Architecture that makes a difference

Emily Pilloton visits Activist Studio

Emily Pilloton,  of Project H Design, met with this year’s Activist Studio students following her lecture at Lawrence Technological University on March 22, 2012.

Emily Pilloton with students Alonda Brunson, Rachel Breckle, and Carolyn Lamb.

Ms. Pilloton’s lecture – entitled Design, Build, Transform – chronicled the work she and her Project H partner Matthew Miller (a former LTU adjunct professor) have undertaken in Bertie County, North Carolina.  Over the past two years, they have developed a design-build curriculum for high-school kids, called Studio H.  Their students have designed and made projects ranging in scope from chicken coops to a farmer’s market stall.

In discussion with the Activist Studio students, Ms. Pilloton emphasized the need to bring a multitude of ideas to a potential user or client, particularly if such ideas take them out of their ‘comfort zone’.  She outlined options to help students engage their user groups, to reinforce the participatory nature of such design work.  Lastly, she encouraged students to seek out the opportunity for ‘the spectacle’ which can galvanize community support for, and ownership in, a design intervention.  She was very candid about the challenges and rewards, of community-based design, and generous with her time, particularly as she had an early morning flight booked for her next speaking engagement.  Myself and the students are very grateful to her for spending time with us.

A link to the website of Project H Design is featured in the blogroll on this page.

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