Studio H Collaborative Research Project | 2015 SEED AWARD WINNER

Location: Berkeley, CA, USA

Issues addressed: Empowerment, Education, Housing/Shelter, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education

Summary: Studio H as an in-school course is a direct design response to the limited and standardized-test driven pedagogy of most public schools. By creating a design/build studio and workshop environment, Studio H teaches standards-aligned core subject content through projects that are not only full-scale and hands-on, but public and built for a specific community or client. This means that the quality and standards of both our process and product must remain high, holding students to a higher expectation of their own learning and character. For public education, a program like Studio H is a game-changer for school administration and families who have been alienated from real-world learning opportunities because of recent philosophical shifts towards more test-driven rote instruction. Also, Studio H is taught by experts who bring an architectural and enterprising knowledge to the classroom, asking students to go beyond the classroom walls to build as leaders for others.

Team: Emily Pilloton; Rebecca Beamer; Thomas Gardner; Hallie Chen; 80+ high school students in the program at REALM Charter School; 75 high school students from the Bertie County School District, NC; REALM Charter School; Opportunity Village; Autodesk; National Endowment for the Arts

Jury Review: Very robust and appropriate research agenda. Among the very good parts of the explanation is the attempt to reach, though a different approach, young people who have personal learning or disciplinary challenge who are allowed to and required to think differently and to re-engage academically through hands-on and community-focused architecture. Program appears to be effective means for the students to meet responsibilities and gain a sense of purpose. The evaluations use a good spectrum of measurement.