Friday, November 5, 2010
Less is More: Five days of fun at Yestermorrow
Today I finished up co-teaching a class called "Less is More: Designing the Smaller Home" at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. Despite some apprehension about teaching in a new area (design) leading up to the start of the class, I had great time. My teaching partner was Andreas Stavropoulos who I really enjoyed working with and getting to know. Andreas is a landscape architect based in Berkeley, California. He's a smart and ambitious guy who has done a variety of interesting and inspiring projects and it was fun to hear about his ups and downs along the way. Likewise, it was a pleasure to work with the seven students who, in some cases, came great distances to take this class. They all worked hard and did excellent work.
Over the course of the week we went on a couple of house tours of some small homes ranging is size from around 500 sq. ft to up around 1,800 sq. ft. that included an old sugar house made into a home, our yurt, a modular house, and other variations on small footprint living. We also did some exercises to get students thinking conceptually about their project and then steadily worked towards more and more concrete presentations. Its always amazing how things seem to accelerate as the week goes on.
Among the design projects the students worked on were a couple of mobile dwellings, a Catskills get-away, a spec house for down-sized retirees, and a variety of ski-house active outdoors-living homes. It will be so fun to see if and where any of these projects emerge from dream to reality. With time, I think there is a high likelihood this could happen.