Project H: A global network of designers who focus on changing lives
The folks at L.A.-based Project H Design like to make things that matter. Project H and its network of socially motivated designers have built playgrounds that teach math in South Africa, designed rugged wheelchairs suitable for the developing world, and pioneered a therapeutic, quiet space for foster care children in Texas. And those are just three of 17 current projects.
Emily Pilloton founded Project H in 2008 after growing disillusioned working in commercial architecture and product design. Feeling that her skills were going to waste “designing the superfluous,” Pilloton channeled her frustration into creating a global coalition of over 300 designers who team up with local changemakers to address community needs.
One local chapter is the Abject Object enterprise, a partnership between the L.A. chapter of Project H and Los Angeles’ Downtown Women’s Shelter. Volunteers from Project H work with shelter residents to create functional, marketable products assembled using basic sewing skills. The products, all of which are made from recycled or donated materials, include a purse that turns into a hammock, a scarf with a pocket, and an adjustable floor mat. All of them look pretty hip, and cost between $35 and $85. Proceeds provide income and a potential path toward self-sufficiency for formerly homeless women.
Interested in learning more about Pilloton’s work? Check out her new book, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People.