Pratt Pop-Up!

Entrepreneurs at work at the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation: B. Pietro Filardo of Pliant Energy Systems, Incubees from reMade USA and Eko-Lab, Shannon South of reMade USA and David J. Krause from Alder. [Photos by Jonathan Weitz]

On September 8, the Pratt Institute opened Pratt Pop-Up! in a shipping container at the open-air DeKalb Market in downtown Brooklyn. Designed and fabricated by Pratt professor Robert Langhorn and industrial design students Casey Daurio, Ashley Landon and Frances Ranno, the space is a rotating showcase for the work of Pratt Institute students and alumni.

Currently, products are on display (and for sale) from members of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. The Incubator supports the entrepreneurial talents of designers, artists and architects — including several Pratt alumni — by providing them with resources to launch businesses.

“Pratt has a longstanding interest in the economic development of small businesses in Brooklyn. The Incubator is a direct way for the Institute to help local entrepreneurs develop products and services that create jobs, support local industry, and bring innovative products to market,” said founder and director Deb Johnson, who leads the Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research, which houses the Incubator.

In addition to providing entrepreneurs with access to markets, networks, office infrastructure, training, talent and capital, the Incubator taps its extensive network to provide sustainable design innovation to businesses and organizations that are seeking ways to improve their products and services in the areas of resource use, ecological impact, health and social equity. Since its 2002 inception, the Incubator has supported the launch of 26 companies, has created over 50 new jobs, and has consulted for 15 organizations.

In June, the Incubator added nine new companies to its existing roster:

Eko-Lab is an ethically and ecologically driven fashion company that employs local artisans and production facilities to create clothing out of social and environmentally responsible fabrics.

Spectrum BioEnergy LLC is a renewable energy and waste management venture focused on next generation biogas — cutting-edge applications of traditional organic waste-to-energy technology.

Pliant Energy Systems LLC explores novel methods of extracting energy from moving water and developing mechanisms for dam-free hydrokinetic electricity generation and self-powered irrigation pumps for use in developing nations.

Frank Millero Studio, founded by sustainable design consultant and educator Frank Millero, works to design and develop home products and implement design strategies and develop marketing messages in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

ReMADE USA is a design company that upcycles used materials to make one-of-a-kind bags and home accessories, creating desirable objects out of discarded materials, which diverts waste from landfills.

Holstee offers practical and sustainable alternatives to everyday products. In addition to designing the products, the company has begun to curate products from like-minded designers and share them with the community through their website.

Life Cycle Solutions offers efficiency consulting services and develops web-based software to encourage the implementation of efficiency projects and improve their continual performance, with the goal of eliminating energy waste in buildings.

designing hope is a socially and sustainably-minded design firm that consults with companies and non-profits to create social impact. In addition, this firm designs sustainable products that help to create awareness and positive change.

Dargelos creates flexible accessories and garments to encourage bicycling in the city. The refined designs unite a minimalist aesthetic with safety, practicality, and durability.

They joined three existing companies at the Incubator:

Alder is a Brooklyn-based clothing label that creates a sense of playfulness and ease in well-designed garments, with a focus on quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Domestic Aesthetic offers consumers affordable home products that adhere to environmentally and socially responsible standards.

Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT) connects and provides for people in pursuit of a zero footprint lifestyle by creating a rich portfolio of products and a dense network of relationships.

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