If I had to give a prize to a school, it would have to be Pratt. They are definitely an institution that is on the cutting edge of what needs to happen now with educational institutions in the world: solve problems, involve community.
I met with Deb Johnson the director of Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies there back in May and was duly impressed by her and her programs. In my inbox today, I was pleased to see two women among those awarded the inaugural 2010 Buckminster Fuller Graduate Fellowship award in conjunction with Pratt’s CSDS.
Ashley Thorfinnson with her Demerara Table:
The table, inspired by the fencing in Guyana, was made during a trip there as part of a Social Entrepreneurship venture.
Sahar Ghaheri’s Minor Differences Arabic/Hebrew necklace:
“Being of Arab descent and growing up mostly in the states with close Jewish friends, I have been aware of both sides of the long standing tension between Arab and Jewish cultures. My experience has also made me acutely aware that many aspects of these seemingly dissident cultures are more similar than many tend to acknowledge. I’ve created a piece of jewelry which allows the two languages to interact on one stage, using one Arabic word and one Hebrew word to form the phrase MINOR DIFFERENCES.” – Sahar’s description of the project.
The site says both are involved with Project H which has been on my radar since I started wwm. It’s a volunteer-run chartitable organization that uses industrial design to solve global problems on a local level. Read about Project H and/or watch the video at right.
What is the Buckminster Fuller Challenge?
Getting into detail about Buckminster Fuller’s contribution to Design Science is too big a task and one I am not remotely equipped for. Instead, I pulled this from a website which at least gives you the conceptual anchor, and its a big one:
“‘Anticipatory Design Science’, or ‘Design Science’ for short, is a wide-ranging field of study, which focuses on the process of how to go about solving problems. It was pioneered in the early Twentieth Century by R. Buckminster Fuller, and has now expanded to include several generations of architects, planners, engineers, and designers. It is comprehensive because it seeks to find an underlying problem or issue, and solve for that general case, rather than for only one specific instance of a problem. For example, one of my primary interests is in understanding the causes of, and designing solutions for, the problems of homelessness on a global scale; Not simply why one person is homeless on the street in my town, or in yours, but why we have more than 400 million homeless people all around the world. It is Anticipatory because the Design Scientist seeks to understand not just the problem at hand, but how this problem, or similar ones, may manifest themselves over time. Also, to try and foresee what problems a proposed ‘solution’ might bring up, and to plan accordingly.” -Miquel.com go there to read more
A bit more on Buckminster Fuller added 10/29 via If It’s Hip, It’s Here and Dexigner.com:3 Comments
A skim through the portfolios of 2009 grads from RISD and Pratt, I came up with four quick stand-outs and two reasons why ‘me likey’ as Coroflot says.
Irina Kozlovskaya, RISD
A bike rack that protects. Living in the thief-heaven that is Barcelona, I’m always wrestling with the racks outside my gym to make my bike as hard to steal as possible so I can appreciate a solution like this. Covers one wheel so you only have to lock up the other. a) solves problems b) looks neat. This is her site.
Tiffany Burnette, Pratt
Makes cuffs with metro maps. She has a company called Design Hype Inc. and calls her self an entrepreneur as well as a designer. Now we’re talking. I’d love one that lights up or uses color for each subway line. I’d like mine to be for Barcelona. Congrats to Tiffany. Why I like it? a.) solves a problem b.) does it with whimsy and what looks like comfort! Comfort is key. Too bad she started putting her URL very very large on the side. Seems a shame as it now looks more like schwag than design. I’d recommend she go back to the original design.
Lindsay Weisenthal, RISD
Continuing a movement playing with pixelization, as well as a reference to the digital mixed with the traditional in the form of a lovably tactile patchwork aesthetic. The modern and the traditional. The digitized and the hand touch. a.) builds on the conversation. b.) shape, use of color, and small size for urban living makes it fresh and easy to produce and distribute. This is her site.
Maggie Matela, Pratt
After wading through thumbnail after thumbnail, this plush and touch-worthy backpack shape reminded me of exquisitely draped clothing – or at least it’s a few tweaks away. I don’t think it’s easy to make a backpack look luxury. Maggie’s accomplished that. I hope it goes into production and we can sell it here, even better yet in a variety of muted inky colors. a.) new look from an old theme. b.)great starting off point for a signature piece. This is her site.
Thanks to Coroflot for the great online portfolios.
-Chauncey Zalkin2 Comments
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