Pratt Foundation is a yearlong experience that transforms incoming students into a connected community of aspiring artists, designers, creative makers, and thinkers.
As the gateway to Pratt for many students, Foundation serves a critical role of introducing core concepts of the creative practice while building community habits and relationships that will endure well beyond the first-year experience. Resembling today’s reality for makers and visual thinkers, Pratt Foundation encourages students to work collaboratively, pooling abilities, ideas, and talents to synthesize technology and tradition into innovative, creative outcomes. First-year students learn to rely not only on their faculty, but also each other, for critical feedback and support as they collectively strengthen their abilities to enter into their chosen disciplines.
The Foundation year consists of two yearlong courses, Light, Color, Design and Visualization and Representation and two semester-long courses, Space, Form, Process, and Time and Movement. Six-hour studio classes allow for sustained and focused looking, learning, and making. These courses focus on the fundamentals of art and design while pushing students through a series of conceptually challenging prompts to strengthen skills and hone their craft.
The Pratt Foundation classroom has been designed as a laboratory that facilitates exploration and inquiry. Students develop analog and digital skills through a series of independently driven projects in their studio-based classes. Projects are structured yet open-ended and allow for self-discovery. Through successes and missteps, students learn to innovate solutions and recognize what it takes to be a successful artist or designer.
The Pratt Foundation year immerses students in a world of exciting ideas, methodologies, and approaches informed by aesthetics, history, politics, identity, and more. As students learn new things, they are challenged to reexamine preconceived notions. Pratt Foundation students gain practical knowledge as well as an in-depth understanding of the complexities, fluidity, and challenges within the creative practice.
Assistant to the Chair
Sung Ha No
Foundation Lab Coordinator
In Foundation, drawing is the process of creation structures on the page that are analogies to structures both in the world and the imagination. The practice of drawing is a means of investigation to develop visual thinking and spatial and structural awareness. Students gain proficiency in the drawing process and develop analytical and expressive fluency in the language of the mark. Figure drawing is a critical practice to realize complex arrangements of parts as a unified whole with vitality, empathy and movement. In studio practice and extended projects students develop a range of abilities to visualize and communicate three-dimensional information on the two-dimensional surface.
Visualization/Representation/Concept builds on and extends the concepts and skills for the first semester. Students learn to use value in conjunction with line to achieve a synthesis of form, space, composition, and content. Projects will increase in ambition and the development of concept will be addressed through increased emphasis on student agency, analysis, iteration, evaluation, and group critiques. The course is designed to address the range of formal issues, processes, and material practices students will encounter as they move into the more specialized areas in the school.
Space, form and process introduces the student to the fundamental principles and dynamics of the physical world. Students will work with a range of materials and develop an understanding of their character and appropriateness for particular solutions. The training of the eye (observation), mind (analysis) and hand (realization) will result in comprehension and sensitivity to the three-dimensional experience. Pragmatic application will provide context, connections and meaning. Project based learning will parallel cognition of fundamental principles. Students work will demonstrate the ability to analyze and articulate principles, materials and relationships.
In Light, Color, and Design Lab the student is immersed in the experience of light, sensitized to color and it attributes, and familiarized with the elements, principles, and process of design. Through a series of cumulative and interwoven exercises, students explore how color and design are interlinked, and apply this understanding to projects in a wide range of media. Skills and concepts mastered in this semester allow students to conceive and create work the applies color and design with purpose.
Light Color & Design Studio is a workshop to develop ideas independently and collaboratively through an extended studio process, to create authentic new work that applies the elements, principles, and relationships of light, color, and design to communicate purpose and intent. LCD Studio follows and builds on the work of LCD Lab. Through applying their knowledge to new challenges; students grow in conceptual ability, visual awareness, initiative, and self-knowledge, informing their lives and their future studies.
Introduces the student to the fundamentals of ordering information in time. Students will create, acquire, manipulate, animate, choreograph, and distribute digital content across multiple platforms and outputs. The course begins with construction the illusion of movement with sequences of still images, and moves through various modes of filming and editing sound and moving images from the linear to the interactive. The student will learn the basic and fundamental principles of animation and motion design, digital photography and videography, sound design, and interactivity. Students will have a basic proficiency in the tools needed to create time-based work, and understand ideas of order and interaction. In a world where increasingly everything moves and interacts these skills and concepts are essential for all artists and designers.