pop up/drop off: inflatable architecture by pratt students is a quilt of recycled plastic

pop up/drop off: inflatable architecture by pratt students is a quilt of recycled plastic

plastic recycling through architecture


A work of inflatable architecture by a team of Pratt students has popped up in Times Square, taking shape as a vibrant patchwork quilt of recycled plastic. The pavilion is the result of a collaborative effort between Pratt Institute’s d.r.a. Lab, Pneuhaus, and a team of architecture students. The undergraduate Advanced Design Studio which conducted the initial research was led by Duks Koschitz and Robert Brackett, co-directors of d.r.a. Lab.


Advocating for design activism and raising awareness about New York’s film plastic waste, the lightweight structure introduces an easily deployable drop-off location for film plastic recycling. Now, in-store drop-offs are the only way film plastic can be recycled in the state.

pratt inflatable architectureimage by August Lehrecke



Pratt Students explore design for change


With its colorful patchwork skin of recycled materials, the Pratt team’s Pop Up/Drop Off addresses just how much film plastic is used daily. The work of inflatable architecture offers visitors a physical and immersive representation of excess film plastic and stresses the importance of such environmental issues as plastic bag recycling.


Created during the NYCxDesign Design Pavilion (see here), the work pops up with a double saddle shape. The team of students with d.r.a. Lab (see here) and Pneuhaus (see here) notes that this geometry was created by a pattern of concentric square tubes. Ultimately, the structure serves a dual function — while the concave spaces host areas for waste collection, the convex spaces form the roof of the structure.

pratt inflatable architectureimage by Adam Elstein



waste collection at an inflatable drop-off


The Pratt team’s Pop Up/Drop Off exemplifies the trajectory of inflatable architecture — the practice is not just focused on form-finding and material explorations. Instead, the inflatables study translates the harmful waste of the anthropocene into an environmentally-conscious collection point. In this way the architecture gathers its own materials, encouraging participation from community members and seeking out permanent public drop-offs for film plastics going forward.


Pop Up/Drop Off is designed to be re-used and installed within any neighborhood to promote better recycling habits for film plastic.

pratt inflatable architecture
image by Adam Elstein pratt inflatable architecture
image by Adam Elstein pratt inflatable architectureimage by Robert Brackett III


image by August Lehrecke

pop up/drop off: inflatable architecture by pratt students is a quilt of recycled plastic
image by Robert Brackett III


image by Kaitlin Aurora



project info:


project title: Pop Up/Drop Off

design team: d.r.a. Lab | @pratt.dra, Pneuhaus | @pneuhaus, Pratt SOA students

design, fabrication: Duks Koschitz, (d.r.a. Lab, director), Robert Lee Brackett III, (d.r.a. Lab, co-director), Matthew Muller, (Pneuhaus, partner), August Lehrecke, (Pneuhaus, partner), Levi Bedall, (Pneuhaus, partner), Staveley Kuzmanov, (Pneuhaus, fabricator)
initial design research: Pratt Institute’s undergraduate architecture students Hannah Bacsoka (research assistant), Defne Çeltikçi, Ileana Hernandez, Meera Ilahi

location: Times Square, New York

sponsors: Pratt (Office of the Provost, Dean’s Office, Undergraduate Architecture, and Academic Senate), LexArtSci – Lexington Art & Science, Miscellaneous Projects, LLC, Village

photography: August Lehrecke, Adam Elstein, Robert Brackett III, Kaitlin Aurora

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