Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.02
Liaison Carolyn Shafer
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pratt Institute
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Carolyn Shafer
Center for Sustainable Design Strategies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

GCPE: PLAN-801C Special Topics in Planning III: Sustainable Infrastructure Exchange - NYC/Puerto Rico (Spring 2019 - 1 week Spring Break excursion as part of a course)
This2-credit class runs every other Spring semester, and immerses students in communities in Brazil, Puerto Rico and other countries in Latin America. It focuses on decentralized, informal, and grassroots initiatives to improve the sustainability and resilience in low income and underserved communities. Th class alternates with a 1-credit course that travels to the Netherlands, to exanine large scale coastal resilience infrastructure. During the Spring 2019 excursion to Puerto Rico, students presented case study on NYC grassroots climate adaptation and resilience infrastructure projects to local residents, professionals, and organizations. Visits to front line communities and partner organizations throughout the weekwere guided by local volunteers and their collaborators, to showcase a diversity of on-the-ground work done by the grasssroots to help Puerto Ricans sustain and rebuild after Hurricanes Irma and Maris. Climate resilient infrastructure visioning and design/build workshops may be conducted in conjunction with local stakeholders. A report with comparatively analysis of NYC and the host city/location is compiled by students at the end of the course.

GCPE: Green Infrastructure Fellowship (year-long fellows, ongoing)
Two student fellows are selected to work under the guidance of Professor Dr. Paul Mankiewicz, for one day per week working on various aspects of green infrastructure planning, design, construction, and maintenance. Sponsored by the Sustainable Environmental Systems program, these Fellowships are linked variously to the Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure work, the National Park Service, not-for profit groups, and other initiatives. Fellowships are one-semester long and focus on developing initial graphics and designs for green infrastructure solutions for specific buildings and landscapes, actual locations, and projects in the planning stages or under consideration in and around New York.

GCPE: NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) fellowships (year long fellows, ongoing)
In partnership with Pratt Institute, NYC-EJA is recruiting current graduate students in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment to work directly with our member organizations, supporting community planning, outreach, research, GIS, and policy analysis. Positions are open to GCPE Students with an interest in environmental justice, climate resilience, sustainability, racial justice, and community-led planning. Up to six (6) Fellows are placed, based on organizational need and match. One other student works directly with NYC-EJA, often with regard to technical support such as GIS. Fellows will work 1 day per week at the respective organization.
Gather. Immerse. Inspire. Tokyo/Kyoto 2020
INT456/656 Summer (version 02.12.20)
Tetsu Ohara: Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Design: Interior Design
This Interior Design course re-examines the definition of ‘interior space' It is available to all
School of Design students. The departments include Industrial, Interior, Fashion and
Communication Design.
This 4 credit elective course is open to both undergraduate/graduate students who are in good
academic standing.
This 6 week immersion course will be held in Tokyo/Kyoto + NYC. At the end of the course, the
classes will be held on Brooklyn Campus. And this 2020 program will take place in June in Japan
and early July in Brooklyn.
This experience is structured in three parts. First the participant will GATHER information about
Japanese culture/design/language and choose several research topics on this ephemeral culture
in Tokyo. During the stay in Tokyo/Kyoto, they will IMMERSE in series of experiences. And bring
those experiences back to NY and work on design proposals that will INSPIRE the world around
+ By exploring and learning about one of the most progressive metropolis in Asia (East) and
compare and contrast to the West (NYC). The emphasis of the Tokyo/Kyoto excursion will focus
on its unique cultural essence, design sensibility, environmental awareness and crafts/process of
making things that are different from the non-native point of view.
+ Students will generate a question/problem to solve during the visit to Japan. After returning to
Brooklyn, they have two weeks to generate a design proposal to its challenges. Their design
proposal will be aimed at social/spatial issues found during their visits in Tokyo from a foreign
vantage point and provide innovative and pragmatic solution to its problems.
Student Learning Outcomes:
+ Students will learn about a foreign history, language and design methods/process unique to
Japanese culture.
+ Students will critically analyze the efficient use of interior environment & spatial negotiations in
both public and private realm.
+ Students will propose a creative design solution to a foreseeable social/environmental/lifestyle
future challenges.
+ Students will engage in rigorous research in climate specific environmental wisdom and practices.

Lehigh Mountaintop
Big, challenging, open-ended questions. Multi-disciplinary student teams with space, time and support to start solving them. That’s the Lehigh Mountaintop experience. Lehigh University has welcomed Pratt as a partner in this program for the third time, which—over five years—has supported over 80 student teams.

Mountaintop projects are interdisciplinary deep dives where students, faculty, and external partners come together and take new intellectual, creative, and/or artistic pathways that lead to transformative new innovations, new expressions, and new questions. We expect students to take radical ownership in the projects and envision faculty mentors as partners and co-creators striving to propel their projects forward on the journey towards tangible and sustainable impact:

Impact which builds the skillsets, mindsets, and portfolios of pioneers and change-makers in a rapidly-changing world;
Impact which stands on the shoulders of giants and contributes to the world’s cumulative knowledge base;
Impact which advances praxis and delivers solutions to the most compelling challenges facing the world today.
We seek citizens in our community of doers, thinkers, and creators who encourage, critique, and challenge one another on the path to excellence . . . and impact.

Selected projects from this initiative include:
Southside Permaculture Park
The EcoHouse Lehigh Southside Permaculture Park is designed to integrate the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities with each other and with the greater community of life. Through the creation of a park-like garden, we will create a space where anyone can come and see the diverse web of connections that exist between varied species to create a mutually supportive network of symbiotic relationships. An interactive website will accompany the garden so that anyone who visits can learn about all of the species, how they interact, how to care for and use them, and how to replicate this model elsewhere. Lead Mentor: David Casagrande | Mentor: Albert Wurth

Pop-Up Parklets: Increasing Quality and Walkability of Life in Smaller Cities
How can we develop and design simple urban spaces to build community and increase quality of life? Since the first Parklet appeared in San Francisco roughly a decade ago, these mini parks have begun serving as spots for outdoor dining, enjoying locally-made artwork, exercising, and socializing. While many Parklets now exist, few do in smaller cities and few, too, have been systematically and rigorously analyzed to determine what impacts they have on the people who use them and their surrounding communities. This project will fill this gap by designing and installing an inexpensive Parklet in Bethlehem, testing its effectiveness, and planning ways to replicate the project at other locations throughout the city. Lead Mentor: Karen Beck Pooley

Lehigh and the Valley: A Symbiotic Future?
There seems to be a standing narrative at Lehigh University that low-income communities in the Lehigh Valley perceive our institution as detached from its socioeconomic environment and as an elitist place catered to the privileged classes. The objective of this project is to engage these communities through adequately designed survey methods to asses to what extend this narrative is supported by evidence. The analysis and results are vital to inform the strategy, to be designed, to achieve one of the University’s long-term goals of developing a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with low-income communities in the greater Lehigh Valley. Lead Mentor: Luis Brunstein

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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