Reed Hansuld is a custom furniture maker based in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. A self-admitted “slave to the form” he meticulously handcrafts customized, heirloom furniture pieces using both modern and traditional methods. I had the great pleasure of documenting Reed as he made his interpretation of the Hans Wegner valet chair. Says Reed, “When I first saw the Hans Wegner valet chair ,which would have been many years ago, I didn’t think much of it and didn’t really take the time to try to understand more about it. I wasn’t overly wowed or impressed, in fact I thought it had some funny elements to it. But... once I had to start designing this chair and realizing certain things about the requirements of the chair, I started realizing how smart the Hans Wegner design was.” You can see his work here: Music: Forest Chorus (instrumental) by Quiet Corral. Licensed from The Music Bed Camera: Canon 5dMk2 Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4, Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, Canon 85mm f/1.8 Monitor: SmallHD AC7 Edited and graded in Adobe Premiere CC

The Mitchell & Ness Varsity Jacket is iconic and historically rich, and producing each jacket in America is an important process. This video takes you through production with Dehen Jackets, a 4th generation factory that has been hand crafting apparel for Mitchell & Ness for many years and will continue to produce sports memorabilia for the brand.

Sculpture student Anthony Limauro (B.F.A. Fine Arts ’15) referenced classical forms in the contemporary table that he created as part of his senior thesis project. With a glass and walnut top supported by four bronze caryatids, which are sculpted figures that serve as supports, his design explores the contrast between the classical sensibility of the dark, sculptural table legs and the cleaner, lighter finish of the rest of the piece. In a departure from the sculpted female caryatids found in classical architecture, Limauro created both male and female figures to serve as caryatids supporting the tabletop. Each one faces a different direction, offering a sense of movement to the piece that emphasizes his modern interpretation of the traditional.

Fashion design student Sophie Andes Gascon (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’15) created a final thesis collection, which is under consideration to be shown in the 2015 Pratt Institute Fashion Show to be held on May 7. In spring 2014, Gascon was awarded a scholarship from Cotton Incorporated. The scholarship allowed her to source materials and explore different ways of working with cotton in her collection, which was inspired by the people and landscape of her hometown of Manaus, Brazil. This short video offers a window into the processes and ideas that went into developing the collection.

Pratt recently acquired two industrial robots and has created a robotics facility where students can access the technology for robotics seminars and studios. The Institute is one of the first art and design schools in the country to incorporate robotics into its curriculum. Mark Parsons, director of production technologies in the School of Architecture, and his team, led by Cole Belmont, CNC manager, set up the robotics lab in the School of Architecture. This short video explores how recent developments in robotics are making robots valuable tools for designers and shows how architecture students in Adjunct Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Architecture Ezra Ardolino’s robotics seminar began working with the Institute’s new robots last fall.

Chengtao Yi (B.I.D. ’15) was selected earlier this year to design the award for Legends 2014, Pratt Institute’s annual scholarship benefit honoring icons of art and design whose works have helped shape the cultural landscape. For the last several years, Pratt’s Department of Industrial Design has worked with the Office of Institutional Advancement on the Legends award design project. Karen Stone, adjunct associate professor of industrial design and director of design at Knoll, chose Yi to design the award based on his skills and confidence, and worked with him through every stage of the process. This included the opportunity to work with artist Edison Zapata at Urban Glass and Adam Apostolos, sculpture technician at Pratt, to create the glass and metal pieces of Yi’s distinctive design. In this short video on the making of the award, Yi discusses his inspiration and what he learned from the project.

For his graduate thesis project, Justin Crocker (M.I.D. '14) created a chair using a three-dimensional structural weaving technique he developed with the help of digital tools. He initially tested the technique by creating a series of small woven paper samples before moving on to working with the plywood and leather. He then created a number of prototypes to help refine the design of the chair before creating the final piece. The chair was shown at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City in May 2014. Music: Adventure, Darling by Gillicuddy is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Germany License.

Fashion design student Julia Wollner (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’14) is one member of the graduating class whose final thesis collection was selected to be shown in the 2014 Pratt Institute Fashion Show on May 1. Wollner made her own textiles to help shape the distinctive silhouettes she was trying to achieve. She found the inspiration for her collection through personal experience and struggles that she feels influenced her mindset as a designer. At the conclusion of the fashion show, Wollner was recognized with the Liz Claiborne Award—Concept to Product, a $25,000 award funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation that will support her creative, entrepreneurial activities and help cover the costs of developing a collection post-graduation.

Oliver Allaux started playing the violin at age 3, so when he took the course Methods and Materials with Mark Parsons, director of production and technology in the School of Architecture, building a violin was an opportunity for Allaux to indulge in a lifelong interest while testing the skills he had gained after four years at Pratt. Allaux crafted two full-size violins using a CNC miller, laser cutter, and 3-D printer, as well as traditional wood and metal shops. First, he found two-dimensional plans on the Internet for a violin modeled on the Stradivarius. Then he transferred the design into the software program, Rhino, and created the templates. Next, he used a CNC miller to cut out the large pieces of wood that compose the body of the violin. Finally, using a large-scale 3-D printer the smaller parts were formed out of plastic silicate powder. Production for each violin took two days. Small design tweaks in the second violin made for a slightly different sound.

I recently had the opportunity to spend the day observing Mona Brody's Life Study class collaborating with dance students at the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) for a project, in which Pratt students observed classes, learning how to sketch, photograph, and paint these graceful figures in action.