Title: Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change
Date Uploaded: November 10, 2010
Date Accessed: February 24, 2014
Emily Pilloton, founder of non-profit organization Project H Design, discusses the impact that appropriate technology, curriculum planning, and thinking outside of the box can have on small rural communities. She speaks of how rural communities are not invested in by our US government, which leads to a lack of funds available for schools and creative capital within these communities.
- focused on appropriate design solutions in places where people do not have access to design services
- based on community needs and collaboration
- paid jobs for students within the program during the summer
- hands-on approach to learning
- learning landscape - using a playground as the classroom (writing numbers on tires and using the space as an outdoor math lab)
- connecting the classroom, home, community, and individual
- school segregation in rural communities: children of color often end up going to public schools while privileged white children often go to private schools
This topic of tapping into our youth as a valuable resource for research, implementation, and creation for appropriate design to help communities is a beautiful, progressive step towards real, valuable, high quality instruction and hands-on experience for children. This type of pedagogy can work for many communities and school systems, if the resources, planning, timing, and dedication are present. The structure of Project H Design can be related to Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. The company focuses on many community, school, and individual aspects to promote self-efficacy and a sense of connection. Organizations such as Project H Design have an amazing vision, but a bias can be present when listening to this video.
The speaker, Emily Pilloton, explained how she moved to Bertie County once her and her partner realized that they fell in love with the place. Not every architect has the ability to get up and move from an urban area or offer their services for free. Emily Pilloton also focused mainly on the adverse aspects and conditions of Bertie County in her introduction. She may have presented this town differently if she would have grown up in the area or worked in many other rural towns before, perhaps. A personal bias while watching this video was through the lens of a student who was able to participate in woodworking classes before cuts were made. Had I not felt that I gained knowledge and an interest for design through the course, I may not have been as engaged by her point. This is also a topic of appropriate technology for communities, which my personal bias feels is important for the connection and functionality of our world.