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Shop class + art class + service learning = Studio H.  It’s a design studio for high school students in Berkeley, CA (formerly in North Carolina) that bares resemblance to the hacker/maker revolution.  They aim to “Design for Education for Tomorrow”.  Their curriculum model is intriguingly unique – unmistakably made by architects and designers, ambitious in its scaling – and yet familiar in its progression from 2D to 3D art and from small scale, and small consequence to bigger, hairier projects with community impact.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of viewing a pre-release “sneak-peak” of the feature-length documentary on Studio H titled “IF YOU BUILD IT” as a part of Public Interest Design Week at the University of Minnesota.  Though Matt Miller and Emily Pilloton, the teachers and stars of the film, seem to have little training as teachers, the student growth and impact on the community is clearly enormous.  It’s hard to not to laugh, applaud and rev your table-saw at their efforts – bring back woodshop, the world still needs you.  These designers are a fresh reminder.

Studio H: Design. Build. Transform. (Promo #1) from Project H Design on Vimeo.

The Public Interest Deign Week website shares that the film is set to have its official world premier at the Full Frame Documentary film festival, April 4-7 in Durham, NC (a poignant location, since the film takes place in Bertie County, NC).

Note: if you like the sound of “IF YOU BUILD IT”, you may also like “William and Windmill” showing Saturday, March 23rd as part of Public Interest Deign Week

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