Category Archives: students

Sustainability Courses Back in Session As Pratt Starts Fall Semester

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

Fall term started Monday at Pratt, officially kicking off the second year of the Sustainability Studies minor. The Sustainable Core course is offering two sections. I am leading the Monday 2-4:50pm section and Jen Telesca is leading the Wednesday 5-7:50pm section. Each section includes participation by various Pratt instructors, giving students a sense of how sustainability is approached in design, architecture, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and humanities. This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

We deliberately have larger enrollment caps on the core course, so interested students can still sign up for either section. In addition, we have added more elective courses that count toward completion of the minorIf you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

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Seats Available in Pratt’s Sustainable Core (Fall 2014)

As Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor gets set to celebrate its first anniversary of being in the catalog, the upper-division SUST offerings are enrolled to capacity.  Students interested in developing the environmental dimensions of their education do have options, however. In Fall 2014, for the first time, Pratt’s Sustainable Core course is offering two sections, and both sections currently have some seats available. I am leading the Monday 2-4:50pm section and Jen Telesca is leading the Wednesday 5-7:50pm section. Each section will include participation by various Pratt instructors, giving students a sense of how sustainability is approached in design, architecture, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and humanities. This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

SUST 201 The Sustainable Core

This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.

Fall 2014: SUST 201-01 Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm; SUST 201-02 Wednesdays 5-7:50pm.  3 credit hours.

This course may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and has no prerequisites. If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

Two Sections of Pratt’s Sustainable Core Available Fall 2014

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

In Fall 2014, for the first time, Pratt’s Sustainable Core course is offering two sections. I am leading the Monday 2-4:50pm section and Jen Telesca is leading the Wednesday 5-7:50pm section. Each section will include participation by various Pratt instructors, giving students a sense of how sustainability is approached in design, architecture, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and humanities. This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

SUST 201 The Sustainable Core

This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.

Fall 2014: SUST 201-01 Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm; SUST 201-02 Wednesdays 5-7:50pm.  3 credit hours.

This course may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and has no prerequisites. If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

When Art Schools Burn

GSA_Fire

Fire at the Glasgow School of Art, May 23, 2014.

Pratt_Fire

Fire at the Pratt Institute, February 15, 2013.

On the morning of February 15, 2013, I woke up to several emergency alerts from my employer.  Pratt’s main building had suffered a four-alarm fire in the middle of the night, necessitating 39 fire trucks and 168 firefighters to put out the flames.  Somehow the building was saved, though renovation continues more than one year later.

The fire fortunately killed no one, though it destroyed papers in administrative offices (including paperwork I had just submitted for an academic program five months in the planning) and several senior art majors lost their work less than three months before graduation.  Pratt’s campus still feels the effects of the fire as fences cordon off the building in hopes of completing renovations in time for fall semester.

Pratt mobilized quickly; administrative offices were transferred over to North Hall within days and studio space for students was created in the gym.  After suffering the loss of their work so close to the end of their studies, students spent the next couple of months quickly developing new paintings.  The local arts community  rallied to their aid; Aby Rosen and Larry Gagosian arranged for space in Manhattan to exhibit senior drawing and painting work in a show entitled “Flameproof.”

My attempt at capturing the beauty of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's library in the Glasgow School of Art, 2010.

My attempt at capturing the beauty of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s library in the Glasgow School of Art, 2010.

This came to mind when I learned about today’s fire at the Glasgow School of Art.  Somehow casualties were avoided despite this fire breaking out at mid-day, but at best Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s magnificent building was severely damaged on all floors.  Students were literally hours from finishing their work.

I hope and expect the arts community will rally to these students just as it did to Pratt’s students last year.  In thinking about the safety of the built environment, I have to ask can these fires reasonably be avoided? I do not know if modern sprinklers were installed at the Glasgow School of Art (built between 1897 and 1909); I did not notice any when I visited in 2010.  Had Pratt’s main building (built as the campus was founded in 1887) been equipped with a modern sprinkler system, perhaps the water damage from all those trucks would not have been as extensive.  Months after the event, the fire department’s official report listed the cause of the Pratt fire as electrical; from early reports, the Glasgow School of Art fire may have been started by a spark in the basement.

My wish in the short term is that the students whose work was destroyed will be afforded all the support and care that is possible. In the long term, perhaps we at art and design schools need to evaluate best practices on fire prevention and safety, especially at heritage buildings created before modern building codes.  To the extent that these losses can be prevented, they should be prevented.  Beyond that, the community of the Glasgow School of Art has my best wishes as decisions on how to regroup take place.

May 24 Update: The fire department reports that the Glasgow School of Art fire is under control, and estimate around 90% of the building and 70% of the contents have been saved.  Unfortunately, the library was destroyed. Here is hoping that most student work is intact and that the process of restoring the building both reflects Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original vision and features 21st-century fire-safety systems.

Register for Fall 2014 Sustainability Courses at Pratt

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

I am teaching two sustainability seminars at Pratt in Fall 2014.  Each of these courses may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, each counts toward the Sustainability Studies minor (indeed, one is required for the minor) and there are no prerequisites for either course.

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste is at capacity, but interested students can add their names to the waiting list. This is a seminar that examines the ways production and consumption patterns from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day have shaped the waste stream, the ways we have defined and handled waste, the consequences of that waste, and ways in which we might reduce the impact of our waste.  Here’s a quick summary:

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste
No product or building is adequately designed without considering the consequences of its deterioration and disposal. Evaluating the ways in which consumers. states, and manufacturers define and classify waste allows us to consider those consequences. In this course, students analyze ways in which waste is created, defined, and managed in industrial society, and they create recommendations for improving problems with the waste stream.

Fall 2014: Tuesdays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours.

The range of topics will in many ways resemble the scope of the Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, as I kept in mind that reference work’s utility in the classroom when I was editing it.  (Students will not have to buy that book, let alone lug it around!)

Production, Consumption, and Waste is already at capacity, but space is still available in my other course — and it’s an especially good choice for students wishing to get an introduction to the practice of sustainability both at Pratt and in general.  I am leading a team of Pratt Institute faculty teaching SUST 201 The Sustainable Core.  This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

SUST 201-01 The Sustainable Core
This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.

Fall 2014: Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours.

This course may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and has no prerequisites. (We also have a second section opening up Wednesdays from 5-7:50pm.) If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

Register for Fall 2014 Sustainability Courses at Pratt

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

I am teaching two sustainability seminars at Pratt in Fall 2014.  Each of these courses may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, each counts toward the Sustainability Studies minor (indeed, one is required for the minor) and there are no prerequisites for either course..

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste is a seminar that examines the ways production and consumption patterns from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day have shaped the waste stream, the ways we have defined and handled waste, the consequences of that waste, and ways in which we might reduce the impact of our waste.  Here’s a quick summary:

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste
No product or building is adequately designed without considering the consequences of Its deterioration and disposal. Evaluating the ways in which consumers. states, and manufacturers define and classify waste allows us to consider those consequences. In this course, students analyze ways in which waste is created, defined, and managed in industrial society, and they create recommendations for improving problems with the waste stream.

Fall 2014: Tuesdays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours. UPDATE: SUST 405 has now filled to capacity, but interested students may add their names to the waiting list.

The range of topics will in many ways resemble the scope of the Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, as I kept in mind that reference work’s utility in the classroom when I was editing it.  (Students will not have to buy that book, let alone lug it around!)

Production, Consumption, and Waste is close to filling up, but space is still available in my other course — and it’s an especially good choice for students wishing to get an introduction to the practice of sustainability both at Pratt and in general.  I am leading a team of Pratt Institute faculty teaching SUST 201 The Sustainable Core.  This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

SUST 201-01 The Sustainable Core
This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.

Fall 2014: Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours.

(A second section Wednesdays from 5-7:50pm is opening up as well.) This course may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and has no prerequisites. If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

Register for Fall 2014 Sustainability Courses at Pratt

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

I am teaching two sustainability seminars at Pratt in Fall 2014.  Each of these courses may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, each counts toward the Sustainability Studies minor (indeed, one is required for the minor) and there are no prerequisites for either course..

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste is a seminar that examines the ways production and consumption patterns from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day have shaped the waste stream, the ways we have defined and handled waste, the consequences of that waste, and ways in which we might reduce the impact of our waste.  Here’s a quick summary:

SUST 405-01 Production, Consumption, and Waste
No product or building is adequately designed without considering the consequences of Its deterioration and disposal. Evaluating the ways in which consumers. states, and manufacturers define and classify waste allows us to consider those consequences. In this course, students analyze ways in which waste is created, defined, and managed in industrial society, and they create recommendations for improving problems with the waste stream.

Fall 2014: Tuesdays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours.

The range of topics will in many ways resemble the scope of the Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, as I kept in mind that reference work’s utility in the classroom when I was editing it.  (Students will not have to buy that book, let alone lug it around!)

While Production, Consumption, and Waste has filled up, space is still available in my other course — and it’s an especially good choice for students wishing to get an introduction to the practice of sustainability both at Pratt and in general.  I am leading a team of Pratt Institute faculty teaching the third offering of SUST 201 The Sustainable Core.  This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

SUST 201-01 The Sustainable Core
This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.

Fall 2014: Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm.  3 credit hours.

This course may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and has no prerequisites. If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.