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Design South Dakota is a way to help rural communities create a better future by design.  In early 2007, the American Institute of Architects South Dakota Chapter partnered with the Rural Learning Center based out of Howard, SD to create a new way for rural communities to interact with design professionals.

Today design:SD is is a project of Dakota Resources and AIA South Dakota, in partnership with SDSU Department of Architecture.

What is design:SD?

The design:SD event utilizes a charrette model to work with small towns throughout South Dakota.  The three day design event can help communities to dream about the future, and recognize how important design is to that future. It can bring people together and energize them toward a shared vision–a better way to see our community.

Design South Dakota has worked with the following communities in South Dakota: Corsica, Sisseton, Deuel County, Hill City, Huron and Webster.

The event.  The three day charrette is made up of three parts: learning studio, design studio, and presentation studio.  The first day is spent learning from local community residents about their dreams and visions for the future.  The design team works with the community members to generate visual solutions during design studio that can be presented on the final day during presentation studio. 

The team. 15+ professionals from all walks of design and community development will set up studio in a community to work on the design:SD team. These volunteers from all over the state of South Dakota care about rural places and the future of our state’s small communities. They will work long and hard together for three days to help small towns think about and design for the future.

And you. The focus of the three-day event will be ideas from local people. The design:SD team will listen to and interact frequently with local folks during the “charrette.” They will build and illustrate local ideas as they go, and make changes along the way based on local input. 

The organizers of the design:SD project are forever grateful to the members of the Minnesota Design Team for their support and encouragement.

You can reach the design:SD team by contacting  Joe Bartmann (at 605.978-2804 or

8 Responses to “About”

  1. August 4, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Love the concept of Design SD. I sit on several committees in Mitchell and ultimately, discussion arrives to the point of a cohesive design and enthusiasm for the city of Mitchell. Is Mitchell considered too large of a town to be considered for this project?

    Thanks much-

    Carrie English

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