Newsletter | Jan/Feb 2014

If You Build It

by Inge Horton

If You Build It, an award-winning documentary about influential designer-activist Emily Pilloton, will be shown beginning on February 28, 2014 at Opera Plza Cinema in San Francisco and at Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.

If You Build It follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and her partner Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to transform both 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 just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to help re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what's possible.

When I watched TEDTalk of Emily Pilloton presenting her alternative way of practicing architecture and teaching high school students, I became really enthusiastic about having the opportunity to see the movie. Directed by Patrick Creadon (who also directed WORDPLAY and I.O.U.S.A.), the movie was shown at last year's Architecture and the City Festival, and was very well received, as Karsen Maruca of the AIA San Francisco Chapter wrote me.

Please put the date of February 28 on your calendar and plan to see this radically new approach to architecture and take advantage of talking to the filmmakers who will be in attendance at the opening weekend.

Ed. Note: There also is a pending theater showing in Sacramento on February 25, 5:30pm at the Century Stadium 14, to be sponsored by AIA Central Valley and OWA Mountain and Valley (our Sacramento area group), with discussion to follow.
For more information, visit:
To reserve a ticket in Sacramento, go to:

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