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.

A team of thirteen designers and community developers will spend three-plus intense days working with the people in the Corsica region to gather and illustrate local ideas and dreams. These volunteers, from places like Sioux Falls, Yankton, Mitchell, Vermillion and Howard, care about rural places and the future of our state’s small communities. The team will work long and hard together, listening to and interacting frequently with area residents. They will build and illustrate local ideas, and make changes along the way based on ongoing local input. The event will help bring the Corsica region together to dream about the future and energize them toward a shared vision. The event will help celebrate 150 years of the American Institute of Architects, and will build new bonds and unique learning experiences for the team and local stakeholders.

Design:SD is a new way to help rural communities in the state to create a better future by design. The event was created over the past 9 months by The Rural Learning Center in Howard and the South Dakota component of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). They have since been joined in the effort by, among others, Planning and Development District III of Yankton, the Corsica Commercial Club and Corsica Public School District. The group secured grant funding through the AIA’s 150th anniversary celebration and a US Department of HUD research grant. Corsica will become the first ever design:SD community. The Douglas County town of about 800 residents was chosen for this “pilot” project—a trial run to help the group learn how to continue the event in other rural South Dakota communities in the future.

Design:SD hasn’t had to redesign the wheel. Organizers have leaned heavily on advice and encouragement from the Minnesota Design Team (MDT), a group of volunteers who have been visiting small Minnesota towns for over 18 years. Three of the d:SD Corsica team members have MDT community visits under their belts.


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