Stephen Colbert Models Humanitarian Design Products

Project H’s Emily Pilloton was on the “Colbert Report” last night, holding her own against Colbert’s design truthiness.

Stephen Colbert

Design revolutionary Emily Pilloton was on the Colbert Report last night schooling Colbert on the humanitarian, socially-responsible products featured in her book, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People. Humanitarian design is all about taking problem solving and putting it to work on social issues, Pilloton says. “What’s wrong with designing stuff?” he quips. “Have you seen an iPod? That’s a really well-designed stuff.”


The products modeled by Colbert and Pilloton included three of the 100 or so from her book: The Hippo Roller, a water transport device improved by Pilloton’s own non-profit Project H Design; Joshua Silver’s Adaptive Eyecare glasses, which can change prescription by adjusting a membrane of silicon oil; and of course the Spider Boot, footwear designed by GadShaananDESIGN that helps diffuse the shock of landmine explosions (on which Colbert makes his historic stroll from the desk to the interview nook).

Spider Boot

Not mentioned on the show, but notable none-the-less: Next month, Pilloton begins her massive 25-school book tour in an Airstream trailer that’s been converted into a traveling exhibition center.

Photos by Laura Galloway

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.