FAQ's

What is RAW Design Build?

RAW Design Build is a unique organization that brings the creativity, enthusiasm and talent of young architects and students to design and build remarkable projects.

What does RAW stand for?

Quite simply: Real. Architecture. Workshop.

Who is RAW for?

RAW workshops are designed for young architects, architecture students and design enthusiasts who are looking to test their limits – creatively and physically – and use their skills to design and build inspiring projects.

For whom does RAW design and build?

Every RAW project has a client – whether a non-profit, community organization, NGO or private concern.  RAW is actively seeking partnerships for new projects and workshops. Please contact us if you have a project you would like to discuss.

Where do workshops take place?

We have hosted workshops near Custer, South Dakota, Oaxaca City, Mexico and Aix-en-Provence, France. We are offering our first workshop in Arusha, Tanzania in 2016. We will continue to add workshops as we find qualifying projects. Most project work will take place on or near the building site. If accommodations are off-site, we will provide transportation to and from the building site.

What are the requirements to participate in a RAW workshop?

Participants must be 18 years old and have their own health insurance. RAW Design Build does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethic origin in admission to the program.

Do I need any previous architecture or design experience?

While we don’t require formal architectural training or education, visual communication skills are necessary for participation.

Do I need any previous client or construction experience?

No prior experience working in an architecture firm or on a construction site is needed.

How far in advance should I register for a RAW workshop?

Generally speaking, as soon as possible after we start accepting applications – typically several months in advance of the workshop and definitely by the application deadline! We will begin to process applications immediately and notify applicants of their acceptance. Depending on the site and project each workshop will be open to a limited number (usually 10 – 15) of participants and may fill quickly. If a workshop fills, we can place you on a waiting list in case of cancellation. If space becomes available, we will accept registrations up until 1 week before the workshop begins. Like us on Facebook page and you’ll hear about new workshops as they are scheduled.

How much does a RAW workshop cost?

RAW workshops range in cost depending on location, duration, program costs, etc. We try and make them as low cost as possible, while maintaining quality and safety. Typically, fees will range from $1,250 – $3,000 for a one or three-week workshop, including meals, accommodation, materials and required activities. Depending on the workshop, additional fees for optional activities may apply. Transportation to and from the workshop location from your departure location is not included. Depending on the length of the workshop there may be a scheduled “free” time during which participants are responsible for the cost of meals and activities.

What is the payment schedule, and what if I need to cancel the workshop?

We require a non-refundable $500 deposit within 1 week of notice of acceptance in the workshop. The balance of the workshop fee is due no later than one month prior to the start of the workshop. If you cancel your enrollment at least one month prior to the workshop start date, you will receive a refund of $500. No refunds will be given for cancellations made less than one month prior to the workshop start date.

Are RAW workshops open to everyone?

For the most part, yes, however from time to time we may partner with academic institutions to create a custom workshop that is closed to non-matriculated students.

Can I earn academic or IDP credit for RAW?

Students have obtained academic and/or IDP credit through their home school or IDP sponsor. Talk to your home institution/sponsor about their requirements. You may be able to apply for credit through independent study, backed by RAW instructor recommendations and workshop description. (The curriculum is similar to design/build courses that have been taught at the University of Minnesota.) We are happy to help with any of the above processes, however all credits are awarded only at the discretion of your accrediting organization.

Do I need health insurance?

Each student is required to carry personal health insurance in case of accident or illness. This requirement is usually satisfied by a parent’s insurance, a personal or school-based policy. In addition, we do require (low-cost) travel insurance for international workshops. You will receive more information upon acceptance and registration.

How do I get there?

For domestic workshops you can fly, drive, bus or carpool. For international workshops, we will share information about how to get to the arrival city and meet up with the group. Because our workshops are small, and subject to minimum enrollment, we will let you know when we have reached our minimum enrollment and you can go ahead and make travel plans. We will provide more information upon acceptance and registration.

Is it safe to go to Mexico?

Millions of Americans travel safely to Mexico every year.  Nonetheless, violence between drug cartels prompted the US State Department to issue a travel warning for Mexico in September, 2010 (updated in October, 2014). It applies primarily to the border towns and urges caution throughout Mexico. It is important to note: No advisory is in effect in Oaxaca. As always, visitors should take the normal precautions while traveling abroad. Safety is a priority although we have never had a safety concern during our time in Oaxaca, including a six-month stay in 2008. We are well acquainted with Oaxaca and environs, have a network of people in the city we can draw on as necessary, and will do everything we can to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Do I need vaccinations?

Participants in RAW Arusha should consult the Center For Disease Control and Prevention for the necessary vaccinations for travel to Tanzania.