We work on real projects for real clients.

We believe the real world is the best teacher, and that serving the community is a powerful educator. The school functions like a design studio: clients hire the school to undertake specific projects.

Students work on individual projects during the fall term. These are smaller scale projects; though primarily residential, they might also include a small park, a farm market, or renovation of an abandoned mill site.

During the winter and spring terms, small teams of students are each assigned a project at a larger community or regional scale. Students have full responsibility for managing the project, engaging stakeholders, and meeting their clients’ goals. Typically, winter term projects are extensive reports, while in spring term plan sets are created. Either way, the products are well-researched, carefully designed, and illustrated with strong graphics.

Working closely with faculty advisers, students learn by doing. By focusing on results, not design theory, students learn the skills needed for professional practice while producing high quality work.

This innovative educational method ensures that students start making a difference in the world from day one, while clients receive quality results at an affordable price.

Student projects reflect the real needs of their clients in the context of a changing environment. As a result, our work has stayed current with the most pressing land-based issues of the day. Current focus areas include: