Pratt Institute DAHRC (Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center) is an all-institute interdisciplinary research center. At DAHRC, we seek to expand on the realization of the Pratt motto, “Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you,” by pursuing excellent research work in the realms of arts and humanities, with deep knowledge and connections with digital culture, technology, and environment of today and the times to come. Through DAHRC, it is possible to apply Pratt’s 125 years of collective knowledge onto focused innovative outputs of value for the global society.
The Mission of the Pratt Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center (DAHRC) is as follows:
- Develop the role of research as it pertains to emerging and changing technologies for the Pratt community; including students, faculty, alumni and staff.
- Strategically align DAHRC research efforts with Pratt’s mission and society’s humanitarian values.
- Encourage and facilitate communication across disciplines and the Pratt community, identify relevant technologies, and execute corresponding research projects.
- Establish and maintain standards for research excellence exemplified by developing concrete application for technological innovation.
- Act as a sustainable resource for the Pratt community and leadership to discuss, exhibit, and develop research in the forefront of technology in education and the society at large.
In the beginning, the DAHRC in its original form operated under the name Digital Arts Lab(DAL), with its physical location in the ISC building next to the library on the main Pratt campus. The DAHRC has since moved to its current location in the Myrtle Hall building in early 2011.
Within Pratt, DAHRC is an all-institute entity, spanning across Pratt’s six colleges and centers, creating a connecting bridge between Architecture, Art, Design, Liberal Arts &Sciences, and School of Information. We believe that by creating healthy connections between different disciplines with experts at high and deep level within their respective fields collaborating closely, innovation can occur faster and more efficiently, and will be able to reach the society sooner and in more engaging manner.
In addition to the talent and skills, frequently observed qualities possessed by the people of DAHRC include curiosity for exploration, love of lifetime learning, caring for humanity, empathy for the needs of the different regions and cultures of the world, and realistic outlook of how societies operate. The experts, advisors, and collaborators of DAHRC also often share and expand upon such qualities, along with deep knowledge and vast experiences which can facilitate fruition of the research efforts into development of products of value to the world.
The beneficiaries of the research effort are both the educational community of students and faculty of Pratt, as well as the commercial and industrial community.
Pratt DAHRC seeks to match innovative ideas with suitable individuals and organizations by promoting ideal connections between students, faculty, alumni, and external collaborators, organizations, and sponsors. We are well aware of the silo effect which can often occur in research settings, and we therefore believe even the latest state-of-the-art technological innovations and progressive artistic concepts need to be tested against the timeless essence of humanity. We believe such active pairing will help form the guidelines to steer the directions of the efforts to result in outputs which have maximum impact, relevance, and benefit to the society for the times to come. For the cases where silos are necessary for proper nurturing, growth, and simmering of the ideas, we try to provide the proper setting and environments as needed.
Connecting Research and Teaching
Strong cultural environment exists at Pratt, which can promote the teaching and learning minds to apply the technology and the skills in the most effective and beautiful manner while the end user is kept at the center at all times. Keeping the end user in mind takes much more than simply asking customers what they want. It is not a mere obligation to be responsive to the market: rather, we at the Pratt DAHRC believe in readily accepting the onus to aspire be ahead rather than follow the conglomerate average thinking of the current society.
One can frequently witness diligent & curious faculty members who are always on the lookout for the newest and upcoming technology while constantly saying to themselves, “this will be great for [name of student, assignment, course, curriculum, etc.]” AND acting on it by personally taking the time to try out the technology and then bring them into the classrooms and faculty meetings to share their learned views with the communities at Pratt to contribute to the learning environment. Because technology which are commercially not yet available usually are barred from entering the syllabus of classes, such endeavor is crucial for ongoing innovation in education. Pratt DAHRC is a formal structure which can utilize the latest technology for concrete research output, while at the same time serving as a rigorous testing ground to cater to the needs of the class curriculum for the times to come.
Our focus is in furthering knowledge and formulation of educational and practical methodologies, while producing the accompanying exemplary works which make deep use of current and emerging technologies. When new technology and methods are deemed to be useful, we strive to incorporate them to new and existing courses and curricula, as well as integrating them to the practical solutions for corporate clients.