Twinned build lab 2012, Snowdonia

woodland design lab programme 2012

Thurs 14 – Tues 19 June

Following the success of our first Woodland Design Laboratory in 2011 at Graig Wen, we have been invited by John & Sarah to return to their 45 acre campsite in the heart of Snowdonia to re-imagine their communal campfire and shelter.

This project comprises two distinct laboratories, firstly a design lab in April and then a build lab in June.

Together they provide the opportunity to design in advance and then plan and build, a beautiful, timber structure for the public to enjoy and for you to include in your portfolio.

Located at Graig Wen, a beautiful award-winning eco-campsite in North Wales.

Deposit: £20 per course

Design lab: £180

Build lab: £200

Both labs: £350

You interested in coming? Let us know here.

Click here to register

Build lab June 2012

Who is it for

Suitable for students of architecture, design, engineering and anyone interested in collective creativity and making with their hands.

This course meets the needs of those who want to be involved in making an architectural intervention from start to finish.

A substantial discount has been offered if you can attend both courses because the most fun to be had will be coming up with ideas and learning to manifest them. These twinned courses will especially suit those used to designing or making exclusively. See details for design lab here.

(Anticipate upcoming details of the September woodlab if you want to be involved in a process with no determined outcome.)

What it’s about

Bringing creative hearts and minds together in a beautiful place to create a site specific architectural intervention. Learning to work consensually, operating as a single intelligence to create the best response to our self-determined shared values.


The build lab in June will happen onsite in the woods with a temporary workshop under canvas. We will camp on the lower fields, close to the site and will have the use of Ty’r Adar holiday cottage for hot drinks and meals. Though in June we may well decide to cook and eat outside. Please arrive for the 5 day course from Thursday afternoon. 3 meals a day will be provided from Thursday supper to Tuesday lunch inclusive.

Last year tafline Laylin from Inhabitat design was embedded for the duration of the first woodland design laboratory. She wrote two lovely articles, one focusing on the design and process and one on the ethics and infrastructure that we created.

How to get there

The course will be run in the woods at Graig Wen on the Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth in the Snowdonia National Park. Their website details how to get there. Please come by public transport or leave your car at the nearby Morfa Mawddach train station, from where we can arrange free pick up. We encourage lift sharing. It’s a lovely cycle along the footpath on the mawddach estuary to the site.

Arrive any time after lunchtime on Thursday 14th June, leaving after lunchtime on Tuesday. We will not provide Thursday lunch.

Camping and catering

Please let us know that you are bringing your own tent or if you don’t have one we can arrange for some individual tents with sufficient notice.

Catering will be provided in the Ty’r Adar holiday cottage. Breakfast will be croissants and tea and coffee for breakfast each day with muesli and yoghurt followed by freshly prepared lunch and dinner. Meals will be largely vegetarian though we hope to provide at least one local fish or lamb supper. Please advise us of any dietary requirements. We hope to enjoy evenings around the fire but can retreat to the warmth of the holiday cottage if it rains.

Information about the course


• To build the design developed during the April design lab

• To develop basic hand tool skills

• To learn key skills pertinent to the design

• To maintain flexibility throughout the build to adapt to new information

• To set up a time lapse camera and explore piece photographically


It’s important that the design has been fully pre-empted before we arrive to build it. However, it’s critical that as a group we can adapt to new information. Fleshing out the whole as lightly as possible, maintaining permeability and flexibility for as long as possible will allow the piece to be responsive and to evolve within it’s habitat.

The build lab daily programme will be fleshed out after the design lab is finished. Please read about the design lab programme details for how we will develop a design for the site.

At this stage we anticipate the need for additional skilled technicians to work with during build lab. This need will become apparent when we assess any likely skills gap after design lab.

Thursday: ARRIVAL

Arrival after lunch, familiarisation with site and pitching tents
6pm Explore site
8pm dinner
9-9:45pm Pecha Kucha style presentation in Ty’r Adal:
Jenny to present brief overview of design lab process and everyone new to build lab to present: 20 seconds per 10 images per person (send slideshow, bring USB or hard copy pics)
Feedback forms handed out to fill in over the course

Friday: BUILD

9am Tool induction
Followed by key skill instruction
11am teatime
1pm lunch
2pm Onsite
4pm teatime
8pm supper

Saturday to Monday: BUILD

9am Key skill instruction
11am teatime
1pm lunch
2pm Onsite
4pm teatime
8pm supper


9am Final touches
11am Take photos
1pm lunch
Round up of course, feedback forms handed back in. Goodbye

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If you would like to discuss a project please call 01654 702340 or click here.