NSW Chapter goes to the movies: If you build it

Published: Monday 9 March 2015

This year, the NSW Chapter has the theme Year of Sustainable Ideas #YOSI

 Sustainable: Learning, design, spaces leadership, buildings, technology, services, people

 Kicking off the year on 4 March, the NSW Chapter held a film night at the Atrium in the NSW Department of Education and Communities. 

If you build it traces the journey of two young designers, Matt and Emily and a small group of students in Bertie County, North Carolina. The town is in decline and the students disengaged from school when Matt and Emily, Studio H, come to town and work with the students to reignite passion for learning through real projects and community building. It is an amazing story or transformation that leaves a lump in the throat. 

Following the film, the audience and expert panel engaged in a great discussion about the key themes of the movie. The panel comprised:

Paul Pholeros, a Director of Healthabitat, a company that for over 30 years has worked to improve the living environments of Indigenous people in many suburban, rural and remote areas of Australia and internationally.

Matt Esterman, a History and e-learning coordinator at St Scholasticas College, Glebe. His current research looks at user voice in the design process for new learning spaces and school buildings. 

Genevieve Blanchett, a designer who operates across architecture, urban design and the performing arts with a focus on community-driven creative place making and arts-based development projects.

The robust dialogue centred around the year that Matt and Emily invested into the students, the failure of the school district and helping the students learning in meaningful and purposeful ways. 

Anne Knock

NSW Chapte Chair