Brooklyn Boro

Grants awarded to Pratt students, faculty to improve infrastructure in Brooklyn

September 19, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One of the winning proposals involves examining zero-tolerance school policies and school culture by helping create youth-produced media. Here, the Bushwick Community Action Research Collective youth organizers/researchers participate in "Sidewalk Science."

Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute announced on Wednesday that 28 students and faculty members have won grants to undertake eight community development projects in Brooklyn and Queens that will create a more sustainable infrastructure and livable environments for residents and neighborhoods.

The grants are part of the Taconic Fellowship program, launched last year by the Pratt Center for Community Development, an urban research and advocacy arm at Pratt Institute. The fellowship is funded by an endowment granted to the Pratt Center by the Taconic Foundation. 

A joint panel from Pratt Institute and the Pratt Center evaluated and chose the winning proposals based on their creativity, feasibility, capacity to meet proposed project goals and commitment to Pratt Center’s principles of equity and sustainability. The Fellowship provides on-the-job educational experiences for the students and enables Pratt Institute to serve the city’s communities.

Among the winning proposals for Pratt students and faculty for the 2014-2015 academic year are:

  • Improving the infrastructure of the Hattie Carthan Herban Farm in Bedford-Stuyvesant by building retaining walls, a solar water fountain, and more, by Kelly Horrigan, adjunct associate professor of fashion design

  • Producing a food waste recycling container prototype for food-related businesses in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and an educational campaign for businesses and households alike about the importance of recycling food waste, by Seungmin (Ellen) Oh, graduate industrial design student

  • Redesigning public space and green infrastructure in public housing in Red Hook by Elliott Maltby, visiting associate professor of graduate architecture and urban design, and Gita Nandan, visiting assistant professor at PSPD, Construction/Facilities Management

  • Creating custom furniture partitions for the Women for Afghan Women’s community center in Queens by John Heida, visiting assistant professor of interior design

  • Mapping out the sewer system within the communities of Newtown Creek, Tallman Island, Hunts Point, Jamaica Bay, and Red Hook water pollution control sewersheds to produce a comprehensive map of problem areas and contributing factors by Josh Eichen, Pratt Center for Community Development, and Korin Tangtrakul, graduate student in environmental systems management

  • Mentoring four Brooklyn writers ages 16 to 20 to produce a series of original work about  community, socioeconomic equity and self-development, and teach them about self-publishing,  production and promotion of writing and literature by Christian Hawkey, professor in the MFA writing program and Zahra Patterson, graduate student in the MFA writing program

  • Reactivating a public space by creating an artistic installation for the Putnam Triangle Plaza in Clinton Hill by Danica Selem, graduate student in architecture

  • Examining zero-tolerance school policies and school culture by helping create youth-produced media, such as documentary shorts, stickers, a website, and other digital technology products by  Caitlin Cahill, professor of social science and cultural studies