Posted on Wednesday 05 May 2021

More than 50 projects from across the Pratt Institute are featured in the Pratt 2021 (ROH) Virtual Open House for Research, hosted by the Office of the Marshal’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships. The fourth edition of the annual event was launched in April, showcasing the innovation and creative thinking of students, faculty, staff and alumni, reflecting all the groundbreaking research carried out throughout the year. by Pratt.


“The Wing Guard: An Insect Control Device for Temporary Food Services” by Ellen Zhengyi Ren, BID ’21, with industrial design professor Ignacio Urbina Polo

More than 50 projects from all over the Pratt Institute are presented in the virtual site 2021 Pratt Research Open House (ROH), hosted by the Office of the Marshal’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships. The fourth edition of the annual event was launched in April, showcasing the innovation and creative thinking of students, faculty, staff and alumni, reflecting all the groundbreaking research carried out throughout the year. by Pratt.

This year’s ROH Award winners have been announced. Macarena Gómez-Barris, director of the Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies at the School of Liberal Arts and Science (SLAS) and founding director of the Global South Center, received the Research Recognition Award. Selected by a committee of the Pratt Academic Senate, the award is one of Pratt’s highest honors. The award, which involves a year-long review process, recognizes individuals with close ties to Pratt who have made a significant impact on academic research and have achieved critical review and reception for their work.

In the five years since Gómez-Barris became a member of Pratt’s faculty, she promoted dialogue, scholarship and research with an interdisciplinary approach. The Global South Center, which she established in 2016, has spearheaded initiatives such as examining regional disparities in the ecological impact of ocean plastics and climate injustice as a result of recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico. As a researcher and writer, Gómez-Barris explores the intersections between the environment, decolonization, the visual arts, memory, and the restitution of land and seas. She is the author of four books, including Where memory resides: culture and state violence in Chile (2009), Ta Extractive Zone: social ecologies and decolonial perspectives (2017), Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Political Currents in the United States (2018), and Towards a sociology of a trace (2010, with Herman Gray), with an upcoming publication on the Colonial Anthropocene expected to be published by Duke University Press in 2022.

“The more than 200 activists, academics and artists we invited to speak, participate and engage with us at the Global South Center have really shaped my research,” said Gómez-Barris. in a ROH Q&A. “All of these participants are working for radical justice through their scholarly and artistic approaches, as well as unique visions of how to do it often. Working with my colleagues at the Global South Center has helped shape my research trajectory and personally represents a significant achievement. The Global South Center is a model of a transdisciplinary approach to research and action. “


“Bioplastics: Materials for a Sustainable Future” by Professor of Mathematics and Science Cindie Kehlet and Helio Takai, Acting Dean of SLAS, with Mary Lempres, Laboratory Technician for Mathematics and Science

This year’s showcase ROH projects were also recognized for their outstanding contributions to research, with awards being selected by a team of faculty judges. The sustainability award went to “Bioplastics: Materials for a Sustainable Future ”which explores how biodegradable materials could replace traditional plastics, especially in art and design. Math and science professor Cindie Kehlet and Helio Takai, acting dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS), led the project with math and science lab technician Mary Lempres. Their research is focused on creating gelatin-based bioplastics with varying amounts of activated carbon to allow flexibility with potential for use in everyday products.


“Sonic Bloom: what if plants could talk to us?” by Anushritha Yernool Sunil, MID ’22, and Archana Ravi, MS Information Experience Design ’21

The innovation prize was awarded to “Sonic Bloom: What if plants could talk to us? By Anushritha Yernool Sunil, MID ’22, and Archana Ravi, MS Information Experience Design ’21, with industrial design professor Debera Johnson. The project involves a soundscape that connects plant owners to the health of their plants, using a circuit board and the corresponding app, bringing users closer to the daily changes in the natural environments of their plants. houses.


“Preserving Activism Beyond and Between the Gates of Pratt” of the School of Design, School of Architecture and Pratt Libraries

There was a tie for the Impact Award, the two winners being “Preserving activism beyond and between the gates of Pratt ”and“ A Civic Shift ”. “Preserving Activism” involved professors, students and staff from the School of Design, School of Architecture and Pratt Libraries who came together to investigate the history of activism on the campus using instants, oral histories and texts. Their research has increased the impact of students, especially students of color and women, in the struggle for justice and equality. “A Civic Shift” was directed by Amy Khoshbin, Fine Arts Civic Engagement Fellow, and Deputy Fine Arts Director Dina Weiss with Elle Ellinger, MFA Fine Arts ’21, and Natalia Petkov, MFA Fine Arts ’21. The initiative brought together contemporary artists, local organizers and New York City Council candidates in a series of performative digital events focused on issues related to how our collective imaginations can foster incremental change in an era of COVID-19.


“A Civic Shift” by Amy Khoshbin, Fine Arts Civic Engagement Fellow and Deputy Fine Arts Director Dina Weiss with Elle Ellinger, MFA Fine Arts ’21, and Natalia Petkov, MFA Fine Arts ’21

The Start-Up Power Award was awarded to “The Wing Guard: A Bug Killer for Temporary Food Services ”by Ellen Zhengyi Ren, IDB ’21, with industrial design professor Ignacio Urbina Polo. “The Wing Guard” is a healthcare solution focused on transient food establishments, such as wet markets and farmers’ markets, mimicking the visual, sound and movement characteristics of a dragonfly to prevent flies from landing on the floor. food. In addition to promoting hygiene, it also helps prevent the transmission of serious infectious diseases.


“Fashion and Identity: Representation, Self-Esteem and the Muslim-American Narrative” by Visiting Associate Professor of Fashion Design Shireen Soliman with Cassidy Jackson, BA Critical and Visual Studies ’21, and Emily White, Advisor at Bank Street College of Education

The second annual People’s Choice Award, voted by over 300 ROH visitors, went to “Fashion and Identity: Muslim-American Representation, Self-Esteem, and Narrative. Visiting Associate Professor of Fashion Design Shireen Soliman’s Project with Cassidy Jackson, BA Critical and Visual Studies ’21, and Emily White, Advisor at Bank Street College of Education, aimed to promote community and identity among young people. Muslim women and empowerment to be their most authentic selves. In a series of design workshops, participants examined the correlation between awareness, action and perception of dress, such as a workshop where they redesigned their own clothes into something new embodying their identity.

All ROH 2021 projects are available to explore online, reflecting the cutting edge research that takes place across disciplines throughout the year at Pratt.



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