Archive for May, 2007


Visioning Works Both Ways

Below is a letter written to a number of newspaper editors in South Dakota by design:SD team member Sandy Dickenson of Vermillion, SD.  Hope you enjoy it:

I recently had an opportunity to be a volunteer on the first “design:South Dakota” team. The team consisted of architects, engineers, planners and rural developers and was the result of collaboration between the Rural Learning Center, the South Dakota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and others.  The community selected was Corsica, SD, population about 650.  The team of twelve spent nearly three days in Corsica living with host families.  We learned about the community one day, drew up visioning ideas the second day, presenting them to the community the third.  I think the townspeople were very pleased with the results.

The most surprising part of the exercise was what I learned.  I am unarguably citified but have spent a fair amount of time visiting many of the communities in South Dakota.  I thought I knew this state pretty well…….boy, was I wrong!  My vision of rural South Dakota was completely blown away.  Here’s what I learned: Continue reading ‘Visioning Works Both Ways’


Team Says Good Bye to Corsica (for now)

The “Original” d:SD Team (pictured l to r, back row first): Alan Wieskamp, Scott Anderson, Joe Bartmann, Eric Ambroson, Lindsey Karlson, Tom Reasoner, Sandy Dickenson and Jim Beddow. Not pictured: Mike Knutson, Terry Aaker and John Deppe.

We did it! We wrapped up the first ever design:SD charrette on Saturday May 19 with a presentation of 16 concept boards to the Corsica regional community. Take a look below:

We have a lot of sweat equity into these boards. Eleven team members spent two and a half days (and much of a couple nights) learning, sketching, designing and illustrating ideas and options for the future based on the many visions of the folks in the Corsica region.

beddow-at-the-wall-5-19-2007.jpg eric-at-the-wall.jpg

Lots of local people put in tons of time and effort too. It was truly a mixing bowl, and an experience many of us will not forget. We’ll laminate the boards and put together a summary document for the Corsica community. We’ll be sure to get the edited copies of the presentation video (thanks Evan) to the community too.


Learning Studio

We’re here! The team arrived in Corsica last night for a welcome social (see the pictures below–these are “pre-bar” pics). Thanks to Corsica for a great welcome!

dsd-1welcome-5-16-2007-small.jpg   dsd-2-welcome-5-17-2007-small.jpg

We’re well into the “Learning Studio” today. This morning we heard from a dozen or so local and regional organizations, a panel of local merchants, and a high school student. We’re just finishing up the “Rountable” discussions on six different topics, and are about to jump on the bus for a tour of hte community and region.

vern-dsd-5-17-2007.jpg   dsd-rountables-5-17-2006-small.jpg

We’ll finish off the Learning Studio tonight with a Community Potluck, where we’ll gather the many dreams and visions for the Corsica region’s future.

Stay tuned for more updates!


Entering Phase 2: The Charrette


The design:SD process has three equally important stages:

  1. Research, Education and Preparation
  2. The Charrette Event
  3. Implementation

Today we’re taking a deep dive into part 2 in Corsica. Tonight the team (now 13 people strong!) will gather at the Corsica Legion Hall with host families and local volunteers for some get-to-know-each-other time and an orientation to what lies ahead for them during this three-day journey. Tomorrow morning, the intensity level gets kicked up a few notches as we begin the “Learning Studio,” followed by the “Design Studio” on Friday and the Community Presentation on Saturday morning (click here to see the schedule).

The Charrette (today through Saturday)  is what we’ve been fussing about and anticipating for months, but it’s really just one part. Organizers and volunteers have poured big effort and countless time into getting Project Corsica ready to roll. We’ll also spend a lot of time on Stage 3 after the Design Team leaves on Saturday.


Go Time


Team of Design Pros Aim to Help Small Town 

Corsica, SD — May 16, 2007 – A Mixing Bowl. That’s one way to describe the design:South Dakota event that will take place in Corsica Thursday through Saturday this week. Corsica and design:SD leaders hope adding local knowledge and ideas to the expertise of outside professionals, in an intense design environment, will mix into a vision for the future of the Corsica region that all can share and build momentum around. Continue reading ‘Go Time’


Meet the Team

The first-ever design:South Dakota Team roster is official. Click here to meet the team.

There’s still time to join the team if you’re interested! Just visit the Join the Team page.



Learning Studio schedule

Here is the latest schedule for the Thursday (May 17) Learning Studio portion of the design:SD charrette in Corsica.