Pratt: Exploring forms through Making At Pratt, making has different roles. "In the beginning, it helps you find your ideas. In the middle it helps you develop the ideas. And at the end it helps you present them," explains Scott Lundberg, Chair of Industrial Design. "All of this making is actually learning to find a form." Alex Welsh 1 of 60
Pratt: First Year Grad Project Student projects and experiments line the studio space. Alex Welsh 2 of 60
Pratt: Workshop The Pratt workshop has a variety of machines that actually mimic manufacturing processes. Milling machines, lathes, vacuum formers, and more are hand versions of how actual production tooling might work. Alex Welsh 3 of 60
Pratt: Workshop By focusing and allowing students to make, students learn materials, industrial processes. "Our professors stress to start analog," first year student Aaron Nesser shared. "We got a lecture...what was it called? Oh yeah, 'The Machines Will Fuck You.'" Alex Welsh 4 of 60
Pratt: Prototype, IMARI Research Lab The IMARI Research Lab explores intelligent materials and "clothing as a product and products as things you wear on your body," explained director Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman Alex Welsh 5 of 60
Pratt: Prototype, IMARI Research Lab A more recent prototype for a smart textiles installation that will create a sonic landscape triggered by the personal electronic devices of students, faculty and visitors who walk underneath it. The prototyping process combines elements of pattern making from fashion design and model making from industrial design. Alex Welsh 6 of 60
Pratt: Student Work in the Hallway A first year grad project from the industrial design workshop hangs in the hallway of the Design Center at Pratt. Alex Welsh 7 of 60
Pratt: First Year Studio Space 8 of 60
Pratt: Bicycle Navigation System Prototype A student project that connects the navigation system on your phone with haptic feedback embedded into the handlebars of a bicycle. By Morgan McInvaille and Julian Goldman. Alex Welsh 9 of 60
Pratt: Prototyping in Spun Metal A project from the Industrial Design Technology class that tasks students to design for a production opportunity. Every two weeks students go through a series of problems and then visit a fabricator to learn about a production process. They then go back and create a form. Here, Evan Huggins shows a cocktail set—stacking cups nested inside a cocktail shaker—that also took advantage of a prior vacuum forming project. Alex Welsh 10 of 60
Pratt: Makerbot Replicator, Form and Tech Lab The newly minted School of Design at Pratt is expanding its digital fabrication offerings. Students set up the software and deal with machine problems themselves, "so they learn what the process is," explains lab tech Joe Morris. "[They learn] what the structure and brains are." Alex Welsh 11 of 60
Pratt: MCOR Iris, Form and Tech Lab This paper printer cuts out and laminates each sheet layer by layer. The glue is non-toxic and biodegradable and everything is recyclable. Alex Welsh 12 of 60
Pratt: Making in the Hallways Students work on building a geodesic dome in the hallways of the Design Center Alex Welsh 13 of 60
SVA PoD: Classrooms "We view this space as technology," explains Marko Manriquez, Systems Administrator for SVA's Products of Design program. A lot of research into how architecture can foster creativity informed the design of the space. Movable walls, tables on wheels and walls of sketching surfaces enable students to assert themselves in the space and mold it to their needs. Alex Welsh 14 of 60
SVA PoD: General Workspace Students at work prototyping projects for midterms. Alex Welsh 15 of 60
SVA PoD: Materials for the Laser Cutter A product catalog of materials, courtesy of Inventables, that are safe for use with the laser cutter. Alex Welsh 16 of 60
SVA PoD: Embroidery Machine Taking any image, vector or bitmap, the embroidery machine can stitch up to eight different colors. Alex Welsh 17 of 60
SVA PoD: Circuitry Materials Housing for transistors, resistors, LEDs and other basic components students might need to build a robot. Alex Welsh 18 of 60
SVA PoD: Drill Press The wood shop comes with a view of Manhattan. Alex Welsh 19 of 60
SVA PoD: Materials Closet Different grades of plywood, wood, MDF and other sheets of materials are available for purchase to students. Alex Welsh 20 of 60
SVA PoD: Student working on a sander Students take a basic safety class but from there, are open to explore the workshop. "Once they start doing it and build confidence, they start getting that synergy of using three tools at once." Alex Welsh 21 of 60
SVA PoD: Filtration System "The tools generate more tools," explains lab tech Tak Cheung. His prototype for the filtration system is used throughout the workshop. Alex Welsh 22 of 60
SVA PoD: Wood Workshop Alex Welsh 23 of 60
SVA PoD: CNC Shopbot The drill features a bespoke acrylic piece to stop broken bits from flying off an hurting users. Alex Welsh 24 of 60
SVA PoD: Cutouts for Tools Made in-house for hand tools in the workshop. Alex Welsh 25 of 60
SVA PoD: Clean Room Featuring different types of 3D printers to laser cutters, the clean room has a special air filtration unit. Students are encouraged to set up their own files and learn how to interact with the system. Alex Welsh 26 of 60
SVA PoD: 3D Printed toy This toy is used as a teaching tool to explain the process of printing (and then dissolving) support material for embedded objects. Alex Welsh 27 of 60
SVA PoD: Spray Booth A closet opens up and magically transforms into the spray booth: everything from fixatives to spray paints. Alex Welsh 28 of 60
SVA PoD: Bud prototype In the gallery space shared with SVA's VIsible Futures Lab, student work is on display. Here a prototype for Bud, a smart pregnancy companion designed by Eliz Ayaydin and Vidhi Goel. All the prototypes and packaging is made onsite in the workshop. Alex Welsh 29 of 60
NYU ITP: Open Space for ITP Students ITP has one floor for the entire department which houses classrooms, studio space and the workshop. Alex Welsh 30 of 60
NYU ITP: The Wooden Mirror by Daniel Rozin Part of ITP's permanent exhibition, the Wooden Mirror is a great example of the interactivity and physical computing explored through ITP's program. A camera in the center processes the amount of light that hits the mirror to create a "reflection." Alex Welsh 31 of 60
NYU ITP: Soldering in the Open Space ITP students come from diverse backgrounds—architecture, design, art, engineering, computer science, biology. The general open space allows for cross-pollination of ideas. Alex Welsh 32 of 60
NYU ITP: Printed Circuit Board Lab ITP students can learn to design and make their own circuit boards. This machine is part of the surface mount station which uses an attached air compressor to 1) apply small dots of solder paste to your pads, and 2) pickup and place your parts. Alex Welsh 33 of 60
NYU ITP: Techno Isel CNC Router Previous to CNC routers, the ITP workshop had hand routers. Although computers have created a more precise execution, the work comes in creating the design files on the computer. Alex Welsh 34 of 60
NYU ITP: Wiring the Penis Wall Unique to ITP, select graduates are invited to stay on for a third year to continue their research and serve as resident staff. Here, resident staffer Peiqi Su shows the wiring for her sensational project, the Penis Wall, a kinetic sculpture that responds to viewer's movements or real-time data from the stock market. Alex Welsh 35 of 60
NYU ITP: Prototyping in the Workshop As part of a project, student teams build a Rube Goldberg-ian device that starts with a mouse trap and ends with a mouse trap. Here, Xi Liu prototypes her portion of the device. Alex Welsh 36 of 60
NYU ITP: Prototyping in the Workshop Here a part of a team project where each member builds and then connects in a series of Rube Goldberg-ian devices that starts with a mouse trap and ends with a mouse trap.The workshop gives students space and access to materials to prototype their projects. Besides materials sold at cost, students also have access to a "junk shelf" where they can cannibalize old materials. Alex Welsh 37 of 60
NYU ITP: Student Project Billy Dang prototypes a pair of glasses that allows the user to, "see how you're seeing," reflecting the iris and creating the effect of an infinity mirror. The frames are 3D printed with one of the workshop's Makerbots. Alex Welsh 38 of 60
NYU ITP: Workshop With space at a premium, the design of the workshop and the equipment utilized are highly considered. John Duane, Shop Supervisor, has been with the program for 12 years. "We used to have PC Labs that would handle what we called P-Com, electronic communications on the chip. With the advance of technology, and everyone bringing in their own computers, we no longer have those labs. We're always hacking tomorrow." Alex Welsh 39 of 60
Parsons: John L. Tishman Auditorium The main auditorium at Parsons housed in the newly-built University Center designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Alex Welsh 40 of 60
Parsons: Metal Shop, Non-Ferrous Metals The metal shop services product designers and fine arts students alike. Here, an area dedicated to non-ferrous metals. There is an enameling kiln, brazing stations, and a regular kiln for small ceramic works. The shop also has machines for grinding, sanding, cutting, bending, and welding—a TIG welder, two oxy acetylene kits—and a CNC plasma cutter. Alex Welsh 41 of 60
Parsons: Metal Shop, CNC Plasma Cutter The plasma cutter can run plate sheets of steel, allowing for basic patterns with extremely accurate precision. Alex Welsh 42 of 60
Parsons: Metal Shop, CNC Plasma Cutter Steel and some aluminum can be cut in the machine, up to about half an inch thick. Furniture design students use the plasma cutter to create cuts and pattern pieces that can be flexed and folded in a way that traditionally would be hard to engineer and design. Alex Welsh 43 of 60
Parsons: Studio Space Studio space for graduate students. Alex Welsh 44 of 60
Parsons: Wood Shop, Delta Drill Press In the aftermath of a flood, the interim wood shop occupies 5,000 square feet and features high-end tools with safety protocols of principle concern. Full-time shop techs oversee the spaces and offer guidance to students. Alex Welsh 45 of 60
Parsons: Wood Shop, Mortising Tool A contemporary mortising tool that replaced a cast iron version that was damaged during the flood and had been used since the '60s. Alex Welsh 46 of 60
Parsons: Materials and Process Library Much of the work that students do in the shops is directly related to material exploration. Pratt's approach is a deep focus on understanding the process of the material and its ecology. The library, like all of Parson's making spaces, serves multiple disciplines and is organized by material and application, "so that the library becomes an entry point for people to understand something—a process," explains Dave Marin, Director of Modeling Facilities. Alex Welsh 47 of 60
Parsons: Light and Energy Lab Parsons was the first to launch a lighting program in the United States and still prides itself on being the only lighting design program that really focuses on aesthetics in the United States. Alex Welsh 48 of 60
Parsons: Light and Energy Lab, Heliodon Housed in the Light and Energy Lab, this heliodon is one of TK on the East Coast. By placing a model on the surface, students can understand how sunlight will change the look of the model throughout the day. Alex Welsh 49 of 60
Parsons: Light and Energy Lab, Diffuse Sky Simulator Part of the Light and Energy Lab, the collapsible walls of the Diffuse Sky Simulator fold open for use—allowing a designer to change the lighting conditions to see how a model will look through different times of day or different weather conditions. "These are designed and built by the faculty that are leading experts in light," explains the Director of the Product Design program, Rama Chorpash. Alex Welsh 50 of 60
Parsons: Laser Cutters A large selection of different laser cutters are available to all students. The digital fabrication space also includes a bay of MakerBot 3D printers. Alex Welsh 51 of 60
Parsons: CNC Mill Consulting Lab Specialty desktop CNC mills with a fourth rotary axis capability are house in this consulting lab. This Roland MDX-540A allows designers to mill the, "interior, exterior, rotate material around and piece things out," explained Dave Marin, Director of Modeling Facilities. "It has a lot of the same capacities that a 3D printer would, but you can play with it in multiple materials." Alex Welsh 52 of 60
Parsons: CNC Mill Consulting Lab, ShopBot The ShopBot can handle material up to 12 inches and can cut forms and shapes. The spoil board shows the remnants of a recent man-powered vehicle project. Alex Welsh 53 of 60
Parsons: Michael Kalil Beloved Parsons faculty member Michael Kalil designed space stations. The Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Designwas established in memory of Kalil and sends students internationally to investigate questions of technology and ecology. Alex Welsh 54 of 60
Parsons: Digital Lab, mcor 3D Printer A full-color 3D printer uses paper, cutting each layer out and laminating layers. The waste paper is recycled. The ecological values of companies are considered when choosing the machines that populate the Parsons workshops. Alex Welsh 55 of 60
Parsons: 3D Printed Orange This orange was printed using the mcor 3D printer. It is a solid construction and can be recycled. Alex Welsh 56 of 60
Parsons: Plastics Shop, Grizzly Table Saw With many of the same tools found in the wood shop, the tools found in the plastics shop are geared towards milling and machining plastics. Alex Welsh 57 of 60
Parsons: Student Prototype A student shows a prototype for a vibration dampener for tennis rackets. Alex Welsh 58 of 60
Parsons: Models for Human-Powered Vehicles A class taught by Dave Marin exposed students to the basic mechanics and engineering behind existing machines. The students were then required to build human-powered vehicles through CNC software so that multiples could be made. Alex Welsh 59 of 60
Core77 marks its 20 year anniversary by going back to where it all began—design school. As part of the Core77 Tech-tacular, our editorial series exploring the myriad ways that new technologies are shaping the future of design, we survey four design schools and their workshop facilities in New York City to understand the foundation being laid for the products of the future.
At Pratt, the granddaddy of ID programs, “we like to think of technology not as an end,” Scott Lundberg, program director explains. “[It's not] a magic trick so we can now get rid of the glue, tape, cardboard. What we do really well is integrate these new opportunities with our traditional abilities and see where it takes us.”
The Design Center on Pratt's Brooklyn campus—a 150,000 square foot learning facility that joins two buildings with a modern pavilion—was opened in 2007. The Center still retains the feel of the historic loft spaces that now house student studios, workshops and facilities. When Core77 toured the space, there was the warm hum of a place that has educated generations of students—including the Core77 founders over two decades ago.
The coursework at Pratt emphasizes a deep understanding of the relationship between materials and industrial processes. And the role of digital technologies? "We use technology just as a tool, just like we use sculpture or abstraction, " explains Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, the director of the IMARI Lab, "to make a connection with the person on an emotional level."
The relatively new Products of Design program was co-founded by Core77 partner Allan Chochinov in 2012 as a way to, "catalyze positive change through the business of making." With only 36 students, there is a unique intimacy found in the workshop, shared with SVA's Visible Futures Lab, where technicians are makers themselves and, as program administrator Marko Manriquez explained, "tools make new tools."
With an emphasis on making, all aspects of the student projects are produced on site. Documentation and storytelling are almost as important as the final product itself—students have access to a photo booth, there's photography training, a video storytelling class as well as an introductory web coding vertical. Also unique to the Products of Design program is the idea of architecture as technology. A lot of research went into how architecture can foster creativity. Movable walls, tables on wheels and walls of sketching surfaces enable students to assert themselves in the space, not to mention a communal kitchen, and mold it to their needs.
NYU's ITP program has been a pioneering space for, "exploring new forms of communication and expression," since it was begun in 1971. The program—classrooms, administrative and technical offices—occupies a whole floor in NYU's Tisch school. The chaos of the space reflects the nature of an inter-disciplinary program that attracts an array of students from the fields of architecture, design, art, engineering, computer science, biology and media studies. At ITP, experimenting and making is a largely collaborative process. As John Duane, Shop Supervisor of the program explained, "We're always hacking tomorrow."
"For us it's really nice to be able to sit next to somebody new every day," Midori Yasuda, Admissions/Special Events/Alumni Coordinator, told us as she gave us a tour through the open studio space. "You have different ideas of how somebody can go about a project, or 'Have you thought about doing it this way?' So, those types of connections kind of happen, especially when it's a free form space like this."
"How do we create making on 5th Avenue?" Rama Chorpash, Director of the Industrial Design program at Parsons posed this question as he gave Core77 a tour of a seemingly endless number of making spaces scattered throughout the facilities at Parsons The New School of Design. After a burst pipe flooded the product design shops in January 2014, the university kicked into high gear to execute their vision for a shared making space that could be utilized by all students. By early 2016, the New School will open a 25,000 square foot shared making space that will occupy the second floor of three connected New School buildings along 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
Until then, the university is shifting into shared making spaces across their various workshops and asking questions about safety, academic pedagogy and the ecological consequences of certain ways of making while building out a new facility. This means that they are testing new systems of administration, experimenting with material choices (there's a full-time director that investigates materials and environmental safety), and considering teaching/making adjacencies. "We want to model the future that we want to be living in."