This site acts as a place for the Pratt Graduate Communications Design studio, Design Advocacy: Middle Main, to collect and document work. This studio class included field trips, guest speakers, readings and in-class exercises exploring the role of design and creative placemaking in a designated community. See menu links to read individual proposals and research.

This is a Public Project offering held in partnership with PAUSE and Hudson River Housing.



‘Middle Main’ Poughkeepsie is an underfunded gap between Vassar College on one end and waterfront development on the other. PAUSE, an arts organization focused on community development, along with their partner organization, Hudson River Housing, invited us to design an intervention that considered 'placemaking' and involved local residents. We met with community leaders in order to gain an introduction to the neighborhood. Additionally, students erected a platform on site to allow for interaction and feedback directly from local residents to further their appreciation. The class challenged students to take the problem out of the realm of theoretical thinking and extend it into the real world. Our goal was to rethink the urban space using creativity, empathy, play and the language of design.

Field Trip 1

Touring the area with PAUSE founder and director, Matthew Slaats


Field Trip 2

'What Makes You Smile?' stages an intervention with some interesting responses.

'Embracing the Obvious' considers how to best engage the space to create moments of repose and reflection.

'Design Squad' gets the word out on the street.


Field Trip 3: Installation

On July 7th, Design Advocacy installed their work in Poughkeepsie's 'Middle Main' as part of the revitalization effort there.

Embracing the Obvious


What Makes You Smile?


Chalk liner provides a link between the two.