratt students who helped to coordinate  and oversee various aspects of both the academic and activity related components of this summer’s program. This leadership team had an integral role in making sure all facets of the PreCollege Summer Program came together seamlessly and provided invaluable support to the PreCollege Office staff.

Courtesy of Sam Stuart

Here’s a quick breakdown of each other the leadership team members and their individual roles this summer. For this summer’s PreCollege program, the leadership team was divided into two additional teams within the main team that would be responsible for specific aspects of the program.  The subdivisions were categorized into areas of focus: academics and activities. Team leaders that were a part of the academic team were responsible for coordinating the academic side of the PreCollege program which included student advisement, studio operations, faculty and student support in the classroom and studio space, and assigning mentors to groups of PreCollege students based on their art and design concentrations groups.

The  academic team leaders were the following Pratt students: Veronica, (Grad student, Art Therapy & Creativity Development), Urva (Grad student, Communication Design), Samuel (Senior, Photography Major) and Eva (Sophomore, COMD Graphic Design). Eva a sophomore in the COMD Graphic Design Program was the Design & Operations Coordinator in the PreCollege Summer Program. Her responsibilities included providing design support to the PreCollege office and in addition to this coordinating various operations and working with other team leaders to insure that all aspects of the program ran effectively on a daily basis.

Also providing operational support in this summer’s program was Samuel, a senior in the Photography program. Samuel’s role this summer was being the Studio Mentor Coordinator. Throughout the summer program the PreCollege students would be immersed in a full day of course work and in the evenings they would attend studio space sessions where they had the opportunity to continue to work on art and design projects. As the Studio Mentor Coordinator, it was Samuel responsibility to coordinate which mentors would be assigned to oversee and lead specific studio space sessions based on subject concentrations.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

One important facet of the PreCollege Summer program is ensuring that all of the students have adequate support and resources. Occasionally students requested or needed advisement for a variety of reasons and two of the members of the PreCollege leadership team were responsible for connecting students with the appropriate on campus resources in order to ensure they received advisement and support were Veronica and Urva. Veronica,  a graduate student in the Art Therapy & Creativity Development Master’s program, and Urva a graduate student in the Graduate Communication Design program, both had the role of being Graduate  Assistant Student Advisers. Their contributions to this program included being a resource for students  needing advisement, faculty, coordinating and managing mentors, and providing support to their other team members.

The leadership team members that were a part of the activities team this summer included the following Pratt students:  Madison (Undergraduate student) Laura (Senior, Art History Major), Janelle (Senior, 2D Animation Major), Moby (Senior, 2D Animation Major). Each of these team members were responsible for coordinating the field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities for this summer’s program. They also coordinated and managed the mentors assigned to each field trip and excursion and provided additional support to both PreCollege office, faculty and students.

Laura, a senior in the Art History program and Madison an undergraduate student, were the Art, History and Culture coordinators in the program this summer. They were responsible for coordinating the cultural excursions and assigned mentors to guide PreCollege students during on campus and off campus museum trips which included visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim.  Janelle and Moby, both seniors in the 2D Animation program, were the Activities Coordinators this summer.  They helped to support this summer’s program through scheduling and coordinating field trips and weekend activities which include trips to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Governors Island.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

Although this summer’s program has come to a conclusion, the contributions of each of the Pratt student leadership team members was essential to ensuring that the PreCollege students had a rewarding experience in the program. These leadership team members not only contributed a great deal through their hard work and dedication, but they were able to gain invaluable organizational, interpersonal and teamwork skills that they will be able apply to both their academic and professional careers.

To learn more about the Pratt PreCollege Program  visit our website. To stay up to date on the latest student features from  DESIGNTERRA make sure to subscribe. Don’t forget to follow Pratt PreCollege on social media: Facebook, Instagram.

Student and Alumni Feature: Meric Anavi

Meric Anavi

This month we are spotlighting Meric Anavi, Interior Design student from Istanbul, Turkey, and alumnus of Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This summer Meric earned his certificate in furniture design after completing the Furniture Design Certificate Program at SCPS. This extensive certificate program allowed Meric the opportunity to expand his knowledge and artistry in both furniture and interior design. Living in New York City and unraveling the design industry in this sprawling metropolis has been both a rewarding and rich experience for Meric. In many ways the vibrancy and restlessness of NYC mirrors the spirit of his own hometown in Istanbul. Tune in below to learn more about Meric’s journey through Pratt, his professional and educational experiences, as well as the challenges he has faced navigating through the design world.

Pratt SCPS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Meric Anavi: I don’t believe there is a limit to inspiration. I am inspired by objects, light, angles, shadows etc. Life is my source of inspiration. I can create designs based on a sound or light that I encountered years ago. I love nature and scenery. Nature is an artistic composition of extraordinary perspectives. It is a piece of art.

Courtesy of Meric Anavi

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

Meric Anavi: I spent my childhood making drawings in class. I never valued success that much in school, what satisfied me was drawing. My family espoused that I had to get a rigorous education in order to be successful, yet time showed me that success meant doing what I desired, which is creating.

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

Meric Anavi: It’s natural that learning varies from person to person. What I always wanted to improve myself on was drawing, yet I was constantly told that success in life came upon traditional and normative learning. Success was defined as passing the classes that were thrown at me. In order to escape this belief I equipped myself with skills outside of school. What was most difficult for me was to psychologically escape the belief that success comes with basic education.

Courtesy of Meric Anavi

In high school I enrolled in a studio which showed me that school was whatever I wanted it to be and I finally discovered that drawing is what motivates me to learn. Thanks to the time I spent at the studio I was able to deconstruct these social dogmas on success. Despite the imposition of education, I don’t believe it is harmful. On the contrary, if I had not had to pass the classes I took so far with such a rigorous grading system, I would not have the ambition and desire I have now.

Pratt SCPS: What part of the Pratt experience do you reflect on the most?

Meric Anavi: Pratt was like a new beginning in my life. For the first time, I felt I achieved something tangible. Getting my furniture design certificate is a novelty that I am beyond proud of. What I had designed or drawn prior to Pratt stayed on paper as just designs.

Courtesy of Meric Anavi

At Pratt I learned about the intricacies of executing a design and how a mental design translates as a real life product. This was a challenging yet rewarding process. I learned how to manipulate designs to render them functional.

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?

Meric Anavi: My advice would be to never lose your ambition and desire. Working on yourself psychologically will always keep you steps ahead in whatever field you are working on. Creating a product that reflects the true you is incredibly satisfying. You end up creating something you get to call “mine”. You shouldn’t fear the hard work that needs to go in to the creation of great things as the product of your work will be worth the effort. You should always be open to learning and change. This is how I believe you get ahead in life.

Courtesy of Meric Anavi

To learn more about the Furniture Design Certificate Program visit the SCPS website. To stay up to date on student and alumni features from  DESIGNTERRA make sure to subscribe. Don’t forget to follow Pratt SCPS on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Student and Alumni Feature: Adrian De Propertis

Adrian De Propertis

Adrian De Propertis is a Digital Artist, Graphic Designer and Product Designer currently studying at Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He is originally from Melbourne, Australia, where he studied at Deakin University, recorded and performed in metal bands, and trained in acting and film production. He received an opportunity to study design at Pratt Institute and quickly discovered that he had a talent for creating art, photography, motion design and illustration. So far Adrian has truly enjoyed his life in New York City and feels a deep connection to this city since moving here. Keep reading to learn all about Adrian’s experiences as a Pratt student, his exceptional art and design work and the lessons he has learned throughout his career in the creative world.

Pratt SCPS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Adrian De Propertis: Picasso may have said good artists borrow, great artists steal. I create mood boards on Pinterest often collecting information on color, illustration and motion and draw inspiration from films, music and literature. I look at art and installation everywhere and pay attention to what excited me. I really enjoy digital design and illustration. I’m a big film and music buff and love movies like Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, Lawrence of Arabia to name a few. I love reading when I can and I’m a big Dune fan. I love music, and used to be a vocalist for a metal band in Melbourne. I have a lot of dark influences from Punk Rock, Metal and Hardcore music, but am also a huge Indie, Shoegaze & New Wave fan.

Courtesy of Adrian De Propertis

Pratt SCPSWhat motivated you to pursue a career in digital design?

Adrian De Propertis: I feel as though I can express myself through design to really show a part of me. Someone once told me not to die with my music still in me. Design is art and a piece of me pours onto the canvas. I get immense gratification for hard work well done. I can use my technical direction skills along with my vision to communicate and evolve ideas to an even greater level. I enjoy the practical and technical aspect of designing products that can change people’s lives.

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

Adrian De Propertis:  Sometimes it’s a challenge to work and study at the same time, which means sacrifice and hard work in a competitive city. But I’m doing what I love and feel blessed in spite of the realities of paying bills. This has taught me to prioritize my time and never to settle or sell myself short.

Courtesy of Adrian De Propertis

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

Adrian De Propertis: Illustrator class and Photoshop really changed my life. I learned skills that I never knew I had. My teachers encouraged and had faith in me. I’m also learning the complex art of motion graphics on after effects and delving deeper into SFX plugins like trapcode and 3D tools to benefit me in the future.

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

Adrian De Propertis: If you really want something you have already told the universe you want it and it’s on its way to you. That’s kind of why they say never to give up because success does happen! Define yourself and don’t let anyone tell you what you are or your worth or what your limitations are. Discern what matters, focus on your goals and create. Networking is also essential. I give out at least a couple of business cards a week. I go to meetup events, and talk to people. Work that Instagram too, look at other designers and artists out there, and Pinterest is also very useful. Never give up, believe in yourself and make it happen. I’m grateful because Pratt has given me the skills, training, knowledge and experience to be a success!

Courtesy of Adrian De Propertis

To learn more about Adrian and his work,  check out his website, AdrianDepp . Make sure to follow both Pratt SCPS and Adrian De Propertis on social media.

 

Student and Alumni Feature: Angie Barillas

Angie Barillas

This month’s Student and Alumni feature focuses on Angie Barillas, the founder of Ebb and Flow Furniture. Angie is a former student and alumni of Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. While attending Pratt, she studied Computer Graphics and Drawing for Industrial Design. Angie was able to ingeniously apply her professional and educational experiences as well as her creativity to successfully develop and launch her sustainable furniture company, Ebb and Flow Furniture. Tune in to learn all about Angie’s experiences as a Pratt student, her incredible furniture company and all of the important lessons she’s learned on her journey through the art and design world.

Pratt SCPS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Angie Barillas: It started from living in New York City and seeing how much furniture ended up thrown out onto the curbside every time people moved because of poor materials. I am originally from Guatemala, where furniture is hand-crafted and passed on from generation to generation, so I want to make furniture that will create the same kind of tradition for the American customer.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in furniture design? And specifically sustainable design?

Angie Barillas: I have always had a passion for furniture, my Bachelor’s degree is Industrial Design and always feel drawn to functional objects in a slightly bigger scale such as furniture. I want to create great sustainable pieces that are designed to be timeless. Pieces that you can bring along with you at any stage of your life, so it doesn’t end up in a landfill after a few months or a year after purchasing it. I try to use our local materials that are available to the fullest, and also work to create new processes that will allow us to use materials in new ways and implement new techniques.  We accomplish that by letting the material be the star of the designs.

Ebb and Flow Furniture (Courtesy of Angie Barillas)

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

Angie Barillas: The cost of using fully certified sustainable materials tends to be higher so it is often hard to compete against more established brands that use more disposable materials. On the other hand, the market is also changing and consumers now want to know more about where their furniture is coming from and who is making it. Consumers also want to know more about ethically sourced labor which opens a niche for Ebb and Flow and our pieces.

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?

Angie Barillas: My experience at Pratt helped me optimize my ideation and development process, using computer CAD software. This made the production of my pieces more efficient. The hand sketching classes I took also helped with my creativity and to communicate my designs in a more professional and visual way to my team or potential customers. The Design entrepreneurship conferences and classes also helped me incorporate business methodologies that will eventually make my studio profitable.

Ebb and Flow Furniture (Courtesy of Angie Barillas)

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

Angie Barillas: Do a lot of research!  Research your market, your target clients, try to find information on other people that are trying to do the same as you.  And most importantly, stay patient, have perseverance because it takes time to build a brand or studio name from the ground up, but if you prepare yourself and put in the work , your chances are bigger!

To learn more about Angie and her company, Ebb and Flow Furniture check out their website. Make sure to follow both Pratt SCPS and Ebb and Flow Furniture on social media.