It was interesting to me to see and hear what these young “creatives” from the Pratt Institute are thinking about in their design theory, creative process, social understanding, and sense of where things are going through their art (fine, graphic, communications, media, digital, etc.) and design (architecture, industrial, interior, fashion, furniture, etc.). 300 of Pratt’s most accomplished graduating students are presenting their work at the annual Pratt Institute juried exhibit at the Manhattan Center.
One observation deals with their projection of the “post-digital” age – their words. Did you “hear” that? A rediscovery and assertion of the analogue concept – not really about sound recording, but applied to all manner of things. There is a sense that their current reality is within a developing “post-digital” age in conceptual ways, but most profoundly in relational ways.
The other interesting observance deals with social understandings. In the “interior design” exhibit, there is a presentation of interior space as a means for relational community generation and development. The project deals with ways of designing large, interior gathering spaces, and in this instance a “mega-church” is the project focus. Remember, these are all incredibly well thought out projects – many have won national awards. Smack-dab in the middle of the interior depiction graphic of the “mega-church” are people in pews (yes, pews) as if right after the service is ending. Along with others, there are two guys holding hands, a couple. There are a good number of Christians at Pratt – and they are very adept at naturally integrating their faith in their creative work, but not like what general society is used to. My assumption is that a project depicting a “mega-church” is probably a Christian student’s.
Which leads me to this: The profoundly destructive battles being waged in the Culture Wars are just not there for these folks (a war mostly being fought by Baby-Boomers and the first part of GenX – like me). The dualistic tendencies (and frankly, fundamentalistic whether political or religious) are not present, as of yet. Yet, I say, because moving into adulthood in these times seems to dictate a giving up of hope, excitement, wonder, and discovery for something like cynicism, drudgery, abject anger, bitterness, and forlornness.
In these students, there is still hope! That’s why I like working with students – there is still positive hope!