Design Your Self: An informal retreat to explore the possibilities, Aug. 24-26
From: Nance Longley (
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 14:07:22 -0700 (PDT)
*Design** Your Self: An informal retreat to explore the possibilities

"The usefulness of a water pitcher dwells in the emptiness where water
might be put, not in the form of the pitcher or the material of which it is
made." Lao-tse (604-531 B.C., Book of Tea)*

*What:* A retreat to explore the design element of *white space*, both in
the contexts of design and of philosophy—how do we utilize the spaces we
have available to make a design (and a life) work?

*When:* evening of August 24 to noon on Sunday, August 26, 2012

*Where:* Shalom <http://goog_881547996>
<http://goog_881547996>Farm <>, Windom,
Minnesota (about 2.5 hours southwest of the Twin Cities)

Peter Shea and I, two instructors for the University philosophy course
<http://goog_881548001>Worth <http://goog_881548001> <http://goog_881548001>
Living <http://goog_881548001>:
<http://goog_881548001>of <http://goog_881548001> <http://goog_881548001>
Self <http://goog_881548001>,
<http://goog_881548001>and <http://goog_881548001> <http://goog_881548001>
Community <http://goog_881548001> <>(Philosophy
Camp), had a brainstorm/conversation during last spring’s course about
playing with the intersection of design and philosophy by looking at one
through the lens of the other. To further explore this idea we'd like to
initiate a series of occasional weekend retreats, playing with design
elements and concepts like contrast, hierarchy, proximity, etc. We’ll do
hands-on design activities and use design concepts as metaphors for telling
and listening to stories from our own and each others’ lives.

The format for the weekend follows one used in a series of “folk school
retreats” that helped develop the ideas that eventually became Philosophy
Camp. In the spirit of “design it yourself”, participants will work
together to design parts of the retreat. Everyone is invited to help with
meal preparation and clean-up and there will be open times when
participants are able to create group or individual activities.

Subsequent retreats can be generated from the “starter yeast” of the this
first one—interested participants can come up with the ideas and activities
for the next one, and so on. Participants can attend one retreat or may be
inspired to attend several, depending on their interest and availability -
each retreat will be a theme that is independent of the others, so it won’t
be necessary to attend them all or in sequence to get something out of the

*Rough schedule for the retreat weekend:*

*Friday, August 24 *

Arrive in time for 6 p.m. dinner (arrive around 4 p.m. if you would like to
help with cooking). After clean-up we’ll do an introductory story circle
and evening design activity

*Saturday, August 25*

Breakfast will be a self-serve assortment of baked goods, granola, fruit,
and yogurt. Eggs are also available. We’ll meet at around 9 a.m. for a
story circle, then break to prepare and eat lunch. After lunch there will
be a hands-on design activity. Later in the afternoon there will be free
time available to go for a walk, take a nap, do some sketching, or
whatever. We’ll start preparing dinner around 5 p.m. After dinner and
dishes are done there will be more open time for conversations, walks,
and/or group-generated activities.

*Sunday, August 26*

After breakfast we’ll have a closing story circle, then be ready to leave
by noon.

*Cost for the weekend* is on a sliding scale: $72, $92, or $112.

The actual fee of $92 includes a single room for two nights and all food.
Pay the lower fee of $72 if that’s what you can afford, or the higher fee
of $112 if you can afford to provide a scholarship. If you share a room
your fee will be $10 less for the weekend ($62, $82, $102).

We can accommodate up to 16 participants.

Shalom Hill Farm is a modern retreat facility on a historic farm near
Windom, Minn. The surrounding landscape of restored prairie, wetlands, and
wide-open skies provide a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. Although
it’s not a working farm, there are chickens (and fresh eggs), sheep, cats,
and Otie, the Jack Russell Terrier (who loves to go on prairie walks).

RSVP to Nance at longley <http://goog_881548006>@
. <http://goog_881548006>edu <longley [at]>, by Friday, August 17 and
then we’ll get information out to you about driving directions. Let me know
if you have any dietary restrictions so we can plan the food accordingly.
Meals will be simple and vegetarian, with a vegan option if needed.

Contact me at longley <longley [at]>@ <longley [at]>umn<longley 
. <longley [at]>edu <longley [at]> with any questions. Feel 
free to
forward to anyone you think may be interested. Hope you can make it!


* *

Nance Longley

graphic designer for the College of Education and Human Development

graduate student in the College of Design

University of Minnesota

Peter Shea

adjunct faculty, Gustavus Adolphus College, philosophy

video producer, Bat of Minerva

Anna Lohse

co-owner, baker, and barista, Hard Times Cafe

Philosophy Camp alumnus and apprentice instructor

Mary Ellen Shaw

coordinator, Student Progress & Scholarships, College of Education and
Human Development Student Services

community faculty at Metro State University, religious studies

Philosophy Camp fellow 2006

Nance Longley
design and production manager
College of Education & Human Development
University of Minnesota
139C Burton Hall, 178 Pillsbury Drive S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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