Corporate sponsorship and dynamic, playful designs were major highlights of this year’s Pratt Institute exhibition. One such sponsor that the renowned fine arts school featured was Hennessy V.S., the world’s largest Cognac producer, which Pratt teamed up with to launch a student competition exploring Hennessy’s “Wild Rabbit” campaign and the ambitious mantra “Never stop. Never settle.” The top three student designs were showcased at the BKLYN Designs Pratt exhibit as well as on the Hennessy website, social media channels, and at the Epic Hotel during Art Basel Miami Beach. Andre De Castro (M.F.A. Graphic Design, ’13) was selected as the first place winner for his collection of silk-screened portraits, called Project Movements, which highlight the experiences of young people struggling to overcome political and cultural challenges around the world.
Opposite the Pratt-Hennessy Competition designs were award-winning student works selected by the annual Umbra/Pratt Design Competition. Umbra, a Toronto-based leader in modern and affordable home design, has continually collaborated with Pratt for nearly a decade to develop and commercialize select student designs. Featured designs include the 2012 winner T-FRAME by Caleb Ferris and Prakhar Mehrotra; Wishbone Soap Dish by Jeremy Alden; Talk Whiteboard by Carolina Kim; and the Conceal Bookshelf by Miron Lior. All the works are available for purchase online.
The exhibit also included stand-out designs by recent alumni who partnered with corporate sponsors; Industrial Design Professor Bruce Hannah curated the selection of alumni work. The selected artworks covered a wide spectrum of design, from interior furniture and lighting to 100% recyclable toys and pet products commissioned by corporations such as Planet Obo and Tumi. One of Inhabitat’s favorites from the display was artist Jason Freeny’s hand-sculpted anatomical model of Barbie. After cutting away a portion of the plastic doll, Freeny inserts painted clay sculpted into the shapes of bones and internal organs—a side of Barbie you’ve likely never seen before!
Check out more student and alumni work featured by the Pratt Institute in our gallery.
Images © Lucy Wang