We were particularly impressed with the work coming out of the industrial and product design students. Almost every single project on display takes the environment into consideration. Upcycled materials are present in most of the work from Mayang Anggraeni, whose Float Lights dazzled us in their simplicity and ingenuity. Made out of used laundry detergent bottle caps and LED lamps, these brightly colored accent lights could win any lighting competition. Anggraeni transforms the most mundane of objects into works of art, as with her Subtract necklaces fashioned from discarded colored pencils.
Student Melissa Godoy Nieto also transforms the everyday, turning a block of cork into an ergonomic, sustainable LED flashlight. Named Tork, the flashlight feels light to the touch, insulates the heat created by the device, and fits your hand much more comfortably than a generic flashlight. Another of Nieto’s creations, the Rope bag, uses the packaging spool of a synthetic rope as handles for a grocery bag made from the same twine.
Li-Rong Liao reuses materials as a form of expression in her mathematical furniture creations. The Mag Stool is assembled from old magazines organized in radiating patterns, reinforced with additional magazines for structural integrity. Her Folded Felt Stool uses only cardboard and felt to form an elegant furnishing with minimal connections; thus the environmental effects of production and assembly are minimized.
Some designers focus more directly on designs that actively advocate green living. Frances Ranno‘s Grasshopper see-saw and glowing Sneaks use exclusively sustainable materials and finishes, but her Vermi-Composting Bin represents an important step towards facilitating green urban living. The prototype is a free-standing thermo-form acrylic cylinder that resolves some of the hygienic and aesthetic barriers to composting by diverting smells and streamlining the emptying process.
Kiri Martin concentrates on the effects of waste as it relates to the lifetime of her paper pulp piggy bank, Bergdorf. Children can draw on the bank and make it their own, but Martin understands the relative short life span of a child’s bank and made her paper pig compostable.
David Kim and Mike Seto, part of the design collective ClickBoomPow, take a community building strategy to design and sustainability. Their designs, such as New Role Models public seating and (project)PL modular transportable public spaces, bring high design to the public realm and empower communities to connect and preserve their built environment through the exchange of ideas and the use of previously neglected public spaces.
The projects at Pratt Show 2011 confirm that the school’s design students consider sustainability and the environment beyond the materiality of their products, and including the overall impact of their creations in the real world. Inhabitat will be covering some of these projects in depth in the coming weeks, and we are excited to hear from these talented designers as they enter the workforce and make their green imprint in the world!