The Sheltermaker’s Journey

Discovering how to create shelter to nurture a dream of your life …

sheltermaker illust web

A stimulating and interactive 1-day workshop that will enable you to create a design for a shelter that nurtures an aspect of your personal life.
The workshop has been devised and will be led by eco-architect & builder Peter Cowman, director of

LAC Office

LAC Office


This series of workshops ran during the summer of 2018

Participants at August Sheltermaker's Journey workshop

Participants at August Sheltermaker’s Journey workshop

‘A very interesting day.’

‘It was great to listen to someone talking sense.’

‘Thanks for the safe space to experience and explore inspiration.’

‘I found your visualisations powerful – my fingertips are still tingling.’

Participants at Waterford Sheltermaker's Journey gig September 30th 2018

Participants at Waterford Sheltermaker’s Journey gig September 30th 2018

Peter CowmanPeter Cowman is an eco-architect, natural-builder, writer & teacher delivering Courses & Workshops internationally on the subjects of sheltermaking. He began teaching people how to design their own homes in 1989. He has a special interest in the creation of affordable, healthy, low-impact, mortgage-free buildings and has developed a unique timber framing system for cost-conscious self-builders. Originator of the sheltermaker and living architecture concepts Peter’s work has been widely publicised in both print as well as broadcast media, worldwide. He lives in south Leitrim. His Sheltermaker’s Manual is published by Python Press.

LAC Studio4

Workshop Overview

The workshop takes the form of a journey that can be viewed as a conscious encounter with one’s dream-self. This experience allows an inner dream to venture outwards so that it can be nurtured in the physical world. This process stimulates the desire to ‘live the dream’, a task requiring that it be sensitively sheltered as it is birthed in the outer world. The external self-view gained by making the dream visible in this way offers unparalleled insight into a direction one’s life wishes to take.

The workshop consists of four interconnected elements beginning with an exploration of the vital visible and invisible ingredients from which the shelter will be made. This sets the context for the ensuing design process after which one arrives at the realisation stage when a design can be constructed and inhabited. Each participant will document and retain a record of the sheltermaking journey they have experienced at the workshop.

Participants will receive a detailed Handout to complement their design work. The workshop will place an emphasis on the type of small low-cost, low impact, natural buildings that can be constructed in the average garden or within a private woodland without planning permission being required.

Having engaged with this workshop you will find there is no limit to the range of sheltermaking experiences you can pursue. Additional resources from will support this onward journeying.

Living Architecture HeadSpace

Living Architecture HeadSpace

Workshop Details

1: The Visible – an exploration of the physical world
Our departure point in physical reality allows us to examine what is needed to sustain our dream in the outer world and how this informs our choice of place, of people, of materials and of products to fashion a design within which the dream can be conceived and incubated.
2: The Invisible – a space exploration
Here we explore how the invisible realm, from which the dream emerges, connects to our ideas, beliefs, intentions and emotions and how the possibilities offered by this inform the evolving design.
3: Design – how to harmonise the visible and invisible
Within the heart of the sheltermaker’s mysteries the chosen visible and invisible elements are dynamically combined as the dream is brought to life and meaningfull connections to the physical world are established.
4: Realisation – how a design can be constructed
This final part of the journey explores the dynamics of constructing a shelter and experiencing the reality of the dream.
Rest and reflection periods will be interspersed between the presentation of each element.

Instant EcoVillage 1

Instant EcoVillage 1

There is no requirement for workshop participants to build or to wish to build anything whatsoever. Experiencing the Sheltermaker’s Journey stimulates the imagination clearly revealing hidden dreams and offering these a viable means of external expression.

Inchicore Workshop participants display the sheltermaking mood!

Inchicore Workshop participants display the sheltermaking mood!

Apart from all of that – it’s great fun!