You are viewing an old version of the design:South Dakota website. Please go to designsd.org.


You are viewing an old version of the design:South Dakota website. Please go to designsd.org.


design:SD in Downtown Huron

A team of 16 architects, landscape architects, city planners, and community development folks spent the better part of last week in Huron, SD for a design:SD charrette. The topic this time around was Downtown Huron. How can we design for a more vibrant downtown? What elements are needed to reinstate pride in downtown? What do you wish existed downtown?

The team had an opportunity to visit with community folks on Wednesday night about those very questions. About 80 community members attended the meeting to add their perspective. The community had a chance to dig in further at roundtable conversations on Thursday morning.

Thursday late morning and early afternoon, the team toured Downtown Huron and several buildings in it to connect how design could contribute to the priorities identified by the community. The results were presented on Friday evening to an audience of community residents. The presentation is available for viewing below:


Huron Event Schedule Announced

The event schedule for design:SD Project Huron is official! If your a local resident and would like to participate, there are several specific opportunities. Learn more below!

Wednesday, April 27th beginning at 6:00 pm—Free Community Meal and Design Workshop. The design team will enjoy a meal with the community, and then lead participants through several stations where the team can gather input and ideas about specific downtown issues. Please RSVP for the meal to the Chamber office at 352-0000.
Thursday, April 28th at 8:30 am— Community Roundtable Discussions. Community Roundtable conversations will include downtown beautification, green space, and downtown business development. Additional roundtable topics will be generated based on feedback from the evening meeting on the 27th.
Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm—Open Design Studio. The design studio will be open to the community from 7:00 to 7:30 for those who would like a sneak peak at what the team is working on. This feedback loop allows the team to make sure they are on track with design solutions and concepts.
Friday, April 98th at 7:00 pm—Public Presentation. The entire community is encouraged to see the results of their input and the team’s hard work on Friday evening. Design team members will show a series of boards that visually describe solutions and ideas for Huron’s downtown. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

If you have questions, please contact Lindsey Karlson at the Rural Learning Center at lindsey.karlson@rurallearningcenter.org or Peggy Woolridge at the Huron Chamber at peggyw@huronsd.com.


Downtown Huron, here we come!

Yes, you heard right. Design:SD’s next official stop is the community of Huron. On April 27th, a team of architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers, and community development professionals will roll into town to take on our first downtown design project.

Our efforts will compliment a new downtown master planning process that is in motion, and is being brought to the folks in Huron by the Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the Greater Huron Development Corporation.

And the only one we’re missing is you! If you’d like to join the team, or just learn more about design:SD, please contact Lindsey Karlson at lindsey.karlson@rurallearningcenter.org or by phone at 605.772.5139.

More details and schedule coming soon!


design:SD efforts featured

More design:South Dakota love has graced the shiny pages of magazines and screens this spring. First, AIA South Dakota released their second Architecture SD magazine, titled “Green Perspectives.” The magazine showcased the efforts of many d:SD volunteers, including Tom Reasoner, Eric Ambroson, Matt Fridell, Joe Bartmann, Jim Wilson, Michelle Holter and yours truly alongside an article about design:SD communities Sisseton and Deuel County.

And, earlier this month, Kristin Dispenza, an architect from Ohio, came across design:SD’s work at the Hill City Inside Out Symposium in April. She wrote a nice piece on the Rural Learning Center and d:SD at Buildipedia.com.

Thanks to all who continue to promote our collective efforts!


Hill City: Architecture Symposium

I received the latest copy of Art of the Hills magazine last week–it’s fabulous, the theme this time around is art and architecture! It’s arrival also reminded me that the Architecture Symposium is coming up this Saturday. The symposium is being hosted by the Hill City Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Heart of the Hills Economic Development Corporation to help design professionals “reconsider how we approach the built environment.”

The event will feature both local and regional talent–namely Minnesota architect and author Sarah Nettleton and South Dakota architect and anthropologist Dr. Craig Howe. Paul Boerboom, a fellow d:SDer from TSP, will also share a recap of the boards produced for Hill City this fall during design:SD!

I so wish I could be there, but since I can’t, I hope you can be! It is sure to inspire and connect.


“Cool” your town with a design:SD visit!

Mike Knutson of Reimagine Rural shares great research from Michigan State University’s Land Policy Institute about what makes small towns cool. Unfortunately the study itself does not include any South Dakota communities, but Mike highlights one of design:SD’s communities, Hill City, as a cool South Dakota community. Thanks for thinking of Hill City, Mike. I think everyone on the design team would agree!

And, if you’re a community who’s looking for a little “cool,” consider a design South Dakota visit to your community. We’re looking for a place to land, Fall of 2010!


A little dSD love from Federal Transit Administration

dSD teamer Mike Knutson sounded the fun alarm today after a neat discovery. It seems FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan likes what we’re doing. She praised design:South Dakota and our sponsor, the Rural Learning Center, at the recent Annual Meeting of the Dakota Transit Association in Fargo.

Thanks for the props, Therese.


the hill city boards

Life has flown by since our visit to Hill City the first part of this month. The folks in Hill City are awesome. The team (you know who you are) was right on target. And the results are beautiful.

Thanks to everyone who played their part.


design:SD Heads to Hill City

design:SD Project Hill CityHill City has officially been selected as the next design:SD community! In fact, the design team will be heading west next week, October 1-3, 2009.

The community has been busy preparing, as has the design team as we do our second charrette of this year. As we gear up for the charrette next week, I just wanted to share a bit of the community’s application, as I think it shares what’s so great about design:SD and the process.

“The partnership sees the design:SD charrette as a crucial step in an important community-wide process already underway to understand and appreciate the role that aesthetics and practical design have on the development of a community. Our rural town of 800—through the participation of the community, several non-profit organizations, and the city government—has been involved in a series of civic / social improvement and visioning programs, with a goal of bringing the community together for future, conscious development. The design:SD charrette will come after more than a year of exploring poverty reduction, assessing assets and weaknesses, implementing productive programming, and conducting surveys of residents and visitors. Including the element of design allows people to focus on solutions, such as exploring various aspects of community spaces (greenways, throughways, priorities in allocating space). As a necessary part of a stepped, comprehensive visioning, the design:SD charrette will engage community stakeholders in a joint venture to create a shared vision for the businesses, streamline the design process, and validate design guidelines.”

We’ll try to keep you updated during and after the charrette! Thanks so much to Hill City for inviting us, and to our wonderful volunteers who continue to make design:SD possible!