Design. Build. Transform.
Emily Pilloton is a designer and builder, disguised as a high school teacher. In this session, she will tell the story of Studio H, a high school design/build curriculum based in Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest, most sparsely populated and racially divided county in the state. In one year, her students design and construct a full-scale piece of architecture for their hometown (last year, a 2000-square foot farmers market, along with 3 public chicken coops). This session will make the case for bringing back new, design-infused models of vocational learning as a means to engage students in hand-to-mind creativity, and real-world progress in their own backyards.
Emily founded the nonprofit Project H to use design to empower communities and public education, and to get her hands dirty after too many years in an office. Trained in architecture (University of California Berkeley) and product design (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Emily believes in design as an honest process of building and activism for community benefit and more engaged public education experiences. Most days she resides in the Studio H classroom/shop with her high school students in Bertie County, North Carolina, where she designs and builds community architectural projects with her students. A California girl, runner, dog lover, and unwavering optimist, she has appeared on the TED stage and the Colbert Report, and authored the book Design Revolution.