Emily Pilloton: Teaching Design For Change!

We recently came across this Ted Video from Emily Pilloton and were blown away by many of the principals of design that Emily talked about as they mirrored many of the ideals we hold about design. It is a long video but a fantastic listen for anyone interested in making a difference with design. As always we are eager to learn about new projects that focus on making a difference to the world, a difference that extends beyond a shopping experience but a difference that transcends the impact of design on other peoples live in a social and environmental setting like this project does.

Below is the video description taken from the Ted site:

“Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She’s teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers’ minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state”.


About Emily:

“As a young designer, Emily Pilloton was frustrated by the design world’s scarcity of meaningful work. Even environmentally conscious design was not enough. “At graduate school, people were starting to talk more about sustainability, but I felt it lacked a human factor,” she said. “Can we really call $5,000 bamboo coffee tables sustainable?” Convinced of the power of design to change the world, at age 26 Pilloton founded Project H to help develop effective design solutions for people who need it most.

Her book Design Revolution features products like the Hippo Water Roller, a rolling barrel with handle that eases water transport; AdSpecs, adjustable liquid-filled eyeglasses; and Learning Landscapes, low-cost playgrounds that mesh math skills and physical activity.

In February 2009, Pilloton and her Project H partner Matthew Miller began working in Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest and most rural county in the state, to develop a design-build curriculum for high-school kids, called Studio H. In August 2010 they began teaching their first class of 13 student”