IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 18

EMILy PILLoTon :: DESIGnEr AS CITIZEn
Emily Pilloton, Founder/Executive Director Studio h, high School Teacher, Winsdor, nC

T

he impressive flurry of activity around humanitarian design in the past few years has been experiencing a backlash recently: while designers may have good intentions, the argument goes, they often arrogantly impose designs on distant communities that end up as unused, wasted exercises. Emily Pilloton has been there as a humanitarian designer and has learned some lessons. Trained as an architect and product designer, Emily founded Project H Design in 2008 as a nonprofit that, in its early days, was dedicated to generating innovative designs to solve our most pressing problems. one of the signature projects was an ingenious design for a wheel-like container to make water transport easier. But in the course of designing and producing the “Hippo Roller,” as it’s called, Emily learned to place greater value on working closer to home and on systems and processes— versus the final product—as solutions. Emily therefore recast Project H to use “the power of the design process to catalyze communities and public education from within.” Instead of bestowing humanitarian design projects on communities and cultures deemed in need around the world, the organization focuses on working in collaboration with communities predominantly in the U.S. To best put this mission in practice, in 2009, Emily and her partner moved from San Francisco to Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest county in the state, with the objective to make a

“When [the kids] are given the chance to do something real, to build something that they designed, to ask why instead of what, and to think for themselves as citizens capable of great things…that is when the light goes on.”
positive impact on a community through design. Their determination to make one’s clients into co-designers led them to focus on education. Studio H is their major current project: a “design/build” one-year high school curriculum for junior-year students that they designed and teach in collaboration with the public school system. It’s shop class combined with design thinking—all centered on learning by human- and context-driven research, creative problem solving, using industry-relevant vocational skills, and culminating in building one major community improvement project over the summer. This year—Studio H’s first class—students are designing and building a farmers market structure in partnership with the town of Windsor. Emily feels it’s by being “citizens first and designers second” that designers can make a real difference in communities. Interestingly, it’s a citizenship that becomes contagious. In looking at the progress of this year’s students, it’s apparent the impact that Studio H and other programs like it can have on their clients is to help them be problem-solvers—or designers— themselves. And this kind of designer exemplifies citizenship in the fullest sense of the word: members of a community with a sense of ownership and pride. Asked whether the Windsor farmers market will be an improvement over a neighboring town’s market, one student responded without hesitation: “yep, we can do a lot better.”
Students from the Studio h program researched, designed, and built chicken coops, which were then donated to local farmers. The unique ChickTopia design by Colin, rody, Anthony, and Jamesha is shown above.

Photography: Courtesy of Project H Design

18

perspective



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
From IIDA
Contents
Q&A
The Virtuous Circle
Hybrid Professionals
The Consulting Advantage
Trending Research
As the World Turns
MythBusters
Design Decoded
Resources
Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Q&A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Virtuous Circle
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 14
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Hybrid Professionals
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Consulting Advantage
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Trending Research
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - As the World Turns
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - MythBusters
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Resources
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2019spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2017fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2017springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2016fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2016springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2015fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2015springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2014fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2014springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2013fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2013springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011springsummer
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com