Meet-ups in our 17C house in the South of France

For a second year, I’m hosting week-long Meetups in our seventeenth century house in the South of France.

Who are the Meetups for?

Designers of all kinds, curators, team leaders, professors, postgrad students, researchers, writers. The main requirement is that you’re working on a live project, thesis, course, or book.

I was working on my first book and it was amazingly helpful to have the space to concentrate whilst getting constructive input from JT and other participants.

– Anne

What kinds of project did people bring to a Meetup in 2019?

  • social food projects platform (Italy)
  • advisory service for upstarters (England)
  • edible forest garden (Canada)
  • knowledge sharing platform for art teachers (England)
  • launching a fashion podcast (Japan)
  • pivoting out of the consulting business (USA)
  • developing a street market (France)
  • future of a fifteenth century castle (Romania)
  • new opportunities for a felt factory (Hungary)
  • book about energy transitions in Africa (Germany)
  • public policy on urban food security (USA)
  • book about ecoliteracy (USA)
  • AI-powered aromatherapy startup (England)
  • design thesis on mending as connecting (England)
  • design thesis on food waste (Sweden)
  • challenges of ageing and retirement (Hungary)
  • rural hub in a former brick factory (Portugal)
  • service design for Nature Play to schools (Australia)
  • village revitalisation (Italy)
  • relational design masters (Wales)
  • smart villages (France)
  • rural social innovation (Poland)
  • municipal urban farms (China)
  • ecotourism and wellbeing (USA)
  • school in a forest (Ireland)
  • sustainable mobility lab (Pakistan)
  • oral history in our village (France)
  • marketing prosthetics (Netherlands)

The mixture of one-to-ones with JT and the group conversations provided an effective framework to push my design practice forward. I’m coming away feeling refreshed, excited to work, and with a whole new set of amazing friends!

– George

What did they get out of it?

Check out their feedback in our guestbook

What is John working on?

a) Urban-Rural Reconnection (check out these 80 slides)

b) Bioregioning (as explained in this 6,000 words paper)

c) Social Food Projects – such as the 120+ projects featured on our Social Food Atlas

d) Ecological literacy for designers – as outlined in this short text I wrote for the Bauhaus

e) Writing his next book

Dates for 2020

Tuesday 21 April – Monday 27 April
Tuesday 19 May – Monday 25 May
Thursday 18 June – Wednesday 24 June
Thursday 9 July – Wednesday 15 July
Tuesday 21 July – Monday 27 July
Thursday 20 Aug. – Wednesday 26 Aug.

What happens at a Thackara Meetup?

In one-to-ones with me, I’ll cast fresh eyes on your project, plan, or thesis. In focused mentoring, tailored to your project, I’ll suggest new ways to frame the questions you arrive with. Otherwise: Ask me Anything.

In group discussions – in our courtyard, on walks, or whilst river swimming – you’ll also interact with the people from diverse backgrounds you’ll spend time with here. (Check out their feedback in our 2019 Guest Book).

You’ll have plenty of quiet and private time – in the house, at the river, or in nature. Also important: you get to shop at the market, cook in our summer kitchen, and breathe the clean air of the Cévennes.

Our guiding principles as hosts are: simple, convivial, and affordable.


870 €

includes accommodation, breakfast and fee

How to apply

Each meet-up is limited in number, so we have to select participants. Send us a 100 word project statement that tells us: who you are; what you’re working on; and what you want to achieve during your stay.

In addition to this 100 word statement, tell us which of the weeks you’re applying for.

Use the subject header: Meetup 2020 [+month]
and send this email to: meeting [at] thackara [dot] com

We generally aim to inform you within two weeks whether your application has been accepted.

Successful applicants will be directed to an Eventbrite web page where you sign up and pay. Your spot is only secured after payment.

Spending time with John and the other meetupers, in Ganges, in nature, and on my own, I was able to develop a cohesive story to define my professional practice and goals. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.

– Arely
  • The Meetup dates 2020

    April 2020:
    arrive Tuesday 21, leave Monday 27

    May 2020:
    arrive Tuesday 19, leave Monday 25

    June 2020:
    arrive Thursday 18, leave Wednesday 24

    July 2020:
    arrive Thursday 09, leave Wednesday 15 AND
    arrive Tuesday 21, leave Monday 27 July

    August 2020:
    arrive Thursday 20  – leave Wednesday 26

  • Meetup Guestbook

    • Maxim Dedushkov / November 7, 2019:
      Dear Kristi and John, thank you for hosting us for our annual Holis retreat. We enjoyed our stay in your beautiful house. The nearby market... »
    • Dominika / October 1, 2019:
      Dear John and Kristi, you’ve created an amazing place, filled with peace and unique energy. A place that adjusts to the pace of the visitor,... »
    • SHUMIN LUO / September 30, 2019:
      First of all, I’m super grateful to John and Kristi who gave me a chance to have a very enjoyable time in their home. It’s... »
    • Michala / September 29, 2019:
      In the place that “chose him”, @john.a.thackara opened his house for small meetups. Not everyday you have the chance to discuss your projects with someone,... »
    • Arely / September 2, 2019:
      The Thackara Meetup 2019 was a wonderful experience overall and a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of my personal-professional practice. After a week... »
    • Jenny from UK / August 31, 2019:
      For me, the meet-up was truly life-changing; brilliant content, group company, accommodation, food and the waterfalls were to die for! John gave me the boost... »
    • Go from Goldsmiths / August 31, 2019:
      I genuinely enjoyed the every single moment I spent during the week. Thanks to not only the fantabulous Thackara team but also amazing talents from... »
    • Georgina / August 31, 2019:
      John and Kristi, your house is an absolute dream! I felt so welcomed and comfortable. You allowed us to take everything at our own paces,... »
    • Anne / August 31, 2019:
      I was working on my first book and it was amazingly helpful to have the space (both mentally and physically) to concentrate on this whilst... »