Established in 1963, the Pratt Center for Community Development works for a more sustainable and equitable New York City in partnership with community-based organizations, small businesses, and policymakers. As part of Pratt Institute, they use urban planning, architecture, and public policy to support community-based organizations in their efforts to improve quality of life, create economic opportunity, and advance sustainable development. Their work is grounded in four core values: Equity, Sustainability, Local Knowledge, and Diverse Economy.
CSDS serves as a physical and virtual hub for Pratt’s commitment to educate environmentally responsible citizens. CSDS encourages the use of Pratt’s campus as a living laboratory linking the classroom to campus initiatives. The CSDS houses a materials research center that supports faculty, students and alumni in the integration of sustainability into their professional lives. CSDS is also the home of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation founded in 2002.
Highlighted by the Center for an Urban Future as a catalyst for New York City’s economic growth, Pratt Institute has pioneered a powerful business incubator model for urban art and design schools, enabling students, recent alumni, and aspiring local start-ups to gain the entrepreneurial skills they need to succeed–all within a community of like-minded individuals committed to sustainable living. By providing space, strategic mentorship, and a network of experts in every aspect of business development and sustainable design, the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator and the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation are transforming New York City’s design economy.
The Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI) at Pratt Institute is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-centered initiative that provides students and faculty across disciplines access to GIS and visualization resources. SAVI is dedicated to Pratt’s commitment to benefit the greater community and provides services and GIS technical assistance to New York City-based nonprofit, civic, and community-based planning organizations, and offers a GIS and Design certificate program through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
The mission of Pratt’s Center for Art, Design, and Community Engagement K-12 is to increase access to instruction in art and design for young people by leveraging the resources and expertise of the Institute to support school-age children, city-wide public schools, and youth-serving organizations. The Center brings together art, design, and architecture to create meaningful educational exchanges between Pratt faculty and students, and schools and community-based organizations that benefit the learning outcomes of both, as well as advance academic research in K-12 art and design education.
Research and Innovation (IMARI) Lab, founded in 2014 by professor Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, proposes to create a paradigm shift in how practice-based design research and materials exploration is carried out and applied at the Institute. At the IMARI Lab, Pratt students and faculty pursue specific practice-based design research projects that explore the intersection of art, design, and technology.
In keeping with Pratt’s tradition of knowledge sharing and community outreach the research projects are coupled with workshops and lectures to explicitly foster networking and collaboration between Pratt’s design community members and researchers, scientists and engineers at other universities, labs facilities, and industry.
The Center for Experimental Structures was founded by Pratt School of Architecture professors William Katavolos and Haresh Lalvani to bridge the gap between advanced and emerging technologies of building with the making and shaping of architectural structures based on the fundamental principles of design in nature, and beyond.
Many of the structures constructed within the Hydronics and Morphology Laboratories of the Center are the first of their kind in the world. Ongoing projects by the principal faculty include visual mathematics, origins of order, architectural genomics and hyperspace architecture.
The Center for Experimental Structures is unique within schools of architecture and design in the United States. The Center has begun to establish academia-industry links. Students participate in this research through various academic and professional routes. The Undergraduate Architecture Department is offering a minor/concentration in Morphology. CES faculty include Ajmal Aqtash, John Gulliford, William Katavolos, Haresh Lalvani, and Che-Wei Wang.