Knoll Farm Outdoor Classroom

September 7 - October 26, 2017

Throughout this course a group of students work together to design and build a learning space at Knoll Farm in Fayston, VT. Our intention is to create a space that stirs the imagination and provides a sanctuary for pretending and play. We will use locally sourced lumber as well as salvaged windows, doors and found materials for our creation. The design of the structure draws inspiration from the houses of Prickly Mountain and the child-built structures at the Adventure Playground in Berkeley, CA.

This project is supported by a Creation Grant  from the Vermont Art Council.


Week 1: Planning

September 7, 2017

The five participants for this project, Wren, Noah, Jonas, Kaia, and Aliza, have been a part of Sculpture School since its beginning in 2014. They've made boats out of plastic bottles, built yurts out of scrap wood, and tinkered on many inventions in the shop. They were each nominated and awarded a scholarship for participation on this project because of their commitment to spreading creativity within their community.

We started by climbing around on the proposed build location between a couple of apple trees. In between the laughter and screams a few ideas started coming out for a suspended platform and a pulley system to collect and bring down apples. As more thoughts started bubbling we went up to the shop to sketch.

Each participant shared their ideas and talked about all of the possibilities for a play space that infused learning with movement. Their visions included a combination of ladders, ropes, trapdoors and swings. At the end we synthesized everyones ideas and came to an agreement to begin with a suspended platform wrapping around one of the apple trees.

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Week 2: Framing

September 14, 2017

Today we sketched with 2x's to figure out how tall to make the posts for our structure. After coming to an consensus we took measurements and dismantled this mock-up. Prototyping with 2x's allowed the group to physically design the structure and make decisions/problem solve collaborativly.

After transferring our measurements from the mock-up, we cut the permanent 6x6 posts to size and stained them apple red.

Week 3: Setting Joists

September 21, 2017

Week 4: Adding Color

September 28, 2017

Week 5: Floor Boards

October 5, 2017