Making the world safe for filmgoers since 2002.
Making a life-changing decision is the result of many factors, but for Emily Pilliton, it was doorknobs. Trained in architecture and design, she found herself not changing the way the world looked so much as fretting over doorknobs and plumbing fixtures, and then, in the sort of blinding flash that signal important epiphanies, she realized that there was something else she was on the planet to do, and so with little money, but a great idea, and the sure knowledge that this was the right thing to do, she gave it all up to teach design to high school students.
When filmmaker Patrick Creardon crossed paths with her, Pilliton, her life-partner Matthew Miller, and the dream became the subject of the documentary IF YOU BUILD IT, a case study in why shaking things up is a vital part of our progress as human beings. It follows her adventure with Miller in Windsor, North Carolina teaching Studio H, a class ostensibly about design, but that in reality taught a group of high school students from the poorest county in North Carolina about possibilities. Following the group for one year, the doc shows the teaching process from water filters to a community farmer’s market, and both the victories and setbacks as the kids discover that they had talents they had never suspected, and both Pilloton and Miller discover that following a dream, instead of money, has rewards that money can’t buy.
Creadon’s previous film, WORLDPLAY, was a commercial and critical darling as it made us think about crossword puzzles, and the people who love them, in a whole new light. Pilloton is currently teaching Project H in Berkeley, CA. For more information about Project H, including Studio H, Camp H, and Workshop H, click here. For information on where you can see the film, click here.
On caveat, listening to Pilloton, and/or seeing the film, may just make you want to take up spot-welding or carpentry. Or both.
IF YOU BUILD IT — Emily Pilloton Interview.