EDITOR'S PICK: When Debera Johnson attended design school, she was taught to “make it beautiful and you’ve done what it is to be a designer.” As Executive Director of the Pratt Design Incubator in Brooklyn, NY, Johnson has expanded this guiding principle to focus on design's impact on the world. In order to take designers and make them what Johnson calls “design entrepreneurs,” the Incubator focuses on teaching models for sustainable business. Students focus on key elements of sustainability: resource use, ecological impact, human health impact, social equality and lastly economic viability.
The Incubator has launched a number of successful projects, including FLUMA, which produces design parts for homes and businesses that double as spaces for plants to grow, and City Farm & Fish, a program bringing aquaponics to cities. Check back next week for a special feature on Bus Roots, an alumnus from the Incubator that focuses on urban agriculture with a mobile twist.
Originally submitted 4/2/13
The vision of "the incubator" is to capture the innovative thinking of our students and turn great ideas into viable businesses that also consider the environmental and social impact as a part of their "triple" bottom line. To date we have supported the launch of over 30 businesses - in five sectors; product design, clean energy, fashion, design consulting and social innovation. These companies are developing green products, green jobs and a green economy by offering space, a community that shares values that define success, and access to educational resources and mentorship that tie together business expertise with sustainable best practices that support growing businesses that consider the environment and society from the outset.