What purpose does a library serve in a contemporary middle school? Beyond its broad definition as a place to read, relax, explore and discover, we also feel that educational spaces should be designed with the input and ideas from the users—the students themselves. Now, with the help of Studio H and Ms. Nini (Hallie Chen), a cohort of 108 eighth graders at Berkeley's REALM Charter School have done exactly that, and they need your help to make the library of their dreams into a reality.
Besides the bookmarks, stamps and bags, the students have also designed an X-shaped unit of modular shelving, STAX, which is made of low-cost plywood and fabricated with CNC technology, courtesy of Autodesk's Carl Bass. "You can do anything with STAX: you can make your new favorite shelf," reads the project page on Kickstarter. "You can make supports for a table or legs for a bench. You can make a mile long wall if you want. Whatever you do with them, they'll definitely be the coolest piece of furniture you own."
Some of you may also remember that we last spoke to Pilloton during the release of If You Build It, a documentary about their previous project in North Carolina:First launched in Bertie County, NC and now based at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA, Studio H students apply their core subject learning to design and build audacious and socially transformative projects. Students of Studio H have previously dreamed up, designed, and constructed a 2,000-square-foot farmers market pavilion, a pop-up park, laser-etched skateboards, sculptural concrete public furniture, roadside farmstands, and more. Through experimentation, non-stop production, tinkering, and a lot of dirt under their fingernails, students develop the creative capital, critical thinking, and citizenship necessary for their own success and for the future of their communities. Studio H is an initiative of the nonprofit Project H Design.