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...developing design talent since 1887
Pratt is internationally recognized for the high quality of its academic programs; its New York campuses (Brooklyn and Manhattan) are at an epicenter of creativity and commerce; Pratt is a leader in innovation through its emphasis on creative and cross-disciplinary problem solving; Pratt’s impact is global and local; Pratt’s learning environment promotes individual expression, creative growth, and practical training.
As one of the world’s multicultural epicenters for arts, culture, design, and business, New York City provides Pratt students and faculty, many of whom are active contributors to the city’s creative sector, with an exceptional learning and working environment that extends beyond the Pratt campuses to the city’s five boroughs. New York City is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other city in the U.S., which offers Pratt an advantage in securing sponsored studio projects that allow students real-world experience and simultaneously provide corporate representatives the opportunity to benefit from innovative thinking at Pratt. Brooklyn is an emerging hub for creative professionals to live and work with thriving cultural districts, and Pratt is located at the heart of Brooklyn’s growing art and technology scene that includes new digital art and technology galleries and businesses. About 3,500 of Pratt’s alumni currently reside in Brooklyn.
Pratt Institute was founded by Charles Pratt, a philanthropist who made his fortune in petroleum. Charles Pratt sought to provide educational training and job skills for individuals, especially immigrants, with few economic advantages, and to ensure that future generations would have access to an education that enabled them to pursue their artistic and creative goals. Stated in the Institute’s Articles of Incorporation, Charles Pratt’s objectives were “…to establish in the city of Brooklyn an educational institution in which persons of both sexes may be taught, among other things, such branches of useful and practical knowledge as are not now generally taught in the public and private schools of said city. The special aim shall be to afford opportunities for persons of both sexes to become acquainted with what is best in manufactured materials, fabrics, wares and arts, and…to educate the eye and hand in the practical use of tools and machinery.”
The Institute opened on October 17, 1887 with a drawing class of 12 students, and quickly expanded its course offerings, attracting more than 1,000 students by fall 1888. Reflecting Charles Pratt’s concern with the welfare of the general public, the Institute’s library, which opened in January 1888, served as Brooklyn’s first free public library until the establishment of the Brooklyn Public Library in 1897. Charles Pratt remained actively involved in the school’s development until his death in 1891, when his sons assumed responsibility for the Institute. In 1938, Pratt awarded its first bachelor’s degree, and has since established an international reputation for excellence as one of the world’s leading specialized colleges.
ACADEMIC AND INDUSTRY RANKINGS:
U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 Guide to America’s Best Graduate Schools rankings for Pratt Institute: Interior Design graduate program 1st nationally; Industrial Design undergraduate program 4th nationally; Communications/Package Design graduate program 9th nationally; Master of Fine Arts degree program 15th nationally.
DESIGNINTELLIGENCE 2011 RANKINGS:
Interior Design graduate program 1st nationally; Interior Design undergraduate program 2nd nationally; Industrial Design undergraduate program 4th nationally; Industrial Design graduate program 7th nationally; Architecture undergraduate program 9th nationally. Pratt was recognized as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.
Pratt was recognized as one of the country’s best values in private colleges and universities according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, which ranked Pratt as one of the top values for academic quality and out of more than 600 private institutions surveyed in a 2010 report.
As a leading educational institution in art, design, and architecture, Pratt is committed to becoming a role model for art and design schools across the nation by educating students, faculty, and staff on sustainable practices and their role as socially and environmentally responsible citizens, artists, and designers, and by integrating sustainability into the curriculum and campus facilities management.
CORPORATE SPONSORED STUDIOS:
Through design studio sponsored projects, corporations gain access to new unbridled approaches to a design or business problem, while participating student designers gain real world experience. Pratt’s creative students and faculty collaborate to tackle design problems and work toward possible solutions within the context of Pratt’s academic curriculum. Current corporate partners include Barnes & Noble, Colgate-Palmolive, Cotton Incorporated, General Mills, and Umbra.
Pratt is the only New York City area college of art and design with a functioning professional foundry that is used by fine arts, industrial design, architecture, and history of art students, especially those taking Chemistry for the Arts, which allows students to realize full-size works in bronze and to learn the ancient “lost-wax” casting process. Pratt’s woodshop includes machines appropriate for full-scale production and models to scale, and Pratt’s metal shop allows for metal fabrication from large-profile steel members to sheet metal fabrication.
PRATT FASHION SHOW:
Each year Pratt students showcase extraordinary talent at the Pratt Fashion Show, which demonstrates the Department of Fashion Design’s commitment to providing a superlative academic experience. Pratt offers a singular experience for emerging fashion designers. Students in the department spend four years working not only with other fashion designers, but also alongside all types of creative professionals, from painters and poets to architects and industrial designers. Pratt students weave themselves into the fabric of Brooklyn, become a part of its cultural community and draw on its artistic energy. The inspiration provided by the Pratt environment and the broader creative community of Brooklyn keeps each year’s Fashion Design collections extremely fresh and innovative. The world-class faculty in the Department of Fashion Design provide rigorous training, encourage students to find their creative expressions, develop their individual design aesthetics, and hold true to their visions.
In 2011, the Department of Fashion Design relocated to the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center, which also houses three of Pratt’s distinct design departments: Communications Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design. This multidisciplinary complex fosters collaboration and exploration across all areas of design. The space occupied by the Department of Fashion Design will feature glass-fronted classrooms and studios that allow students in other departments or stages in their fashion design education to watch their peers at work and be inspired by the techniques, materials, and processes they employ.
Over the past five years, funding for the Pratt Fashion Show has been awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt Institute by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated. Through this support, aspiring designers at Pratt have been given the opportunity to fully explore one of the world’s most versatile materials. The Cotton Incorporated/Pratt Institute competition has offered Pratt Fashion Design students critical challenges and has encouraged them to think beyond traditional boundaries. The Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated play an important role in supporting the presentation of Pratt students’ work to the industry and community:
At the 2011 Pratt Fashion Show and Cocktail Benefit, Vogue’s European Editor at Large Hamish Bowles received the 2011 Pratt Fashion Icon Award and Pratt Institute's senior class of 18 fashion designers presented stunning, original runway collections to a crowd of more than 700 guests. These debut runway designs were pre-selected by a panel of fashion industry experts and spanned several categories of apparel including ready-to-wear women’s and men’s; elegantly-constructed and sophisticated bridal and eveningwear; sportswear; and inventive costume designs. Following the runway show, a cocktail benefit was held in Hamish Bowles’ honor, which featured music by The Misshapes.