“If You Build It” Project H documentary screening in LA

Today’s post is a little bit different.

Several months ago I went to a UXPA LA event and was introduced to Studio H, the 2013 IxDA Future Voice Award winner.

The idea of the class is to empower kids by having them design and construct actual projects (from coffee makers to chicken coops to farmers markets), in the process learning architecture, industrial design, business concepts, research, and community organizing in a very hands-on way. Studio H launched in a rural area of North Carolina called Bertie County and is now housed in Berkeley, CA.

The mission of Studio H, as described on the IxDA Interaction Awards site:

By learning through a design sensibility and “dirt-under-your-fingernails” construction skills, we’re developing creativity, critical thinking, citizenship, and capital to give students the skills they need to succeed, while building the assets the community needs to survive. Given the opportunity to engage within a public education system, we believe the next generation will be the greatest asset and untapped resource in rural communities’ futures. Studio H is a different kind of classroom. We design, build, and transform.

Innovative but practical education, getting one’s hands dirty, the focus on sustainability? I love everything about this.

So this leads us to the exciting part! There is a film coming out about Project H called “If You Build It” and there will be a week of screenings across the county in January. It will be out here in LA on Friday, January 24th.



Screening at the NuArt Theatre in LA
Jan 24th – 30th
Followed by a National Release

Check out the amazing trailer on Vimeo

IF YOU BUILD IT follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible.

Jan 10 IFC Center in New York, NY*
Jan 24 NuArt in Los Angeles, CA*
Feb 14 Landmark Midtown Art in Atlanta, GA
Feb 20 Wexner Center in Columbus, OH
Feb 21 Landmark E Street in Washington, DC*
Feb 21 Landmark Theater (TBA) in Denver, CO*
Feb 21 Landmark Theatre (TBA) in Minneapolis, MN
Feb 28 Landmark Kendall Square in Boston
Feb 28 Landmark Opera Plaza in San Francisco*
Feb 28 Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley, CA*
Mar 7 TBA in San Diego
Mar 7 Landmark Ritz Bourse Philadelphia*
[* indicates Filmmaker & Special Guest appearances]

Incredibly inspiring. Can’t wait!


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