The words "Marfa" and "design" pretty much go together by now (second only to "Marfa" and "art," perhaps). So much of the art in the West Texas outpost—most famously, that of Donald Judd, peers, and contemporary artists and the Chinati Foundation compound Judd was instrumental in establishing—is tied to a specific sense of place.
Artists and others who have colonized the community in the past few decades have been inspired by that sensibility, as well, and most have created built environments that honor and utilize it. In that spirit, a four-day workshop called Camp Design Build Adventure invites participants to focus on incorporating the local environment and community in design.
For 11 years, Austin-based Design Build Adventure founder Jack Sanders has collaborated with El Cosmico's Liz Lambert (who changed both Austin's and Marfa's hospitality sensibilities with her boutique hotels) on El Cosmico, a vintage trailer, safari tent, and teepee hotel in Marfa.
Workshop participants, from lay people to architects, stay at El Cosmico and participate in a design-build project. Each Camp DBA focuses on a different community service need or project.
The upcoming camp will continue work on East Side Play!, a small park designed for neighborhood children, built in partnership with local organization the Dersu Collective. Participants will expand the climbing structure at the park.
The schedule, according to Sanders, is "Stretch, Coffee, Design, Build, Siesta, Design, Build, Happy Hour, Campfire, Stars. Repeat."
Camp DBA is "a great way to get to know Marfa and West Texas," he adds, focusing on "not just the materials and the construction techniques, but how climate, geography, socioeconomics, personal relationships and even factors like the food, music, and art of a place can and should influence design."
Camp DBA 2016 takes place June 22-June 26. You can learn more about it here.