AMES, Iowa — Project H founder and executive director Emily Pilloton will speak about social action, empowerment and the power of making in a lecture Friday, Dec. 2, at Iowa State University.

Pilloton’s presentation, “Fear Less. Build More,” will begin at 4 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, room 0101 College of Design. Part of the Underrepresented Women in Industrial Design and Architecture Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Departments of Industrial Design and Architecture, the College of Design and the Women’s and Diversity Grants Program, her talk is free and open to the public.

In addition to the lecture, Pilloton will visit industrial design studios during the day on Friday.

Pilloton founded the nonprofit Project H in 2008 to provide opportunities for people to engage in design that connects communities and solves real social problems.

The organization also has launched Studio H, an in-school high school design-build program now based at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, California, and Girls Garage, a dedicated design-build program and workspace where girls ages 9-13 can learn skills such as welding, soldering and woodworking while gaining confidence in themselves and their creative potential.

Pilloton also is the author of “Design Revolution,” which features “100 products to empower people.” The book offers inspiration for how design can change the world and how designers can go from “stuff creators” to change makers.

“Emily has shown the power of taking risks and learning through failure as well as success to create something larger than herself, which has a positive impact on women and underrepresented groups,” said industrial design Assistant Professor Betsy Barnhart, who is organizing Pilloton’s visit.

“We hope she will help broaden the perspective of our students and faculty about the importance of social action and demonstrate the power of design and architecture in social justice and public education,” she said.


Betsy Barnhart, Industrial Design, (515) 294-9840, betsy@iastate.edu
Paige Adams, Design Communications, psadams@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu