Classroom in the Woods

A Studio in the Woods is occasionally available to outside groups for meetings, retreats, workshops and youth groups. Please contact us at (504) 392-5359 or for more information.

New Orleans Alternative High School
2003 – 2005
A Studio in the Woods partnered with the Alternative Public High School and Loyola University Environmental Studies Program in an environmental stewardship project to develop knowledge and attitudinal change in inner-city, high-risk students as they learn about the natural environment of South Louisiana and its relationship to human life and to themselves. Each semester 12 students came for 6 intensive experientially based sessions in the woods. Our Environmental Curator, botanist Dave Baker and interns from Loyola University assisted lead instructor Susan Norris-Davis. Our goal is to expose students to a new environment that can instill in them respect for self and others and a clear understanding of how they are an integral part of a nurturing natural world. Emphasis is placed on mutual respect and love for self and all creation, development of ability to combine both sensory and intellectual information, and basic understanding of the ecology of a bottomland hardwoods environment.

Tulane University School of Architecture
2003 – present

  • Architecture Professor E. Eean McNaughton’s third and fourth year students participated in the master planning sessions of A Studio in the Woods’ compound, working on-site with planners, architects, arts, designers and environmental scientists from the region.
  • The following semester McNaughton’s site design students worked with landscape architects Ed Blake and John Harper to analyze the Studio site and locate and design a small public pavilion. This project was funded in part by Louisiana Division of the Arts
  • McNaughton’s design studio worked on individual designs for a steward’s cottage to be built on-site. Students had the opportunity to interview and work closely with ASITW founders and stewards, Joe and Lucianne Carmichael, real “clients” with an actual building program for an environmentally responsible home. Several of the designs from this course will serve as foundations for the next phase of design.
  • As part of Tulane School of Architecture’s new Design/Build program, students will complete the final phases and create working drawings for the Steward’s Cottage. They will be challenged to research and incorporate high standards in environmentally sensitive design. This will include using recycled materials and exploring new technologies, designing in harmony with the Studio grounds and mission. In the following semesters these students will actually build this new structure. We expect the break ground in early 2007.

LSU Landscape Design


Landscape design students of Professor John Harper also participated in the pavilion design work by analyzing the existing flora and creating a plan for the use of indigenous species around the pavilion.

Classroom Retreats

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
Painting, photography and ceramics students use the woods to gather visual information and inspiration to inform more finalized work back in their NOCCA studios.

“Dream Project”
2003- 2005
Metairie Park Country Day School and the New Orleans Alternative High School students and faculty partner in learning to see similarities and appreciate differences in their cultures by working side-by-side on a variety of projects including theatre exercises and poetry writing within the equally unfamiliar “level playing ground” outdoor environment of A Studio in the Woods.

“Diverse Voices”
2004 -2005
One component of a partnership with N.O. Charter Middle School and Metairie Park Country Day School where 7th graders use study of the local Vietnamese culture as a catalyst to explore cultural differences They come to A Studio in the Woods to be in a neutral retreat space new to all the students and for the inspiration of the natural environment in writing poetry about their experiences.