"Rural Design: A New Design Discipline"

"Rural Design: A New Design Discipline" was published by Routledge in January 2012 in both US and UK

Rural design is a way of thinking that currently does not exist in any design or planning curriculum. Rural Design: A New Design Discipline, explains and demonstrates rural design—what it is and what it can do for rural communities to resolve rural land use issues. Rural design is a way to bring design, in all its aspects from aesthetics to community-based planning methods, to solve complex rural land use problems. The professions of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design have generally ignored rural America and the dramatic changes taking place there. These changes are due to economic, energy, agricultural, demographic, and environmental issues that are affecting rural quality of life. Managing these changes requires a new way of thinking about rural problems.

Rural Design is also an argument for rural design to become a stand-alone academic discipline, as is urban design. There are no existing academic rural design programs that can help train professionals to assist rural communities in managing change. The problem-solving process of rural design is a new way to help rural citizens identify important values, discover the assets of their community and landscape, and see how they can enhance their quality of life.

The book is the first on rural design in the English language, and outlines Dewey Thorbeck’s professional and academic background with rural architecture and why he became concerned about rural America’s future. It is oriented towards academics, students, and design professionals, but also contains useful information for all people involved with rural communities, agriculture, small towns, and rural regions.

The book establishes the philosophical base for rural design and discusses the rural landscape and its character. It contains a chapter explaining techniques and methodologies used in the practice of rural design. Thorbeck also uses case studies of Center for Rural Design projects to demonstrate rural design in action. The case studies will inform readers, scholars, and rural communities about the value of rural design and how it can be practiced, and it provides strategies for employing it. Finally, the book discusses the architecture of agriculture and working buildings in the rural landscape as an integral aspect of rural design.

Table of Contents with Description (PDF, 50 kB)