Zen of Habitat: Environmental Design and Installation Art along Edges

September  2016   9th – 11th

Design/Build: a balance between observation and execution.

The Zen of Habitat will explore ecological principles and how to engage environmental design through the observation and celebration of natural phenomena. It will look at EDGES as realms of growth and change.  The relationship between the dynamic, diverse and fluctuating nature of edges will lead to an understanding of what it means to exist within an environmental context.

The workshop will begin by exploring hand drawn and modeling design processes and will work toward an cursory understanding of ecological principles through practice.  The workshop will build not only upon Architectural possiblities but the strengths and interests of each participant; be they a social worker, a gardner, a pianist or a poet. 

This workshop will develop into both individual and collaborative installation art as the primary means of engaging (observing and intervening within) the landscape.  This hands on approach willl allow us to get into a detailed level; thereby understanding the relationship between concept and execution. 

No particular experience is required; in fact a diversity of disciplines is encouraged.  Guidance with tool use is also provided with the course. 

The workshop will be dense with information, but LIGHT with playfulness. 


The workshop will happen between Friday the 9th and Sunday the 11th.  The Fee for this period is $55  (Covers programming and accommodations, food is not included but we’ll collaborate to cut down costs. Please contact Josh if the fee is a barrier to your participation).

Josh is considering remaining on site for the following week to work on his own cabin.  If people would like to stay longer and develop their own work over a longer period of time, Red Clay offers longer term Residency conditions that can be explored. 

For those interested in this workshop please respond at least two weeks before the start of the workshop (if possible) to the following email:

Josh Collins:   Conflabergasted@hotmail.com

In your response please include a brief and thoughtful description of why you are interested in the topic.


Josh Collins is formally trained as an architect, receiving his Masters in 2011 from Dalhousie University.  Since graduating, Josh has aspired to cultivate an integrated practice ranging from construction to poetry, from process drawing to environmental studies, from theatrical performances and set design to teaching courses at a university level.  He has worked on a freelance basis at an urban scale; including the design and construction of twenty unit apartment buildings to more refined public sculpture installations and competitions.  At a rural scale his work has ranged from covered bridges, greenhouses and tiny homes to atmospheric lighting installations.

His practice maintains a fundamentally environmental focus; using the operative capacity of noise and lessons from acoustic ecology as an evocative method for gathering and processing the complexity of environmental conditions and establishing the basis for constructive abidance (or dwelling).  He also maintains substantial emphasis on the role of LIGHT, relying both on the potency of its phenomena and on the sheer optimism and open-ended playfulness that it demands.

His website, like his life, is under construction but aspires to be updated by late summer.  http://www.arc1087.com/jcollins  (It hasn’t been updated in two years…)