Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 80 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design. Now in its 35th year, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our hands-on 1-day to 3-week workshops, certificate programs and semester programs are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country. For people of all ages and experience levels, from novice to professional.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yestermorrow Does Multiple Scene Changes

Anyone who has worked behind the scenes in a play or other major production should have a pretty good idea of what it is like here at Yestermorrow. But instead of putting on one play, we at Yestermorrow seem to be undertaking the complete works of Shakespeare or some equivalent feat.

In Ring One, we have the mad dash to get our new food program up and running, with interns flying to and fro building tables and cabinets with greatly appreciated help from cabinet-making tutor extraordinaire Randy Taplin. There is a lot to get done and no one knows from one moment to the next whether they will be working with potting soil (tending to our seedlings) or joint compound (patching walls after plumbing new sinks).

And then there is getting the dorms ready for the new season. We’ve got a whole lot of scrubbing going on to make everything fresh. This is spring cleaning on steroids and no one seems exempt from the labor.

In Ring Three we have everyone manning computer terminals and adding student records in preparation for Yestermorrow’s foray into the realm of electronic registration. All ten of us (staff and interns) preloaded the system with over three-hundred students to prime the digital pumps and get the bugs out prior to going live in the next couple of weeks.

Ring Four deals with our nascent attempts at advocacy and community organizing via providing a supporting backbone for the Mad River Valley Step It Up 2007 event and the whole 7 Days for the Earth series. The latter includes a Valley-wide values exercise and a visioning session. The events involve dozens of speakers and panelists, a handful of insightful movies and much, much more.

And through all of this we have still had time to meet with the team from Conway School of Landscape Design who will be helping us with our campus master planning process and running public charrettes for us on April 28th and June 2nd. And we still made time to ogle at all the really cool hand planes and other woodworking tools donated to us by Lee Valley-Veritas ( These are very cool additions to our shops, and many tool heads here are still drooling when they think of these finely crafted beauties in action.

All in a day’s work here at the Yestermorrow circus.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Natural Building in Costa Rica

Our Natural Building in Costa Rica class just concluded its fifth year at Rancho Mastatal. This year's project was a timber framed structure built with local wood. You can view many photos from the class on our Snapfish group site: