On April 14 and 15, a small collaborative group of professional artists, architects, designers, and builders including Rod Northcutt, Charlie Vinz, Jillian Soto, and Sara Black led the first part of a design build project with Antioch College students and community members at the newly reopened at Antioch College. The project was focused on the Antioch College Organic Farm. Participants include current Antioch students Sam Senzek, Maisie Taibbi, Rachael Smith, Nargees Jumahan, and Adam Abraham; newly admitted student Gabe Amrhein; community members Carissa Burkett and Ethan Miller; and Kat Christen, Antioch College farm manager. The design charrette held that weekend led to designs for an international tea garden and shelter at the farm. The design and plans were developed around the ritual process of building, the event of harvesting, steeping and drinking tea inspired by many cultures, and the importance of water on the farm.
Students and community members in Yellow Springs, along with the grounds crew at Antioch College, took down and salvaged material from the existing tea house built in the 1970s, poured footings for the new structure, and pulled up the concrete from the non-functioning pond during the week of May 5. Over the weekend of June 2, 2012, group leaders, students, and community members will reconvene to place a stone “footprint” using stones from a nearby limestone quarry, construct the renewed Tea Shelter including a cordwood-and-mortar wall, and restore the pond. Materials will include scavenged poplar from a nearby barn that has been deconstructed, a mix of milled hardwoods from the Glen, limestone from the nearby quarry, cordwood, and mortar.