Join us as we explore different ways of living small! Less is More offers ideas and design strategies that will help you to envision and design an enriching small “home,” whether it be a yurt, trailer, shipping container, cottage, tiny house, or beyond. We’ll tour noteworthy local houses, and investigate examples from across the globe of different cultural and vernacular small spaces, sparking a dialogue and imaginative process. In the design studio, we’ll concentrate on actual or conceptual projects for micro-dwellings. Students leaving this course will take home floor plans, elevations, and models, as well as the skills necessary to continue work on their own small homes. Bring your curiosity, enthusiasm, and projects!

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: All Levels
  • Sterling College credits: 2 Continuing Education Units ($260 additional)
  • Vermont Technical College credits: 3 College Credits ($355 additional)
  • AIA credits: 35 Learning Units


  • We hope that this course expands your view of what it means to own a ‘home' from inception to realization.
  • We also hope that it helps refine your intentions for a sustainable house, and helps you develop a methodology for how you can design your own small home.
  • We look forward to helping you develop schematic plans for a new, existing, or conceptual small house or small dwelling space that you hope to create.
  • You will learn how to create a program, how to visually represent that program, become familiar with elements of design that are specific to small dwellings, learn how to research zoning and codes that are applicable to your locale, and to understand structural and material factors that are relevant to construction.


A Pattern Language

Little House on a Small Planet

The Place of Houses

Home, A Short History of an Idea

Tiny Houses

Class Schedule

A typical day of the course (if there is such a thing!) falls into the following general breaks in daily activity. During the sessions, we will have activities that might include: guest lectures, discussions, field trips, studio work time or other activities.

7:30 am - 8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Morning session
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45pm - 5:00 pm Afternoon session
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner
Evening Evening activity or optional studio time

Materials to Bring

  • Digital Camera & Sketchbook: for rapid recording of ideas in a format of your choosing
  • Rain gear, gloves, sunblock, hat, backpack for field trips
  • Reference materials: if you have, and you care to bring books or other media that you find useful, please do! (YM also has a good library!)
  • Drawing/Drafting Supplies: if you have drawing supplies that you'd like to bring, please do so. (If not, don't worry, YM has these too!)

Course Outline

Sunday Evening

  • Orientation to Yestermorrow.
  • Welcome dinner: 
  • Getting to know each other, Sharing "homework" & LIM pre-view

Monday morning

  • check-in & stretch
  • Lecture/Discussion
  • Dead Architects & other Ancestors
  • Design Demystified

Monday Afternoon

  • Field trip to Shelburne museum (examples from 3 different periods)

Monday Evening

  • Programing practicum (1 hr)
  • contemplation/reflection time

Tuesday morning

  • Morning check-in & stretch
  • Share goal statements
  • Program development interactive with instructors

Tuesday afternoon

  • presentation/discussion/sharing of students' programs.
  • Discussion of zoning and codes.

Tuesday Evening

  • Guest lecture: the meaning of Sustainability by LEED certified instructor 1.5hr

Wednesday Morning

  • Morning check-in & stretch
  • Discussion on integrating sustainability into the design.
  • Drawing and representational skills.
  • Optional model making workshop.

Wednesday Afternoon

  • Studio work session - graphic interpretation of students' program. Instructors visit students' desks.

Wednesday Evening

  • Presentation: Learning from other cultures
  • Optional work session.

Thursday Morning

  • Morning check-in & stretch
  • Field trip (TBD)

Thursday Afternoon

  • Studio work session (Instructors 1 on 1's with students )

Thursday Evening

  • Studio work session with instructor feedback and assistance.

Friday Morning

  • Morning check-in & stretch
  • Review of student work with guest reviewers.

Friday Afternoon

  • Graduation/Celebration

Schedule subject to change slightly due to inclement weather or the desires, requests or focus of the students.

Start Date: January 3, 2016
Duration: 5 Days
Tuition: $875
Materials: $70