Rural Design: Establishing the Research Foundation for a New Design Discipline Dewey Thorbeck, FAIA, FAAR. Rural design is a powerful tool for integrating knowledge across disciplines to solve difficult social, environmental and economic problems impacting rural regions.
Rural design is a powerful tool for integrating knowledge across disciplines to solve difficult social, environmental and economic problems impacting rural regions.
Dewey Thorbeck, FAIA, FAAR
Adjunct Professor and Director, Center for Rural Design, University of Minnesota
Rural design and urban design have many similarities in that both embrace quality of life.
Rural design seeks to understand and embody the unique characteristics of open landscapes and systems where buildings and towns are components of the landscape, rather than defining infrastructure and public space—as in urban design.
Is an interdisciplinary design discipline for resolving rural needs through the lens of spatial arrangement, community engagement, research-based evidence, and the integrated problem-solving process of design.
Issues include: Climate Change; One Health; Community Vitality; Rural Character; Rural Indigenous Peoples; Transfer of Design Skills to Rural Citizens; and Regional Collaboration/Cooperation.
We seek interdisciplinary collaboration for rural design using data-driven evidence that will result in transformational changes in rural regions
Research Fellows Stephen Streng, Steve Roos, and Tracey Kinney contributed greatly
to the ideas expressed in this paper.