Welcome to the Blue Adobe Project

The Blue Adobe Project, launched in 2006 in Tucson Arizona, is a unique enterprise created to promote a new alliance between people and the environment through education. We focus on preparing people to develop habits of inquiry and place-based connections that lead to ecological restoration and core public sensibilities.

There is a recognized need for renewed public awareness and leadership in environmental thinking and planning. At The Blue Adobe Project, we are dedicated to creating an educational plan—integrated into and through the environment—that supports a vigorous learning community, one in which young people break through passivity and boredom and more fully experience the colors, sounds, textures, and patterns of the world.

This plan will take a spirited approach to directed learning, one that rekindles creativity and imagination. By weaving the arts and humanities and sciences together, our connections to the world and to each other become more intelligible and participatory. The love of inquiry is restored to young people—which is their rightful inheritance.

Public schools can reinvent themselves as ‘theaters that intrigue’ if they are designed to develop connections and reflect human possibility—and do both against solid touchstones. The Blue Adobe Project has been conceived to create such a school, and reclaim the vigorous public spirit that we require to orient and navigate in the multiple dimensions that now engage us.


Photo by Peter L. Kresan 2006

To this end, The Blue Adobe Project plans to design a bio-regional educational center that will house an environmentally-focused public charter school. Three interlocking principles have been identified to shape this activity. To bring ecological design to life and learning, it is critical to provide educational environments that:

   Make patterns intelligible,   

   Develop an aesthetic ecology sensibility, and

   Invest in environmental health.

This website has been constructed to introduce these core principles and the practical vision of The Blue Adobe Project. We are committed to putting a new educational model on the ground—and in the hearts and minds of young people, their families, and their teachers.

Why Blue Adobe?

Photography: Peter L. Kresan, Joyce Clements, Ann Markewitz, Fernando Londoño, Alicia Coughlin

 Adobe is a building material that returns to its natural state in the earth. As a symbol of this project, adobe is a reminder that we are part of the natural world and share its fate. Blue is both a color and an image. It is an un-natural color for adobe, and therefore reminds us that the built environment is designed by our hands—that we are its artists and responsible for its beauty.

Falling water "The whole concatenation of wild and artificial things, the natural ecosystem as modified by people over the centuries, the built environment layered over layers, the eerie mix of sounds and smells and glimpses neither natural nor crafted—all of it is free for the taking in. Quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it." —John Stilgoe