hygienic darkroom retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

by andrew durham


Welcome. This website contains my book, hygienic darkroom retreat, related writings, and a blog.


Born 1971, Twin Falls, Idaho. From age 16, I sought the cause of joy. I independently studied philosophy, health, and design. I tested my findings while traveling America. I lived outside or in small groups, doing odd jobs, playing music, and building alternative shelter.

In 2008, my quest culminated in the darkness conjecture, a concept of the restful use of darkness in support of the self​-healing psyche. I began:

  • designing and building darkrooms and doing and supporting retreats in America, Guatemala, Sweden, Norway, Spain, and Czech Republic
  • giving talks and consulting for readers
  • refining and documenting my work at darkroomretreat.com.

Proof of concept came in 2013. I completed development of the model of hygienic darkroom retreating in 2019. Now I am forming an organization to prototype and advance the model worldwide.


website: darkroomretreat.com
email: info {at} andrewdurham.com
voicemail: +1 541 210 8470 (in the US)
Also see services

site changelog



  • hygiene: improved Law of Force with idea of structure.
  • psychology: started simplifying the style with hemingway app


Radical goings on, pushing the theory of hygiene fully over the hump to v3.0

  • hygiene
    • organized hygiene’s Laws of Life, adding Law of Coordination and dividing Great Law into laws Force and Proportion.
    • reinstated the old law list as an appendix
  • psychology
    • completed the revision of the hygienic pathology
    • reordered the pathology section, demoting the traditional pathology as well as allopathy
  • air: helix vent reverted to old version with slight improvements to make it smaller and more durable. New 4-channel design was too hard to make. It could work with machines.

The book just needs new drawings now.


October - December

Method is sufficiently perfected for safe mass use.

  • introduction > requirements new section
  • format
    • importance of 4-day retreat restored
    • 8-day retreat
      • importance increased
      • need for greater support discovered
  • psychology > pathology radically simplified

September 1

  • every plan improved or refined, especially helix vent
  • hygiene chapter divided into three chapters: hygiene, darkroom retreat, psychology; laws of life and pathology appendices integrated into them; significant revision of psychology chapter and hygiene > false capacity
  • blurb rewritten according to emerging new concept of darkness


September 23

  • Site content updated to match book.
  • Dozens of spelling and grammatical errors and typos corrected with help of editor and spell-checker.
  • book edited in minor ways througout, especially:
    • hygiene: false capacity added
    • format: 8-day retreat more strongly recommended, warning section aded
    • design: reorganized
    • make: split into four chapters: make, air, darkness, water
    • air: added critical designs for silencer and fan mount
    • faq: demoted from chapterhood and placed after appendices



Site moved to github and converted to jekyll static site generator (from nanoc after 3 years with it)

April 17

Two years of work on new edition of book finally finished!

  • in general
    • major additions to hygienic theory
      • law of vital capacity
      • the primacy of darkroom retreating over fasting
    • clear DIY emphasis: make basic darkness in your bedroom now, find deluxe darkness in a remote location later
    • improved organization throughout
  • chapters
    • new preface and streamlined introduction
    • protocol: new sections
    • make: 19 new CADD-generated designs for vents, blinds, sleeping mask + color photos of some prototypes
    • new appendices of hygiene’s pathology and laws of life

site: jekyll
hosting: github

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