We teach young people to design and build their future using heart, hands, and hammers.

Project H uses the power of creativity, design, and hands-on building to amplify the raw brilliance of youth, transform communities, and improve K-12 public education from within. Our programs teach rigorous design iteration, tinkering, applied arts and sciences, and vocational building skills to give young people the creative, technical, and leadership tools necessary to make positive, long-lasting change in their lives and their communities. 

 

PROGRAMS

Studio H

Studio H is an in-school design/build class for 6th-12th grade students. 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. Studio H is the subject of the award-winning full-length documentary film, If You Build It. 

Learn More →


Girls garage

Girls Garage is a one-of-a-kind design and building program and dedicated workspace for girls ages 9-13. Integrating design, engineering, serious skills and social justice, our after-school and summer programs equip girls with the confidence and tools to build anything they can imagine and to grow alongside one another and their communities.

Learn More →


UNPROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Unprofessional Development is Project H Design's teacher education initiative. Its mission is to bring project-based learning into all classrooms through unique workshops and powerful hands-on learning experiences for educators.

We help teachers engage young people in work that responds to authentic problems and real-world questions, and believe that making, building and design are pathways to an empathetic, socially just education.

Learn More →


HISTORY

Project H Design was founded in 2008 by designer Emily Pilloton. Emily had worked in the world of furniture design, architecture, and construction and was disenchanted by the disconnect between her work and her community. With $1000 in savings, she launched Project H as a nonprofit in order to create opportunities for many people to engage in design that was deeply connected to other people and real social problems.

In 2010, Project H relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area to rural Bertie County, North Carolina, on the invitation of renegade superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger. It was there that Studio H, our in-school high school design/build program, was born. 

 

After two years and two giant projects, including an award-winning 2000-square-foot farmers market, Studio H returned to the Bay Area, where it now lives at REALM Charter School in Berkeley.

After observing the gender dynamics within the Studio H classroom, we launched Girls Garage, a dedicated program and workspace for girls ages 9-13 to become fearless builders.

As we grew as educators ourselves, we have also become leaders and mentors to other teachers seeking to integrate design and building into their classroom. In 2015 we officially launched Unprofessional Development as our teacher education initiative.

 


IMPACT

  • Over 800 youth ages 9-17 have participated in our design and building programs in the last eight years, since 2008.

  • Our Studio H class currently enrolls 100 high school students per year at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA, as part of their school day, everyday.

  • Our Girls Garage building program enrolls 200 girls each year, who earn badges in 10 skill areas.

  • 92% of our graduating high school students have gone on to two- or four-year colleges.

  • 91% of our Girls Garage girls say they finished camp feeling more confident, creative, and excited about school.

  • 38 community design and architecture projects have been completed, designed and built entirely by our youth participants. These projects include a 2000-foot farmers market, a school library, an outdoor classroom, farmstands, tiny homes for the homeless, furniture for a women's homeless shelter, and more.

  • Over 90,000 people have participated or engaged with our projects in the US and worldwide.

  • We have provided design-based and project-based learning professional development to over 1500 teachers globally.

  • Our network of supporters has grown to 497,000 Twitter followers, 8,000 Facebook followers, and 4,500 newsletter subscribers.

  • Our supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Adobe Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Sappi Fine Paper, and corporate sponsorships from Lincoln Electric, Milwaukee Tools, and Autodesk.

  • We do all this with an annual budget of approximately $380,000, and an average individual donation of $84.


FUNDERS + Supporters

National Endowment for the Arts