Pratt Integrative Courses
Pratt Integrative Courses (PICs) are designed as interdisciplinary explorations of a wide range of possible content, putting into practice multiple ways of thinking and ways of making. Students will acquire and integrate skills and competencies from both studio and general education classes, recombining them in novel and unexpected ways that test, challenge, and expand their creative/critical capacities. The PICs constitute an integrative opportunity in students’ overall Pratt learning experience, an engagement in a cross-disciplinary and collaborative environment that can also nourish their future work in their majors and the capstone projects related to their disciplines.
PICs are required for all undergraduates in the School of Art and the School of Design, plus BFA students in the History of Art and Design program and in the Writing program (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences).
Students do not have to take a particular Pratt Integrative Course. Every semester, over 20 PICs are offered. Students can select any PIC from a menu of offerings for their required PIC. Students across the institute can also choose to take PICs with their all-institute electives.
For more information on PICs:
This course focuses on the development of integrative capacities through students' own prior work, personal experiences, and future interests. Through exercises, activities, the examination of case studies, and projects that engage students in collaborative work and individualized and directed learning, students revisit their own aesthetics and connect their life experiences to academic work. They also examine connections across disciplines while engaging in extended reflection on their own learning.
This section of ONE invites students to examine a monumental creative writing work: The Tempest by William Shakespeare. This is hands-on 'playing' with his text to explore art making including: Sound art, spoken text, 'found art', spell casting, filmmaking, magical realism, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, map-making, ethno-mathematics, monsters, architecture, design and acting. Shakespeare has it all! We will see what happens, together, when we make his art our own. 'ONE' invites students to examine in depth one work, one ensemble of works or one major project from a thinker/maker that integrates multiple disciplines and 'languages' of creative practice. This in-depth investigation will be concurrent with students remaking one of their earlier pieces as well as creating an entirely new project.
This section of ONE uses Cabinet, designed by Tuomas Makunpoika, to start explorations into students' personal work and into collaborative work. What is there is a fertile as what is no longer present: the steel ring arrangement formerly wrapped around a wooden cabinet set on fire serve as an analogy of loss experienced by people affected b Alzheimer's disease. Cabinet allows for investigation of memory, memorialization, nostalgia, health, aging, temporality, personal history, among other topics, and through any medium.\"ONE\" invites students to examine in depth one work, one ensemble of works or one major project from a thinker/maker that integrates multiple disciplines and 'languages' of creative practice. This in-depth investigation will be concurrent with students remaking one of their earlier pieces as well as creating an entirely new project.
This course invites students to shake up their work, create new genres and forms, fuse disciplines, take aesthetic and stylistic risks, and balance individual work with collaborations and political interventions. Through the study and making of avant-garde pieces, the questioning of canons, the cultivation of idleness (that's right, doing nothing) and other radical actions, the class guides students to envision innovative paths for their future studies and projects. Go rogue. Be bold. And create groundbreaking work!
This course will explore the relationship between humankind and animals through words, images, and the combination of the two. Since the dawn of time images, and eventually words and images, describing and depicting animals have been used to explore, investigate, and mediate the complex dynamic of animals as both agents of nature and symbols of culture. The human/animal bond continues to have relevance, even as we destroy habitat and endanger more and more species. The concept of the Medieval Bestiary will serve as area of research and a schema for the creation of a novel compendiums of words and images reinforcing and complementing each other to tell new stories.
This course will examine the city as a collective text focusing on New York, Ancient/Renaissance Rome, and Henart's Paris using the architecture of these cities as our primary analytic lens. We will explore how a city can be broken down into its primary components like a column or wall similar to an alphabet within a text. This will be explored through lectures, discussions, drawings, and field trips providing a rare opportunity to see inside some spaces not typically accessible to the public.
This course will provide an opportunity to examine the impact artists and designers have in shaping the world. It will be an exploration of the interdisciplinary exchange between art and design that is focused on globalization. The course will provide historical context for culture and delve into the socio-political landscape of today by examining the ways artists and designers contribute to the greater good.
Virtual and augmented reality are at the forefront of technology and culture today. This course is both an exploration of the technical possibilities of VR/AR and simulations as well as a critical appreciation of the scope and limits of quantitative models. Students will learn ow to create and critique VR/AR simulations. We will explore the ongoing battle over truth in a time of \"fake news\" and \"alternative facts, \"developing crucial critical thinking skills in an age of contesting realities.
The term \"baroque\" denotes excessive ornamentation, curls, folds, and twisting surfaces, as well as a historical period known for its extravagant style. We will examine both the historical period designated \"the Baroque\" through literature, art, architecture, philosophy and history, alongside the \"baroque\" considered as a style that persists throughout history, associated especially with postmodernism and its embrace of multiplicity. Baroque texts will be transformed through creative assignments into new forms across a range of media.
New York may have a reputation for cold blooded materialism, but a spectacular wealth of spiritual history and contemporary ritual life pulsate inches behind thousands of architectural facades: some likely and some surprising. We will delve into New York City's ritual life past and present, exploring relationships between revelation and revolution, the divinatory and the didactic. For the culminating project, students will design an image system to complement a cosmology, ethical system, or ritual practice.
Social Media, Libraries, Museums, Artistic repositories. They all collect, construct meaning, erase meaning, and generate archives! But how?! And to what end?! Archive Fever uses an interdisciplinary lens to explore individuals, groups, and institution practices for making and mobilizing archives. Students will produce their own archives, visit various collections, investigate fervent accumulation (i.e., archive fever) and creatively respond to multiple archive forms.
Art and scent are linked together in time and space, speaking of memory emotion, and the spirit of artistic invention. This class explores fragrance as an artistic medium, using notes like dragon's blood, ambergris, rare flowers, and 35-million-year old amber. Joined with fine and performing arts, scent will be an immersive means of communication, challenging artistic-olfactory perceptions, translating memory into art and experience, and storytelling through multidisciplinary installation.
Sound is a pan-disciplinary medium that surrounds us all. The 'Sounding Architectures' integrated course introduces students to sound and the way in which it is married to architectural space. We will explore sound making methods that allow students to create site specific sound works in response to specific physical places, spaces, architectures. Students will gain an introduction to sound techniques as well as conceptual ways artists utilize sound as an art form and as a component of other hybrid art forms.
Travel! Move! Make! Write! This class is all about making and writing in creative ways, while moving and traveling in a world where transportation, communication, connection and creation all provide radical possibilities. In addition to creative risk-taking, the course also engages critically with traditional disciplines and practices (journalism, ethnography, documentary film) as well as newer spheres (social media) that involve travel and making/writing. The creations, the readings, and the critiques will allow an examination of works from different cultures, different time periods and different genres and languages.
Print is a pan-disciplinary medium that continues to impact our world. The 'Printing Architectures' integrated studio course offers students the opportunity to engage in the issues and conditions that bridge all creative disciplines through inventive potentials of printing objects. Students will explore object printing as an expressive medium integral to the art, design and architecture and create site specific printed architecturally related objects.
This course draws on design theory, the students' individual creative practices, and an interdisciplinary lens to develop methods for understanding individual and collective relationships with people and one's surroundings. Through analytical exercises and various making projects, students will heighten their observation skills and their understanding of the subtleties that enhance and shift perception. For the culmination project, students will create an \"environment\" that represents their spatial identity and nurtures their creative practice.
Alchemists refer to their combined practices as \"The Great Art.\" In this course, we will use metaphors derived from ancient alchemy to elucidate deep structures in the creative imagination, using alchemical symbolism as a springboard to expand our own capacities as thinkers and makers. Together, we will perform in-class experiments and trace the philosophies of alchemy through its applications in early mathematics, proto-chemistry, healing arts, psychology, visual art and literature to develop the tools to arrive at our own \"Great Art\"
This hands-on practice-based course will focus on creating and thinking critically about works at the intersection of science, art and design. Through the lenses of Functionality, Creativity, Learning, and Activism, we will see how science and art manifest in contemporary settings and fields as varied as environmental activism, sustainability, science fiction , museums, digital arts, science communication, socially engaged art, and design thinking
Have you ever wanted to take your creative practice apart at the seams, tinker around with it Medium, Method, and Mayhem: Expanding Your Creative Practice, and then put it back together, perhaps in a whole new way? With a building series of creative assignments influenced by makers and designers, architects and artists like Kara Walker, Lara von Trier, Billie Tsien, and Lauren Redniss, students will have a chance to look again at how they approach creating; play with and rebuild their process, taking into consideration the innovative processes of artists and designers who have travelled these roads before.
Creativity is defining to Pratt's mission, but what exactly do we mean by creativity? After distinguishing between mastery, innovation, and ordinary creativity, this course looks at Visionary Creativity. Visionary Creativity comes about in the context of its culture and at the same time changes its culture. This course helps each student think about their own creativity in the context of their field and in relationship to the larger culture.
Can the Freudian slip be a design principle? Can an architectural diagram double as a Rorschach test? Can a scribble tell a secret? In Corpse Will Drink, we will explore instinct, intuition, fear and desire as we search for ways to conjure the creative possibility of the unconscious mind.
How can technology impact creativity? How can we gamify our creative practice? What happens when we amplify our mistakes or magnify our missteps? In this course we will examine different technologies and how they affect creativity in practice, through games, visual art, writing, and other processes. Students will create work that is disrupted, enhanced, glitched, flipped, or obfuscated by technology and explore concepts and tools such as augmented realities, chatbots, electronic literature, non-linear narrative, and writing for video games.
\"Think outside the box!\" We've all heard that before. Defying the box seems to be at the core of creativity and innovation. But what exactly is this box?! In this course, we'll consider the box as the limits imposed by our ways of cataloging thoughts and perceptions-the binaries, hierarchies, and narratives we create to structure our world. We'll consult examples from art and design, pop culture and philosophy (from TV's \"Shark Tank\" to Derrida), and complete creative assignments based on strategies innovators employ to escape their boxes.
In this course, students explore 'seeing for yourself' or direct experience, in relation to Buddhism and creativity. Each class begins with a meditation. We then investigate a Buddhist theme-such as mindfulness or impermanence-in relation to an artist, designer, writer, or composer. The course highlights artists from the mid-20th century when Buddhism was first embraced by New York's avant-garde and more recent figures, like Agnes Martin and Steve Jobs. Projects incorporate different visual media and /or writing.
Working with students from different majors, you will design a public history project about activists, social reformers and critical events in Pratt's past. You will explore why, and how-those with power and those with little power-encouraged, or discouraged, social justice reforms and community partnerships. Your project will culminate in a pop up exhibition, walking tour, or alternative historical marker that makes a case for preserving an unseen story about Pratt's past.
This course will explore tools that encourage entrepreneurs, designers, artists, planners, and innovators to pursue projects that are socially conscious. Impact investments seek solutions for workforce development, poverty, community empowerment, and sustainable environments. How can creative professionals design an entrepreneurial model to create socially sustainable communities while simultaneously considering profitability and growth? We will explore innovative models to provide positive social impact.
Why and how do marginalized communities organize to protect their rights and exert power? How can you put your creative skills to the service of tangible social change? Through collaborative projects, hands-on workshops, field trips, and guest speakers, you will explore a variety of practices at the intersection of arts and community organizing. Final projects will be created in partnership with a member-led grassroots organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant with active campaigns around police accountability, food justice, and tenants' rights.
Follow your senses home. Question your understanding of new and remembered stories. Study perception, recognition and creation beyond the visual. Work across media and communication form collage to performance, interview to costume, stage set to psychogeographic realities. Play games and act in plays. Remember things past, experience the present, imagine the future. Find a sense of home.
Textiles are an incredible medium. The bridge cultures, cross disciplines, and embody the future. This class will examine the use and application of textiles while exploring their depth and versatility. From research and historical context to craft and innovation, we will examine the use and application of textiles while making, writing, crafting and imagining.
Embodied Surfaces, Textures, and Membranes is a course that explores the phenomenological, experiential, and sensorial potentials of interactive environments from New Media Art to Responsive Architecture. Students will use electronic and digital media to create custom coded environments at full body scale that are novel and inventive, with the capability to sense, emote, and augment human experience.
Productive Collisions embarks on a multidisciplinary approach to creating human centered spaces for transformation and social mobility for youth in marginalized communities. The systemic nature of the challenges presented requires the negotiation of multiple culturally complex factors and students will be asked to consider the role of creative disciplines to facilitate change. As economic forces continue to grow, we will interrogate how we, stewards of creative problem solving, can we find solutions to ameliorate the negative effects of gentrification. How might we consider moments of \"productive collision\" as conducive to imagining community cohesion and equitable outcomes?
This course will give students the opportunity to physically and intellectually engage industrial robotics through the design and execution of projects tailored to their academic backgrounds. The course will focus on hands-on applications of robotics to movement, gesture, mark making, dance, film and photography. Students will work at the Consortium for Research & Robotics in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with an industrial robotic arm where they will explore automation, robotics, motion and design.
Another Earth will explore the design of imaginary worlds. We will study examples of worlds built in literature, graphic novels, and visual art and our studio work will combine these mediums. Each student will create written and visual art to flesh out a setting of their own design. Our goal will be to develop an imaginary place that feels substantive and reflects our real world in ways that help us both understand and escape from it.
This course is a collective experiment in designing a just and sustainable future in which all of us can live. Ideas from literature, film, social justice frameworks, community organizing, and existing alternative models will inform our work. Students will contemplate different facets of life from gender, sex, and family structures to governance, conflict resolution, and environmental sustainability and, using a consensus decision-making model, will imagine and plan a better world.
Fictional cities emerge in response to restraints of a given place or movement and are often depicted in films and games as sites of radical representational transformation. Students will use the platform of gaming to speculate on fictional designs within NYC. The course begins through mapping (ex. food, economies) and results in a board game and 360 narrative to play out a number of potential outcomes of a city within a set of new rules.
You probably get a lot of feedback inside the studio. But how do you get your work out of the studio and into the world? In this course students will make artworks and creative projects that leverage the power of social media and online networks (informed by media theory and post-internet discourse) to reach new audiences and make connections outside of Pratt. The class will culminate in an online and IRL exhibition open to the public.