Welcome to the Center for Rural Design!

CRD is an award winning, multi-disciplinary research studio that empowers communities to find innovative solutions to problems in rural areas in Minnesota, the Midwest, and globally.


Current News!


Dewey Thorbeck, CRD's Director, recently posted an article about the discipline of rural design on Rural Futures Lab Blogspot. In it he described the benefits rural design provided to the city of Roseau, MN, as they strove to recover from a devastating flood in June 2002. Read the whole posting here:

The long process of writing, editting, formatting, and review is just about over. Rural Design: A New Design Discipline, by Dewey Thorbeck, is scheduled to be published early in January by Routledge. To learn more about the book follow this link to our Current Work page or this link to the Routledge website.

After over fives years on our staff Research Fellow Tracey Kinney has moved on to a new position in the private sector. We congratulate her on her career advancement and wish her the best of luck. She will be sorely missed here. Any inquiries regarding her work with CRD should be directed to Steve Roos at

CRD says goodbye to Xu Yan, visiting scholar from China's Agricultural University housed in Beijing. CRD has hosted Yan while she studied at the University of Minnesota. Yan's research in land consolidation focuses on the design of small agricultural land holdings, roads, and vegetative buffers. She has prepared a couple of posts for our blog which will be available soon.

CRD is in the beginning stages of developing a Rural Design Certificate that focuses on issues challenging rural areas and creative solutions to those issues. The results of the April 2010 Survey are available here. Update - classes are currently under development. As they are finalized and a suitable delivery mechanism identified they will be made available. We will keep you posted.


Rural Design: A New Design Discipline Blog was launched a year ago. Check for new posts or submit one of your own.


Andrew Wald, trained historian, shares his travel experience and insights on rural Japan. Read Andrew's blog post.


The report for the 1st International Symposium on Rural Design is available. See the symposium web site for more details.


Dewey Thorbeck presented a paper, "Rural Design: Establishing the Research Foundation for a New Design Discipline" at the ARCC/EAAE 2010 International Conference on Architectural Research at Howard University in Washington DC on June 26, 2010. It has been released on the ARCC-AAEE website (article A031) .View the slide presentation.


CRD, as part of a collaborative team with University of Minnesota Extension has been awarded funding for a community-based research effort that seeks to increase community capacity by enhancing rural citizens' access to digital geographic information and mapping tools.




This page last modified on February 27, 2012.