Design conversations

As part of Sydney Design Festival 2014, in conjunction with colleagues of Heart Centred Design, we organised a film screen and panel discussion centred around the film If You Build It to explore the potential of design for creating change in education, culture and communities.

If You Build It is a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom where students learn the tools to design their own futures.This film follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, USA, where they work with local high school students to help transform their community and their lives.

Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than teach basic construction skills. It shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent their town and their own sense of what’s possible. View trailer.

An inspiring conversation was held afterwards with design and strategy practitioner Steve Baty, design thinker Steven Pozel and educator Jihad Dib to explore the themes and issues raised in the film.

Steve Baty: Principal at Meld Studios. Steve has over 15 years experience as a design and strategy practitioner. He has served as President of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) (2012-2014), co-Chairs UX Australia and sits on the Good Design Council of Australia.

Steven Pozel: Director of Object: Australian Design Centre (ADC). Over the last 15 years, Steven has developed Object into one of Australia’s most innovative arts organisations.

Jihad Dib: Principal, Punchbowl Boys High School. Jihad’s leadership has transformed Punchbowl Bowl Boys High into one with a sense of pride, much-improved academic and social development outcomes in the seven years he has been Principal.

Sponsored by Meld Studios, Amplify Innovation and Thought Leadership Festival.