Our Mission

Yestermorrow Design/Build School inspires people to create a better, more sustainable world by providing hands-on education that integrates design and craft as a creative, interactive process.

Our Philosophy

Yestermorrow's courses are specifically designed to demystify the designing and building processes using hands-on, experiential learning to teach students the art and wisdom of good design and the skill and savvy of enduring craftsmanship as a single, integrated process.

This creative process offers students unique insight into the oftentimes disparate worlds of the architect and the builder. Architects are routinely trained without any building experience that might inform their designs, and builders are trained to execute without a sense of the overarching purpose or design of the project.

Combining design and building offers numerous advantages and promotes the creation of intentional and inspired buildings and communities that enhance our world. From the professional design/builder to the do-it-yourself design/build homeowner, every designer should know how to build and every builder should know how to design. This philosophy sets Yestermorrow apart from other educational institutions.

Background & History

The Integrated Design/Build Process
Yestermorrow Design/Build School was founded in 1980 by John Connell and a small group of architect friends who wanted to change the way people build houses and communities. With a single course and eight students they took their first steps to realizing their dream of teaching the integrated design/build process to students of all ages and from all walks of life.

Yestermorrow’s co-founders knew from their own experience as architects and builders that by demystifying the design/build process using hands-on, experiential learning techniques, ordinary homeowners would be capable of understanding architectural principles and developing the skills necessary to design and build their own homes. By teaching architectural principles and construction skills as a seamless, integrated process, they believed people could build their homes better. The integrated design/build process empowers people to move with confidence between conceptualization (design) and implementation (build) as they create their world. The process informs their choices, anticipates and solves problems, and ensures an intentional outcome that expresses their values and cultivates an inspired built environment. In essence, the integrated design/build process connects mind to hand and theory to practice to allow people to successfully achieve their dreams.

Good Design: A Commitment to Excellence
In addition to teaching a unique and effective design/build process, Yestermorrow encourages a high quality level of design not normally available to nonprofessional students. Yestermorrow’s curricular philosophy borrows from the enduring design standards that have evolved throughout time: from primitive cultures thousands of years ago, to medieval master builders, to the time honored standards of Vitruvius, Palladio and others, to the leading edge, innovative design builders of today. Yestermorrow is committed to design in the broadest sense that will enhance human and natural communities—both today and for future generations—and create a healthy, beautiful, timeless, and diverse world filled with inspiration.

Yestermorrow Design/Build School: A Worthy Expression of Mission

Its name, “Yestermorrow Design/Build School,” has remained a worthy expression of the organization’s mission: “Yester” inspires the enduring and thoughtful craftsmanship and traditions of yesterday's past; “Morrow” aspires to ensure sustainability far beyond tomorrow’s future by utilizing the innovative design strategies and vanguard technologies and materials of today and tomorrow; and “Design/Build” empowers people to create more fulfilling places and a better world. These are the guiding values with which Yestermorrow will move forward into the future.