Dakota 2011 – The Hearth

"I would describe RAW as the best two weeks of my education years with real hands on learning, collaboration with other participants and mentors, real immersion with the site and nature, and making life long friendships."  

- Sairy S. – University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Read what other students had to say and follow the first-hand account of Dakota 2011 by U of NC – Charlotte MArch student, Keihly Moore on the RAW blog.


In the summer of 2010 we completed our first design build workshop on the RAW Dakota site, a 1000-acre ranch in the Black Hills, three miles SW of Custer, South Dakota. For two weeks participants and RAW staff enjoyed an challenging and exhilarating experience on the beautiful and pristine site, culminating in a cliff-hanging sleeping pavilion, better known as Abode. 

We returned to the Hills for another two week workshop to design and construct the Hearth, the heart of the Circle Z basecamp, where visitors will gather to prepare food, eat, relax, tell stories and exchange ideas. 

Thanks to all our participants: Samantha S. (North Dakota State University), Doug Z. (University of MN), Jocelyn A. (University of MN.) Jessica O. (Oklahoma State University), Marrinna B. (Oklahoma State Universtity) Tim S. (University of MN), Elizabeth G.(University of NE), Keihly M (UNC – Charlotte), Sairy S. (UNC – Charlotte) Andrew B. (UNC – Charlotte), Nan Bu (St. Olaf), Sean W (University of Colorado), Charley U.(University of Colorado)


Materials: Concrete, schist, quartz, ponderosa pine, corrugated galvanized steel
Dimensions: 14' x 16' and 18' x 20'
Elevation: 5000 ft