viable & affordable
college level curriculum
without the high tuition
or extensive time commitment
10 WEEK INTENSIVE
5 college-level DESIGN courses
17 acres in rural rolling hills of Tennessee with donkeys and other animals
inspired by Design contemporaries
like Stefan Sagmeister and our Design forefathers
such as William Morris (arts/crafts)
and the Bauhaus (anti-academic movement)
Taught by a former tenured professor turned design coach.
at your own pace
with weekly face-to-face
based on 25 years of interactions with college students (majors and non-majors) and a successful quest to move from professor to coach, leaving the teach like you were taught method in the dust, this program brings innovation and definitely more than just a dose of fun in the learning to provide a comprehensive foundation for the design industry in today's rapidly changing society in the midst of pandemic and beyond.
Coach Val's coursework gives you practical skills and a guided plan to expand your creative box to embrace critical thinking and a sense of being in the world that becomes a life philosophy. With these courses you will discover, or rediscover, the sense of wonder and the benefit of wandering (phsyically and mentally). These are courses that would be listed at your preferred college as Intro to Design or Typography 1 or 2 or Advanced level in two dynamic courses.
And this is just the start of the 5 courses!
Become a Critical Thinker
Explore an Unpaved Path
Embrace Happy Accidents
Become a WONDER WANDERER!
Each February, we gather a maximum of 10 to witness the end of winter and early spring as the daffodils bloom and the garden begins to transform from winter to summer crops.
Itinerary can be customized to your needs at the time, or engage in an authorship project that includes writing, reflection, and exploring in nature.
Extend your bootcamp experience by arriving early or returning. Discounts for participating in multiple experiences.
all things Food:
from Garden to Table,
from Pottery to Found Object,
from Writing to Visual Narrative,
from Craft and Drawing to Graphic Design,
to Nourishment of the Belly, Heart and Mind
At the end of every May, we have a multidisciplinary experience immersion resulting in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may inspire your creative practice. One of the best forms of brain power is engaging in hand craft.
Spend the month of June in an intensive residency with a focus on community and narrative. This can be independently driven or guided with Val as your coach and would mean research and production in any of the following:
- narrative or non-linear narrative & story
- memory, feelings/thoughts, identity
- community, place, history
- socio-economic issues
- place / river, terrain, Appalachia, Natchez Trace, etc.
- disciplinary: human-centered design, citizen designer, design for social good, or personal project in this focus.
Escape the hubbub and chaos of the new year. With a pandemic looming until possibly 2022, this is a good opportunity to be slow and intentional in a retreat setting. Spend time learning a new skills, refining items in your portfolio, or figure out a way to integrate craft into your practice.
This is a time of reboot, reignition, rejuvenation and making resolutions for your professional path.
Minimum stay is 3 nights but you can extend up to several weeks, especially if you would prefer to have a quiet holiday.
WHEN IT IS SAFE TO TRAVEL AGAIN
nature & culture immersions
The epitome of bootcamp intensive immersion is a travel experience. This course is all about books from a variety of perspectives. Spend a week learning about the history of the book, traveling a literary path, and see sights of the cultural space.
DUBLIN , IRELAND
A variation on the Love of Books course, this travel immersion experience with an emphasis on nature, seasons, and Japanese culture gives you the opportunity to be an author. Designer as Author has been an aspect of the design discipline for many years. This opportunity allows you to transform experience in place into your own book whether it is more written journal, photographic based, or an artist book. You'll even learn bookbinding.