Sourced Design

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. ~ Martha Graham

Sourced Design emerged from seven years of experimentation at Springhouse and provides five vitality-centered principles to guide and support educators and culture creators.

Our commitment:

We listen deeply to the wisdom of the moment and respond by creating an emergent living design that awakens and sustains vitality in young people and their communities. Through the Sourced Design Lab we share what we are learning from the design while also learning from others in the process.

Sourced Design Labs

Radically redesign education from its core

We are generating lots of floating clouds. We need to ground our ideas so that they can change the world… Nothing changes unless it is grounded and manifested.~ Angeles Arrien

Springhouse is an example of vitality-centered educational design and is where all Sourced Design Labs are held. These labs provide a space for people to experiment together and support one another, in the practice of vitality-centered education, while also building a body of research in vitality-centered educational design through their case studies.

A few things we have learned at Springhouse:

~When the design itself orients around vitality, so do the learners.

~The more steeped we are in vitality, personally and collectively, the healthier our community is.

~The longer a Springhouse learner participates in this vitality-centered design, the more they embody the learning community’s values after leaving school.

The Five Vitality-Centered Principles

These five practices protect, foster, and make useful the vitality that lives within, and around, us. We have learned that when a learning community engages these practices in ways that are authentic to their place, vitality grows in each person, in the community itself, and in connection with the Earth and its wisdom.



Welcoming vulnerability leads to authentic relationships and a deeper intimacy with ourselves, each other, and the Earth.


Personhood becomes a gift to the world when it is strengthened in body, heart, and mind and given opportunities to express itself fully and courageously.


The greatest currency we have is community. The principles of beloved community guide relationships within the learning community and in the larger communities in which they are embedded.


The wisdom in the living system of the Earth is at the heart of vitality-centered design. When practiced, it can lead to more vital and interdependent learning communities.


Learning communities that practice these principles are prepared to serve the world with the courage, creativity, clarity, and compassion needed to meet the current challenges we face.