Emily Pilloton (B.A. Architecture '03) founded Project H in 2008, believing deeply in the power of design and building to excite learning and citizenship. Her first crush, MacGyver, sparked her love of constrained problem-solving and tinkering. She went on to study architecture and building because it was the one thing that allowed her to geek out about everything, from math and structural engineering to ethnography and the fascinating behavior of people. Emily believes that by giving youth, particularly girls and students of color, the skills to design and build their wildest ideas, we can support the next generation of creative, confident changemakers.
Her ideas and work have made their way to the TED Stage, The Colbert Report, the New York Times, and more. She is the author of two books, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, and Tell Them I Built This: Transforming Schools, Communities, and Lives with Design-Based Education.
In 2010, Project H Design launched Studio H, a high school program where students learn everything from concepting and drafting to carpentry and construction. First implemented in rural Bertie County, NC, the program was featured in the documentary If You Build It. Studio H is now based out of REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA, where it has continued to grow.