The Right Brain Initiative


How can design ignite learning? Dig into the conversation at Museum of Contemporary Craft.

December 1st, 2011 by Right Brain Team

More and more at The Right Brain Initiative, we’re excited to explore how the area of design  (in addition to other artistic forms like music, theater, dance and visual art) can lend to children’s development of critical and creative thinking skills, and deepen a student’s connection to their community.

Studio H students worked together to design and build a pavilion for their local farmer's market in North Carolina. Image from Project H Design via Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Enter Studio H, a wildly successful design/build program in the very rural Bertie County North Carolina that focuses on precisely that. Founder/director/industrial designer/architects Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller give their students real-life problems to solve through the design and construction process. In turn, these students  deepen their understanding of a wide range of subjects they’ve learned in the classroom, build community, and develop a sense of personal empowerment.

Sound familiar? Yup. That’s exactly what Right Brain aims to achieve through our arts integration programming. Accordingly, we have pegged Studio H as a program to watch.

Creative learning advocates in the Portland area, don’t miss Studio H: Design. Build. Transform., an exhibition now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) displaying past work created by the students of Studio H, and illuminating the program’s approach to teaching design thinking. We also encourage you to sit in on a free lecture with Emily Pilloton at Ziba Design this Friday, December 2 at 6pm, in which Emily will talk about why she believes design can teach the next generation of designers to transform the world.

And wait. There’s more. Once you’ve experienced this exhibition at MoCC, you can exercise your own design thinking skills by rolling up your sleeves with our Brain Food activities in the Museum’s Lab. Mm hm, we’ve made Brain Food, our own creative thinking-joggers, into an interactive museum experience. The whole family is invited to help collectively build a prototype of a fictional town which will continually evolve over the course of the exhibition.

Please join us every other Saturday from 2-4pm beginning December 3. Local designers from AIGA Portland, our Brain Food partner in crime, will be on hand to guide visitors through these interactive experiences.

The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis St.
Portland, OR 97209

$4 General admission | Free for museum members

See our calendar for the full set of dates.

Read more about our work with the AIGA to expand Brain Food  into a physical deck that will be available to the teachers we serve, and on sale at local retailers, in 2012.


Right Brain Team