A project of Design:SD • Illustrations by Paul H. Boerboom, AIA, and Jeremy Altman, Assoc. AIA
Adapted primarily from: AIA’s Ten Principles for Livable Communities,
with inspiration from Minnesota Design Team and several other sources
When you start designing projects for your community, how do you know they will actually work—that whatever you build will be used, and loved, and taken care of?
That’s the idea behind these design principles crafted by members of Design:SD, a project that brings design professionals into rural communities to help them reimagine what’s possible.
Design:SD started in 2007 with a grant from the American Institute of Architects, and has since evolved into a partnership between AIA South Dakota, Dakota Resources, and the South Dakota State University Department of Architecture. It continues to visit one community a year, providing expertise through a three-day design charrette.
Design:SD has been using AIA’s Ten Principles for Livable Communities as it creates new ways of seeing rural communities. While the principles themselves worked well, the language and images from those principles referred to urban places. The team decided it needed language to describe those guidelines that fit with the communities it was working in and made sense in rural places.
The principles apply to more than just Design:SD’s work. As communities aim to make their places better, these guidelines could help shape those projects as well.
1. Design on a human scale.
2. Provide choices.
3. Plan for mixed uses.
4. Preserve the community’s core.
5. Build connections.
6. Create shared social and public spaces.
7. Promote community identity.
8. Conserve natural resources and landscapes.
9. Develop strategies for economic development and marketing.
10. Design matters.
For more information about Design:SD, go to designsd.org.