Emily Pilloton of Project H Design, one of the most influential design education endeavors in America, announced today that their high school design/build program Studio H is leaving its roots in Bertie County, North Carolina for the REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA. The move comes as a surprise given Project H's three years of extraordinary success in an extremely underprivileged community. We've covered Project H here on Core77 numerous times since its inception, including their very first (Anti)Manifesto and their Design Revolution Road Show. Project H was also a runner-up in last year's Core77 Design Awards.
Studio H brings design into the classroom and students out into their community to effect change. Students gain proficiency in the design thinking process, 2D rendering techniques, 3D prototyping, and fabrication and communication skills. Projects have included a farmers' market, farm stands, and chicken coops. The quality and sophistication of design that comes out of Studio H is really quite astonishing.
The move, like many things, comes out of school administration politics and a need for a larger funding commitment. REALM Charter School, however, will provide stability for Studio H and will work to provide a more expansive integration of the program into the school. The entire situation is bittersweet, as the future generations of Bertie County students will lose access to truly remarkable designers and education innovators, yet Studio H will continue in a more welcoming environment. One can only hope that the skills, confidence, and passion that Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller instilled in their students will live on in the community. Read Emily Pilloton's full letter here.