Kevin Truong was born in a refugee camp in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His mother arrived there after she fled Vietnam on a fishing boat with his two young sisters, leaving his father behind. His resilient mother moved their family to Portland, OR, where he grew up. He himself remarks on the seeming incongruousness of his origins and his current role as a student completing his studies at one of the finest art schools in the world. It is also worth mentioning that when he gets his B.F.A. in May it will be his second bachelor’s degree. He also has a B.S. in Economics from Portland State University.
The Museum of Modern Art recently acquired a poster that Communications Design Adjunct Professor Tom Klinkowstein designed in the 1980s as a promotion for an upcoming Laurie Anderson concert. With its paste-up look, the poster is a time capsule for the era. Around the same time, Klinkowstein was doing performance art alongside his print work. A Trekkie of sorts, his work has always been informed by the futuristic. As part of a night club act he did at the Mazzo Club in Amsterdam while teaching in Holland, he would send faxes—then cutting edge technology—to fellow artist Bob Adrian at the Blitz Bar in Vienna. Collectively these faxes would form a puzzle, creating the logo for McDonald’s for one show. At a time when the golden arches weren’t ubiquitous worldwide the sight of them made Klinkowstein’s audience in the Netherlands recoil.
A beloved professor in the Industrial Design department, Lucia (née Neumann) DeRespinis, attended post-war Pratt at a time when there were few women in the ID department, and perhaps even fewer female designers in the workplace. She would go on to design tabletop, ceramics, and such mid-century modern staples as clocks for George Nelson Associates, which are still for sale at places like Design Within Reach and the MoMA Design Store. She worked for Nelson on expositions like the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and the American Exhibition in Moscow in 1959, where DeRespinis traveled with heavy hitters like Buckminster Fuller, Charles and Ray Eames, and Pratt’s own Bill Katavolos to show the Soviets their enviable American wares. In 1975, she created the iconic pink-and-orange Dunkin’ Donuts logo based on her five-year-old daughter’s favorite colors.
Pratt Institute is commemorating its milestone 125th anniversary with "125 Icons: A Celebration of Works by Pratt Alumni and Faculty 1887-2012," an exhibition on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery at 144 W. 14th Street, Second Floor through January 19, 2013. "125 Icons" features iconic works created by Pratt alumni and faculty that were voted on by the Pratt community.
Associate Professor Jonathan Thayer teaches a studio on human-powered transportation in Pratt's Industrial Design department. He is joined by Visiting Instructor Ed Jacobs, who has designed high-performance motorcycles for many years and more recently designed and fabricated the main structure for the planned Lowline underground park in Manhattan.