In this TED talk, designer and innovator Emily Pilloton shares her big ideas about using design thinking to transform a rural school and the surrounding community of Bertie County, North Carolina. Pilloton does more than talk about the power of good design. She has moved her nonprofit design shop, Studio H, from San Francisco to Bertie County and become a certified teacher so that she can work directly with high school students. During the coming year, they will begin building student-designed projects--such as bus shelters or a farmer's market site--to improve their impoverished community.
The video is worth a watch for many reasons, not least of which is Pilloton's passion for this initiative. It's also a good conversation-starter about how schools work--and how they could work better, especially in places that are short on creative capital.
If the video leaves you eager to learn more about design thinking and the role it can play in K-12 education, take a look at the K-12 Laboratory at Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. This Edutopia article offers more information about learning through active problem-solving.