Historian and critic Glenn Adamson will provide an overview of the creative economy in New York City today, drawing out key continuities with and departures from the moment of the Crystal Palace. Among the areas under discussion will be fine art, fashion, metal fabrication, and industrial design. Included in this talk is a response from Debera Johnson, Academic Director of Sustainability for Pratt Institute.

Wiliam Wellstood. New York, 1855. From the Latting Observatory, 1855. Engraving, printed by Smith, Fern, and Company. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Glenn Adamson is currently Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, and Editor-at-Large of The Magazine Antiques. A curator and theorist who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art, he was until March 2016 the Director of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. He has previously been Head of Research at the V&A, and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. His publications include Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan Wilson); Invention of Craft (2013); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011); The Craft Reader (2010); and Thinking Through Craft (2007).

Debera Johnson
is the founder and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at Pratt Institute and has been leading the integration of sustainability and technology into Pratt’s academic programs for over 15 years. Johnson chaired Pratt’s Industrial Design program from 1997-2005 and founded the Pratt Design Incubator -now the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator in 2002. The BF+DA is connecting the dots between sustainability, technology, entrepreneurship and production and mentors emerging ventures and research in apparel related fields from concept development to manufacturing to market. Recently the BF+DA was awarded $1.5 million in federal and city funding to develop an innovation center for activated materials (iCAM) focused on advancing the manufacture of smart garments and textiles.