The Yestermorrow Design/Build School was founded in 1980 on the belief that anyone can be empowered to create a better, more sustainable world. We are on the forefront of a sustainable design/build revolution in three important ways:
Integrated Design and Mastercrafting. Our curriculum prepares students to learn, think, and practice at various scales: in the context of whole ecosystems, neighborhoods, and buildings. We teach the time-tested art of mastercrafting, where the student is both the designer and the builder. We have found that this holistic practice better equips practitioners to create places and things that are human-scaled and more responsive to nature.
Democratic Design. We believe that everyone can be empowered to create their world, and that a place isn’t sustainable without an active civil society. Democratic design means that our neighborhoods embody local ownership and reflect the diversity of its inhabitants. We believe that everyone possesses innate creativity, and anyone can learn the art and practice design/build, regardless of experience. The sustainable design/build revolution is open to everyone.
Sustainability and Beauty. We believe that beauty is essential to sustainability. Beauty inspires new possibilities, and compels generations to care for and preserve special places. To create sustainable places and things, we must first discover beauty.
Good design doesn’t end at the drafting table. Rather, it continues throughout the build process. Or, as longtime instructor John Ringel puts it, “the build process is full of design feedback.” Yestermorrow embodies this approach in a hands-on “think -make - do tank” learning experience.
At Yestermorrow, students can learn on their own terms, regardless of experience. We encourage students to experiment, fail, learn, and experiment again. Yestermorrow offers an embodied approach to learning that integrates head, hands, and heart.
The design/build process is fundamentally about problem-solving. Whether applied to designing and building homes, revitalizing neighborhoods, or making furniture from sustainable materials, Yestermorrow makes tangible vital ideas like sustainability, climate resilience, and community empowerment.
We are the incubator of the sustainability design/build revolution.
Students come to Yestermorrow for a variety of reasons, including professional development, launching new careers, or to support a lifestyle change. While many come to Yestermorrow to learn a new technical skill, all leave here transformed - with new friendships and the confidence to create a better, more inspired world.
Our faculty are all practicing artisans, craftspeople, and design/buildersmastercrafters, and they love what they do. Yestermorrow is their laboratory and their students are immersed in their real-life projects, for real clients.
The Yestermorrow experience is rooted in community life. Students, instructors, staff, and visitors share meals, and our beautiful facilitiescampsites, and cabins; everyone is invited to evening music jam sessions and the occasional bonfire celebration. We’ve cultivated a diverse and inclusive environment - a hub for sustainable design/build revolutionaries.