Michael Morris is a graduate of The Cooper Union School of Architecture and Parsons School of Design Environmental Design and Fulbright recipient. With his late partner-and- wife Yoshiko Sato, Morris founded the New York City based Morris Sato Studio Architecture in 1996 and the Space Exploration Architecture (SEARC) in 2006. Morris Sato Studio’s multi-disciplinary architecture, art and science collaborations have garnered the firm international commissions and recognition.
Concurrent to their practice, Morris (and Sato) have continuously held positions in leading university’s including their alma mater’s Cooper Union, Harvard, and Parsons, co-founding Space Studio’s I-X at Columbia University and Pratt Institute. Awarded the NASA X-Hab Innovation Grants in 2016 and 2017, Morris and Rebeccah Pailes–Friedman with Melodie Yashar worked with Pratt architecture and industrial design students to define and prototype Mars transit and surface habitats.In 2016, the team’s Mars transit habitat project- MOTH was exhibited at the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum and featured in Scientific America.
With a unique interdisciplinary background in architecture, business and the liberal arts, Kelsey Lents is developing a new approach to merging the frameworks of creative and analytical thought processes. She holds a B.A in English from Yale University, a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. from Georgetown University. While practicing architecture, Kelsey specialized in dissecting workplace programming to reimagine workplace design strategies and is now researching how C-Suite teams can better integrate organizational and spatial design at the genesis of firm growth and transformation.
Prior to returning to academia, she was a senior project manager with Architecture + Information (A+I) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at both Columbia University and Parsons School of Design. Kelsey has extensive experience working with senior management teams to identify misalignments between the company mission and actual execution and is currently building a strategy for using multi-disciplinary focus sessions to alter C-Suite approaches to problem solving and to reimagine firms’ business operations.
Working at the intersection of design and technology, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is an expert in wearables and smart textiles. A pioneering researcher in design methodologies and smart materials, her latest investigations include “BioWear,” a kinetic accessory that communicates the wearer’s emotions, commissioned by the Biet Ha’ir Museum and exhibited as part of Coded Couture at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City. She is the author of Smart Textiles for Designers: Inventing the Future of Fabrics, released in 2016 by Laurence King Publishers, London.
Rebeccah’s unique vision has been realized internationally; her clients range from start-ups to NASA. She has over 25 years of experience designing performance products for athletes, and has held positions as design director for Fila, Champion and Nike before launching Interwoven Design Group, an interdisciplinary design consulting practice. She is founding director of the Intelligent Materials Applied Research & Innovation Lab (IMARI) at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and a former research fellow at the T-Lab for Wearable Technology at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator.
While her main talents and interests lie in spatial design, Melodie sees her work as operating at the intersection of experiential, narrative and interaction design practices. Melodie received an M. Arch from Columbia University, and prior to her graduate career studied Product & Environmental Design at Art Center College of Design. A combined interest in architecture and industrial design has refined a speciality in the design of interior spaces, UX/UI, and systems considering the corporeality of the human body. She holds an additional undergraduate degree in English and Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.
Melodie has over four years of corporate identity experience in consultancies such as Pentagram including work in brand strategy, nomenclature, product, and environmental design. Melodie is also co-founder of Sonic Platforms, an experimental media collective operating at the intersection of audiovisual art and the built environment, seeking to activate public engagement through the experience of sound and moving image. Melodie teaches with Michael Morris and Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman at Pratt Institute.