West Texas work-cation
There's a lot to be learned from stepping into someone else's shoes -- for instance, the importance of socks. Walk a week in an architect's boots, at Marfa's Design Build Adventure Camp.
Planned by Jack Sanders, the man behind the Lance Armstrong Bikeway as well as the camp's host site, trailer-resort El Cosmico, DBAC is basically a cooler, more skills-building Habitat for Humanity: a week-long workshop where you'll help conceive a community service project for area children, then participate in everything from conceptualizing the design to grunt-work like mixing concrete, and passing that guy the hammer. Project specifics will be decided on-site, but expect crash courses in the tools of the trade, regional building techniques, locally sourced materials (gathered on a bicycle!), steel construction, and incorporation of oft-overlooked factors like climate, socio-economics, and personal relationships, which apparently involve more than nailing people for cheaper nails. The trip isn't without leisure -- most participants stay in the luxe trailers/tents/teepees of El Cosmico, afternoon siestas are the norm, eats come courtesy of the Marfalafel-slinging Food Shark, and a there'll be a screening of the Sanders-produced Citizen Architect, documenting the life of Samuel Mockbee, a rural housing pioneer known to yell things like "What up, drone?"
Should you not have the time/energy/manliness to take on this challenge, the Alamo Ritz will be screening Sanders' film in early summer -- wear your shoes, because the only thing grosser than someone else's is a movie theater floor.