Emily Pilloton Speaks About a Design Revolution
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.
Emily Pilloton wrote Design Revolution, a book about 100-plus objects and systems designed to make people's lives better. In 2010, her design nonprofit began an immersive residency in Bertie County.
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.
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 students. Read about their experiences in Design Mind.
Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.