The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

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The College of Design 15th Anniversary Compendium Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University

Editorial Committee Marilyn DeLong, Chair Abimbola Asojo Sauman Chu Tom Fisher Brad Hokanson Carol Strohecker

published by College of Design University of Minnesota 12 McNeal Hall 1985 Buford Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108 107 Rapson Hall 89 Church Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 cover art James Boyd Brent, 2021, for this book Layout and Editing Karl Engebretson Bonnie Jean MacKay Bryce Koenigs with assistance from Alanna Nissen Printed and bound in the united states by Modern Press, New Brighton, Minnesota September 2021


Introduction 6 Carol Strohecker Beyond the Trade School: Educating for Planetary-scale Systems Thinking


Thomas Fisher & Becky Love Yust Early and Transitional Days of the College of Design


Brad Hokanson & Marilyn DeLong Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Collaborative Book in the College of Design


Section II

Our Roots: Some Visionaries


Lin Nelson-Mayson “Why Are Women Suddenly Demanding Good Design?” Harriet and Vetta Goldstein’s National Impact on Design Education


Joseph R. Favour, Amanda B. Smoot & Kristine F. Miller Roger B. Martin: The Emergence of Landscape Architecture in Minnesota


Jane King Hession The Rapson Years, 1954 to 1984


Marilyn DeLong Joanne B. Eicher, PhD: A Culture and Diversity Visionary Professor, Department Head, Regents Professor


William J. Angell Gertrude Esteros: An Early Design Leader Forged by Fire, Mockery, War, and a Desire to Explore and Serve


Table of Contents


Section III

Design Process/Epistemology


Brad Hokanson Design Thinking Skills and Creativity


Brad Holschuh Human Factors: the Hidden Unifier Within (and Beyond) Design


Joseph R. Favour, John A. Koepke & David G. Pitt Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University: A Landscape Architectural Perspective


Thomas Oliphant Writing About Making and Thinking


William O. Beeman Ethnography and Advances in Design Anthropology


Juanjuan Wu Designing Fashion Relations? Looking Through the S-O-R Lens



The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Section IV

Design and Education


Blaine Brownell Design with Matter: Three Approaches in Architectural Education


Marilyn DeLong Trend Thinking, Change Making


Lucy Dunne & Elizabeth (Missy) Bye Formalizing Tacit Knowledge Toward a More Sustainable Apparel Practice


Julia Williams Robinson & Mike Christenson Design Studio as Research Site: Generating Hypotheses and Test Cases


Stephanie Watson Zollinger & Genell Wells Ebbini Thinking + Writing = Reflectionnaire


Table of Contents


Section V

Community Engagement


Thomas Fisher Community-centered Design


Abimbola O. Asojo & Hoa Vo Using the Maker Mindset to Build Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students in Minnesota


Dewey Thorbeck Design for Urban and Rural Futures at a Community-engaged Land-grant University 191 Timothy Griffin, Jonee Kulman Brigham, & Dewey Thorbeck Do The Map! Design for Community Regeneration (D4CR) in a Land-grant University


Section VI

Design and Imagining the Future


Karl Engebretson The History of the Future: As Told Through Typography in Science Fiction.


Priscilla A. Gibson, Catherine Squires & Abimbola Asojo Art of Healing: Interdisciplinary Approaches for Women of Color in Academia and a Pop-up Rejuvenation Space


David G. Pitt & Bryan Runck Collaborative Geodesign of Agricultural Landscapes for Biofuel Production



The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Jacob Mans Becoming Itinerant: A Neo-Medievalist Approach to a Post-Normal World


Lauren Kim and Marilyn DeLong Exploring the User’s Role in Sustainable Apparel Practices


Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Julia Robinson & Austin Watanabe Infusing Design Inquiry into Studies of Children’s Mental Health: A Cross-disciplinary Partnership


Jonee Kulman Brigham A Different World: Designing for Systemic Change in Human-Nature Paradigms


Section VII

Design Practice / Community of Practice in Product Design Studios


Barry Kudrowitz, Monica Rush, & Krystianna Johnson Community of Practice in Product Design Studios


Section VIII

Contributing Authors List


Table of Contents


Section I



The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Carol Strohecker Beyond the Trade School: Educating for Planetary-scale Systems Thinking Thomas Fisher & Becky Love Yust Early and Transitional Days of the College of Design Brad Hokanson & Marilyn DeLong Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Collaborative Book in the College of Design

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Carol Strohecker

Beyond the Trade School: Educating for Planetary-scale Systems Thinking Author Biography Carol Strohecker, PhD, is dean of the College of Design. An alumna of the MIT Department of Architecture and Media Laboratory, her prior roles include vice provost of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), director of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Design Innovation (CDI), senior scientist at Media Lab Europe (an MIT affiliate), and scientist at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL), where she earned four US patents for contributions to software interaction design. She has taught at CDI, Media Lab Europe, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), and advised multiple programs of the European Commission. Her invited chapter in the centennial Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019) calls for development of visual languages and strategies to enable reliable global communication about pressing issues such as climate change and disinformation.Abstract Abstract The dean considers the College of Design’s history and context, aims articulated through our recent strategic “coordinated action planning,” and how essays in this collection represent the collegiate community.


I am honored to present this collectively authored anthology representing interests of colleagues in the College of Design (CDes, pronounced “seedez”). As former dean Thomas Fisher and former interim dean Becky Love Yust explain in “Early Days of the College of Design,” the University of Minnesota created CDes 15 years ago by joining design programs on the Minneapolis and St. Paul sites of the Twin Cities campus. Preparation of this volume has provided an opportunity for us to reflect on our multifaceted heritage, while projecting ways forward at an historic moment. In “The Making of a Collaborative Book in the College of Design,” Brad Hokanson and Marilyn DeLong describe the multi-step, peer-review process that yielded the final version of each essay presented here. As we embarked on that process, colleagues were involved in discussions of serious challenges relating to climate change, the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, and Minnesota’s striking disparities in access to education and health care. As we bring the essays to press, these considerations have intensified and their urgency has increased. our context For more than a year, most of us have worked remotely while our university, state, country, and nations everywhere have struggled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after we left campus, as we were determining new methods for teaching and collaborating in the midst of profound fear and uncertainty, the world watched a horrific recording of a Black man dying in a Minneapolis street, under the knee of a white policeman. The recent sentencing of George Floyd’s

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

killer marks time, but neither provides closure nor clouds recognition that we are at the epicenter of a global-scale reckoning ignited by this tragic abuse of power.

ment. We accept responsibility for our actions and learn continually, bringing new knowledge to our work and communities. Enacting the “how” of our community-engaged research methods and inclusive pedagogies, we are reminded of familiar mantras:

our college Our strategic Coordinated Action Planning (CAP) recently provided the impetus for dedication of collegiate resources to Design Justice, collaborative research grants, and production of this collection of essays. All are consistent with the resounding theme to “make us whole”—to complete formation of a cohesive community in which we maintain strengths of distinct design and design-related disciplines while sharing an identity and sense of purpose. Our approach is values-driven and human-centered, as we create the built, the made, the purveyed and conveyed, with and for community. We are now in the midst of better connecting CDes curricula, research outcomes and teaching, and cooperative functions of collegiate units. This restructuring is benefiting from our articulation, through the CAP process, of values and design focuses. Consistent with our land-grant mission and Carnegie designation as a community-engaged university, we aim to design for the common good. The “why,” “how,” and “what” of this aim constitute a rich framework through which we are better able to both support and rely on each other, by strengthening connections among individuals, operational teams, and academic programs. The “why” is our purpose to advance the common good—in both our collegiate and external communities—guided by values of diversity, collaboration, flexibility, resilience, excellence, self-awareness, creativity, and learning. We embrace cultural and intellectual diversity to improve the quality of our ideas and the adaptability of our creative processes. We collaborate broadly and inclusively, aiming for excellence and resiliency in the solutions we generate and in our own self-develop-

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” “Do no harm.” If ever there was a time to create a designers’ equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath, it is now. Pressing concerns identify the “what” of our shared focus and the necessity of proceeding ethically with respect to our environment and diverse culture, as we define topics of CDes research and courses and their integration and outcomes. Rectifying social inequities, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, are key focuses for CDes disciplines1. Through CAP, we have considered historic influences and contextual factors for our research, academic programs, and student experience: e.g., the Morrill Act; the Goldstein sisters’ publication of Art in Every-day Life; the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; advancements in education such as the Higher Ed Act, Pell Grants, and Title IX; the classic Eames Office film, Powers of 10; the Boundary Waters Wilderness Act; the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; UN Sustainable Development Goals; University of Minnesota grand challenges and commitments; “majority minority” and increasingly urban demographic shifts; and the importance of “STEMpathy” jobs in our evolving local/global economies. 1

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


We have declared emphases on topics such as water futures, regenerative design, adaptive infrastructures, visualizing data, designing for well-being, wearable solutions, and product-based systems. If designers are to “do no harm,” we need to radically rethink how we source and use materials and the human labor that manufactures, transports, and creates with them. We need to extend consideration of triple bottom-line goals to enactment of “circular economy,” going beyond concerns of sustainability and resilience to care for the entire life cycle (intended and not) of the places and things we help to create. These emphases are encouraging return to discussion of concepts and methods that are foundational to design, shared across our disciplines so worth considering with renewed focus. Design methods generate solutions involving a range of materials and experiential scales, which rely on collaboration with members of diverse expertise and cultures. Many alumni say they wish they had had opportunities to engage perspectives beyond their own discipline and current students are likewise indicating broad interests. Furthermore, to prepare students for a world in which unpredictability is the norm—so agility, adaptability, and empathy are key skills—we recognize that social and environmental justice are interrelated and that our situation in the Twin Cities provides not only challenges, but unique benefits and opportunities. We are based in a progressive urban setting, with nearby rural communities and design and design-oriented businesses ranging from small firms to Fortune 500 corporations. Our campus is situated on land of the Dakhóta Oyáte people, in whose language Miní Sóta Makhóčhe (“Minnesota”) means “the land of the sky-colored water.” We are uniquely positioned to explore, examine, and enact ways of achieving social equity and environmental resilience. The emerging Kusske Design Initiative (KDI) is providing resources


and milieu for this pursuit, through emphasizing interdisciplinary dialogue and interconnections of nature and society. Our Book James Boyd-Brent’s jubilant cover illustration for this volume of essays invokes the dynamic interchange that is the grist of the learning and innovating we need now. Figures of all shapes and sizes emerge from community parks, squares, and gardens. They drill wood, unfurl fabric, paint posters, and assemble prototypes in shops for fabrication, sewing, typesetting and printing. Students doodle and draw, photograph, view virtual realities, create astronaut suits for far-away places, and try their hand at all manner of experiments with material forms. Protective face masks in the interest of public health do not impede ideas spouting from inventive minds engaged in dialogue. Creative sparks fly as Goldie the Gopher pops up here and there, and the Mississippi trundles along. About half of the essays contained by this spirited scene are co-written and the others represent the perspective of a sole author. The 30 essays are arranged in 5 sections, to present: founding thinkers and designers whose work continues to inform CDes approaches; perspectives on design process and thinking; overlaps between design and learning, and related educational methods; community-engaged designing; and design as a futuristic tool. Our Roots: Some Visionaries Lin Nelson-Mayson documents work of Harriet and Vetta Goldstein, whose broadly-circulated 1925 publication of Art in Every Day Life [sic] influenced young women in colleges and high schools across the country, leading to broad demand for better-designed consumer products. Joseph R. Favour, Amanda B. Smoot, and Kristine F. Miller explain origins of the University of

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Minnesota’s Landscape Architecture programs, by describing Roger B. Martin’s emphases on skills in observation, analysis, and collaboration, in service of the public good.

includes any interaction with an object, system, or environment. It provides user-centered solutions to everyday problems and necessarily relies on empathy and inclusivity of diverse perspectives.

Jane King Hession notes Ralph Rapson’s maintenance of a renowned professional practice while serving as educator and head of the School of Architecture, and his values of widely interdisciplinary studies; drawing as a tool for analysis, conceptualization, and communication; broadening perspectives through travel; and lively interactions between school and community.

Joseph R. Favour, John A. Koepke, and David G. Pitt consider the unusual setting of our Landscape Architecture programs in a major metropolitan area, within a land-grant university and comprehensive design college. The community focus has led to service-learning programs and collaboration with governmental agencies at all levels; the geographic context has supported focuses ranging from urban design to cooperative management of natural resources and rural landscapes, working with diverse populations across the state.

Marilyn DeLong extols Joanne B. Eicher as an influential author whose global perspectives on textiles and clothing, and fashion and self-image, have illuminated sociocultural meanings of dress. A Regents Professor, Dr. Eicher is also an expert on African dress and textiles. Testimonials by former students describe her impact on their outlook and career. William J. Angell describes the fortitude of Gertrude A. Esteros, who evolved precursors of our apparel design, interior design, and graphic design programs, as well as housing, the PhD in Design, and the Goldstein Museum. Esteros also laid the ground for today’s Housing Education and Research Association and Project for Pride in Living, a nonprofit low-income housing developer. Design Process/ Epistemology Brad Hokanson asserts that creativity is at the core of design thinking, as designers “find and solve problems in a way that is both valuable and original.” He recommends that design courses and curricula should include creativity development, with students learning to balance between divergent and convergent thinking. Brad Holschuh reflects on his professional journey to posit human factors as the hidden unifier of design disciplines. This broad approach

Thomas Oliphant emphasizes perception, scale, and understanding of limits of space and time, as precursors to design-related actions. He also notes design’s basis in human need, distinguishing it from other creative realms. William O. Beeman explains how elucidation of design consumers’ needs ideally goes beyond questionnaires and focus groups to employ ethnographic methodology. This basis of the field of design anthropology combines methods for collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, through interdisciplinary collaboration. Juanjuan Wu prompts consideration of relationships between apparel design, consumer markets, and individual garment-wearers. She explains a framework to ground consideration of material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of design. Design and Education Blaine Brownell suggests pedagogical approaches for integrating knowledge of mater+ials into the design process. Considerations of form and function, and environment and sustainability, can be introduced early in the curriculum. Experi-

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


ments with materials can be embedded in assignments, to cultivate understanding throughout the design process. Marilyn DeLong defines trend thinking as awareness of changes in the thinking of the user, which can affect the future success of products in the marketplace and even the marketplace itself. Increasingly, the multidimensional nature of the marketplace includes appealing to the user through multiple channels of shopping, new markets opening for second-use clothing, and a designer’s focused output offered online for global reach. Lucy Dunne and Elizabeth (Missy) Bye call for moving beyond case-based expert analysis to identify, code, and operationalize the tacit and unwritten knowledge of experienced designers and industry professionals. The authors show how such tacit knowledge can be used in apparel design, both creatively and technically. Julia Williams Robinson and Mike Christenson describe studio-based research as a rigorous, project-grounded process that goes beyond the quantitative orientation of research in the social sciences. The example project of reconceiving sites for youth incarceration and treatment illustrates the studio’s emphasis on exploration and hypothesis generation, rather than testing. Stephanie Watson Zollinger and Genell Wells Ebbini describe how reflection and writing can increase the depth of design students’ problem-solving abilities, confidence, and self-awareness. Community Engagement Thomas Fisher notes examples of community-engaged design projects, to distinguish studies of individual user experience from those of groups in diverse communities. He considers ways for design students to learn tenets of humility, radical collaboration (with diverse teams), and


rapid prototyping (with follow-through on identified solutions). Abimbola O. Asojo and Hoa Vo build bridges for underrepresented K-12 students by explaining design career opportunities, providing hands-on creative projects that intersect with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), introducing young people to minority faculty and design professionals, and emphasizing contributions of underrepresented designers to promote inclusive design pedagogies. Dewey Thorbeck considers design as a way of orchestrating interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to reconcile urban and rural perspectives on future land use and to generate solutions for global-scale issues such as population increase, poverty, climate change, soil replenishment, food security, water resources, renewable energy, and human, animal, and environmental wellness. Timothy Griffin, Jonee Kulman Brigham, and Dewey Thorbeck describe a collaborative, systems-based geodesign process for working with communities to redevelop underutilized land, aiming to relieve financial burdens and the need for subsidy by generating new sources of income, wealth, and equitable wellbeing. Design and Imagining the Future Karl Engebretson posits that more radically experimental typographic approaches in science fiction could lead to greater innovation, as textbased communication helps to spark the popular imagination on a broad scale. Priscilla A. Gibson, Catherine Squires, and Abimbola Asojo reflect on increased wellness effects as Women of Color and Indigenous Women in a predominantly white institution experienced a Rejuvenation Room designed by a broadly interdisciplinary team.

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

David G. Pitt and Bryan Runck explain displays resulting from computer algorithms as a medium for groups to explore ways that biofuel production could become integrated into agricultural landscapes in southern Minnesota. Geospatial algorithms rapidly evaluated various landscape designs, based on performance criteria including surface runoff, soil erosion, phosphorus removal, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, and financial feasibility.

I am grateful to colleagues for the work that shapes this thoughtful, broad-reaching collection. It demonstrates multiscale, multisensory, diversely collaborative, community-engaged work reflecting the mission of our public land-grant institution. These efforts inspire confidence for our students and hope for our future.

Jacob Mans considers how to shift design from a short-term, project-based model to longer-termed engagements that are relationship- and placebased, co-developed by and around extended communities of practice. Through a multidisciplinary approach, he projects the potential for architecture to engage larger-scale systems proactively and to grapple with the complexity and uncertainty of contemporary problems facing humanity. Lauren Kim and Marilyn DeLong describe a capsule-wardrobe project highlighting user experiences with a limited set of clothing, as a way of exemplifying sustainable practices. Beyond fast fashion and planned obsolescence, slow fashion can encourage respect for interconnections of social, environmental, and economic factors in apparel and lifestyle. Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Julia Robinson, and Austin Watanabe strive to understand ways in which environmental parameters intersect with daily living for children with mental health challenges. They report on a multidisciplinary study of how children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) relate to everyday interior elements such as tables, sinks, and rugs. Jonee Kulman Brigham explores interconnections between human and natural infrastructures, to contextualize how designers can reduce negative lifecycle effects of their designs. She also notes ways that designers can collaborate across disciplines to effect systemic change.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Thomas Fisher & Becky Love Yust

Early and Transitional Days of the College of Design Author Biographies


Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA, is a Professor in the School of Architecture, the Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design, and the Director of the Minnesota Design Centre at the College of Design, University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published writer about architecture, having written 10 books, over 50 book chapters or introductions, and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications. He has been named a top-25 design educator four times by Design Intelligence.

Two accomplished University of Minnesota leaders brought the College of Design from origins in prior colleges on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, to the twin-footprint constellation of programs that exists today. Broad themes in design thinking, culture change toward greater diversity, inclusion, and collegiality, and cultivation of leadership potentials set the stage for the increased community engagement, collaborative projects, and cooperative operations currently envisioned.

Becky Love Yust, PhD, is professor of housing studies at the University of Minnesota, College of Design. She has taught courses on socio-economic aspects of housing; multifamily housing development, finance, and management; race and discrimination in housing; research methods; and, interior structures, systems, and life safety. Her research has included investigations of housing adequacy and affordability, healthy housing initiatives, and design of affordable housing. She served as interim dean of the College of Design from 2015 to 2017 and department head of Design, Housing, and Apparel from 1995 to 2011. For nine years, she served as editor of Housing and Society, the research journal of the Housing Education and Research Association (HERA). She currently is vice-president of HERA, and is on the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Resources Center, Minneapolis.

When I came to the University of Minnesota in 1996 as the Dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, I had two missions in mind. The first involved getting the longstalled expansion of Rapson Hall done. It had won a design award in 1990 from Progressive Architecture magazine, which I edited for nearly 15 years, but funding for the building failed to materialize, prompting the previous Dean, Harrison Fraker, to leave for Berkeley out of frustration. Soon after I arrived, Mark Yudof became President of the University and, long an admirer of design, he vowed to prioritize our project in his capital request to the legislature. He did, the legislative funding arrived – along with a very generous gift from two other design advocates, Ken and Judy Dayton – and the College moved into an expanded and completely renovated Rapson Hall in 2003.

Thomas Fisher Reflecting on Formation of the College of Design, 2006-2015

The second mission involved re-positioning design in the larger culture. I had long written about the relevance of design to problems beyond those typically addressed by our disciplines and I


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

used my deanship as a platform to make that case. I continued to write and lecture about design thinking while helping launch a new Design Institute to explore design’s diverse applications and helping grow the College’s interdisciplinary centers to demonstrate design’s value more broadly. The ultimate validation of that work came with the University establishing the College of Design in 2006. The University’s president and provost at that time, Bob Bruininks and Tom Sullivan, had been Dean colleagues of mine and they knew my arguments for design’s relevance to larger societal challenges, so as they reorganized six smaller colleges into three larger ones, they recognized the value that a new College of Design could play in the University and in the larger community. With it came a new Product Design program, new interdisciplinary design courses, a Grand Challenge curriculum based on design thinking, and a revamped Minnesota Design Center as a design-thinking platform, which I now direct, having stepped down as the Dean in 2015. I feel privileged to have served as the Dean for those 19 years and gratified to watch the College that we worked so hard to create, continue to grow and thrive. Becky Love Yust Reflecting on Transition of the College of Design, 2015-2017 In 2015, I accepted the position of interim dean after Tom Fisher stepped down to become Director of the Minnesota Design Center. Previously, as department head of Design, Housing, and Apparel, I had worked with Tom for the first five years of the college and was honored to build on the work he had accomplished. I had served as co-chair on the 2005 committee that designed the new college and, thus, I was invested in ensuring the success of the college. I recognized that the college still had work to do to prepare it for the future and my focus as interim dean was on rethinking our traditions to the extent that they limited our aspirations, and on maximizing our strengths.

This period of transition for our college was happening against the backdrop of larger transformations of higher education. Fewer students were enrolled in high schools and state support to the University was decreasing. To make up for the losses, a higher percentage of students were accepted, tuition rates increased, and colleges experienced cuts in allocations (which continue today). During this time, we renewed our college’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion and implemented best practices to increase diversity in our staff, faculty, and student body. We examined micro-aggressions experienced by faculty, staff, and students in the college and created opportunities to be more inclusive. We scrutinized our hiring processes to achieve more successful and diverse outcomes; for example, appointing diverse search committee members, expanding advertising of positions in non-traditional venues, reducing implicit bias in the review of candidates, and implementing effective on-boarding of new faculty and staff. Over the course of their careers, our graduates increasingly would be engaged in interdisciplinary teams, creating sustainable environments, and designing for new ways of working, living, and playing. Faculty responded to these trends by initiating projects to teach, learn, and design across fields. For example, courses with similar content were combined and co-taught by faculty from different fields; access to courses was expanded to encourage students across the college and campus to enroll; and, extracurricular experiences were developed for students to interact with each other to learn by doing. A number of processes were initiated for greater transparency and effectiveness. Our internal budget process aligned investment discussions with budget reviews to identify priorities. Space utilization in Rapson and McNeal Halls was analyzed to maximize our ability to increase enrollments.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


And, we launched CDes Leads, a year-long cohort program for faculty to understand the roles and responsibilities of leadership to consider such an opportunity in their future. Not all of my aspirations were achieved, however. At the end of my two-year term, for example, college leadership had just begun to assess the structure of the college to realize our full potential. So, I was delighted that Dean Strohecker established a working group of faculty and staff to lead the college through a design process to assess possible operational and structural changes that can sustain and advance the college as we begin our next 15 years.


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Brad Hokanson & Marilyn DeLong

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Collaborative Book in the College of Design How it came about

Procedure: The ProAction Café

In Fall 2018, College faculty saw an opportunity to reflect on a common thread in our work, through a collectively authored book. This tome would describe how our College’s location in a landgrant university encourages community-engaged design and design-related scholarship. In the College of Design, community engagement pertains to our research and creative work, as well as our teaching and curricula.

The process began by soliciting drafts of chapters for the proposed book, so authors could self-select and consider how their work helps to shape the College. The first call was made to all faculty in the College of Design, requesting essays to describing how we think, act, collaborate, and create. Students and others outside the college who expressed interest were invited to collaborate.

We engaged a method for creating collaborative, highly interactive dialog around the questions addressed through this book project; i.e., Who are we, as a group? What do we do? What makes our College collaborative? Distinctive? How do we fulfill our mission? At our website, we declare: “Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, our mission is to lead, innovate, and educate in a full range of design fields. We research ongoing and emerging issues, explore new knowledge, and address and solve real-world problems; all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable principles, and collaborative design thinking.” Our aim was to celebrate this energetic mission and associated values by completing the book in our 15th-anniversary year, 2021-2022. The editors (Abimbola Asojo, Sue Chu, Marilyn DeLong, Tom Fisher, Brad Hokanson, and Carol Strohecker) made a commitment to employ the result in publicizing work of the College of Design.

We invited authors to write an abstract proposing their essay topic. The first abstracts were accepted in October 2018, and invitations to submit a full essay were sent out in November 2018. Once the full essay was submitted, authors were invited to a day-long ProAction Café in which dialogues formed a collaborative review process. Participants were asked to read a substantial portion of the writings prior to the ProAction Café. All first drafts were posted online and available to everyone involved in the session. During the ProAction Café, authors presented their essays and engaged in discussion with others at their table. These colleagues had read the submission and were ready to offer suggestions for improvement. Authors used these suggestions to make revisions and return the essay for further review. A wonderful side benefit was to learn more about other faculty and programs in the College, increasing participants’ familiarity and sense of belonging to a shared culture.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


General flow of sessions: The ProAction Café format was an important method for developing the written work. This in-person event involved two 2-hour sessions. For each session, 5-7 participants sat at caféstyle tables. At each, everyone had read the same draft papers ahead of time. These discussants brought any questions they had and addressed both strengths and opportunities for improving the papers. Each author also invited discussants who selected submissions to review ahead of time. We encouraged including as discussants graduate students, assistants, and co-authors. Each half-hour of the session began with one of the authors giving a brief summary of their draft submission and then opening for questions and comments about content, structure of ideas, the work’s informative value about activities and mission of the college (teaching, research, and engagement), and so on. After a half-hour, following a short break, participants changed tables and engaged in discussion regarding another proposed chapter. The ProAction Café relies on some basic assumptions: •  The knowledge and wisdom we need is accessible among those present. •  Collective insight evolves from honoring unique contributions; connecting ideas; listening into the middle; and noticing deeper themes and questions. •  The intelligence of the project emerges as the system connects in diverse and creative ways.


Figure 1: General sketch of movement during a ProAction Café. Image credit B. Hokanson A video explaining the process is available at: Following the ProAction Café event: Engaging in a supplemental review process after the ProAction Cafe, each author submitted names of two reviewers to examine their revised draft. Thus each paper was peer-reviewed and returned to the author with suggestions for any further revision. Authors revised and edited their essays based upon the reviewers’ suggestions and resubmitted their work. Each author was also asked to complete a peer review of another author’s second draft, allowing for a second set of revisions. After these final revisions, essays were ready to be formatted following our guidelines for publication. A student employee completed the layout and formatting, reviewed the result with authors and, finally, posted the completed essay. Editors discussed organization of the essays into themes and Dean Strohecker was invited to write the preface. This collection of essays is the result. We are honored to put it forward as a document of the College’s first 15 years.

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Section II

Our Roots: Some Visionaries


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Lin Nelson-Mayson “Why Are Women Suddenly Demanding Good Design?” Harriet and Vetta Goldstein’s National Impact on Design Education Joseph Favour, Amanda Smoot, & Kristine F. Miller Roger B. Martin: The Emergence of Landscape Architecture in Minnesota Jane King Hession The Rapson Years, 1954 to 1984 Marilyn DeLong Joanne B. Eicher, PhD: A Culture and Diversity Visionary Professor, Department Head, Regents Professor William J. Angell Gertrude Esteros: An Early Design Leader Forged by Fire, Mockery, War, and a Desire to Explore and Serve

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Lin Nelson-Mayson

“Why Are Women Suddenly Demanding Good Design?” Harriet and Vetta Goldstein’s National Impact on Design Education Author Biography Lin Nelson-Mayson was director of the Goldstein Museum of Design and taught museum studies. She has been director of Mid-America Arts Alliance’s ExhibitsUSA, curator of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, deputy director of the Columbia Museum of Art (SC), curator of the Art Museum of South Texas, and assistant curator of the Ross County Historical Society (OH). Lin chaired the National Alliance of State Museum Associations, Minnesota Association of Museums, Association of Midwest Museums, South Carolina Abandoned Cultural Properties Board, and American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Curators Committee, leading the transformation of AAM’s Exhibition Competition to a national program. She founded the Southeastern Museum Conference Exhibition Competition, was a juror for AAM’s first Sustainability Excellence Award, and is a peer reviewer for AAM’s Museum Assessment Program. Lin has an MFA in sculpture and critical writing from The Ohio State University and a BFA in painting from Miami University (OH). Abstract When UMN faculty members Harriet and Vetta Goldstein wrote Art in Every Day Life (1925, four editions), the first textbook that established the field of related art, they codified instruction of design concepts and problem-solving into the required curriculum of hundreds of thousands of young women in colleges and high schools across the country. Based on Arthur Dow’s innovative art appreciation curriculum and its practical application by Frank Parsons, Art in Every Day Life (AIEDL)


introduced students to fundamental design principles and an analytical framework to apply them to solve practical design problems. At a time in higher education when vocational training was supported through robust federal funding, AIEDL sold over 249,000 copies for use in related arts and home economics classrooms across the country. By the late 1920s, critics of industrial design noted that Americans, particularly women, began to request better-designed products of these formerly “artless industries”. These critics ascribed this demand primarily to informal factors including journals and exhibitions. Recent scholars, however, have noted that the wide-spread use of AIEDL in classrooms began prior to this national demand and that the internalized impact of formal education can be a powerful motivator of change. Although the original text has been criticized for its gendered expectations of consumers and designers, changes to subsequent editions acknowledged a growing inclusiveness within the design. Through their insight and innovation, the Goldstein sisters launched a remarkable national legacy of design education that still informs the UMN’s Goldstein Museum of Design and College of Design. Keywords Goldstein, related arts, industrial design, textbook, women, applied art

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“When beauty is expressed in our surroundings, it becomes a part of our life and our personality. It is not a thing to be set apart for occasional enjoyment, but should be sought in everything we do, and in everything we select. Beauty is not determined by the cost, but by the quality of the objects which are chosen.” [Art in Every Day Life] The legacy of University of Minnesota professors Harriet and Vetta Goldstein is one with an immense, national impact. It is the tale of the vision and enthusiasm of two sisters, the development and impact of their one and only textbook, changing gender expectations within design, and the democratizing impact of design education on American consumers and designers.

Introducing Harriet and Vetta, the Goldstein Sisters Harriet and Vetta were the oldest and youngest of Samuel and Dorothy Goldstein’s four children. Harriet was born in 1883 in Trufant, Michigan, north of Grand Rapids, and Vetta was born in 1890 in Gladstone, a village of less than 1,400 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Samuel and Dorothy, Jewish immigrants from Poland, ran a general store in Gladstone. They valued knowledge of world cultures, the arts and literature, and good storytelling and they encouraged those interests in all their children.

Figure 1: Vetta and Harriet Goldstein; c. 1941 (GMD records) Harriet and Vetta spent over 30 years developing, shaping, and communicating related arts concepts at the University of Minnesota (UMN), directly teaching over 30,000 students. They were also instrumental in changing the face of design education across the country through their pioneering textbook and its influence on Americans’—particularly women’s—expectations of designed objects and of designers.

Figure 2: The Goldstein siblings—Harriet, center top; Vetta, center lower; c. 1893 (GMD records) Harriet graduated from high school at 14 and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1900-04, studying drawing, painting, craft, and art history. While there, she was introduced

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to the theories of British textile designer William Morris whose “…concepts of sincerely, simplicity, and natural use of materials were to become key elements of the Goldstein’s later work.” [Estros] After graduating, she taught drawing and industrial arts from 1904-06 in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was introduced to Native American culture and art. She returned to Gladstone from 1907-09 and in 1909-10 taught art in Grafton, North Dakota. Vetta graduated from high school in 1907 at 16 and took private art lessons in Gladstone and in Europe. In 1910, Harriet joined the University of Minnesota’s College of Science, Literature, and Arts in as an art instructor.

Figure 3: Harriet’s first year at the University of Minnesota; 1910 (GMD records)


Their family helped the sisters take a frugal trip through Europe in 1912. The sisters later took a trip around the world in 1925, assembling drawings, photographs, and objects that were used in their classes to illustrate good design. Related Art: The University of Minnesota Leads the Nation Related Art originated at the University of Minnesota as a subset of home economics, one of a series of important vocational training programs designed to prepare young people for skills-based careers. Traditionally, much of this training had taken place outside of formal educational institutions and under the direction of skilled adults: young women would learn domestic skills from their mothers and young men learned trades from experienced professionals. Since the 19th century, however, some high schools offered home economics courses that taught girls how to cook, sew, garden, and take care of children. Formal instruction in home economics greatly increased with the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 that granted land to each state and territory for higher education in vocational programs, specifically mechanical arts (including engineering) and agriculture (including home economics). Since existing colleges were expensive and primarily focused on liberal arts degrees, land grant institutions provided more people with access to affordable education in these important applied skills. By the late 19th century, two factors made this training urgent: the rise of industry that demanded skilled workers and rapid expansion of public school class size as a result, in part, to increased immigration. More high schools began to offer vocational education programs to fill this need. Vocational training philosophy was based on the traditional foundation of preparing young people for jobs that they would most likely perform as adults. The new formalized curricula of vocational training was embraced by high schools to provide students with this knowledge and prac-

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tical skill. For young men, the focus was on industrial arts and agriculture. For young women, it was home and family management. Even if a woman pursued additional training for a professional career, it was expected that she would have primary responsibility for her home and family. The demand for vocational training for both young men and women was further fostered by passage of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 which provided funding for higher education programs that trained vocational education teachers, to meet the increased demand for teachers in high schools. In 1913, Josephine T. Berry was appointed Chief of the UMN Division of Home Economics and began the process of establishing Home Economics as a School separate from the School of Agriculture and with its own faculty. She invited Harriet, then teaching art, to join the home economics faculty and develop a new program that would teach art “that makes sense to people and is related to all aspects of home and family living”. [Journey Home] “Related art” was to be the practical, or vocational, application of art philosophy to home and consumer needs in parallel to “related science”, an earlier name for home economics. In each field, “related” indicated that it was in contrast to the “pure” arts and sciences that were an existing part of the liberal arts in higher education. (Although the term “related art” initially focused on consumer activities, “applied art” was later used interchangeably and eventually overtook it in popularity as awareness of industrial design and other utilitarian design fields became more prominent.) Harriet accepted the challenge to define and develop the curriculum for related art as a complement to the existing home economics program. In 1914, Vetta was also hired as an instructor to help her sister develop this new program. They began their research by attending all the UMN home economics classes to understand the goals of the current program and determine

how to add complementary classes based on their art training.

Figure 4: Miss Vetta and Miss Harriet; 1938 (GMD records) They also became very active in the professional activities of the American Home Economics Association (AHEA, now American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences) to understand the goals of that field and, later to advocate for the benefits of the related art program. Home economics applied scientific practices to home management, fostering efficiency and hygiene, particularly in the kitchen. In crafting the new field of related art, the Goldsteins sought to avoid competition with this existing curricula and to develop tools that would help young women become skilled at making good aesthetic choices for their home and community based on solid design concepts. Under the Goldsteins, the University of Minnesota became the national leader of practi-

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cal design education through the School of Home Economics’ related art program. In preparation for developing the new curriculum, Harriet and Vetta both returned to the classroom to learn the most current theories and practices of teaching applied art, studying with Frank Parsons at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts (now Parsons School of Design). Harriet graduated in 1916 and Vetta in 1917 in interior design. Parsons had constructed a new program that combined educational theory and practice to train designers and design educators to compete in the growing field of industrial design. He based his work on his own experience studying at Teachers College at Columbia University with influential art educator Arthur Wesley Dow, author of Theory and Practice of Teaching Art (1912). Dow revolutionized art teacher education by emphasizing the development of a foundation of basic art concepts, rather than by copying from nature which he felt was more appropriate for training studio artists. He drew a sharp distinction between art appreciation and practicing artists, believing the former to be a more important skill to learn than the later. “[t]he true purpose of art teaching is the education of the whole people for appreciation.” [Dow] In 1904, Parsons, observing the rise of industrial design and the growing connections between art, design, and industry, combined Dow’s approach of learning basic art and design elements with a practical knowledge of design. He stated: “Industry is the nation’s life. Art is the quality of beauty in expression and industrial art is the cornerstone of our national art.” [New School] He developed a series of groundbreaking programs in fashion design (originally costume design), interior design (originally interior decoration), and advertising and graphic design (originally commercial illustration). Parsons stated: “Good design was democratic and accessible to everyone, [not only] for the few, for the talented, for the genius, for the rich, nor the church.” [New School] The


Goldsteins adapted Parsons’ modern concepts as the basis for their related arts program. They included: a strong foundation in art fundamentals, the cultivation of taste, and the appropriateness of design for its intended use. Impact of a Textbook As there were no established textbooks for this new program, Wylie McNeal, Chief of the Division of Home Economics from 1923-50, encouraged the Goldsteins to write one. The result was Art in Every Day Life (1925; later Art in Everyday Life), the first book to use art theory as a modern guideline for consumer education and with a significant explanation of color theory and the value of drawing. The purpose of the book was: …to show the principles of art as they are seen in familiar works of art, and as they are related to every day problems such as house design and decoration, store decoration, costume, design, advertising, and city planning. In each of these fields, one works with sizes, shapes, colors, textures, which must be selected and arranged in accordance with principles of beauty. These principles are fully explained and they are applied in so many various fields that even the person without native ability can learn to apply them to any problem. [AIEDL] The organization of the text echoed Dow’s conceptual foundation and Parson’s focus on design fields, stressing an understanding of art fundamentals, design analysis, and verbal description. The text explored interior design, advertising, home selection, floral arrangements, and fashion, combining practical skills with an application of art (or design) principles. It was a revelation to many of the students who subsequently learned to apply design principles through the use of the problem-solving process (modeled after scientific hypothesis testing) that was detailed in the book. This type of active engagement that was expected of students was radically different from the passive observation that most of them had

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been accustomed to apply to the visual elements in their daily lives. For many, it was a transformative experience that gave them new confidence in their decision-making. “...students say that one is never again the same after studying with the Goldsteins…” [Dendel] Art in Every Day Life (AIEDL) introduced primarily middle-income students on limited budgets to practical matters of price and value and to a defined process for identifying well-designed, affordable household goods. [Dendel] Following Dow’s philosophy of the importance of art appreciation, the Goldsteins taught that possessing good taste was key to economic purchasing, to the visual creation of a positive self-image, and to the creation of a home environment that would positively influence and communicate the character of the family. Harriet stated: “We like to see how they learn to enjoy what they have as they use good taste within their means. Everyone—no matter what income—can enjoy home furnishings if they’re chosen according to a few principles of art.” [MN Chats] Young women who engaged in related art training became a critical audience with specific aesthetic and functional expectations of the products that they selected for their homes and had similar high demands of the industrial designers who created them. This training in judgement also provided a basis for other decision-making in daily life. AIEDL was constructed in two sections that formed the foundation of the Related Arts curriculum and was a proscriptive approach to design decision-making. Robustly illustrated with over 285 images and photographs (most taken by Vetta), it encouraged mastery of the subject through a progression of simple to complex design concepts. The first half of the text taught design fundamentals and a way of thinking about design and design problems. It covered why good taste is important, provided the basis for a preference for structural design versus decorative design, covered the five design fundamentals (harmony, proportion, bal-

ance, rhythm, and emphasis), and contained two very technical chapters on prominent color theory systems M-dash Prang and Munsell. This training provided students with the tools for an analytical way of seeing and vocabulary for expressing what they observed. The conceptual foundation in the first half of the book provided students with a set of terms to be applied using the problem-solving technique of analyzing furniture, clothing, and household goods that was introduced in the second half. The second half of the book introduced a critical framework for the analysis of a design problem-solving based on the knowledge of the first half. The framework applied the generally-accepted process of the scientific method in two stages. Stage One established the parameters or criteria of the problem: •  ● Identify whether the item will repay in time or money invested in procuring it •  ● Determine whether the item should be made or purchased •  ● If purchased, determine how much money to spend •  ● Identify what material(s) would be durable and easy to maintain Stage Two applied the parameters to a problem-solving framework that included planning and testing: •  ● State the problem, or the goal to be accomplished •  ● Make a plan for carrying out the problem; collect all information related to it •  ● Carry out the plan •  ● Test the results and make a final judgement of the success or failure of the plan before accepting the outcome or starting over. [AIEDL] AIEDL followed up the introduction of this process by applying it to the selection of a dining

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room rug. This simple exercise was designed to provide a familiar circumstance on which to apply this new system and to demonstrate that the analysis could be performed in everyday situations. The second half of AIEDL also discussed the “meaning” of design, or that a person’s surroundings and design choices could reveal the type of person that they are or desire to be. Students were advised that their interior design choices should “express the kind of person that its owner would like to be.” [AIEDL] Similarly, apparel choices could be used to reveal personality traits and correct the appearance of areas of the body deemed less than perfect. In other words, “…she must have in mind constantly that her dress [and by extension all her possessions] should be an expression of her personality, and that all the lines, colors, and textures should be chosen to that end.” [AIEDL] This was the key to AIEDL, that objects could be used both correctively and expressively with an emotional attachment of their user. Its implication for widespread application of this new knowledge had a powerful impact on consumers and producers of industrial design. Maintaining a well-running home was a viable career goal for most young women and the Related Arts program was designed for non-designers to think more intelligently and creatively regarding decisions concerning their homes. With its origins in the vocational education of women, AIEDL initially assumed a gendered expectation of consumer and arranger roles for women, rather than that of designers. The underlying focus of AIEDL was therefore less about the creation of design than on the educated selection of existing products, key to the creation of positive personal and family environments. It centered on a basic social expectation of its time that most of the young women for whom the book’s message was directed were destined to be consumers of designed products, not creators of them. “…it was the goal of the department to teach students to be enlightened consumers rather than producing artists… ’Most


of the girls in our classes will get married and rear children.‘ [Harriet] said. ‘That will be their careers. Few will become interior designers or in any other way become professional artists. Those few will need additional, specialized training.’ ” [Dendel] However, many of the Goldstein sisters’ students did expect to enter the teaching profession and the new related arts curricula was destined to be part of the instruction that they would impart to their students. This was an exciting time for training vocational education teachers. Coinciding with the launch of the new related arts program at the University of Minnesota, home economics teachers were in demand across the country. Sparked by SmithHughes funding for vocational teacher training, high schools offering home economics jumped from 53% in 1915-17 to 95% in 1930-31 and the number of women vocational teachers more than tripled during that time. [Kliebard] The resulting audience for AIEDL grew quickly and the Goldstein sisters sought to promote it as essential to the home economics curricula. As co-creator of related arts, Harriet became the first chair of AHEA’s new Related Art Section in 1922. She wrote articles on the new program for the Journal of Home Economics and presented lectures about it to professional gatherings, positioning related arts as a key part of the home economics teacher training track. [Gorman] Within the next decade, several additional related arts texts were published and all based their structure and contents on AIEDL. “Every textbook on dress that followed that first edition borrowed from AIEDL, and every generation of American girls growing up during this time [1925-66] had their ideas on color and design shaped by it”. [Przybyszewski] Used copies of AIEDL often have handwritten names of previous student owners and a wide variety of college or universities (My mother, who graduated in 1950 from Purdue University with a degree in interior design,

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remembers using this text in a class and the importance of it as a foundation for her studies).

of the designed products they encountered in the marketplace. Over the course of the four editions, Harriet and Vetta made changes to the text that reflected the growing professionalism of industrial designers (originally termed “industrial stylists”) and the increasing role of women in the workplace. Major changes between the 1932 and 1940 editions addressed these expanded gender roles, emphasizing that both women and men can be consumers and designers. Early editions equated the creative skills necessary for competent selection and arranging as similar to those required by painters, understood by most Americans to be creative. Later editions reflected the increased prominence of industrial design and equated “the designer” and “the designer’s mind” to that of the educated consumer stating: “The person who makes an intelligent selection of any object needs to have as good a judgement of structural and decorative design as the designer.” [Gorman] National Demand for Good Design

Figure 5: Margery Tolbert’s AIEDL from Georgia and Mildred Lynch’s AIEDL from Kentucky (AIEDL became one of publisher MacMillian’s most popular texts, with four editions and 11 printings. It became a primary text in colleges and universities across America, in the Philippines, in India, and it was translated into Chinese. In total, MacMillian sold over 249,000 copies. The sisters were both retired from the University of Minnesota in 1949 before the last edition of AIEDL was published in 1954. [Gorman] The final printing was in 1966. This wide distribution of AIEDL meant that the impact of the Goldsteins’ practical application of design analysis on the personal sphere was influential in developing generations of educated consumers with high expectations

After 1925, design critics and designers remarked that they were surprised by American consumers’ sudden and vociferous demand for better designed objects. They noted that consumers suddenly began to expect beauty in products for which there had been “a lack of an educated demand for attractive appearance in years past.” [van Doren] Industrial designer Raymond Lowey stated that before 1925, American consumers of the “artless industries” had been satisfied with “engineered as you go” objects: “‘Will it work?’ was the question foremost in people’s minds.” [Gorman] Seeking an explanation for this sudden interest in good design, critics and design historians cited the impact of exhibitions including the 1925 Paris International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts (origin of the term Art Deco), Christine Frederick’s “Color-in-theKitchen” movement [Frederick], and journal arti-

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cles as possible influences. Some critics attributed the rising attention to changes in retail displays, color advertising in print materials, set design and fashion in popular films, and the rise of named industrial designers. All were legitimately cited as contributing to draw attention to industrial design and to propel the young profession to greater prominence. However, these explanations overlooked the impact of formal training on the application of that knowledge in the marketplace. [Gorman] While limited numbers of American consumers would have directly experienced a museum exhibition in France and or read articles by critics that were published in professional journals, AIEDL was assigned reading for hundreds of thousands of young women in colleges and high schools across the country in classes that were often necessary for the fulfillment of a degree. Students were expected to understand and apply the book’s principles and were evaluated by grades required to pass the class. As a result, they spent considerable effort acquiring its technical and aesthetic knowledge and honing their analytical and practical skills. Esther Dendel, recruited in 1943 to assist the Goldsteins, stated: “in classes at Iowa State, the applied art teachers read paragraphs [of AIEDL] aloud…” [Dendel] Former students referred to AIEDL as “The Bible”, reflecting the expectation of related art faculty that students learn and fully apply its concepts and practical analysis. Because nearly a quarter of a million volumes of AIEDL were sold as textbooks for related arts classes around the world, there may have been at least that many informed consumers created, each seeking to create harmony in their surroundings and to identify quality in designed products through the application of the problem-solving technique that they had learned. Since AIEDL encouraged the development of good taste, students sought to create the personality and visual meaning they desired by selecting the best possible design solutions within their budget for them-


selves and their families. AIEDL advised that they would be judged by the designs they selected and to judge others in the same way. Selection and arrangement of objects through the application of AIEDL’s formal analysis resulted in the development of a critical eye as a consumer and the expectation that products would meet their educated evaluation. A former student recalled the lasting impact of this instruction: “I sometimes quote [Vetta] to myself: ‘It isn’t bad; but girls, it isn’t good enough’.” [Dendel]

Figure 6: Vetta teaching a short course on curtains; c. 1940 (GMD records) Although the source of this educated demand was not directly linked to the ubiquitous impact of AIEDL, industrial designers responded and “artless industry” designs were gradually replaced by products that resulted in some of the most successful and iconic designs of the 20th century. These products employed elements of color, balance, and proportion to suggest the standards of good taste with efficiency, cleanliness, and speed. When Sears debuted the redesigned Coldspot refrigerator by Raymond Lowey in 1934 into what Time magazine deemed “a single smooth, gleaming unit of functional simplicity”, sales increased 300% for the streamlined and reliable model. [Sears] Similarly, Henry Dreyfuss, designer of the

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iconic Hoover 150 vacuum cleaner and Westclox Big Ben alarm clock, stated: It is my contention that well-designed, mass-produced goods constitute a new American art form and are responsible for the creation of a new American culture. These products of the applied arts are a part of everyday American living and working, not merely museum pieces to be seen on a Sunday afternoon. I find no basic conflict between those who appreciate the fine arts and those who respond to classic examples of the applied arts. They are stirred by the same impulse, a desire for beauty. [Dreyfuss] A Legacy: The Goldstein Museum of Design In closing her 1942 lecture at the Western Arts Conference, Harriet stated “...we should hope that after any unit in related art study, a student would have gained as a part of her consciousness an appreciation of the ideals of beauty, simplicity, sincerity, and fitness to purpose…” [Estros] Art historian Michael Banandall agreed: “The skills we are most aware of are not the ones we have absorbed ...but those we have learned formally with conscious effort; those which we have been taught.” [Gorman] Former UMN students of “Miss Harriet” and “Miss Vetta” often commented with pride that they could step into someone’s home and know immediately whether that person had studied from AIEDL. Over more than four decades, hundreds of thousands of students were taught the knowledge and application of AIEDL’s concepts and analytical framework. Some of them became home economics teachers and passed that knowledge to additional students. Because my mother used AIEDL during her interior design studies at Purdue, I am also aware of its indirect influence on the families whose homes were shaped by the Goldstein sisters’ way of looking at the world.

Many students who received that knowledge— like my mother—applied it to create a home environment for families who then benefited from an awareness of good design and the importance of beauty in their surroundings. In the long tradition of informal vocational education of young women by their elder female family members, how many of those trained to apply the knowledge of AIEDL passed these fundamental lessons along to their children? The generations of young women who were directly and indirectly influenced by Harriet and Vetta Goldstein’s transformative instruction learned a set of skills and a way of looking that enhanced their lives and the lives of those around them. In fostering an active and engaged confidence in their students, Harriet and Vetta enhanced the beauty of the personal sphere and contributed to design quality across the country. Their ground-breaking curriculum and textbook, introducing thousands of students to the practical application of the basic principles of art and design, also laid the foundation that continues in the UMN College of Design, now a comprehensive academic environment for design teaching, research, and engagement.

Figure 7: Vetta and former students at the dedication of McNeal Hall; 1976 (GMD records) In 1976, Vetta Goldstein received the accolades of former students when she attended the dedication of the McNeal Hall expansion.

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The expansion linked three existing buildings, provided new offices, classrooms, and labs and introduced an exciting new resource, The Goldstein Gallery. During the planning stages of the new building, a committee of alumni petitioned Dean Keith McFarland to consider honoring Harriet and Vetta’s immense impact with a room dedicated to the Goldsteins. Shortly afterwards, College faculty were asked to list their top five priorities for the new space. Knowing that others would rank studios, offices, and classrooms highly and with the alumni committee’s request in mind, Design Department Head Gertrude Esteros listed a gallery as her top priority. Although the committee’s original proposal was to create a permanent historic display about the Goldstein sisters, Gertrude understood that changing exhibitions of design scholarship and creative production would be expand and complement the department’s well-respected foundation of object-based learning. [Esteros]. In a letter to the sisters in 1974, Dean McFarland notified them of the Board of Regents’ approval for the new gallery complex to be named The Goldstein Gallery. Although Harriet died six months later, she and Vetta expressed gratitude for the role their former students had played in championing this enduring tribute to their legacy. [Dendel] The new Goldstein Gallery complex consisted of a gallery, workroom, and collection storeroom. The storeroom was designed to safely house groups of objects that had been collected by faculty members serve their teaching needs. The Goldstein sisters, for whom object-based learning was a key instructional method, had collected items on their travels and used them in classes to illustrate good design from a variety of world cultures. However, they had no storage for this important resource other than their crowded office. Students recalled Vetta inadvertently bumping her desk and causing a bowl to fall and break. An exasperated Harriet stated: “If we continue to have to repair all our objects, soon we will have nothing that isn’t patched or mended!” [Pflaum] Ultimately, over


200 objects from the Goldstein sisters’ teaching collection and estate were added to the Goldstein Gallery’s collection and safely housed in collection storerooms. Now the collection of the Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD), this resource has grown to over 34,500 objects and continues to serve students and faculty for object-based learning and as a center for the study of good design across time and cultures. An ongoing photography project puts the collection online, creating access to these objects while preserving them for future study. GMD’s exhibitions in McNeal Hall’s Gallery 241 (the original gallery) and Rapson Hall’s HGA Gallery, an exhibition program added when the College of Design was formed, complement instruction through research-based explorations of design issues, designers, and design history. In a design-focused community with a wealth of nationally-known museums, GMD occupies a unique role locally as Minnesota’s only dedicated design museum and nationally as one of only a few design museums in research universities.

Figure 8: Anonymous, Chippewa Moccasins, GMD collection, Gift of Harriet and Vetta Goldstein 1980.036.041a Kristine F. Miller, PhD is a Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota where she teaches courses in urban design, cultural landscape studies, and design and social equity.

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Although developing good taste is no longer a stated learning goal for students in the College of Design, design education continues to emphasize contemporary problem-solving and the search for harmonious, economic solutions that benefit both the personal and public in everyday life. Harriet and Vetta Goldstein’s conceptual foundation for the development of the related arts program, later published in a 1941 Time magazine interview, is still applicable today:

1900–1904 Harriet attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1904–1922 Arthur Dow teaches at Columbia University Teachers College 1904 Frank Parsons studies with Arthur Dow and teaches at The New York School of Art, establishing programs combining art, design, and industry

Some of our chief concerns are to help people in these ways:

1904–1906 Harriet teaches drawing and industrial arts, Albuquerque, NM

1907 Vetta graduates from high school and studies art with private teachers

to get pleasure from their surroundings;

• to appreciate the beauty that is all around them in little things: grasses, dishes, as well as buildings; • to have tolerance toward new ideas and other people’s points of view; • and to look for what is good, not what is poor, in design. [Time]

1909–1910 Harriet teaches art in Grafton, ND 1910 Harriet teaches art in the UMN College of Science, Literature and Arts with a salary of $700


1911–1930 Frank Parsons leads The New York School of Art, renaming it The New York School of Fine and Applied Art

1851 University of Minnesota established

1912 Harriet and Vetta tour Europe

1862 Morrill Act provides grants of land to states to finance colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts

1912 Arthur Dow publishes Theory and Practice of Teaching Art

1883 Harriet Goldstein born in Trufant, Michigan

1913 Josephine Berry appointed Chief of UMN Division of Home Economics, separate from the School of Agriculture

1884 First UMN Home Economics classes offered for “young ladies” in the School of Agriculture

1914 Harriet joins the Home Economics faculty to develop the first Related Arts program

1890 Vetta Goldstein born in Gladstone, Michigan

1914 Vetta joins the UMN Home Economics faculty with a salary of $900.

1900 Harriet graduates from high school at 14

1915 Harriet is promoted to Assistant Professor

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1916 Harriet graduates from The New York School of Fine and Applied Arts 1917 Vetta graduates from The New York School of Fine and Applied Arts in interior design 1917 Smith-Hughes Act provides funding for vocational teacher education 1919 Harriet is promoted to Associate Professor 1922 Harriet named first chair of American Home Economics Association’s new Related Arts Section 1923 Wylie McNeal appointed Chief of UMN Division of Home Economics 1925 Art in Every Day Life, published, first edition 1925-26 Harriet and Vetta tour the world – drawing, photographing, and collecting objects for courses 1929 Harriet and Vetta tour the US south and east 1932 AIEDL, second edition 1935 Harriet and Vetta tour Mexico 1936 Harriet teaches at the University of Hawaii; Vetta studies ikebana ( Japanese flower arranging)

1966 AIEDL, final printing 1974 McNeal Hall expansion confirmed to contain The Goldstein Gallery and support spaces 1974 Harriet dies in Los Angeles at 91 1976 Vetta attends McNeal Hall expansion dedication, riding on an airplane for the first time 1978 Friends of the Goldstein Gallery formed (now GMD Members) 1982 Vetta dies in Los Angeles at 92 2002 The Goldstein Gallery renamed Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD) 2006 College of Design formed, GMD expands to include Rapson Hall’s HGA Gallery exhibition program References “Art: Taste without Tears”. Time, February 3, 1941 Brooke, Eliza (2018-12-27). “How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design”. Vox. Retrieved 2019-5-21. Dendel, Esther Warner; Beauty and the Human Spirit: The Legacy of Harriet and Vetta Goldstein (Saint Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, The Goldstein Gallery, 1994)

1940 AIEDL, third edition 1943 Harriet is promoted to full professor 1949 Harriet and Vetta retire to California with their mother; Harriet’s ending salary was $5,000 and Vera’s was $3,380

Dow, Arthur Wesley; Theory and Practice of Teaching Art (NYC, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1912) Dreyfuss, Henry. Designing for People (NYC, NY: Allworth Press, 1955)

1954 AIEDL, fourth and last edition


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Esteros, Gertrude. Conversations with the author (2008). Frederick, Christine McGaffey. Selling Mrs. Consumer (NYC, NY: Business Bourse, 1929) Goldstein, Harriet and Vetta Goldstein; Art in Everyday Life, First Ed. (New York, NY: The Macmillian Company, 1925) Goldstein Gallery Collections (Saint Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, The Goldstein Gallery, 1986) Gorman, Carma R. “ ‘An Educated Demand:’ The Implications of Art in Every Day Life for American Industrial Design, 1925-1950.” Design Issues 16, no. 3 (2000): p. 45-66. stable/1511815.

Przybyszewski, Linda. The Lost Art of Dress: the Women Who Once Made America Stylish (New York, New York: Basic Books, 2014) Sears Archives brands/coldspot.htm Retrieved 2019-5-21. Thorne, Alison Comish; Visible and Invisible Women in Land-grant Colleges, 1890-1940 (Utah State University; 1985) U.S. Office of Education, Survey of Land-grant Colleges and Universities, Bulletin No. 9, 1930, 2 vols. (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office). See 1:869-70 van Doren, Harold. Industrial Design: A Practical Guide (NYC, NY: 1940)

Gorman, Carma R. “The Changing Status of Design in Art in Every Day Life, 1925-1940.” Studies in the Decorative Arts 14, no. 2 (2007): 145-65. doi:10.1086/652882. Jehmberg, Stanford and Ann M. Pflaum, The University of Minnesota 1945-2000 (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2000); p. 50-51. Journey Home: College of Human Ecology 1894-1996 (Saint Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, The Department of Design/Housing/Apparel, 1998) Kliebard, Herbert, Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, 1876-1946 (New York, 1999) “Minnesota Reminiscences: University Art Pioneers Retire”, Minnesota Chats, July 1949, Volume 31, Number 4; p. 3 The New School Parsons; Retrieved 2019-5-21. Pflaum, Ann M. Personal notes.

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Joseph R. Favour, Amanda B. Smoot & Kristine F. Miller

Roger B. Martin: The Emergence of Landscape Architecture in Minnesota author biographies Joseph Favour, MLA, ALSA ( Joe) has over 25 years of professional experience in both private practice and academia. His teaching and practice interests are focused on the intersection of creative design of landscapes, the implementation process of built work, and the cost/material/performance implications of design. He is interested in how emerging technology impacts these areas and alters the design of important space and material typologies like the public street and the college campus. Joe teaches design studios and landscape technology and systems courses, with a particular expertise in earthwork grading, stormwater and college campus design. Joe maintains a limited practice through the Minneapolis based firm O2 Design. He has been Head of the Landscape Architecture Department since 2014 and an Associate Professor in Practice since 2011. Prior to that Joe worked as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and a licensed landscape architect with several Minnesota firms. Amanda Smoot, PhD is the Administrator for the Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota. Amanda received her PhD from the Department of Design, Housing & Apparel, College of Design, University of Minnesota. Her dissertation research explored the relationships between aging, health, housing and community among African American older adults. Prior to working for the Department of Landscape Architecture, Amanda worked in the field of affordable housing as a Community Development Manager responsible for the delivery of pre-purchase counseling and education, foreclosure prevention counseling, and local,


state and federal housing rehabilitation loans and grants. She also served as a non-profit Program Director responsible for the development, implementation, and quality delivery of a statewide, nationally acclaimed, homeownership education and counseling program. Kristine F. Miller, PhD is a Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota where she teaches courses in urban design, cultural landscape studies, and design and social equity. She co-founded and co-directs an award-winning long-term community/university partnership called ReMix with Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis. In 2012, she was awarded a Bush Fellowship for her ongoing work on design and equity. Miller holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College in Humanities and Psychoanalytic Thought, a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, and a PhD from the Edinburgh College of Art. She has published three books on design, public space, politics, and identity. She received Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship to complete research for Designs on the Public: The Private Lives of New York’s Public Spaces (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), which explores public spaces, not as static entities, but as the constantly changing intersections of physical places, the laws and regulations that govern them, and the people who claim them. Almost Home: The Public Work of Gertrude Jekyll, (University of Virginia Press, 2013) examines the role of garden design in the development of public space and identity in Britain. Introduction to Design Equity, (University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2018) an open access book for students and professionals, maps design processes and products against equity research to

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highlight the pitfalls and potentials of design as a tool for building social justice. Abstract Roger B. Martin (1936-2020) was an educator and practicing landscape architect who developed the Landscape Architecture program(s) at the University of Minnesota. This chapter weaves together previous studies on Martin’s education, early career, and goals for the UMN curriculum with reflections on Martin’s impact shared via interviews with his former students. Interview data confirm that Martin’s goals to help students develop as artful problem solvers and skilled collaborators in service of the public good were embedded in the curriculum and embodied by Martin as a teacher and mentor. Their narratives also point to Martin’s deep humanity—his integrity and kindness—as central to his lasting impact. Keywords Landscape Architects—United States, History, Biography INTRODUCTION Roger B. Martin’s influence on the development of the profession of landscape architecture in the region cannot be overestimated. He established the landscape architecture programs at the University of Minnesota, which reflected his values and his personal approach to teaching and practice. The curriculum stressed a well-rounded, synthetic approach to design, rooted in cooperation with allied disciplines and skills in observation, careful analysis, design execution, and implementation. This curriculum and Martin’s commitment to professional service fostered graduates who expanded the scope and importance of landscape architecture in Minnesota at a critical time in its development.

Early Influences Raised in Detroit Lakes, MN, Martin had a love of outdoor spaces. He was encouraged by his mother and an art teacher to pursue his interests in drawing and fine art. Following his talent in sports, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota (U of MN) and joined the traveling football team. As an undergraduate horticultural student, Martin realized there was more to landscapes than plants and planting design and wanted to “shape human emotions and behavior” (Kudalis, 1988, p. 62) After his graduation in 1958, he pursued graduate studies in landscape architecture at Harvard University. Role Model in Hideo Sasaki At Harvard, Martin found a mentor that would shape his approach to practice and teaching. Hideo Sasaki was the Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department. One of the most influential landscape architects of the second half of the 20th Century, Sasaki advanced the concept of interdisciplinary planning. His professional design firm (Sasaki Associates) employed architects, planners and landscape architects and took on projects ranging in scale and complexity. From an intimate 1.5 acre garden in New York City to 100+ acre corporate campuses, Sasaki helped propel the profession beyond it’s formalist Beaux Arts roots. Rather than adhering to a particular aesthetic mode, Sasaki led his students and colleagues to carefully consider human needs and the natural systems at play at each individual site. Sasaki linked his professional and academic careers, inviting his best students, including Martin, to work at his firm and recruiting design colleagues as instructors and guest critics. (Raver, 2000) While a student of Sasaki and intern at Sasaki Associates, Martin refined his own design approach—one that “stressed critical observation, detailed analysis, synthesis and final design... Define an infallible design process and place yourself at the mercy of inspiration.” (McMillan, 2005, p. 17) Sasaki’s deep influence on Martin can be seen

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in his blending of an academic and professional career, his interdisciplinary practice, and his individualized approach to design education. Beginning a Dual Career and Returning to Minnesota After graduating from Harvard with a Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) in 1961, Martin returned to Minnesota and worked for the modernist design firm Cerny Associates. This job was short-lived. In 1962 Martin won the Fellowship in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome (Rome Prize). During this two year residential fellowship, Martin immersed himself in the study of classic Italian landscapes. He applied what would become his signature process of careful observation and recording through detailed drawings, notes and diagrams to the study of classical geometry, circulation and the influence of perspective manipulation on the experience of space. He collaborated with Rome Prize fellows in art, philosophy, sciences and many other disciplines, reinforcing his belief in the value of interdisciplinary learning. Following his studies in Rome, Martin moved to Berkeley, California where he took a position at the University of California Berkeley as an Assistant Professor. The Department at Berkeley was led by groundbreaking landscape architects including Garrett Eckbo, Thomas Church, and Lawrence Halprin. Martin used this time to develop an approach to teaching that built on his training by Sasaki and his work in Rome. Like Sasaki, Martin believed each student should develop a systematic, analytical approach to problem solving first, which allowed them to understand and resolve the inherent problems of a site and design program. He encouraged each student to explore their own influences to find inspirations for their designs, emphasizing the value of drawing as a mode of understanding landscape.


After two years at UC-Berkeley, Martin moved back to Minnesota in 1966 to develop and lead a new Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in Landscape Architecture at the U of MN within the School of Architecture under the direction of Ralph Rapson. Rapson’s goal was to create an environmental planning school. Prior to Martin being hired as the first full-time landscape architecture faculty member, Rapson hired practicing landscape architect, Herb Baldwin, as a parttime instructor to teach an introductory course in landscape architecture to interested architecture students. Roger Clemence, who was trained as an architect and a landscape architect, was brought on shortly after Martin began as the program’s second full-time faculty to teach urban design. In Rapson, Baldwin, Clemence, and the Architecture faculty, Martin found collaborators willing to invest in the discipline of landscape architecture, which lacked prestige in the State. Martin aimed to grow the profession of landscape architecture in Minnesota and move it toward equal footing with architecture and other allied disciplines. An Emerging Profession Although the profession of landscape architecture was established in the United States in the last decades of the 19th Century as a multifaceted approach to addressing a broad range of pressing social issues including public health, it struggled to maintain an identity separate from architecture and engineering. In the 20th century, many in the discipline debated the territory of landscape architecture, as it had roots in gardening, architecture, agriculture, engineering, and forestry. The economic collapse of the Great Depression meant fewer Gilded-Age estate commissions and halted construction of innovative suburban “New Towns” like Radburn, NJ. (Howett, 1998) WPA projects placed engineers at the head of initiatives once led by landscape architects. (Baird, 2007)

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In the postwar era, a new generation of landscape architects including Martin’s Berkeley colleagues, Eckbo and McHarg, pushed the profession to reclaim it’s early stature and by moving beyond stylistic debates towards “humanized landscapes,” rooted in “art based on science.” (Howett, 1998, p.9) It was possible, they argued, for new landscapes to serve ecological and human ends and to reimagine what constituted beauty. The resulting suburbs and urban renewal projects of the 1950s often fell short of these ambitions and in many cases exacerbated the social and ecological problems they purported to solve. But landscape architecture firms and academic programs were oriented to apply their interdisciplinary breadth to pressing questions about the form and function of the American public realm. In Minnesota, landscape architecture as a profession capable of leading large-scale, environmentally and socially complex public projects was slower to establish than was in the coastal cities. When Martin returned to Minnesota he found a profession still rooted in gardening traditions, relegated to planting designs and minor private commissions. The investment in a landscape architecture program by Rapson and his selection of Martin as its founder, changed the trajectory of the field in this state. Review of Existing Literature Ann McMillan, as part of her Master of Science in Landscape Architecture thesis in the late 1990s, built an oral history to understand how Martin’s education and background influenced the development UMN Landscape Architecture program as one where young professionals prepared to take on an expanded role in environmental design. McMillan’s thesis is the only substantial record of Martin’s approach and legacy. Martin sought to help students develop as, “(s)ensitive observers, who can accurately define a problem and through the analytical thinking process, make the transition from technician to creative manager of infor-

mation” and believed that “the strongest designers are those that are able to grasp the central problem and turn it into an asset of the three-dimensional design expression” (as cited by McMillan, 1997, p. 63). McMillan offered a summary of Martin’s goals as an educator and practitioner: •  Teach drawing as more than just an artful communication tool but a tool to develop problem solving abilities •  Embed the importance of collaboration into the curriculum •  Elevate the discipline of landscape architecture equal to architecture •  Focus on designing and planning for public and civic places to enhance quality of life When McMillan interviewed Martin for a 2005 article on his career similar themes arose. Martin also shared that he believed that the University of Minnesota’s landscape architecture students when compared to their peers from other institutions were “more adept at working with communities...they are able to build consensus among large groups of people, thereby offering more to the public planning process” (as cited by McMillan, 2005, p.69). In addition to McMillan’s writing on Martin’s influence and goals, magazine articles have described Martin’s efforts to elevate the discipline and profession and note the importance of Martin’s character and leadership. Duane Thorbeck noted in a piece published in Architecture Minnesota, “Martin is a quiet man, yet he has had a tremendous impact on our community...before Martin there was no landscape architecture program in Minnesota and the profession itself lacked prestige in the state. Landscape architects were thought of more as embellishers than as designers; but he helped change that, establishing them as designers of the environment and putting them on the

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Figure 1. Martin’s sketchbook page from a trip to Japan


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same level with architects” (as cited by Kudalis, 1988, p. 62). In the same article, Martin described the challenge of interdisciplinary work between professional landscape architects and architects saying, “there is a varying level of appreciation between architects and landscape architects... Some architects see buildings as sculpture and the landscape as an afterthought. What’s important is that architects and landscape architects work together from the beginning to create a dynamic interchange of ideas” (as cited by Kudalis, 1988, p. 64). Two articles published in _Scape Magazine in 2019 in honor of the establishment of the Roger Martin Travel Prize, offer insights into Martin’s professional legacy and describe his conviction that travel is a foundational component of design education (Pitz, 2019; Favour, 2019). METHODS AND FINDINGS To build on the work of McMillan thesis and articles written by Martin’s colleagues, a set of openended, one-on-one interviews were conducted in 2020 with Martin’s former students. Interviews were recorded and transcribed and the data were analyzed using open coding (Patton, 1990). The researchers used peer debriefing as a method of triangulation to look for variation in analysis of data and to seek alternative views of interpretations to keep biases in check (Guba and Lincoln, 1988). Participants confirmed McMillan’s summary of Martin’s values and approach, citing Martin’s focus on drawing, collaboration, profession-building, and public service as central in shaping the program and their individual careers. Participants also painted a picture of what it was like to be fortunate enough to be one of Martin’s students— describing the way Martin encouraged each person to find her own design approach and the importance of Martin’s integrity and kindness in educational and professional settings.

Drawing to explore and problem solve Alumni shared stories of Martin’s focus on drawing in multiple contexts—during the design process, as a tool for analysing historic landscapes, and in the technology classroom. They described the habits of drawing to observe and analyse landscapes thatMartin helped them to develop, habits which continue to serve them in practice today. I look back at the drawings that I did in technology. I treated them like pieces of art. They had to be accurate for what we were doing in terms of grading and details but they were also pieces of art and I really credit Martin with [this]. ...taking notes by drawing...helps you observe things in a very different way...It was that diagramming and seeing relationships and being able to look at hierarchies and spatial organization...that actually made the difference and was key to being able to successfully do that project…(and) absolutely goes back to those first years with Martin. I was inspired by Martins’ drawings..I developed the habit..I would go to the read and diagram and sketch as much as I possibly could. Then when he was doing lectures, I would also try to diagram and sketch it, that was just huge to me. He helped me understand spatial relationships and how these places work...He really was making these places come alive. Philosophy of Interdisciplinary Collaboration Martin possessed “a strong collaborative spirit” that permeated his educational, professional and personal pursuits (McMillan, 1997). Alumni described the way Martin instilled in them an appreciation for and imparted the skills required for collaborative work in their careers. Martin shared stories from his practice, made sure that students were equipped with deep disciplinary knowledge and language that bridged dis-

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ciplines, and that students valued the expertise of allied fields. design the state zoo and so they brought together architecture, graphic design and landscape architecture as equal partners to the table, and that was very professional life took off from that. I always wanted to collaborate with another group of professionals. We had that core knowledge from our landscape ecology classes so we could speak the language of those biological science folks that we’re going to be working with. The way we were taught was a perfect training to do interdisciplinary collaborative work... I believe we are more willing to respect a lot of different disciplines and find out how to pull them together. And I actually think landscape architects make, by the way we were educated, the perfect people to be team leaders, because we saw a much broader set of issues... Leaders of Civic Design Work

Alumni noted the value of learning from Martin’s practice including the masterplan and design for the Minnesota Zoo and in the Minneapolis Park System. Martin’s stories from practice captured students’ imaginations and also illustrated the challenges of planning for the public realm. We spent hours talking about his work on the zoo and how they would go down there and take horses. I mean, the thought of doing a site visit while you’re on horses in APPLE VALLEY is pretty incredible. ...his work on all of the lakes and the parks and it was so fascinating... when we’re talking about Martin, those civic spaces end up being probably where I realized the most from those conversations. ...he was so involved in ASLA and how he was our connection to the broader national landscape architecture community. He...modeled being a practitioner. many people ultimately went to work for state agencies or government agencies and the city…We started in our practice doing a lot more civic work, a lot more institutional projects. But that was our choice, our direction. Elevating the discipline

Figure 2. Plan of the Minnesota Zoo by InterDesign, from the University of Minnesota Library Archives Martin’s professional work was notable for stretching the scope and scale of what landscape architecture was able to accomplish in the public realm.


An entire chapter of the McMillan thesis is devoted to describing Martin’s service obligation to advance public awareness of the legitimacy of landscape architecture as a design profession among allied professions and the general public. Interviewees felt strongly that Martin elevated the profession of landscape architecture in Minnesota through his national professional service as President of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). ...for someone coming from out of state..that was pretty impressive to me that he was a national leader in our field and it was also part of his persona at the School of making this connection to ASLA.

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He basically handed us all the forms to join and said, “you should join,” and it was really important. It was really valuable…I’ve been involved in the organization for a long time and so I’m sure it was partly because Martin encouraged us right at the beginning to join as a student member. Being able to establish the school and develop a respect in the community for this program was probably his greatest legacy here. I mean I can think of all kinds of things about the relationships he’s developed throughout the community, throughout the country, having been such a big part of ALSA as national president. He has been a real leader in the profession locally. Teaching rooted in ExperIence and Integrity

Figure 3. Sketch of the ancient Mayan City of Tikal, located in present day Guatemala. Alumni clearly valued both what Martin taught and how Martin taught it. They recounted moments when Martin brought his travel studies and professional experiences into the classroom to bring the subject at hand to life. ...Seeing the sketches that he’s put together that detailed and really extract the essence. At the same time showing you the slides of all these places that he visited to do the research. You’re sitting there get-

ting this information and thinking this is a really different way of thinking about place and landscape. You get this handout and it’s got a little thumbnail on the left hand side that gets at the very essence of what he’s trying to explain to you. And it was like somebody had handed you the keys to the immediately saw how you could take these tools that the Greeks had used, that the French had, that the English can use and apply them as a designer...and here he was giving you the physics and the psychology of how to do that on your own. And so as a student I remember that awestruck I was that here is this quiet man revealing the secrets of landscape architecture... I have vivid memories of Martin teaching a lecture course on the history of landscape architecture...He had wonderful slides and wonderful stories and it was just so thorough that I was totally captivated by it...part of what impressed me was not only his first hand knowledge and his passion, but he would share with us drawings that he did. In Aztec ruins, in Italy, in all kinds of places... In addition to Martin’s academic and technical set skills, his quiet and calm demeanor also had a strong influence on the students and he helped to create a nurturing environment. It is not surprising that this did not emerge as a theme in the McMillan thesis as Martin would not boast about himself in his own oral history (or ever). Roger Martin possessed those qualities and embedded them in the program, faculty, students, and practitioners. As the participants recall their experiences, Martin’s quiet passion had a powerful influence: He’s a very sensitive warm caring sweet guy and I think that that’s one of those characteristics [he] fit into us. How most of us who came through [the] program...people I respect, have some of those qualities, not all and not finely honed as Martin’s, but there’s a certain sincerity, a certain Minnesota ethic. Honestly I think integrity, that has always been a thread of the program.

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My experience with him as an instructor was he was quiet... He was very thoughtful and he would listen... and he was quiet, he wouldn’t say a lot, he would draw a lot. I remember you would sketch a lot of your desk, but you didn’t talk a lot. He wouldn’t give you long verbal critiques, he would ask leading questions, beyond just the, “Why did you do that,” and say that’s the end. He always prefaced something by saying, “well, that’s a really good thought, how can you take it a little further?” Martin was so passionate about his work and he just did it with a real soft touch, it was truly amazing how he could influence people and frankly the older I get, the farther I get into this profession,the more I respect his influence in that. His key attributes were his kindness, patience, and his integrity. He just brought such a richness into the studio when I was a student and then that same quality, or his same attributes of high quality attention to details and integrity, carried through in my relationship with him. One of the things that I valued the most coming out of that program was a level of confidence and at the same time a level of humility because with those professors those instructors in school who are enormously talented. In so many ways they gave me confidence that I could do whatever I wanted to do and they, I think that they built on the strengths of the individual and the personality of the individual. Several participants described both Roger Martin and his close colleague and friend Roger Clemence’s personal values in shaping the ethos of the program: …they set the pattern, they set the tone and it all comes from leadership whether the bullying culture is going to hold sway or whether a more humane apathetic culture is going to take sway. One of the interesting things about Martin’s pedagogy is that he’s an extremely kind person and he


was never going to give anybody what I would call a brutal critique. His critiques were always more about getting you to figure out what you wanted to express and say, gentle guidance, and he absolutely wasn’t going to give you any answers. It’s always about trying to coach you to think through what you’re trying to accomplish. He was pretty important for nurturing. Not just all students, but you know maybe women, that he didn’t have that sort of macho “sink or swim” attitude. I certainly think was a good model to follow between him and Roger Clemence, who was always a cheerleader. It was just a way of interacting with the students that was respectful, and kind and encouraging. Not having to take somebody down. Participants reported that the nurturing characteristics of Martin, Clemence, and other early leaders of the program influenced their education and were embedded into the foundation of the program. Ms. McMillan summarizes Martin’s in her thesis, “I hope that I have provided a window through which more people will understand the quiet ways in which [Martin] has contributed to the profession and shaped our landscape “(1997, p. 92). CONCLUSION The McMillan oral history project and interviews recorded in Minnesota architectural and landscape architectural trade magazines laid the foundation to describe Roger Martin’s goals for the landscape architecture program at the University of Minnesota as the program’s first Chair. Martin’s goals for educating future landscape architects and elevating the discipline of landscape architecture in the state of Minnesota were also evident in the narratives of the graduates who participated in this qualitative inquiry. Their narratives suggest Martin’s goals are underpinned into the foundation of the program to not only develop skilled designers, but artful problem solvers and skilled collaborators who believe in serving the public good.

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References Baird, T. & Szczygiel, B. (2007). Sociology of professions: The evolution of landscape architecture in the United States, Landscape Review, 12(1), 3-25. Chistensen, C. (2012). Roger Martin oral history, ASLA-MN Legacy Project. MN Legacy Fund, MN Historical Society, and ASLA-MN Fellows Favour, J. (2019, Summer). Roger Martin: Leaving a legacy: Reflections on Roger Martin, FASLA. _Scape, 12-13. Howett, C. (1998, January). Ecological Values in Twentieth-Century Landscape Design: A History and Hermeneutics. Landscape Journal, 17(2), 80-98. Kudalis, E. (1988, July). Roger Martin: Mulling over the terrain. Architecture Minnesota,14(4),61-64. Lincoln, Y.S. & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. McMillan, A. H. (2005, March). Roger Martin: A pioneering Minnesota landscape architect looks back on his career. Architecture Minnesota, 31,17,67,69. McMillan, A. (1997). Roger Martin: The Education of a Landscape Architect. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Pitz, M. (2019, Summer). Roger Martin: Leaving a legacy: Reflections on Roger Martin, FASLA. _Scape, 8-11. Raver, A. (2000, September 25). Hideo Sasaki, 80, Influential Landscape Architect, Dies, The New York Times, B9.

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Jane King Hession

The Rapson Years, 1954 to 1984 Author Biography Jane King Hession, MArch 1995, is a Minneapolisbased architectural historian specializing in modernism. Jane coauthored the book Ralph Rapson: Sixty Year of Modern Design (1999) and served as Rapson’s archivist. Abstract Architect and educator Ralph Rapson was the longest-serving head of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. During three decades of leadership, the School gained a national reputation for the superior quality of its graduates. Concurrently, as a practicing architect, Rapson led a firm responsible for the design of several noted Twin Cities buildings including the original Tyrone Guthrie Theatre and Cedar-Riverside. Keywords Ralph Rapson, University of Minnesota, Modern Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Case Study House program, Tyrone Guthrie Theatre introduction In 1954, architect and educator Ralph Rapson, FAIA (1914–2008) became the third (and youngest) head of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. During his thirty-year tenure, the longest to date, he reorganized the curriculum and faculty structure of the school with the goal of better preparing students for the rigors of professional practice. In the process, the school gained a national reputation for producing well-trained students with excellent drawing skills. Under his auspices, the school moved into its first dedicated


building on Church Street SE (designed by School of Architecture graduates Roy Thorshov and Robert Cerny) in 1960. Six years later, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) was established. When Rapson arrived in Minnesota, he brought with him an impressive resume. It included time teaching at the New Bauhaus in Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, designs for several embassy buildings in Europe for the US Department of State, and participation in the seminal Case Study House Program (1945), one of the twentieth century’s most important experiments in postwar housing. Unlike his predecessors at the University––Frederick M. Mann and Roy Childs Jones, who shepherded the school through the Depression, two world wars, and a stalled economy––Rapson assumed leadership during a prosperous time in American history; the economy was thriving, building was booming, and skilled architects were in demand. He was (relatively) free to focus his energies on building a superior program renowned for training high quality graduates. Background A native of Alma, Michigan, Rapson’s architectural education and early professional work occurred entirely in the Midwest. But it was profoundly shaped by several leading European artists and architects of the modern movement, with whom Rapson had the good fortune to study and work. After completing two years at Alma College, he earned his B.Arch from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1938. His formative training coin-

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cided with a shift in architectural education away from the tenets of Beaux-Arts classicism towards one shaped by European modernism, including the International Style. Rapson later cited Le Corbusier’s radical rethinking of structure and free interior planning, as a profound influence on his own design thinking, as were the artists and architects of the Dutch de Stijl movement. He admired Gerrit Rietveld’s Schroeder House (1924) in Utrecht and revisited the concept of an asymmetrical, layered facade for the original screen of the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre (1963, demolished 2006) in Minneapolis.

school, which encouraged students to explore a variety of artistic disciplines and “learn by doing,” but imposed no grades or formal classes. This approach worked well for Rapson who was born with a deformed right arm that required amputation below the elbow at birth. The disability made some tasks required of an architecture student, such as model making, virtually impossible for Rapson. Cranbrook’s unstructured curriculum allowed him to express his architectural ideas in myriad ways, including furniture design, and to develop the individualistic, fluid rendering style for which he would become known.

During his senior year at Michigan, he submitted a competition entry for the George G. Booth Traveling Fellowship for graduate studies in architecture. Although he did not win the competition, his submission came to the attention of Finnish architect and city planner, Eliel Saarinen, who was then president of Cranbrook Academy of Art in nearby Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Saarinen recognized Rapson’s talent and awarded him a twoyear scholarship for graduate study in urban planning at Cranbrook.

At Cranbrook, Rapson was first exposed to the concept of architect as educator, as exemplified by Eliel Saarinen, who led the school and ran the practice, Saarinen and Saarinen, in Bloomfield Hills. Work on firm projects often overflowed from the office to the Cranbrook studios, thereby affording students the opportunity to do professional work while still in school; a useful experience in Rapson’s view. For the Saarinens, he worked on several national competitions including one for the William and Mary Festival Theatre and Fine Arts Center (1939) in Williamsburg, Virginia, for which he created the presentation drawings. Although it was not built, the firm’s winning submission represented the first time a building of modern design was selected for an American college campus.

The Cranbrook experience expanded Rapson’s world view and profoundly shaped the designer, architect, and educator he would become. Often described as the cradle of American modernism, Cranbrook was an incubator for creative talent during the late 1930s and early ’40s. Faculty members included an international array of accomplished individuals including Swedish sculptor Carl Milles and Italian-born metal craftsman Harry Bertoia. In addition to Eliel Saarinen, Finland was represented by architect Eero Saarinen, ceramist Maija Grotell, and textile artists Marianne Strengell and Loja Saarinen. Students included such future luminaries of the modern movement as Charles Eames, Harry Weese, and Ben Baldwin. Rapson thrived in the artistically-fertile environment of the multidisciplinary arts and crafts

In Chicago, Rapson embarked on a life-long, dual career as an architect and educator. In 1942, he opened his own office, Ralph Rapson Architect, after brief stints in the offices of Schweikert and Lamb Architects and George Fred Keck Architects. At the same time, he served as head of architectural curriculum at the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design) under the direction of Hungarian émigré László Moholy-Nagy, who had previously taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. The progressive school attracted an impressive roster of visiting faculty and lecturers including architects Walter Gropius, Ludwig

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Mies van der Rohe, structural innovator R. Buckminster Fuller, and artists Man Ray, Georges Braques, and Fernand Léger. Rapson also collaborated with Moholy-Nagy on several projects including train car designs for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad company, and a series of striking exhibit displays for the United States Gypsum company. Four years later, he moved to Boston to become an assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT under Dean William Wurster. In addition to running an architectural practice in Cambridge, Rapson and his wife Mary opened Rapson-Inc., a store near Copley Square in Boston that sold contemporary household furnishings and other objects created by artists and architects. The shop stocked textiles by Angelo Testa, lighting by Kurt Versen, George Nelson clocks, and modern furniture by Knoll, Herman Miller, and Rapson himself. The store paved the way for similar local enterprises, notably Benjamin Thompson’s Design Research, which opened three years later. Rapson’s “love affair” with chairs––he sketched hundreds of imaginative designs over the course of his life––began at Cranbrook. Chair design was a popular pursuit among students, many of whom would go on to create lines for the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company (later Knoll). The open studio system encouraged collaboration and experimentation with new materials and methods of construction, including bent plywood, metal fabrication, and webbed and woven upholstery. Rapson telegraphed the potential comfort and utility of his chairs in engaging drawings that depicted a cast of characters, usually fashionably-clad women, reclining in his creations. In 1945, Rapson became the first Cranbook alumnus invited by Florence Schust Knoll (a former student at the Kingswood School for Girls at Cranbrook) to design an eponymous line of furniture for Knoll. The “Rapson Line,” a collection of armchairs and rockers, debuted in 1945. It was promoted nationally in a series of ingenious ads by graphic artist Alvin Lustig. Rapson continued to design chairs


until the end of his life. In 2007, a year before his death, his lounge chair won Blu Dot/Dwell magazine’s design competition; it went into production the follow year. Rapson’s national profile was raised in 1945 when he became the youngest of nine architects, including Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Richard Neutra, and William Wurster, invited to participate in the Case Study House program in postwar housing. The forward-thinking, well-publicized program was the brainchild of John Entenza, editor of the California-based Arts and Architecture magazine. The program challenged participants to envision new designs, materials, and construction methods for the American family house of the future, meaning the imminent postwar years when building restrictions would be lifted and construction resumed. Unlike his fellow Case Study architects, who selected spacious Pacific coast lots for their building sites, Rapson chose an urban, infill parcel, which he challenged his design to improve. The Greenbelt House, or Case Study House #4, derived its name from the “greenbelt” or multiuse strip of nature that bisected the two pavilions of the house. Although not originally built, a fullscale model of the house was constructed in 1989 for the exhibit Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Beginning in 1951, Rapson gave architectural form to a new generation of postwar American embassies abroad. As an architect for the US State Department’s Foreign Buildings Operations, Rapson and his partner, John Van der Meulen, designed nine embassy projects, including the award-winning US Embassy Office Buildings in Stockholm and Copenhagen, and embassy staff apartments in Boulogne, Neuilly, and Le Havre in France. In their efficiency and modernity, the buildings became emblematic of America’s new emerging presence in postwar Europe.

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They also demonstrated the appropriateness of modern materials and structural systems to the construction of diplomatic enclaves. The US Embassy Office Building in Stockholm (1954) utilized a structural frame of reinforced concrete, and glass and aluminum curtain wall construction, which allowed the building to be remarkably transparent and accessible. Collectively, the buildings became postwar models for American embassy design because they functioned efficiently as office buildings and symbolically as friendly, open diplomatic headquarters. Ralph Rapson as Educator: University of Minnesota In 1954 when Ralph Rapson became professor and head the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota, it had an enrollment of approximately 200 students, was housed on two floors of the engineering building, and, administratively, was still a part of the Institute of Technology under the leadership of Dean Athelstan F. Spilhaus. Rapson was hired at a salary of $11,000. In his negotiations with Spilhaus, Rapson made clear a condition for his employment was that he be allowed to maintain an outside architectural practice, and that his faculty be free to do the same. Spilhaus agreed, but made clear that “parttime faculty, no less than full-time, must take their academic responsibilities seriously.”11 The caveat was rooted in Rapson’s belief that a balanced architectural education was one in which students were taught both by academics who were engaged in ongoing research and theoretical explorations, and practitioners who were actively designing and working in the field. He labored toward building an effective equilibrium of the two throughout his academic career. Full-time faculty members in place when Rapson arrived included Robert Bliss, Walter Vivrett (both former students of Rapson’s at MIT) and Harlan 1

“Ralph Rapson on Architectural Education,” Lee Tollefson interview with Ralph Rapson, May 12, 1984, collection of the author.

McClure, all three of whom taught design, Donald Heath, who taught materials, and historian Frederick Koeper. Adjunct faculty included architects Brooks Cavin, Robert Cerny, Carl Graffunder, and Norman Nagle. Early on Rapson augmented the full-time faculty with the appointments of structural systems theorist Heinrich Engel, landscape architect Roger Martin, historian George Winterowd, Gunter Dittmar and John Myers (design), Robert Diedrich (materials), and Hosni Iskander and Richard Peterson (planning). Over his career, Rapson hired a long list of practicing architects to teach part time; the first was James Stageberg. In shaping his own philosophy of architectural education, Rapson drew from the strengths of his teachers, particularly Eliel Saarinen and László Moholoy-Nagy. He argued, an architecture school was not a “trade school,” but a place where students should become as well-versed in the social sciences––a key to understanding human behavior, psychology, and aspirations––as he or she was in the “building blocks of architecture––physics, calculus, mechanics, history, structures and materials.”2 2For this reason, Rapson favored a multidisciplinary approach to architectural training and for more than a decade strove to unite programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and industrial design within a College of Environmental Design. Although the initiative did not succeed, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) was founded in 1966. Twenty-three years later, it became the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA). In 2006, the College of Design (CDes) was established. Although its departmental composition was not the same as that of Rapson’s unrealized College of Environmental Design proposed in the 1960s, it brought together several design disciplines within a single college. In addition to architecture and landscape architecture, CDes encompassed programs in apparel design, graphic 2

“Goals of Professional Education,” for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, October 1955. Ralph Rapson Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis

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design, housing studies, interior design, product design, and retail merchandising. Rapson believed drawing was a critically important skill for an architect to possess. For that reason, drawing mastery became an important educational goal. “Drawing embodies the process by which students of architecture learn to think conceptually. A student’s ability to analyze information and convey ideas with pencil and paper is directly related to his or her ability to produce exciting, creative solutions,” he explained.33 Rapson was so successful in training students to skillfully communicate essential concepts through renderings, that drawing became a widely acknowledged hallmark of the school. The school’s strong reputation in that regard propelled many students into highly-competitive graduate schools and/or the employ of the nation’s top architecture firms. One testament to the quality of graduates during Rapson’s tenure, was that twenty-two of his students won the Rotch Traveling Scholarship, an annual competitive award for travel and study abroad, over a thirty-year period. Additionally, seven Rapson-era students received the prestigious Rome Prize, which underwrites residency and study at the American Academy in Rome. Rapson tried to broaden the student educational experience in as many ways as possible. Travel, he argued, was one important road to that goal. In 1966, the School of Architecture study abroad program was initiated when Professor John S. Myers led a group of students to Rome for a semester of study. Over the ensuing years, numerous faculty members guided return trips to Rome and other European destinations. In 1981, Rapson accompanied the first group of students to the People’s Republic of China. The Study Abroad program remains in effect today. He also believed students benefitted from exposure to a broad spectrum of ideas about architectural theory and practice. To that end, he invited a 3


“Goals of Professional Education.”

host of visiting lecturers and critics to the school. Among the most memorable were architect Frank Lloyd Wright, architectural historian Siegfried Giedion, and R. Buckminster Fuller. In addition to lecturing, Fuller conceived “Minniearth,” a threeyear studio project, on which he worked with students, that was a complex geodesic representation of the earth’s geographical features. Rapson did not view the School of Architecture as an isolated entity. Instead, he insisted on interaction between the school and the community. He encouraged students to become involved with urban design and political issues related to the architectural fabric of the Twin Cities. Rapson, himself, was a presence on numerous boards, commissions, and long-range planning committees, locally and nationally, and served on architectural advisory boards for the Federal Reserve and the Foreign Buildings Operations of the US State Department. He was also active in professional architecture organizations, serving as the President of AIA Minnesota (formerly MSAIA) and the Minnesota Architectural Foundation. He received several awards that recognized his contributions to teaching including the 1987 ACSA/ AIA Topaz Medallion for excellence in architectural education. In his thirty years as head of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota (the only one in the state at the time), Rapson trained a generation of Minnesota architects, many of whom went on to found or lead firms of their own, head architecture schools across the nation, and design hundreds of important buildings locally, nationally, and internationally. The positive effects of Rapson’s architectural legacy continue to be felt in successor firms today. Ralph Rapson as Architect: Ralph Rapson and Associates Concurrent to heading the School of Architecture, Rapson ran the successful and prolific firm, Ralph

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Rapson and Associates, in Minneapolis. His dual role as architect and educator led to a close association, in the view of the community and potential clients, between the School of Architecture and Rapson’s own firm; one not unlike the blurred distinction between the Cranbrook studios and the office of Saarinen and Saarinen in the late 1930s and early ‘40s. As an architect, Rapson is best known for his high-profile design of the original Tyrone Guthrie Theatre (1963) in Minneapolis. The selection of Minneapolis as the location for a new professional repertory theater put the city on the national cultural map. His design for an asymmetrical theater house with a thrust stage, became a prototype for the American regional theater. Of equal note was the fanciful, layered screen, composed of solids and voids, that wrapped the building like a mask, and hinted at the theatrical magic within. The building, which was widely published in the architectural and general press, was demolished in 2006. The success of the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, generated other theater-related work for Rapson, including a Performing Arts Center for the University of California, Santa Cruz (1971); Rarig Center for the Performing Arts and Radio-Television Facility, a multi-theater complex on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota campus (1972); and the Humanities and Fine Arts Center for the University of Minnesota, Morris (1973). Rapson’s diversified practice also included religious architecture and residential work. Beginning in the late 1950s, he designed a series of small churches each as unique as the congregation it served. The first was St. Peter’s Church (1959) in Edina, designed in the round to accommodate the congregation’s liturgical philosophy of gathering around the Lord’s table. Rapson placed the sanctuary under a star-shaped roof formed by eight steeply-pitched, glass-filled gables. For Prince of Peace Lutheran Church for the Deaf (1959, demolished 2007) in St. Paul, Rapson planned a sanctuary in which lighting and sight lines would per-

mit parishioners to see the pastor and a signer during services. Other local churches include Hope Lutheran Church (1971) in Minneapolis, and St. Thomas Aquinas Church (1972) in St. Paul Park. Rapson’s first house in Minnesota was the William G. Shepherd House (1956) in University Grove, a University of Minnesota-owned neighborhood of faculty housing in Falcon Heights. The flat-roofed, small-budget, modern house was composed of simple, glass-walled volumes, one of which appeared to float above another––a signature Rapson element. It was one of nine houses he designed in the Grove. Other modest residential commissions included the Ian and Betty Poole House (1958) in Chanhassen, and the Meech House (1958) in Minnetonka. Clients with generous budgets also sought out Rapson to design their homes. Two of those houses, “Longshadows,” or the Markel Brooks House (1961), and the Philip and Eleanor Pillsbury House (1963) were designed for generous lots on the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata. The plan of the 11,000-square-foot Pillsbury House was inspired by Rapson’s interest in Cubism at the time. Specifically, the idea of taking a form, breaking it apart, and reassembling it in a novel way. As a result, the whole of the plan was broken into five separate living pavilions interconnected by glass-walled bridges. The house was demolished for new construction in 1997. In 1974 Rapson designed the Glass Cube, a vacation home for him and his family on a bluff above the Apple River in Amery, Wisconsin. He challenged himself to construct the simple inexpensive house out of off-the-shelf materials and stock items. It consisted of an exterior structural wood framework within which a cube of glass walls was recessed. A second-floor sleeping loft was suspended from the ceiling; from the interior of the Cube, 360-degree views of the rural landscape were visible. The Cube remains in the Rapson family today.

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Cedar-Riverside (1973) in Minneapolis was one of Rapson’s most complex and controversial projects. The project’s original goal was both ambitious and idealistic––the design of a large-scale, high-density urban community in which people of all ages, races, and incomes could live together. Buildings varied in height and scale, units featured an array of floor plans, and rents ranged from subsidized and low-income levels to market rate. Public amenities included daycare, healthcare, and community spaces, as well as landscaped public parks. The complex, which received $24 million in federal loans, was the nation’s first US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-sponsored New Town-In Town. Ultimately, only a portion of the original fifty-six-acre master plan, known as Cedar Square West, was built. Riverside Plaza, as the complex is now known, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

references Lee Tollefson interview with Ralph Rapson Ralph Rapson on Architectural Education. May 12, 1984, collection of the author. Rapson, Ralph. “Goals of Professional Education,” lecture notes for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, October 1955. Ralph Rapson Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis AIA Gold Medal Award Recipients in Gold Medal, aia-minnesota-awards/gold-medal/

During his long career, Ralph Rapson received many honors that recognized his singular architectural and educational contributions. In 1979, he became the first recipient of AIA Minnesota’s Gold Medal, given in to an architect whose work has had a “significant, positive impact on the Minnesota architecture community and culture.”4 In recognition of his ongoing commitment to architectural education, on his retirement from the University in 1984 friends and colleagues created a fund in his honor to partially endow the Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship. The Fellowship program, which is administered through the Minnesota Architectural Foundation, offers the opportunity for young Minnesota architects to deepen their education through domestic or international travel. Lastly, in an enduring tribute to Rapson’s enormous architectural legacy at the University of Minnesota, the School of Architecture’s expanded building (including an addition by architect Steven Holl), was rededicated and named Ralph Rapson Hall in 2002.



“Gold Medal,”

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Marilyn DeLong

Joanne B. Eicher, PhD: A Culture and Diversity Visionary Professor, Department Head, Regents Professor AUTHOR Biography

ence of Joanne Eicher on this significant aspect of the College.

Marilyn DeLong, PhD is Professor of Apparel Studies in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. She has served for 27 years in various administrative roles at the University of Minnesota, from Director of Graduate Studies to Associate Dean. Scholarly research is focused upon design history, aesthetics, material culture and activism related to design, societal and cultural trends. DeLong is author of numerous books including The Way We Look, Dress and Aesthetics and Color and Design, and research articles in such venues as Fashion Theory, Clothing Cultures, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, Senses & Society, Textile, Qualitative Market Research, and Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. DeLong has been coeditor of Fashion Practice, a journal focusing on global sustainability, from its inception in 2009. She has given keynote and/or research presentations in Spain, France, Portugal, England, Denmark, Brazil, South Korea, and throughout the USA and China. She has been named Fellow in two professional organizations, International Textiles and Apparel Association,and Costume Society of America. Abstract The College of Design is a special place and during this 15-year anniversary, it is fitting to examine our origins. Understanding our roots helps us to understand how we have come together as a group of faculty, students and staff to make a College that recognizes and stands for excellence. Part of our uniqueness is our emphasis on cultural influences on design and this essay outlines the influ-

Keywords History, culture, visionary, diversity, Regents professor introduction The first time I met Joanne Eicher, I was a graduate student working on a master’s degree at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. An excited Department Head, Dr. Mary Gephart, let me know that an anthropologist was soon to be hired on the faculty in the Department of Textiles and Clothing. She proclaimed that Joanne Eicher would come that summer, and I should consider taking a Directed Study with her. I took her advice and when I met Joanne, she was bubbly and amenable to working with me one-on-one. I remember one of the readings she assigned was The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by sociologist, Erving Goffman. From that moment onward, with Joanne’s infectious enthusiasm and the cultural thrust she advocated, I became fascinated with this sociological perspective, even though eventually, my focus became history and aesthetics. Fast forward to 1976: After finishing my Master of Arts, and later completion of my doctorate at the Ohio State University, I moved to the Twin Cities and started teaching in the Department of Textiles and Clothing in McNeal Hall. The department was searching for a new head, as Dr. Margaret (Polly) Grindereng had recently stepped down, and Dean Keith McFar-

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land was serving as Interim Head. One of the final candidates invited for an interview was Dr. Joanne Eicher, professor on the faculty at Michigan State University. Eicher had become a renowned Africanist –having lived in Nigeria for three years and writing and teaching about African dress and textiles. She, along with her colleague Mary Ellen Roach Higgins at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, co-authored an impressive number of books and manuscripts that succeeded in bringing a significant and much needed cultural orientation to the field of Textiles and Clothing. Books co-authored by Roach and Eicher included Dress and Adornment (1965) and The Visible Self (1975) and very quickly these books became foundational in textile and clothing curricular programs across the country. At the time of her interview, Eicher was a single mother of three daughters, and the oldest, Cynthia, was in high school. Eicher thought that a move to a new position was not strategic nor timely for her or her daughters. Tentative about moving, she declined the initial invitation to interview and withdrew her credentials. Nevertheless, Dean Keith McFarland persisted, and she came for an interview, but did not consent to take the position as Department Head of Textiles and Clothing until after a second visit and interview. I remember when Dean McFarland announced to the department faculty that Joanne had been persuaded to come to Minnesota as the new Head of Textiles and Clothing. Cheers of delight went up and down the hallways. For faculty, this seemed a very positive turn of events. The Department was growing. Between 1961 and 1979 the number of students who majored in textiles and clothing increased from 38 to 257 (Journey Home, 1998). A new leader would help us to prosper. By 1977, Eicher started her leadership position and the Department of Textiles and Clothing was primed to become nationally prominent. Retail merchandising was thriving with Dr. Grindereng’s


experience in retailing and academic training, and the hire of a former Sr. Vice President of Dayton-Hudson, Sam Druy. Textiles specialists, Drs. Robert Johnson and Peter Brown, added their research and teaching expertise. Faculty conducted robust research, and they served national and international professional organizations. The importance of achieving national recognition became a goal among individual faculty members. Faculty participated in the International Textile and Apparel Association and were encouraged to publish in many prestigious academic journals and to present papers globally; this created a groundswell among faculty who also gained an international reputation. Through a continuing and strong graduate program, and a coordinated approach to the land grant mission of teaching, research and service, national prominence was achieved. And now the part about being the culture and diversity visionary: When Dr. Gertrude Esteros retired as department head of Design in 1980, Dean McFarland had assumed the position of Interim Head of Design. During this time, universities across the country as well as the University of Minnesota were declaring fiscal exigencies due to the national recession. Every college was determined to survive, and Dean McFarland approached and convinced Eicher to become department head of a merged department of Textiles and Clothing and Design. Two faculty from the Department of Family Social Science, Becky Yust and Wanda Olson, joined DHA, as a result of other reorganization in the college. In 1983, the newly formed Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel (DHA) offered both masters and PhD graduate degree programs and six undergraduate programs: applied design and visual communication, costume design, housing, interior design, retail merchandising, and textiles and clothing. A commercial illustration two-year certificate was transferred from the Department of

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Studio Arts to DHA and was integrated into the applied design and visual communication major. Until 1987, the Department Head also served as Director of the Goldstein Gallery. During Eicher’s leadership, twelve exhibitions were mounted, and she established a separate operating budget for the Goldstein, delineated collection curators’ roles and responsibilities, initiated keynote lectures to accompany exhibition openings, and oversaw the production of a catalog of the Goldstein collections. The Goldstein grew and flourished, becoming a destination for the Friends of the Goldstein for Sunday afternoon openings, and popular exhibitions designed by Dr. Timothy Trent Blade, with lighting design by Rodney Schwartz, at the time a graduate student. As Eicher prepared to leave the headship of DHA, she organized funding for a separate director position for the Goldstein. A national search resulted in Dr. Marla Berns being hired as the first full-time director. Eicher was a visionary leader in many subtle ways as well. She enjoyed counseling students and faculty. She was a born collaborator and with her ability to negotiate, she established a solid and enduring community among faculty and staff. At the same time, she continued to pursue her own research and publications and encouraged faculty to pursue their creative academic scholarship as well. Soon the department became known not only for undergraduate degrees that led to professional positions, but also for graduate programs that landed PhD graduates at tenure-track faculty and administrative positions across the country. (see Figure 1 and insert here). When Eicher stepped down as Department Head in 1987 to return to the faculty, she took her administrative leave at Oxford University, where she established acquaintances with international colleagues who would lead her to engage in exemplary publishing positions and in symposia held at Oxford. She launched the editorship for the Dress, Body Culture series in 1994 and a later series,

Dress and Fashion Research in 2013. In retirement, she became Editor in Chief of the ten volume Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (2010) with nine volumes focused on geographic areas and the tenth on global perspectives.

Figure 1.Pictured left to right: Jane Hegland, Carolyn Flowers, Paula Sampson, Ann Marie Fiore, Elizabeth Bye, Edith Gazzuolo, Catherine Cerny, Joanne Eicher, Susan Michelman, Karen LaBat, Marilyn DeLong, Susan Ashdown. (Photo courtesy of Marilyn DeLong) Background: A forward look Eicher grew up as the daughter of a Lutheran minister, George C. Bubolz. He was a formidable presence in her life and an engaging conversationalist with an infectious wit and curiosity. He carried his part of a conversation as part philosopher and part Renaissance man—willing to try many activities--not at all what you would expect of a minister. He was a perfect guide for Eicher’s endeavors and offered frequent advice, but then let her decide whether she would take it. After her mother died in 1968, Joanne introduced her father to a friend and faculty colleague at Michigan State University, Dr. Margaret Jacobson, and the two eventually married. Dr. Margaret Bubolz succeeded in becoming a first-rate step grandmother to Joanne’s and her brother’s children.

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Eicher’s family background served her well, as she was always encouraged to take risks and was supported in whatever the outcome might be. Eicher flourished at the University of Minnesota, and was ultimately bestowed its most prestigious award, Regents Professorship, in 1995. The award recognized both her teaching and research, and their integration. As a Teacher Eicher came to the University of Minnesota with an established reputation as a scholar whose teaching focused on the art and sociocultural meaning of dress and African dress and textiles. She continued teaching her African dress course at Minnesota and introduced graduate courses on dress and gender, field research methods, dress, race, class and gender, and the sociocultural literature of dress, which resulted in co-edited books, Dress and Gender (1992), Dress and Ethnicity (1995), and Fashion Foundations (2003). Throughout her teaching and advising, she encouraged graduate students to collaborate on Kalabari research with others conducting research on dress in Somalia and Cote d’Ivoire. She taught two undergraduate courses, Cultural Perspectives of Dress and Culture and Society, leading to revisions of The Visible Self (2000, 2008, 2014). As a Researcher At Michigan State, Eicher’s African research resulted in a volume, Nigerian Handcrafted Textiles (1976) and a Bibliography on African Dress (1969), that was expanded after arriving at Minnesota to a second co-edited bibliography (1985). At Minnesota, she began Nigerian fieldwork in 1980, returning to the Niger Delta area to conduct research on the Kalabari people. Her cultural focus led to her collect African textiles (see Figure 2) and write a book for National Geographic, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood (2005) and co-editing The Anthropology of Dress and Fashion: A Reader (2019).


Figure 2 Joanne Eicher surrounded by her African textiles. Photo courtesy of Patrick O’Leary As an Influence on Students Thus far, this essay is based on my perspective as an early student of Eicher’s that included experiences occurring before she arrived and as a faculty member at Minnesota. However, she has been a significant influence to many University of Minnesota students, particularly those whom she mentored most closely, the graduate students she advised. I sent a request to former graduate students of Eicher and asked for them to write to me about their advisor on the following: their relationship to her and her cultural perspective; her ability to integrate research and teaching; and, the impact of her cultural perspective on students. From the 18 responses I received, I selected ones that represented their perspectives well. To maintain anonymity, I have included only their initials.

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Relationship with their advisor, Joanne Eicher, and her cultural perspective “I first heard of Joanne Bubolz Eicher in 1973 when I took a History of Costume course at California State University, Chico. Her edited publication Dress, Adornment and the Social Order (1965) was one of our textbooks and would inspire me . . . to create a Special Major to study the sociocultural aspects of dress and adornment in Mexico. At the time, this was a rarely pursued field of study and I was on my own to investigate how social and cultural identity was woven into clothing, a form of non-verbal communication that had been in existence the world over for centuries. Little did I know, my passion for how textiles and clothing communicate would bring me to Dr. Eicher’s doorstep 14 years later. She would become my advisor in pursuit of a PhD in one of the most reputable Textiles and Clothing programs in the nation—in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel at the University of Minnesota.” FA “I met Joanne Eicher Winter Quarter 1995 when I enrolled in her class, “Cultural Perspectives in Dress.” I was returning to the University as a nontraditional undergraduate having left many years earlier. I talked to Dr. Eicher before the quarter began since I was lacking the course prerequisite(s) and needed her permission to enroll. Thus, began an intense infatuation with all things academic and dress: culture, aesthetics, sociology, history, and so much more. Joanne’s classes always had interesting assignments and wonderful books to read that consistently provided several connections to course concepts, and all are still on my bookshelves. But I also learned a great deal by observing Joanne: her teaching style, her interactions with others, her inclusivity, her objectivity, her nonjudgmental approach to all. She brought so much to the students in her classes, and I’m sad that current students don’t have the same opportunities. I tried to bring those qualities to my own teaching and advising honors students. I’m so pleased that I still hear from several of them as does Joanne when she hears from former students.” HB

Her ability to integrate research and teaching “As an instructor, Joanne Eicher encouraged consideration of global and ethnic fashions and the study of the reciprocal influence of these, shared with western fashion markets. The understanding of the influence of culture on styles and trends is critical for product design and apparel design students, and Eicher’s emphasis on elements related to both fashion and commerce—such as politics and religion— gave design students a solid foundation as they graduated into the apparel industry.” DM “As I look back over my teaching and publishing career, the driving force in my work, largely drawn from my doctoral studies with Joanne Eicher, has been to expand the understanding of the role and impact of the cultural meaning of dress in both reinforcing and challenging norms and behaviors. The multidimensional cultural reckoning of 2020 has compelled us to simultaneously face and address the impact of the world pandemic alongside our own racist history. Scholarship and teaching focused on the role of dress and appearance in empowering individuals to work for change has intensified in relevance and value. Since I graduated from the University of Minnesota, the fashion industry has also played a strong role in refashioning and opening up gender identity not just on the runway but also within communities and on campuses across the country.” LA. “Joanne B. Eicher demonstrated the intersections of research and teaching frequently when I was her teaching assistant during graduate school for the Culture and Dress course. In the course, we introduced students to dress from around the world, from cultures and subcultures. Eicher brought in her own research experiences with the Kalabari of the Ijaw people living in the Eastern Niger Delta region of Nigeria in West Africa and Hmong diaspora dress and festivals. She also invited in guest speakers to discuss their research with various cultures and with dress broadly understood, ranging

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from Indian madras trade, to Italian coral jewelry, to Japanese Harajuku subcultural dress. She also brought in artifacts from her West African Textile Collection and global examples of dress and textiles from the Goldstein Museum collection. Eicher’s passion for cultural dress research was infectious, where students were excited to conduct their own research about cultural dress beyond their own experiences and the Western fashion system.” WT Impact of her cultural perspective “Perhaps it was no mistake that my path crossed with Dr. Eicher. Her guidance propelled me on a trajectory of textile museum work that led to a remarkable and unexpected 24-year career. She had continually told me to “not borrow trouble” when I worried what kind of job I would be eligible for. And now, retired after working for the National Park Service in Historic Preservation and Museum Management, it is Dr. Eicher who most inspired me to see what is not right in front of you. She instilled in me a passion for looking beyond the obvious and to always reach for your goals.” FA “From a research perspective, Eicher’s prominence as an ethnographer was vital to my own program, with both material culture and symbolic interaction forming key elements of my graduate studies. The importance of identity and aspects thereof, as related to dress and textiles, resides at the core of my current inquiry into film costume. This foundation was laid in the graduate courses taught by Joanne Eicher, and will undoubtedly remain prominent in my future work.” DM “My work focused on raunch porn identity and fashions and my federal campus grants focused on decreasing gender violence on campus emanated first from a deep understanding of the role of dress and appearance in both dictating and/or policing gender norms but also as a potential transforming agent of change. Joanne’s contribution to the education of a set of scholars and teachers who were well versed and passionate about the cultural mean-


ing of dress set the stage for a legacy that will live long beyond all of us. As agents of change, our students will continue our work to transform the industry as well as our streets and communities by a deep understanding that as we use our bodies and our apparel to perform a range of diverse identities we quite literally refashion the world we live in.” LA “Joanne Eicher taught by example the value of living in the community where textiles were being studied for it was through her extensive personal connections that I learned about pelete bite textiles in Buguma. For me, the serendipity of discovering boxes of textiles made by artists of different cultural backgrounds collected by Buguma families for funeral celebrations, opened my eyes to the importance of understanding the cultural context of textile production associated with different ethnic groups..As Professor Emerita in the Departments of Anthropology and of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA, my soon to be published book Death and the Textile Industry in Nigeria (2021) builds upon a way of thinking about the ways that the dead work for the living. Focus is on three major themes: 1.the growth of city of Kaduna as a colonial construct which, as the capital of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, was organized by neighborhoods, by public cemeteries, and by industrial areas; 2. the establishment of textile mills in the industrial area and new ways of thinking about work and labor organization, time regimens, and health, particularly occupational ailments documented in mill clinic records; 3. the consequences of KTL mill workers’ deaths for the lives of their widows and children.” ER“ “For over 25 years I taught Dress and Culture to undergraduates, and also coedited two editions of a textbook, Meanings of Dress (Fairchild Publications, 2005; 1999). My graduate years with Dr. Eicher laid the foundation for the way I taught students to understand the relationship between dress and identity and, ultimately, the cultural meanings of dress and appearance.” MS

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

In Summary


Understanding our roots and history helps us understand that who we are is influenced by where we have been. This essay is a testament to what the future holds for the College of Design and that it will be determined by the recognition we have achieved in the past and what we are achieving today.

Barnes, R., & Eicher, J.B. (Eds.). (1992). Dress and gender: Making and meaning in cultural context. Oxford/Providence: Berg Publishers. (Reprinted in paperback, 1993).

Eicher is a visionary to whom we owe gratitude. I have called her “the culture and diversity vision☺ary” as I believe she stands out uniquely among our College visionaries we have chosen to recognize: Eicher contributed in her own way. As an anthropologist, her teaching and research focused on the cultural aspects of dress and, as we have witnessed through students’ testimonials, her focus had far reaching influence on her students and her profession. Her influence as an author of both popular and academic books is far reaching as well. Through her ability to network and connect with the hearts and souls of her writer collaborators, she became a prolific editor, with editions of book series and a 10-volume encyclopedia. As a prolific writer and researcher, her achievements were recognized with the bestowal of Regents Professor. Her legacy as a visionary lives on! Acknowledgements A hearty thank you to the former graduate students who contributed to this essay through their thoughtful reflections about Joanne Eicher. You are all much appreciated!

Eicher, J.B.Series Editor, Dress and Fashion Research, Bloomsbury Publishers, London. (2013-present) Editor in Chief, Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Berg Publishers, Oxford, with Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York. (2003-present) Ten volumes in print. Series Editor, Dress, Body, Culture, Berg Publishers, Oxford, now Bloomsbury, London. (1994-present) Eicher, J.B., & Evenson, S.L. (2014). The Visible Self: Global Perspectives on Dress, Culture and Society (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fairchild Publishers. Eicher, J.B., & Ling, L. (2005). Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood. Washington, D. C: National Geographic Society. Eicher, J.B. (Ed.). (1995). Dress and ethnicity: Change Across Space and Time. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers. (Reprinted in 1999). Eicher, J.B. (1976). Nigerian handcrafted textiles. IleIfe, Nigeria: University of Ife Press. Eicher, J.B. (1969). African dress: A selected and annotated bibliography of sub-Saharan countries. Lansing, MI: African Studies Center, Michigan State University. Goffman, Erving. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday. Gorrill, Darlene. (1998). Journey Home—College of Human Ecology, 1894-1996. Regents of the University of Minnesota.

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Johnson, K.K.P., Torntore, S.J., & Eicher, J.B. (Eds.). (2003). Fashion Foundations: Early Writings on Dress. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers. Luvaas, B. and Eicher, J.B. (Eds.). (2019). The Anthropology of Dress and Fashion: A Reader. London and New York: Bloomsbury. Roach, M.E., & Eicher, J.B. (1973). The visible self: Perspectives on dress. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Roach, M.E., & Eicher, J.B. (1965). Dress, adornment and the social order. New York: John Wiley and Sons. (Reprinted in paperback, 19


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

William J. Angell

Gertrude Esteros: An Early Design Leader Forged by Fire, Mockery, War, and a Desire to Explore and Serve Author Biography William J. Angell is Professor Emeritus of Housing Studies and Extension Housing Specialist, University of Minnesota. Gertrude Esteros was a member of the search committee when he was initially appointed Assistant Professor and Extension Housing Specialist in 1971 by the Minnesota Extension Service. He was integrated into the Design Department, headed by Esteros, in 1976. Much of his professional path was shaped by Dr. Esteros. He served as lead expert witness in state and federal criminal suits involving home improvement fraud and he served as Director of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Radon Training Center. Professor Angell is Past-President, American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). He was an invited member of the World Health Organization’s International Radon Project and chaired the Project’s Prevention and Mitigation Workgroup. He serves on a number of AARST national standards workgroups and is Chair of the Board of Directors of Cancer Survivors Against Radon. Abstract Gertrude Esteros’s escape from a massive forest fire and harassment as a non-English speaker set her on a course to be a profound national and international leader in design. Under her 30-year leadership as Head of the University’s Design Department, she built a faculty with international impact in research and creative production and founded the Goldstein

Museum of Design. She oversaw the evolution of specialized fields including costume design, housing, and interior design and laid the foundation for graphic design. She co-founded the Housing Education and Research Association and her early dedication to peace, human rights, and service, led her to co-launch an inner-city low-income housing organization, Project for Pride Living (PPL). PPL has rehabilitated and built thousands of homes across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and provided a vehicle for University of Minnesota students to learn skills in the field. Keywords Gertrude Esteros, human rights, design-related art, applied art, housing, costume design, graphic design, interior design, World War II, University of Minnesota, Project for Pride in Living INTRODUCTION Gertrude A. Esteros’s higher education career began at the University of Illinois in the late 1930s where, as a peace and human rights activist, she demonstrated her leadership as chair of the campus Peace Coordinating Committee and as a founding member of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Her desire to serve humankind was further reflected in her role as an American Red Cross volunteer in the southwest Pacific during World War II. In 1949, three years after joining faculty at the University of Minnesota, Esteros became Head of the Related Arts Division in the School of Home Economics. Over the next three decades, she laid a critical part of the foundation for the College of

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Design at the University of Minnesota by leading the transformation of the Related Arts Division into the Design Department. During her 34-year faculty tenure at the University, Esteros guided the faculty in developing curricula that produced graduates in specialized design fields including apparel design, graphic design, and interior design as well as housing studies. She led her faculty in creating a multi-disciplinary graduate program leading to a PhD in Design and a program of scholarly inquiry spanning research and creative production. Under her 30-year leadership as the Head of the Design Department1 , she fought for the creation of the Goldstein Gallery, now known as the Goldstein Museum of Design. She co-founded the predecessor organization of the Housing Education and Research Association, and a community-based, non-profit low-income housing developer, Project for Pride in Living. Background Gertrude Anna Esteros was born on October 1, 1914 in Cloquet, Minnesota2 to Finnish immigrant parents who named her Kerttu. Her father, a man of many capabilities and a strong thirst for knowledge, had no formal education. Her mother, Selma (Hietala) had three years of school before employment as a milkmaid and housekeeping assistant for a farm family in Finland (Saylor, 2003). Great Cloquet Fire of 1918 Within two weeks of her fourth birthday, Esteros first experienced major adversity when she and her family were displaced by the Great Cloquet Fire of 1 .



Similar to Ralph Rapson’s three decades of leadership in the School of Architecture and the Goldstein sisters’ preceding about 30 years of service in the Division/College of Home Economics’ Related Art Program/ Design Department An interesting parallel with other College of Design leaders is that Gertrude Esteros birth in rural northern Minnesota is similar to Harriett and Vetta Goldstein’s births to immigrant parents and early childhood in rural northern Michigan. In addition, Ralph Rapson was a native of rural northern Michigan.

19183. Esteros and her sister and mother escaped the inferno by riding a train to Superior, Wisconsin. The family resettled on an 80-acre farm in nearby Saginaw, Minnesota, about 10 miles north of Cloquet. The farm was described as being half swamp (Anonymous, 2002). On her first day of school, her teacher said, “Kerttu is not a good English name [and] translated it would be ‘Gertrude,’ so you will be Gertrude.” Returning home, she happily announced, “I have a new name!” To her father, who had transformed his name in stages from Enokki Gustaa Österöos to Gust Esteros, a name change was a minor matter; thereafter she was Gertrude Esteros. Discrimination Before learning to speak English, Esteros felt the sting of discrimination when she was called a derogatory “dumb Finn” in her Saginaw school (Saylor, 2003). Her profound empathic response was forged at a tender age and resonated throughout her life. When she was nine years old, Esteros joined the 4-H club at her school. At age 12, she completed eighth grade after skipping the third and sixth grades. That year, she and a friend won a 4-H trip to the Minnesota State Fair where they were housed in dormitories on the adjoining University of Minnesota’s “Farm Campus.” While there, Esteros discovered the University’s School of Agriculture had a boarding high school for rural youth with an enrollment age of 17. She returned home, worked to earn money and borrowed books to prepare for her successful request to enter the boarding school at age 14. She graduated three years later (Saylor, 2003). In 1932, Esteros enrolled in the University of Minnesota, majoring in home economics. The following spring, she was awarded a trip to the Chicago 3

Also known as the Moose Lake and Croquet Fires of 1918, it killed 450 people, injured or displaced over 50,000 people, and destroyed 250,000 acres of forest.

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World’s Fair and to the National 4-H Encampment on the National Mall. While in Washington, DC she met Eleanor Roosevelt, a strong and outspoken role model for her. During her college years, Esteros worked for room and board in the home of the Director of Home Economics, Wylle McNeal. Esteros’s undergraduate advisor was Vetta Goldstein and, later, her graduate school advisor was Harriet Goldstein (Saylor, 2003). She received her B.S. in 1936.

culture in Morris, MN4, one of three sister boarding high schools to that she attended in St. Paul. Esteros was recruited by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was an assistant instructor in home economics from 1938 to 1940 (Saylor, 2003). This was a turbulent period of prewar civil disobedience, riots, vigilante attacks, and police beatings of demonstrators. While there, she was chair of the campus Peace Coordinating Committee and, in 1940, was a founding member of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (Irish, n.d.). Esteros returned to the University of Minnesota in 1940 as an instructor and to earn her masters in related art which she received in 1941 at the age of 26. In the Fall of 1941, Esteros began a year of teaching in the Domestic Arts Department at a liberal arts women’s college, Lindenwood College, in St. Charles, Missouri (Anonymous, 1941). Later, she spoke of hearing President Franklin Roosevelt’s national radio address about the entry of the United States into World War II. This event prompted her to volunteer to serve the country through the American Red Cross (Saylor, 2003). Gertrude Esteros as a World War II Volunteer in the Pacific Theater

Figure 1. 1936 Graduation Hennepin County Library photo

Esteros’s preparatory Red Cross training as a hospital recreation (therapy) worker focused on learning skills to help soldiers recover from the mental stress of battle (Wright-Peterson, 2020).

Gertrude Esteros’s Initial Phase as an Educator After graduation, Esteros taught for a year at a southwest Minnesota high school. The next year, 1937, she taught home furnishings and art in everyday life at the West Central School of Agri-


The bio sketch of Esteros in the University of Minnesota archives inaccurately describes her as a college instructor at the University of Minnesota, Morris (1937-1938) when in fact the University of Minnesota at Morris was not established until 1960.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


school developed her empathy for different people. She worked with the New Guinea natives to build a bamboo and thatch recreation center for the recovering soldiers (Saylor, 2003). Esteros spoke of a marvelous but difficult trek with a small group of soldiers from her hospital to a native village, and how she befriended the head of the village and his five wives. Upon leaving the village, she was awarded two gifts: a spear and a ceremonial bowl shaped like a fish (Leebrick, 2011). Later, these and similar objects would serve Esteros in her teaching of cultural art subjects. In early 1944, Esteros found herself and her shipmates under attack by Japanese suicide planes while sailing in a convoy from Hollandia, New Guinea to the island of Leyte in the Philippines. She related that the ship was “literally vibrating with machine gun fire” and the night sky was lit by tracer bullets (Saylor, 2003).

Figure 2. 1941–1945 Military Minnesota Historical Society photo After training, in late 1942 Esteros found herself sailing into the unknown on a lone, unescorted ship crossing the submarine infested enemy waters of the Pacific Ocean. By the beginning of 1943, Esteros arrived in New Guinea where she began her work with ambulatory patients and explained, “[Her] job was to be the person who could bring [severely burned soldiers] out of depression.” Esteros told of spending a night taking down a story of a young, dying soldier who was the sole survivor of his unit and was desperate to have his deceased colleagues recognized for their bravery in battle (Saylor, 2005). Empathy Esteros spoke of how she interacted at equal ease with New Guinea native men and women and how being called out as different in her little country


After the conflict, Esteros reflected on the profound and complex paradox of war. She related how she had experienced the horrid waste of war and how it was the worst possible way to solve problems. Yet, she contrasted how she learned that “…human beings can do things that are superhuman…” such as putting themselves in harm’s way to save others. She also recounted how the war made her aware of being part of part of a global community and how this awareness was later reflected in her teaching of art history and courses in housing from a world perspective. Part of what stimulated her was her marvel of the indigeneity of people in shaping their worlds (Saylor, 2005). Gertrude Esteros’s Second Phase as an Educator and Her Trouble Staying Put In late 1945, Esteros took off her uniform and in 1946, was asked to accept a temporary position teaching two large sections of Introduction to Related Art and Design at the University of Minnesota. She recounted her love of teaching and

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how she absolutely hated paperwork. In fact, she stated, “I didn’t even get [students’] names put into the class book until the end of the quarter. That didn’t seem important” (Saylor, 2003). She noted a deep feeling of unsettledness, “I had trouble staying put.” In the summer of 1946, the yearning to experience more of the world motivated Esteros and a colleague to purchase one-way tickets to Guatemala where she spoke of being impressed with the wonderful weavings and marvelous colors of the textiles (Saylor, 2005). Over the next three decades, Esteros fearlessly took students on foreign study travels around the globe as well as serving as a visiting faculty member in Scandinavia and India. In 1948, Esteros took a leave from the University to serve in an American Friends Service Committee work group to help displaced Finnish families build new homes. Before leaving the United States, she realized the purpose of the trip was to put into practice a belief expressed by Eleanor Roosevelt who drafted Article 1 of the United Nations (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (United Nations, 1948). This was an honor for Esteros to support Eleanor Roosevelt, whom she had met 15 years earlier, as a young 4-H girl. While in Finland, part of Esteros’s role was serving as a translator. She told a story of local man who said, “There isn’t much we can do to show our appreciation. However, we want you to know that although your work has helped us, there is something else that is much more important---the fact that you wanted to come, and that you did come. That gives us courage” (Esteros, 1950).

When Harriet Goldstein stepped down in 1949, Esteros was appointed head of Related Art at the University of Minnesota (Stoehrl, 2011)5 . Esteros spent the 1953-1954 academic year at Columbia University studying fine arts education and was awarded her terminal degree, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in 1958. Columbia University was the leading institution in higher education for doctoral research in art education during that time (Lanier, 1968). The title of her dissertation was, “Art in Education for Home and Family Living.” In a 1957 paper in a journal focusing on “Adapting College Teaching,” Esteros described a number of experiments at the University of Minnesota’s color and design laboratory to make college art experiences real where they involve the total person (Esteros, 1957). One of the techniques described was use of a room-sized laboratory where student teams worked directly on applied design problems. A University of Minnesota Department of University Relations’ 1960 report profiling the University stated, “Art as a part of living which enriches experiences, extends the range of art understanding, improves homes, and prepares students for careers in the related art field is the basic concern of the related art division. The division offers courses in home planning and furnishing, in crafts, textile, and costume design, and in art history” (University of Minnesota, 1960). In a 1963 paper, Esteros described a survey she and five colleagues initiated with land-grant college and university home furnishings instructors to determine the most difficult aspects of teaching basic design. They found the most problematic issues for students were grasping the interrelationships of the elements and principals of design and secondly, as related to design, personal and family needs and economic and social factors. 5

Stoehrl (2011) reported that Esteros oversaw the early 1950s addition to McNeal Hall, although details of her role were not described.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


A 1965 news release from the University’s School of Home Economics announced summer courses including one co-taught by Esteros entitled Teaching Home Planning and Furnishings. The promotional information for her course listed “mature ladies” as well as teachers as target audiences (University of Minnesota, 1965). Also, in 1965, after two decades of housing conferences at Land-grant Universities6, Esteros and national colleagues founded the American Association of Housing Educators [AAHE; today known as the Housing Education and Research Association (HERA)]. Two years later, Esteros became the third President of AAHE. The housing conferences, then called the Conference for Improvement of Instruction of Housing in Home Economics in Land-grant Colleges and Universities7, preceded AAHE’s formation and were for collegiate-level home economics teachers (Wysocki, 2007). In a 1969 paper, Esteros described a special yearlong program designed to increase School of Home Economics and Extension field staff’s ability to understand and work with people of differing cultural backgrounds. Part of the program included a keynote at a housing forum on accommodating different cultural values in international housing. A year later, the CURA Reporter profiled Art and the Environment taught annually by Esteros to about a hundred students. The course focused on housing with the purpose of gaining an understanding of the physical and social environment through community-based projects (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), 1970). Esteros had a primary influence on the 1970s redesign and construction of McNeal Hall which connected the original 1914 building and its 1950s addition with the 1890s Horticulture building. Her highest priority was creating space for the Gold6



Cornell University, University of Illinois, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Notre Dame, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Oklahoma State University, and Pennsylvania State University A conference was reportedly held in Minneapolis October 18-10, 1962 although details including those involving Esteros are not available.

stein Gallery and curatorial space and storage for the textile, apparel, and decorative arts collections. The late 1960s and early 1970s was a period of anti-Vietnam War protests, urban racial unrest, and concern about rural housing conditions. It was also a period when Esteros felt it was critical for her interior design and housing students to have hands-on experience working in economically stressed communities. Late in 1971, Esteros wrote a grant for federal funding to support a University-community effort to connect students with low-income Minneapolis families to improve their homes. In 1972, Esteros, with a former activist Catholic priest, Joe Selvaggio, and others, co-founded a nonprofit organization, Project for Pride in Living (PPL), to develop and rehabilitate housing for low-income families. Students worked with the low-income households to revitalize central city housing.8 The federal grant was awarded in 1972 and re-awarded for two additional years. The grant funded student’s work, rehab materials, and some of Selvaggio’s salary. Professor Evelyn Franklin executed much of the Department’s involvement through her course, Housing Problems of the Family. Franklin’s class won a “Community and Campus Award” from the National Association of Development Organizations (St. Anthony, 1987). Over time, PPL earned support from major Minnesota foundations, financial institutions, and local, state, and federal governmental institutions. In addition to her community-teaching interface, Esteros worked with other University of Minnesota departments to create an interdisciplinary housing research center (B. L. Yust, personal communication, August 2020). The center did not materialize as designed, but, in its place, she hired notable faculty who contributed leadership to the housing research base of knowledge. 8

Esteros’s focus on neighborhood-based rehabilitation of central city housing was a contrast to Rapson’s focus on design of new construction including the mega-development of Cedar Riverside. The two approaches were polar opposite, albeit perhaps complimentary, approaches to urban housing.

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Under her tenure as Head, she led a transformation of the Design Department from a legacy of training home economics teachers and “mature ladies” to a holistic academic force in applied arts-related professional fields including apparel design, graphic design, and interior design as well as housing. Her reputation was further enhanced from the formation of the Goldstein Gallery (today, Goldstein Museum of Design) and collections.

In 1993, Esteros received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The award is conferred on University graduates who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

During the 1970s, the PhD design concentration was established in the Home Economics graduate program (today, the Design graduate program). Esteros was an avid traveler throughout her career and attracted many international graduate students (B. L. Yust, personal communication, August 2020). During her tenure, she earned the reputation as being curious, fiercely independent, a visionary, and a strong leader. She also had a reputation of loudly telling presenters who were using slides to “focus”! ( J. B. Eicher, personal communication, August 2020). Another of her faculty with a reputation for writing long memoranda, William Angell, recalls being told to put the most important request or statement up front. In 1980, Esteros retired from the University of Minnesota after a 34-year career. As she was nearing her retirement, Esteros was a leader in the formation of the University’s Retiree Housing Board which led to the design and construction of a 93-unit condominium complex in Falcon Heights for emeritus University faculty and staff. She chaired the Association’s Retirement Living Subcommittee which reported in May 1982 that the proposed “… building, planned to foster human growth and fulfillment (and) will become a living organism.” Later that year, Esteros was an incorporator of the Housing and Retirement Corporation and was elected to the University of Minnesota Retirees Association, Inc. Board of Directors (Gerald, n.d.).

Figure 3. At retirement Esteros’s presence on the University of Minnesota campus spanned 52 years, from her 1928 enrollment in Division of Agriculture’s boarding school to her retirement as Head of the Design Department in 1980. Her impressive impact on the field of design lives on through the present day through the spirit of the College of Design.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Reflections 40 Years Later Gertrude A. Esteros her colleagues as:




•  Visionary, holistic, inquisitive and curious in all forms of scholarly inquiry;

1926 Esteros’s 4-H project won her and friend a trip to the Minnesota State Fair where they were housed in dormitories on the adjoining University of Minnesota’s St. Paul “Farm Campus”

•  Instrumental in building a diverse core of faculty and facilities;

1928 Esteros began high school at the University of Minnesota’s Division of Agriculture’s boarding school on the St. Paul campus and graduated three years later

•  Very positive and enthusiastic, had a hearty laugh, was creative, and loved to travel;

1932 Esteros began undergraduate study at the University of Minnesota

•  Committed to the international community;

1936 Esteros received a B.S. with honors in Home Economics Education

•  Fearless leader of students on foreign study trips; •  Courteous and caring about students, staff, faculty, the University, community, state and world; •  At ease and supportive with all types of students, faculty, and community members; •  Committed to lower-income families; •  Wearing multiple silver bracelets on both wrists—you could hear her coming down the hall or in the office; •  Loving to tell detailed stories which some might have said she was “long-winded.” Timeline 1914 Gertrude Esteros born in Cloquet, Minnesota to Finnish immigrant parents 1918 She and her family displaced by the disastrous Cloquet Forest Fire and relocated to a Saginaw, Minnesota farm


1936–1938 Esteros taught high school in southwest Minnesota 1938–1940 Esteros taught at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana 1941 Esteros received her M.S. in Related Arts at the University of Minnesota and started a year of teaching in the Domestic Arts Department at Lindenwood College, St. Charles, Missouri 1942 Esteros joined the American Red Cross as a hospital volunteer to serve World War II soldiers 1943 Esteros arrived in New Guinea and, using volunteers to scrounge equipment and suppliers, established a recreation and crafts therapy program for hospitalized soldiers 1944 While being transported to the Philippines in a convoy, Esteros’ ship was attacked by Japanese suicide bombers (planes) 1945 Following the end of World War II, Esteros resigned her position in the Red Cross and returned to the United States

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1946 Esteros accepted a temporary faculty position at the University of Minnesota teaching Introduction to Related Art and Design 1947 Esteros joined a friend and travelled to Guatemala 1948 Esteros joined an American Friends Service Committee work group to build homes with war displaced Finnish families 1949 Esteros becomes Head of Related Art at the University of Minnesota 1958 Esteros completes her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree at Columbia University 1965 Esteros co-founded the American Association of Housing Educators (AAHE)

Esteros, G. (1957). Making art experiences real. Journal of Home Economics, 49(1), 31-32. Esteros, G. (1963). Basic concepts in home furnishings. Journal of Home Economics, 55(1), 39-42. Esteros, G. (1969). Developing intercultural understanding: Minnesota/intercultural-international focus on home economics. Journal of Home Economics, 61(4), 39-42. Gerald, J. E. (n.d.). History of University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA), Inc., 19761983. Minneapolis, MN: UMRA. https://umra.

1967 Esteros became the third President of AAHE

Irish, S. (n.d.). The creation of the Champaign County ACLU in 1940. Champaign-Urbana, IL: American Civil Liberties Union. http://

1972 Esteros co-founded a nonprofit low-income housing organization, Project for Pride in Living (PPL)

Lanier, V. (1968). Doctoral research in art education. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Education.

1980 Esteros retired

Leebrick, K. (2011, December 1). WWII volunteer, world trekker, storyteller. Park Bugle, St. Paul, MN. ww-ii-volunteer-world-trekker-storyteller/

1993 Esteros received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award 2016 Esteros died at the age of 102 years References Ar 27). Katherine M. Johnson Obituary. Duluth News Tribune. Duluth, MN. Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). (1970, August--September). ”Relating to reality” in the Related Arts. CURA Reporter, 1(2), 6. Esteros, G. (1950). An international work camp in Finland. Journal of Home Economics, 61(4), 346-347.

St. Anthony, N. (1987). Until all are housed in dignity: The story of Project for Pride in Living. Minneapolis, MN: Project for Pride in Living. Saylor, T. (2003, February 27). Minnesota’s greatest generation oral history project: Part 1: Interview with Gertrude Esteros. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society. cms/10171/140/AV2006_1_9_M.pdf Saylor, T. (2005). Remembering the good war: Minnesota’s greatest generation. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society

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Stoehr, K. (2011, September 1). The open-sesame effect of 4-H club work. Park Bugle, St. Paul, MN. the-open-sesame-effect-of-4-h-club-work/ United Nations. (1948). Universal declaration of human rights. Paris: United Nations General Assembly. University of Minnesota Department of University Relations. (1960). From Your University of Minnesota, 43(3). University of Minnesota Department of Information and Agricultural Journalism. (1965, May-August). New Home Economics courses offered in U Summer Sessions. Farm News.http://conservancy. Wright-Peterson, V. M. (2020). A woman’s war, too. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society. Wysocki, J. L. (2007). Housing Education and Research Association: Our 40th anniversary. Housing and Society, 34(1) 5-10.


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Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Section III

Design Process/Epistemology


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Brad Hokanson Design Thinking Skills and Creativity Brad Holschuh Human Factors: the Hidden Unifier Within (and Beyond) Design Joseph R. Favour, John A. Koepke & David G. Pitt: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University: A Landscape Architectural Perspective Thomas Oliphant Writing About Making About Thinking William O. Beeman Ethnography and Advances in Design Anthropology Juanjuan Wu Designing Fashion Relations? Looking Through the S-O-R Lens

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Brad Hokanson

Design Thinking Skills and Creativity Author Biography Brad Hokanson, PhD, is a professor in Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota. He teaches in the area of creative problem solving and has published research in the fields of creativity and educational technology. He has a diverse academic record, including degrees in art [Carleton], architecture [Minnesota], urban design [Harvard], and received his PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Minnesota. His most recent book on the development of creativity is Developing Creative Thinking in Learners. He also is currently the Mertie Buckman Professor of Design Education. He won his colleges’ awards for outstanding teaching in 2002 and 2008. Brad has recently completed research on the relationship between creativity and achievement in school children, comparing measured creativity with standardized achievement scores. He is now running his fourth massive online course on creativity for the University of Minnesota with an enrollment of over 95,000. Previous courses each enrolled over 52,000 learners. Hokanson served as President of the Association of Educational Communication and Technology in 2017 and has directed the AECT Summer Research Symposium since 2012. Visits to Buenos Aires support his Argentine tango habit. Abstract Designers need the ability to find and solve problems in a way that is both valuable and original. These elements also form the basic definition of creativity, which is essential throughout the fields of design, and at all levels of practice. Central


to the self-image of designers and at the core of design thinking is a belief in their own creativity. Most professional design programs offer little in terms of creativity development while focusing on other aspects of design. Courses that focus on developing creativity should be included in design curricula and creativity should be included as an explicit component in design courses. Keywords Design thinking, creativity, design education, divergent thinking Design thinking skills and creativity The core aspect of design is a way of thinking and knowing, an epistemology that centers on the process of design which can be described as “design thinking”. Design thinking consists of a variety of methods, processes, knowledge application, and skills which are commonly shared across design fields ranging from architecture to instructional design (Nelson & Stolterman, 2001/2012; Cross, 2001; Henriksen et. al. 2017). These elements also have been distilled, codified, and exported widely to other domains such as business or education, often packaged as “Design Thinking” (Martin, & Martin, 2009; Plattner, 2015; Kelley & Kelley, 2013). Success of the application of design thinking in non-design fields has been popular yet mixed (Nussbaum, 2011; Kolko, 2018; Vinsel, 2018). While the presentation of design thinking courses for external, non-design use is valuable in helping make design thinking and design process explicit, this is not the focus

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of this writing. This article is specifically about design education and the skills developed. An important aspect of the design process is creative ability, that is, the capability to generate ideas that are original and valuable. “A basic, often-cited definition of creativity describes it as the process of creating ideas, artifacts, processes, and solutions, that are novel and effective… Design involves directing creativity towards goals, actions, and purpose around real-world issues” (Henriksen, 2017, p. 4). As designers, we seldom doubt our own creativity, our own ability to develop diverse, unique, and applicable ideas. The presence of this skill is often assumed and is considered as part of the innate skills held by designers as part of the societal opinion of the design professions. Design and creativity are intertwined. As an illustration, one definition given by Dr. E. Paul Torrance described creativity as: “a process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them; and finally communicating the result (Torrance, 1972, p. 5). …which is a good definition for design as well. There is a popular, lay recognition that design and creativity are linked. For example, Florida identified design and architecture as professions within his description of a creative class: “people in design, education, arts, music, and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or creative content” (Florida, 2002, p. 8). Similarly, Cox described and connected design and creativity in his Review of Creativity in Business: Building on the UK’s Strengths: “Creativity is the generation of new ideas—either new

ways of looking at existing problems or of seeing new opportunities, perhaps by exploiting emerging technologies or changes in markets... Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end” (Cox, 2005, p.2). The general public commonly views designers themselves as inherently creative. This may spring from a misunderstanding of the field, from its conceptual closeness to the arts, or from engagement with designers developing new and intriguing ideas as their work. However, this may be because of designers’ expertise in their domain, not because of specific evidence of creativity per se. In other words, designers may be considered creative because they possess skills that distinguish themselves, but not because they are measurably more creative than the general population with comparable education levels. We can also ask whether designers are creative because they are designers, or whether they choose to become designers because they are creative. Designers may self-select design as a career as a way to express their creativity. Anecdotally, designers enjoy the aspects of designing, problem-solving, and invention. Highly engaged in designing, designers seldom reflect on their process or their skills, or their innate abilities (there are exceptions, see Francis, 2008; Zollinger, Guerin, & Enz, P 2014). This may be due to the constant pressure of due dates, project schedules, and work flow, and the attention to specific demands, not reflection. There are several methods to examine the creativity of designers. The skill can be examined throughout their lifetime of work and through their achievements and impact on their field. The creativity of designers and design students can also be examined through a variety of instruments that have predictive value for their professional careers.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Career scale studies of creativity examine the work of eminent professionals such as Paul Cezanne, Frida Kahlo, or Ornette Coleman. Research by Csikszentmihalyi (1995) focused on professionally diverse exemplars in a search for an understanding of creativity. This is generally referred to as an examination of “Big-C” creativity, the creativity of those who are well known and who have changed the thinking and practices of a domain. Domains may include the arts, the sciences, or the humanities, as well as graphic design, architecture, or fashion. Designers might include Coco Chanel, Raymond Loewy, Milton Glazer or Lawrence Halprin. From studies of this type, we can retroactively learn of the lives and practices of highly creative people. Aside from examining the luminaries of design, there are other ways to more fully understand creativity as a specific, personal skill. Most current research in creativity examines “every day” or what is referred to as “little-c” creativity. This is the form of creativity that represents the creativity of our everyday pursuits, the inherent creativity of humans. Humans as a species used their creative capability to survive, to prosper, and to develop (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009). And so genetically, all humans are to some extent, creative, not only just artists and designers. Building from this interest in a broad view of creativity, research in the discipline has a base definition that is widely used and accepted. It is the ability to develop ideas that are original and valuable (Robinson, 2011). While the specific terms can vary, these two elements, one of being novel, new, unprecedented, unique, or singular, and the other being useful, suitable, or appropriate make up the base definition (Mumford, 2003; Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004; Bronson & Merryman, 2010; Sternberg, 2011). The balance between the two is most parallel to the concerns of the design professional. Ideas which are skilled repetitions of similar work are not, by this definition, creative.


This understanding is valuable in an examination of creativity in design. For example, technically, design products may not be evaluated as creative. Ideas could be very useful and applied, completed with a high level of skill, but lacking originality. Similarly, ideas that are not useful or appropriate are not creative as they may be mere flights of imagination without application. Alternatively, ideas which are fanciful and imaginative, but not applicable do not meet this functional standard of creativity (Cropley, 2006). Just what is original or appropriate is often affected by context. Creativity is viewed as a balance between divergent and convergent thinking, growing from the basic definition of creativity that is commonly used. Divergent thinking examines many ideas, searching for originality and uniqueness. Convergent thinking, on the other hand, focuses on a single direction, and improving performance and applicability. Evaluating creativity based on this definition has a long history, beginning in the 1950s. E. Paul Torrance at the University of Minnesota developed the most widely used testing regimen that continues to be used to this day (Torrance, 1972b). This instrument focuses on divergent thinking, the ability to generate a broad range of answers and multiple ideas. Described as the “gold standard” of creativity testing, it allows comparisons with hundreds of thousands of test records. Its long history and well-balanced norms allow an accurate understanding of where a test subject compares with peers or with the general population. The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking can provide well-accepted measures of everyday creativity and it has been correlated in longitudinal evaluations with increased lifetime achievement and income (Torrance, 1972; Plucker, 1999).

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Plucker’s research also traced high scoring school children in their later professional lives and found a strong correlation between creativity and lifetime achievement. In this study, creativity was seen to be three times higher a determinant of productivity than measured intelligence. There is a broad recognition of the independence between creativity and knowledge: “Although intelligence favors creative potential, it is not synonymous or parallel with creativity” (Preti & Miotto, 1997, p. 2). This may indicate a need to improve creativity throughout the educational process separately. The description of types of creativity has expanded in recent years, with the acceptance of types that complement Big-C and little-c creativity. Kaufman and Beghetto (2009) outlined two additional forms of creativity of which recognize the new learning and exploration and the creativity of the professional. First, more recent research and development of theory in creativity have addressed the creativity of new experiences, whether that is the creativity of the young or the inventiveness of an adult exploring a new media. While the new media results may be the same as many other people, the newness of the experience is a different form of creative expression, separate from everyday creativity. This is tagged as “mini-c” creativity. Second, Kaufman and Beghetto described designers as “Pro-C” creative, explaining the creativity seen in the skilled and inventive professional (2009). “Pro-C” creatives exist within a field where original output is a job requirement and an expected outcome. Designers generate new ideas, as objects or environments, as services or events. As designers, as musicians, or as chefs, new ideas and expressions are an ongoing portion of the work. Some of this creative output is recognizable through awards, commissions, presentations or exhibitions. While not having a major impact and changing a field, the efforts at this level are domain-based and contribute to a broader under-

standing. This creativity may only come from the skilled exclusivity of their profession. Creativity can be examined as a skill that is both domain-specific or general. As is apparent in our lives, creativity is evident both in a general way, in our everyday lives, and as evident in the practice of our professional lives. Creativity, at the domain-specific level, requires both knowledge of the domain and evaluation that is conducted by experts. To some extent, there is a transfer of knowledge and skills between our general capabilities and our professional work, including creativity. It could be surmised that professionals who are creative in their everyday lives are more creative as professionals, but little is known about the correlation between everyday and professional evaluation, or the extent that domain-based creativity is only centered on unique knowledge and experience. Plucker’s (1999b) analysis of research indicated a 40-50% contribution from content-general research to professional efforts. In design education, commonly, courses are content differentiated. Declarative knowledge is often presented in a didactic or lecture format. Skills [such as creativity] are developed in studio courses but often in a tacit manner. The base portion of design education is a pedagogy which can be seen as building from an apprentice model, but in today’s terminology, it also can be described as active and problem-based learning. Design curricula generally do not include explicit courses to develop learner creativity. While creativity development can be integrated within other course work, those courses generally focus on something else. Failing to develop the creativity of learners is an important shortfall for design education, both in terms of quality and for curricular direction; How to continue to improve creative capability for the

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


long-term development of designers and their skills is also important. Design education often focuses more on developing domain expertise in the field and not on specifically enhancing creative skills. Creative skills are generally not specifically addressed, with more functional concerns having a greater sway on attention, creativity being dismissed as less important than other skills, as presented by Nelson and Stolterman in The Design Way: Design is often dominated by creativity, its most glamorous trait. While the creativity it takes to imagine new possibilities and realities clearly is important, it’s easy to forget that there are other, more down-to-earth strategies associated with designing that are just as essential and influential. A new conceptual idea is not worth much if it is not made manifest in the world. All designs must be innovated—in other words, made real. (2012, p.134) While there is an implicit tie between design skills, design thinking, and creativity, in evaluations creativity is viewed as a essential but hidden skill. It is generally noted only when it is lacking as other skills or capabilities are noted first. In design reviews, students may be evaluated commonly as “good designers” or “weak designers”. Occasionally, students are criticized as being “not creative”, a rare application of a generally tacit criterion. Anecdotally, conversations with practicing professionals rue the lack of “creative problem-solving skills” in graduate architects. (Lucius, 2015, private conversation) Entering design students are not substantially more creative than the general population, and design students do not necessarily become more creative through their design education. Based on limited data from creativity evaluations in classes, design students are moderately more creative than the societal mean, with an average percentile rank of about 60%, with the mean of the population being 50%. Without training or explicit course-


work, this rating remains consistent through design education. Results from dedicated courses on creativity indicate measured increases in creativity of 50-70% in raw output and an increase to an average percentile rank of 92%. Graduating design students are only slightly more creative than the norm of the general population, while they have become highly skilled in their chosen design field. Informal quantitative research suggests that designers do not become more creative during their design education. Creativity as a specific skill is not greatly improved through higher education without specific attention. Most professional design programs offer little in terms of explicit creativity development while focusing on other aspects of design. Throughout their education, design students become more skilled and have a focused understanding of their discipline, and they also develop communication and logical capabilities. For example, almost all design programs require a course on hand drawing. Post-degree, practicing designers often don’t actively seek to examine or improve their own creativity in practice (Sawyer, 2016), while continuing to practice their observational drawing. Designers need to have the confidence to solve problems in a way that is unique and original. This skill, creativity, can be applied throughout the fields of design, and at all levels of practice. Intentionally developing creativity should be included in design curricula as well as an explicit component in design courses. We are expected, as designers, to be creative as well as to have functional expertise. Design can be seen to parallel the standard definition of creativity being original and appropriate. That balance needs to be more explicit in our educational process. There is value to further research on the nature and development of creativity in design educa-

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tion. For example, greater understanding can be developed regarding the skills of entering students, on methods to develop creativity within classes, and on the value of reflection by designers regarding the creative aspects of their practice. In a competitive world, where design skills may be based solely on knowledge and catalog-level expertise, creativity is a skill that differentiates both the field and the individual within each field. References Bronson, P. & Merryman, A. (2010). The Creativity Crisis. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www. Cox, G. (2005). Cox Review of Creativity in Business: building on the UK’s strengths

Henriksen, D., Richardson, C., & Mehta, R. (2017). Design thinking: A creative approach to educational problems of practice. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 26, 140-153. Hokanson, B. (2006). Creativity in the design curriculum. Journal of Visual Literacy, 26(1), 41-52. Jen, N. Natasha Jen: Design Thinking is Bullshit. Aug. 2017; Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The four-c model of creativity. Review of general psychology, 13(1), 1-12. Kelley, T., & Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. Toronto: Crown Business.

Cropley, A. (2006). In praise of convergent thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), pp. 391–404.

Kolko, J. (2018). “The divisiveness of design thinking.” ACM Interactions, May–June, 2018: Retrieved from http://interactions. the-divisiveness-of-design-thinking

Cross, N. (2001). Designerly ways of knowing: Design discipline versus design science. Design issues, 17(3), 49-55.

Lucius, R. (2015). Private conversation, 8/31/15.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: The work and lives of 91 eminent people. New York: HarperCollins. Feldman, D. H., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Gardner, H. (1994). Changing the world: A framework for the study of creativity. Praeger Publishers/ Greenwood Publishing Group. Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class: And How it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York: Perseus Book Group

Martin, R., & Martin, R. L. (2009). The design of business: Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage. Harvard Business Press. Mumford MD (2003) Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15:107-120 Nelson, H.G., & Stolterman, E. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World— Foundations and Fundamentals of Design Competence. Cambridge: MIT Press. Nussbaum, B. (2011). Design thinking is a failed experiment. So what’s next. Fast company, 6.

Francis, P. (2008). Inspiring Writing in Art and Design. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

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Plattner, H., Meinel, C., & Leifer, L. (Eds.). (2015). Design thinking research: Making design thinking foundational. Springer.

Torrance, E. P. (1972c). Predictive validity of the Torrance tests of creative thinking. The Journal of creative behavior, 6(4), 236-262.

Plucker, J. A. (1999). Is the proof in the pudding? Re-analyses of Torrance’s (1958 to present) longitudinal data. Creativity Research Journal, 12(2), 103-114.

Vinsel, L (2018). Design Thinking is a Boondoggle. In The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 6.10.2019

Plucker, J. A. (1999B). Re-analyses of student responses to creativity checklists: Evidence of content generality. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 33(2), 126-137.

Zollinger, S., Guerin, D. & Pamela Enz, P. (2014). Infusing Reflective Writing in the Interior Design Curriculum. Retrieved from: https://www.idec. org/files/Final_2014_Proceedings.pdf

Plucker, J., Beghetto, R. A. & Dow, G.T., (2004). Why Isn’t Creativity More Important to Educational Psychologists? Potentials, Pitfalls, and Future Directions in Creativity Research, Educational Psychologist, 39:2, 83-96. Preti, A. & Miotto, P. (1997). The contribution of psychiatry to the study of creativity: Implications for AI research. In Veale, T. (Ed.). Proceedings Mind II, Dublin, Ireland. Robinson, K. (2011). Out of our minds. Tantor Media, Incorporated. Sawyer, R. K. (2018). How artists create: An empirical study of MFA painting students. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 52(2), 127-141. Sternberg, Robert J. (2011). Creativity. Cognitive Psychology (6th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 479. Torrance, E. P. (1972). Career patterns and peak creative achievements of creative high school students twelve years later. Gifted Child Quarterly, 16(2), 75-88. Torrance, P. (1972b) Verbal Tests. Forms A and B-Figural Tests, Forms A and B.”. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Norms-Technical Manual Research Edition. Princeton, New Jersey: Personnel Press. p. 6.


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Brad Holschuh

Human Factors: the Hidden Unifier Within (and Beyond) Design Author Biography Brad Holschuh, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Apparel Design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. He Co-Directs the University’s Wearable Technology Lab (WTL), and Directs the UMN Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) Program. He is a faculty affiliate in the MnDRIVE Initiative (Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing focus area), and holds additional graduate faculty appointments in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, Human Factors/Ergonomics, and Design. He earned B.S. (Aero/Astro ’07), dual M.S. (Aero/Astro ’10, Technology and Policy ’10), and PhD (Aerospace Biomedical Engineering ’14) degrees from MIT before transitioning to UMN in 2016. Dr. Holschuh’s research focuses on the use of wearable technology to improve human performance both in space and on Earth, with a specific focus on integrating active materials technology into wearable systems. His work encompasses wearable technology, biomedical device development, human factors design, textile engineering, aerospace engineering / bioastronautics, and materials science.

in an interactive world, every living person possesses experiences, expertise, and opinions that can contribute to its practice. At its core, then, I argue that Human Factors is the study and application of empathy: it is the appreciation of (and pursuit of solutions for) the needs of the user. This requires an inclusive approach – where diverse viewpoints are cultivated and stereotypes and identity constructs are set aside—in order to truly understand the user, to appreciate their goals, objectives, capabilities, and limitations, and to enable, amplify, and accommodate their unique abilities. Because of its enormous scope, we find that Human Factors education manifests in many academic contexts, departments, and structures; comparing and contrasting these manifestations illustrates the diversity of use cases, methods, and domains in which Human Factors concepts apply. As we move forward in an increasingly connected and technologically-infused existence, we must unapologetically emphasize the user experience at the heart of this existence, putting into practice an empathy-oriented approach, intentionally cultivated through inclusivity in our educational and professional practices.



Human Factors is the interdisciplinary study of people as they interact with the designed world. In this essay I argue that Human Factors as a domain is a hidden unifier, one which rightfully acts to bring together seemingly disparate disciplines (e.g., design, engineering, psychology) in the pursuit of user-centered solutions to everyday problems. Human Factors is near universal in its reach, finding relevance in any circumstance where a person interacts with an object, system, or environment. By virtue of our very existence

Human Factors, design, engineering, user experience, empathy, inclusivity Introduction Human Factors is the interdisciplinary study of people as they interact with the designed world. In this chapter, I argue that Human Factors as a domain is a hidden unifier, one which rightfully acts to bring together seemingly disparate disciplines (e.g., design, engineering, psychol-

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ogy) in the pursuit of user-centered solutions to everyday problems. In preparing this chapter, I first spent some time reflecting on what it means, to me, to be a designer. Quite the loaded question, eh? Ironically, this is not the first time I have engaged in this exact thought experiment: as a transplant to this discipline, coming from 12 years of training in aerospace engineering (including my entire undergraduate and graduate education), I fretted over this very question in the days and weeks preceding my interviews for my current position – Assistant Professor of Apparel Design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Ignoring the Imposter Syndrome that most academics feel (don’t worry – it’s normal!) [1]–[3], try to imagine my struggle to reconcile what I thought I knew about design – viewed through an outsider’s lens and distorted by stereotype – with who I thought I was at the time (i.e., a thoroughbred engineer). I implicitly understood what the identity of an “engineer” was, having lived and breathed that world for my entire professional life and having deeply intertwined that discipline with my sense of self. But what exactly was the identity of a “designer”? Could I be a designer? Could I survive in this field? Would they hire me? And did I even want that? I have come to realize, since that first moment of existential questioning, that my preparation in engineering secretly and simultaneously prepared me to excel as a designer (though unbeknownst to me at the time). Why? Because design is simultaneously universal and meaningless – available for all to contribute, accepting of all viewpoints, and impactful in all domains, but also definition-less without application—deriving meaning only when taken in consideration of a specific objective. From my perspective, that objective is broad in mission but specific in manifestation: to improve the world, defined by the context and environment in which improvement is sought, judged by people subjected to its presence, and made man-


ifest by an ever-broadening set of tools and methods deployed in the pursuit of an improved world. So how did my time as an engineer prepare me for this new role? The secret—the hidden driver of design that I unknowingly came to know through my development as an engineer, despite not ever consciously associating myself with design or with “designers”, was simple: The User Now, not all flavors of engineering teach an appreciation for users, but my matriculation as an aerospace engineer brought front and center to me the critical role of the user in highly complex systems and environments—perhaps the most contextually complex scenarios in which humans can possibly find themselves. Success or failure in the design and operation of aerospace systems often hinges on the user’s real-time abilities (e.g., the pilot flying at Mach 3 or the astronaut navigating to the moon while weightless), and failure in these scenarios is more often than not catastrophic [4]–[8]. Thus, as a central part of my engineering education, I dove deep into the study of the interaction between users and systems, in an aerospace context, and in doing so came to know and appreciate the discipline we collectively refer to as Human Factors. Human Factors: the Hidden Unifier within (and beyond) Design. Human Factors is the interdisciplinary study of the interactions between humans and products, systems, and environments [9]. It is the study of people – physical, cognitive, and emotional beings – as they interact with the designed world. Which people, and what form of interaction, are context-specific questions that enable Human Factors professionals to study everything from space suit design [10] to smartphone app design [11], to the design of emergency medical services [12], to the design of traffic management systems [13], to the design of clothing to support gender identity

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and expression in transgendered users [14]. Wherever users exist, and whenever those users interact with a designed entity, by definition it becomes the realm of Human Factors, and that is as nearly universal of a domain as I can fathom. Little did I realize that my aerospace graduate work – which focused on the development of advanced space suit systems to radically improve astronaut mobility – was secretly preparing me for a career in design, and that I was doing design work, implicitly, in the pursuit of engineering solutions to this problem. I studied body shapes and sizes; I learned to measure and calculate the biomechanics of movement; I experienced first-hand the impact of space suit fit (both soft and hard goods) on the ability to perform physical tasks; and I became familiar with the cognitive and perceptual changes that are known to occur in astronauts when they go to space. I learned to empathize with my user group, to appreciate their goals, needs, abilities, and limitations, as well as to carefully consider the impact that the use context and environment (e.g., weightlessness!) has on the penultimate user experience (well, as best as possible, without having actually been to space myself…). And, knowing that their ability to achieve their goals hinged heavily on the nature and quality of interaction between themselves and the system I was developing, I set out to solve their problems and improve their experience as users through iterative system design, engineering, and development. What I came to appreciate in that aerospace research context, and which I now apply daily both in my research program in wearable technology and in my teaching capacity as faculty member in the UMN Human Factors and Ergonomics program, is that design and engineering seek the same objective – to improve the lives of the enduser though the conscientious creation of objects, systems, and experiences. And, surprisingly, these disciplines have many commonalities between them in this shared pursuit, and these areas of commonality are perfectly encapsulated in the

universal mission and far-reaching scope of the Human Factors domain. A Brief History of Human Factors. Human Factors as a modern discipline emerged in the post-World War II era, with the first textbook specifically dedicated to Human Factors (Applied Engineering Psychology: Human Factors in Engineering Design) published in 1949 [9], [15] (note the focus of this seminal textbook is engineering design…!). Precursors to the modern field trace back as far as 1713, when Bernardino Ramazinni published “De Morbis Artificum Diatriba [Diseases of Workers]”, examining the influence of body position, posture, and movement on the health of employees in the workplace [16], [17]. As technology evolved and society industrialized, the role of the “worker” began to shift, and rapid advancements in technology (aerospace and otherwise) brought about by World War II demanded new perspectives on the design of systems with human operators. The field of Human Factors was thus formalized, combining the collective expertise of engineers, designers, and psychologists to enable the rigorous study of the interaction between humans and the products/systems that they use/operate. Human Factors in the Modern Era. Today, the Human Factors discipline is organized by professional societies like the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) (founded in 1957) [9], whose stated mission is as follows1: “The Society promotes the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds.” HFES organizes 24 technical groups concerned with application-specific human factors aspects, listed in Table 1. 1

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Table 1: Technical Groups of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (as of 2019) 2 This list2 makes clear that the scope of disciplines and domains that are encompassed under the modern umbrella of Human Factors is enormous. Several current journals are dedicated to the field of Human Factors (e.g., Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Ergonomics in Design, and Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, to name a few) and as one might imagine given the scope of the discipline, the topics that appear in these journals are quite varied. For example, in the February 2020 issue of Human Factors3 , one can find the following papers published side-by-side: “Using Digital and Physical Simulation to Focus on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Aviation Maintainability” •  “The Influence of Static Factors on Seating Comfort in Motorcycles: An Initial Investigation” •  “Can the Use of Turn-Assist Surfaces Reduce the Physical Burden on Caregivers When Performing Patient Turning?” •  “Physiological Factors Which Influence Cognitive Performance in Military Personnel” •  “The Role of Work Environment in Training Sustainment: A Meta-Analysis” 2 3


As technology continues to evolve, and users are placed in an increasingly connected and digital world, empathetic consideration of the user – their needs, their objectives, their abilities, and their limitations – will only continue to increase in importance. Consequently, the need for, and utility of, professionals well-versed in Human Factors principles will continue similarly grow. Human Factors in Graduate and Undergraduate Education. Consistent with the incredible breadth of the discipline, the variety of programs and structures that have developed for teaching Human Factors principles in undergraduate and graduate education is striking. This reflects the true universality of user-centered design, but also reflects the unique variety of methods and practices that have formed to best tackle questions of user experience across a variety of contexts. Provided below are examples of three, significantly different approaches to human factors education, each legitimate but noteworthy in their divergence: 1  Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) at UMN4 is based in the College of Design (for good reason) but exists as an interdisciplinary program comprised of 24 faculty from 5 colleges (Liberal Arts, Design, Science & Engineering, Public Health, and Education & Human Development). The program offers Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in HFE, specifically. A foundational underpinning of the UMN HFE 4

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program is user-centered design – the end-toend process from research to ideation to prototyping to implementing to evaluation – occurring in parallel with users to ensure that the final products, systems, and environments best achieve their goals. Students who pursue graduate degrees in HFE can take classes in a variety of departments with others in their cohort, and pursue research with an HFE-aligned faculty member on domain-specific topics under the oversight of a HFE advisory committee. The UMN program balances breadth and depth, with curriculum and faculty expertise distributed throughout the University, while simultaneously offering students research opportunities to conduct original, field-expanding research in a particular specialty within the UMN HFE universe. Research labs at UMN that are led by HFE program faculty range in focus from Wearable Technology (see Figure 1) to Motion Sickness, Medical Devices, Virtual Reality, and Disability Design. Thus, the program reflects the wide variety of domains in which Human Factors principles apply and allows students the freedom to develop skills and pursue their interests across many disciplines.

in a variety of contexts and capacities, each through the lens of a specific domain/discipline. Thus, to pursue Human Factors related topics one must first commit to (and pursue) a discipline-specific degree. My training in human factors came through the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the School of Engineering, as I pursued a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics and subsequently a PhD in Aerospace Biomedical Engineering. The MIT Aero/Astro department doctoral program is subdivided into 12 distinct fields, one of which is designated “Humans in Aerospace”5, which I pursued. Core content required of each student in this field includes6: •  Sensory systems related to information processing •  Displays and controls – principles and cockpit applications •  Manual control and handling qualities •  Workload and situational awareness •  Experimental design •  Anthropometry – fitting the workplace to the operator •  Human-automation interaction •  Elective content in either Aerospace Biomedical Engineering or Humans and Automation

Figure 1: UMN research to investigate the human factors considerations of wearable technology.

However, additional Human Factors related work can be found across MIT, including (but not limited to) aging-focused user-centered design research (the MIT AgeLab7), interdisciplinary design work 5

2.  MIT (my alma mater) does not offer a generalized Human Factors degree or specialization; instead, human factors principles are taught

6 Descriptions.pdf 7

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(the MIT Design Lab8), Human-Computer Interaction (HCE at CSAIL9) and the International Design Center (MIT IDC10). Classes can be taken by any student but those credits typically must be applied toward a discipline-specific degree. 3.  Human Factors/Ergonomics at the University of Toronto11 is situated with the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. This program broadly defines undergraduate Industrial Engineering (IE) to include human factors, as evidenced by the undergraduate IE mission statement (emphasis added)12: “Industrial Engineering students learn to analyze, design, implement, control, evaluate, and improve the performance of complex organizations, taking into consideration people, technology, and information systems. Industrial engineers use operations research, information engineering, and human factors tools and methods to improve and optimize systems operations and performance.” Similarly, University of Toronto defines the graduate IE program to include the following (emphasis added)11: “The Department offers graduate study and research opportunities in a wide range of fields within Industrial Engineering. These include human factors engineering, information engineering, management science, manufacturing, operations research, systems design and optimization, reliability and maintainability engineering. Subject areas include: Queuing Theory, Cognitive Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction and Human Factors in Medicine. The programs available lead to M.Eng., M.A.Sc. and PhD degrees.”

Interestingly, here, the universe of Human Factors/ Ergonomics is contained under the Industrial Engineering division within the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, placing students squarely in an engineering context yet offering both breadth (undergraduate) and depth (graduate) options. Corresponding human factors curriculum is offered at each level. For example: •  “Human Centered Systems Design” (MIE240), “Case Studies in Human Factors and Ergonomics” (MIE345), “Industrial Ergonomics and the Workplace” (MIE343), and “Human Factors Integration” (MIE542) at the undergraduate level •  “Human Factors Engineering” (MIE1401HF), “Design of Work Places” (MIE1411HF), “Human Factors in Transportation” (MIE1414HS), “Engineering for Psychologists” (MIE1444), and “Creativity in Conceptual Design” (MIE1720H) at the graduate level13 As of July 2019, the Human Factors specialization at University of Toronto was represented by seven faculty of varying backgrounds (4 from Industrial Engineering, 3 from Mechanical Engineering). These faculty lead labs that conduct Human Factors research across a wide spectrum including: •  Interactive Media Lab •  Human Factors and Applied Statistics Lab •  Cognitive Engineering Lab •  Engineering Learning Environment Design Group •  Ergonomics in Teleoperation and Control

8 9 10

•  Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Lab

11 12



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•  Psychology-Informed Engineering Design Lab Therefore, if enrolled as a student, not only can Human Factors curriculum and research be accessed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, that access includes content across an extremely wide spectrum, from media studies to statistics to cognitive engineering to psychology to automation. There is much that can be learned from the contrasting approaches taken by MIT, UMN, and University of Toronto in the pursuit of Human Factors education. I can attest – through personal experience – that the conceptual content required for an MIT Humans in Aerospace doctoral field focus largely overlaps with the generalized design principles taught in a fundamentals of Human Factors course at UMN (e.g., DES.5185 – Human Factors in Design, which I taught from 2016-2020), though the MIT approach necessarily applies a strong disciplinary lens to the curriculum. In doing so, one might argue that those principles are learned with a significant contextual depth and heightened intensity of focus. The UMN approach emphasizes breadth of exposure and cultivation of generalized skills and methods, offering students a cross-cutting perspective on user-centered design in a variety of instantiations (spread throughout the entire university) with a HFE-oriented dissertation offering opportunities for disciplinary specialization. The University of Toronto approach provides a middle ground, with dedicated human factors curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – within the lens of Industrial Engineering – and a wide scope of research activities manifest through faculty-led research labs, though all housed within a singular “traditional” engineering department. These structures/approaches are quite different and yet simultaneously legitimate, owing perhaps to the fundamental paradox of design: the mission is universal, but meaning is derived through application and context, thus leading many communities to claim partial ownership of the domain, and

in doing so, to imprint their respective structures and methods on its deployment. Human Factors is for EVERYONE, and can be practiced by ANYONE. Because Human Factors involves the study of the interaction between people and the designed/ engineered world, in any context, I find it to be fundamentally a discipline of inclusion. Our very existence as humans, day to day, is defined by our interactions – with each other, and with the world around us – therefore each and every one of us already possesses human factors experiences and expertise through the totality of our lived existence. We might not all possess the formal tools or vocabulary of a human factors “expert”, or know the nuances of design theory and/or engineering strategy to achieve human factors success in a given scenario (that is the value proposition of a formal Human Factors education!) but we each can already point to examples of positive or negative experiences in our interactions with products, systems, and environments that have affected us. Those experiences – the tacit knowledge that comes from living in a world defined by interaction – makes each and every one of us a valid participant in the world of Human Factors. There can be no Imposter Syndrome here – by definition, if you possess opinions, preferences, or judgments as they relate to the use of (or interaction with) objects/systems/environments in the tangible world, you belong. Your viewpoints matter, and your preferences are valid, even if others disagree. In fact, disagreements in user viewpoints are some of the most interesting Human Factors circumstances! Such is the beauty – and the challenge – of Human Factors: we all have something to contribute, and diversity of perspective is essential to success, even if that diversity generates disagreement, because that disagreement creates opportunities to grow and practice empathy. However, inclusivity is not guaranteed, and diversity does not always naturally emerge without cul-

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tivation. If we allow stereotypes to constrain who is “allowed” to practice human factors, or if we narrowly define its existence in singular siloed disciplines (be it design, or engineering, or psychology, or anything else), we risk failure through exclusion of valid and diverse perspectives. My background embodies the type of diversity that can flourish within the study and practice of Human Factors if stereotypes are abandoned: remember, I trained as an aerospace engineer, and learned about people and systems through the narrow lens of human space exploration, and I now teach human factors and apparel design to design students (predominantly). It would have been easy for the UMN College of Design to consider me a poor fit for their program – “he’s an aerospace engineer, not an apparel designer”; it would have been equally easy for me to assume that I was not qualified to be a Professor of Design, or would not fit in (or enjoy being part of) a Design department – “I’m an engineer, not a designer”. Thankfully, on all sides, open minds prevailed and self-imposed identity constructs were set aside, and now both I and the UMN HFE program can grow in both perspective and expertise. Final Thoughts. We are entering a future where user interaction, in all contexts and through all mediums (product, system or environment), will increasingly become the domain in which design (and designers, and even engineers) find meaning. Success or failure in this realm – as educators and as practitioners— will be defined by our ability to teach and practice empathy, by cultivating and prioritizing Human Factors-oriented, user-centered design practices. This, in turn, demands an explicit cultivation of diversity, and a sustained culture of inclusion within the community – empathy is derived from shared understanding, and shared understanding is only possible if all are welcome to participate. Technology has transformed the way in which we interact with our products, with each other, and with the world, and we would be wise to ori-


ent the future of both design education and practice firmly toward an inclusive, uncompromising emphasis on the user: understanding their needs and objectives, appreciating their capabilities and limitations, in the pursuit of solutions to improve their world. REFERENCES [1]  E. Ramsey and D. Brown, “Feeling like a fraud: Helping students renegotiate their academic identities,” Coll. Undergrad. Libr., 2018. [2]  H. M. Hutchins and H. Rainbolt, “What triggers imposter phenomenon among academic faculty? A critical incident study exploring antecedents, coping, and development opportunities,” Hum. Resour. Dev. Int., vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 194–214, 2017. [3]  J. Bothello and T. J. Roulet, “The Imposter Syndrome, or the Mis-Representation of Self in Academic Life,” J. Manag. Stud., 2018. [4]  P. Tsang and M. Vidulich, Principles and Practice of Aviation Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. [5]  J. L. Hall, “Columbia and Challenger: Organizational failure at NASA,” Space Policy, 2016. [6]  M. S. Smith, “NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia: Synopsis of the Report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board,” 2003. [7]  A. Byers, The crash of the concorde. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc, 2002. [8]  R. Feynman, “Report of the presidential commission on the space shuttle challenger accident,” Append. F, 1986. [9]  R. W. Proctor and T. Van Zandt, Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems. 2015.

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[10]  B. T. Holschuh, “Mechanical counter-pressure space suit design using active materials,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014. [11]  N. Liu and R. Yu, “Identifying design feature factors critical to acceptance and usage behavior of smartphones,” Comput. Human Behav., 2017. [12]  M. Kristensen, M. Kyng, and L. Palen, “Participatory design in emergency medical service: designing for future practice,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, 2006. [13]  S. Zhu, D. Levinson, H. X. Liu, and K. Harder, “The traffic and behavioral effects of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse,” Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract., 2010. [14]  K. D. Morris, C. Young, A. Rolbiecki, and others, “Photovoice: A user-centered design method to understand apparel needs of Female to Male (FTM) in gender identity and expression,” 2017. [15]  A. Chapanis, W. R. Garner, and C. T. Morgan, “Applied experimental psychology: Human factors in engineering design.,” 1949. [16]  V. Robinson, B. Ramazzini, and W. C. Wright, “De morbis artificum diatriba: Diseases of Workers,” Am. Hist. Rev., 2006. [17]  G. Franco and F. Franco, “Bernardino Ramazzini: The Father of Occupational Medicine,” Am. J. Public Health, 2008.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Joseph R. Favour, John A. Koepke & David G. Pitt

Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University: A Landscape Architectural Perspective Author BiographIES Joseph R. Favour, ASLA, RLA, is Head and Professor-in-Practice in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN). His teaching and practice interests focus on the intersection of current practice, evolving graphic technology (drawing and data-based modeling programs such as GIS and BIM), the implementation process of built work, and cost/material/performance implications of design. John A. Koepke, RLA, was Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Landscape Architecture the University of Minnesota. John‘s Ojibwe heritage led him to conduct landscape-based research on ancient Native American sites and to work with tribal and other communities in pursuing teaching and design opportunities that focus on cultural interpretation and environmental education. He also is co-principal investigator, on the Laurentian Vision Partnership, a long-term project on the Mesabi Iron Range that promotes sustainable mining and design as a basis for reshaping of mining sites into productive future landscapes. He was invested as a Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in 2017. David G. Pitt, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. His research seeks the integration of spatial modeling of ecosystem services values with collaborative planning processes to create multifunctional regional landscapes. He was invested as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Plan-


ning and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He formerly edited Landscape Journal for eight years. Abstract The unique setting of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota is examined as a mirror for discussing the diversity of the department’s teaching, outreach and scholarly programs. Compared to other Landscape Architecture programs in the United States, the department’s setting within a comprehensive design college at a land-grant university in a major metropolitan setting is rare. The department is also situated in a unique state-wide geographic context containing a rich diversity of biophysical and socio-cultural phenomena as well as expanding economic and population bases. These phenomena influenced the growth of a diverse practice of landscape architecture within the state. Minnesota’s political culture coupled with the interests of the Department’s faculty fostered University engagement and collaboration with diverse local, state, and federal government agencies as well as numerous non-governmental organizations. Resulting growth of the Department’s teaching, outreach, scholarly, and service-learning programs focused on landscape design, planning and management issues in the contexts of natural resource and rural landscape management, urban design as well as a focus on Native American and under-served urban populations in the Twin Cities and outstate communities.

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Keywords Landscape Architecture, community development, stakeholder engagement, natural resource development and management, Laurentian Vision Partnership, Juxtaposition Arts. Unique Setting for Department of Landscape Architecture The Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota (UMN) exists within unique biophysical, socio-cultural, and institutional settings. Situated within a College of Design, the Department pursues comprehensive land-grant programs associated with on-campus learning and research and outreach/engagement throughout Minnesota, in a university located in the 16th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Since their founding in 1965, landscape architecture research, teaching, and engagement programs within the Department have been fully attuned to the diverse biophysical and socio-cultural geography of the state. The College of Design was established in 2006 by combining programs that existed in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture with selected design-related programs from the College of Human Ecology. The new College became one of the most comprehensive and unique design colleges in the United States. With undergraduate or graduate degrees now offered in nine academic program areas (Apparel Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Housing Studies, Human Factors/Ergonomics, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Product Design, and Retail Merchandising), the College constitutes a unique academic context for each of these disciplines. This context has shaped the learning, teaching, research, and engagement programs of the faculty and students in Landscape Architecture, rooting our programs in a specific setting. These programs also reflect the University of Minnesota’s land-grant mission, its setting in a large metropolitan area, the unique

geography and landscapes of Minnesota, the local and emerging culture(s) of community engagement, and the progressive role of governance and politics at multiple levels. Many of the Department’s programs result from the nature of the practice of landscape architecture. The practice of landscape architecture ultimately results in built landscapes that need to be appropriately situated in their biophysical, cultural, social, economic, political contexts. A successful landscape design must be sensitive to multiple contexts to be able to be constructed and sustained. The same is true of the academic programs at the University of Minnesota. The programs emerged at a time when the field of Landscape Architecture was expanding. The emergence of the professional discipline in Minnesota is intimately tied to the establishment of the landscape architecture program at the University of Minnesota. Thus the discipline’s concern with contexts was simultaneously rooted in its academic tradition. A related factor that reinforces this is that the majority of the University of Minnesota’s landscape architecture alumni remain in Minnesota after graduation, further connecting the programs to their local professional contexts. This results in research foci and education initiatives with ties to local and regional landscape issues. In contrast, programs in other Universities, particularly those without a land grant mission, have divergent foci to their programs and relationships to their contexts. Some are more technically oriented, with the goal to advance the state of the art of the constructed landscape. Others are more theoretical in their focus, advancing the state of philosophical knowledge in the field. Some are more global in their reach, while others are more focused on large scale landscape planning and management. Finally, other programs are focused on direct community engaged design with a strong extension focus.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


The Department’s situation in a comprehensive college of design within a land-grant university, along with the scholarly and professional prowess of its faculty and graduates, enabled timely and significant contributions to the evolution of: a) internationally recognized parks and bicycle transportation systems; b) thriving and vital communities in urban, suburban, and rural settings; and c) sustainable strategies for landscape resource management that foster provision of multiple ecosystem services. The Land-grant Mission There are 73 land-grant universities in the United States, each a legacy of the Morrill Acts of the mid to late 19th century. The land-grant mission of the University of Minnesota promotes higher education as a way to foster learning, the discovery of new knowledge, and continued engagement with communities of Minnesota to benefit “the common good.” (http://landgrant150.umn. edu/urban_mission.html). This mission is supported by a broad “Research 1” university with deep knowledge in a wide array of disciplines. Eighteen colleges within the University of Minnesota system, situated on 5 campuses, offer 150+ undergraduate majors and 100+ professional degrees. Supported by 3900+ faculty and approximately 14,000 staff, the university received more than $900 million in research dollars in FY2017, placing the University of Minnesota ninth among U.S. public universities in receipt of extramural research funding ( resources/research-statistics). The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is also one of only five institutions that offer programs in engineering, law, medicine, agriculture and veterinary medicine all on one campus ( A Large Metropolitan Setting The University is located in the 16th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Of the 73 land grant


institutions in the U.S., only seven are located within any of the 35 largest metropolitan areas (UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, Rutgers University, University of Maryland, and the University of Minnesota, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and North Carolina State). While all but one (MIT) of these universities have LA programs, only the University of Minnesota and North Carolina State have a landscape architecture program located in a comprehensive design college. The design disciplines in the college and their faculty’s expertise evolved to serve the university’s mission in teaching, research and engagement. These legacies shape and have shaped the design professions that emerged in Minnesota in the 20th/21st centuries. Today, design is a central aspect of the knowledge economy of Minnesota and the Twin Cities has become an international and thriving center of design thought and output. Coupled with faculty interests and aspirations, the distinctive contexts of the university and the state have created a distinctive approach to landscape architecture education, research and engagement. Unique Geography Much of the instructional, outreach and research activity of the faculty and students in the Department of Landscape Architecture occurs within the context of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest region, which contains diverse social-ecological systems (Costanza et al. 2014). The region’s richness relates to biophysical as well as socio-cultural, economic and political phenomena. This context provides a unique asset for pursuit of scholarly, instructional, and engaged inquiry relating to landscape architecture. Geologic Diversity. Minnesota contains significant variation in both bedrock and surficial geology. Bedrock formations in the southeastern and southwestern regions of

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the state are largely Phanerozic rocks deposited since 541 million years Before Present (BP) ( Jirsa et al. 2011). While these sedimentary formations have relatively high yield potential for drinking water supplies, they are often susceptible to groundwater contamination from surficial land use patterns. When practiced at the regional scale, landscape architecture must pay particularly close attention to the susceptibility of these formations to contamination by surface land use. Much of the rest of the state contains bedrock deposited during the Proterozoic (541 million years BP to 2.5 billion years BP) and earlier Archean Eon dating in Minnesota back to 3.6 billion years BP. These formations are crystalline in nature and generally have a lower groundwater yield potential than the Phanerozic formations. The location of high iron-ore bearing formations in northeastern Minnesota produced a significant mining economy in this part of the state. In the last 100,000 years, multiple advances of glacial ice inundated nearly the entire state depositing unconsolidated formations that vary from clay to multiple combinations of clay, silt, sand and consolidated rock material (Hobbs and Goebel 1982). These deposits are highly variable in terms of groundwater yield. The sand and clay deposits are extracted for commercial use in construction. Hydrologic and Ecosystem Diversity. Hydrologically, the state contains headwaters for three continental river basins in North America, including: the Souris-Red-Rainy basins flowing north to Hudson Bay; the Mississippi basin flowing south to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes basin flowing east to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Three continental biomes (the eastern deciduous forest, the northern boreal forest, and the prairie) meet in Minnesota (Tester and Keirstead 1995).

Cultural Settlement Diversity. The contemporary pattern of cultural settlement is a product of diverse demographic patterns in the state’s development. Historically, two distinct indigenous cultures populated the state with the Anishnaabe or Ojibwe, inhabiting the forested landscapes of eastern and northern Minnesota and the Santee Dakota residing principally in the grasslands of southern and western Minnesota (Holmquist, 1981). Settlement of non-indigenous populations into the state occurred as the US opened the Northwest Territory for colonization by people of principally European and Scandinavian extraction. A large influx of African-Americans from southern states settled during the mid-20th century principally in urban areas (and especially the Twin Cities). In the late 20th-early 21st centuries, a large influx Somali and Hmong refugees immigrated to the Twin Cities. Approximately 60% of the state’s 2017 population resided in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area (MN State Demographic Center 2019). There were approximately as many people living in the three cities whose population exceeded 100,000 (Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester) as there were in each of the following places: unincorporated townships and unorganized territories; and cities of less than 10,000 residents, 20,000-49,999, and 50,000 – 99,999 (see Table 1). Many of the cities with populations exceeding 20,000 are located in the Twin Cities area. Population density/square mile ranges from 1952 – 3065 in the counties associated with Minneapolis and St. Paul, respectively, to 1.6 for Cook County in the far northeastern corner of the state. Table 1 – Distribution of Minnesota’s estimated 2017 population among various types of residence Type of Residence Population % total state population City (>100,000 pop) 848,991 15% City (50,000 – 99,000 pop) 1,043,021 19% City (20,000 – 49,000 pop) 1,078,008 19% City (10,000 – 19,999) 599,213 11% City (< 10,000) 1,055,389 19% Unincorporated township 914,174 17% Unorganized territory 38,691 <1% Total 5,577,487 100%

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All of the counties containing population densities exceeding 100 persons per square mile are located in the 13-county conurbation between Rochester and the St. Cloud (http://www.usa. com/rank/minnesota-state--population-density--county-rank.htm). The Center for Rural Policy and Development (https://www.ruralmn. org/state-of-rural-minnesota-2018/) characterizes these 13 counties as “entirely urban.” Of the remaining 74 counties, 25 are characterized as urban/town/rural mix, 35 are town/rural mix, and 14 are entirely rural. Land Use/Cover Diversity. As demonstrated in Table 2, the largest preponderances during the 1990’s of land use/cover in the state include various types of agriculture (51%), forest (26.7%), wetlands (10.6%), and lakes and rivers (5.9%). Uses associated with urban and rural development accounted for 2.7% of the state’s land area, while 0.3% was devoted to mining ( Thus, the state can be characterized as containing the nation’s 16th largest metropolitan area, an array of smaller communities in the metropolitan as well as outstate areas, and a significant amount of primarily rural landscape Table 2 - Land Use and Cover From the 1990’s Census of the Land Land Cover Type Square % of State Miles Urban and rural development 2300 2.7% Cultivated land 35460 42.0% Hay/ pasture/grassland 7777 9.2% Brushland 2073 2.5% Forested 22,554 26.7% Water 5018 5.9% Bog, fen, marsh 8950 10.6% Mining 230 0.3% Total 84,363 100.0%

Economic Diversity. Minnesota’s fertile prairie soils and extensive forested areas contributed to development of a historic economic base focused on agriculture, forestry, and transportation associated with shipping agricultural and timber products to process-


ing facilities and markets. In the mid-19th century, with advent of flour milling at St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, manufacturing emerged to transform the raw material of wheat into commercially available flour (https://www.esci.umn. edu/courses/1001/1001_kirkby/SAFL/WEBSITEPAGES/6.html). The economy broadened in the 20th and 21st centuries to also include extensive mining for iron and taconite ore used in steel production as well as sand and gravel aggregate extraction. A diversified manufacturing sector evolved principally in urban areas, especially in the Twin Cities. Making use of the Mississippi and other river systems as well as an emerging network of rail and highways, transportation also became a dominant economic sector. The post-World War II Baby Boom resulted in significant population growth. This expanded the need for LA design services rated to design and construction infrastructure and new development patterns to house and a growing population base. In the post-World War II period, expanding leisure time among the state’s population and increased accessibility of the state’s more remotely located areas transformed these areas into significant outdoor recreation resources. These factors contributed to the establishment of outdoor recreation as a major sector in the Minnesota economy. The expansion of the outdoor recreational industry resulted in the establishment of three national parks, four national wilderness areas, and 74 state parks and recreational areas during the 20th and 21st centuries. While the concept of having “a place at the lake” has always been part of Minnesota culture, the growth of an outdoor recreational tourism industry and second-home development among a larger sector of Minnesota’s population characterized the mid to late 20th century.

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Impact on Growth of Landscape Architecture Profession in State. These factors significantly affected the growth of Landscape Architecture in Minnesota during the 20th Century. The profession’s growth during this period focused on: a) design of transportation and other infrastructure; b) design and management of large- and small-scale recreational spaces; and c) planning and design of areas for industrial, commercial and residential growth occurring in the 13-county conurbation between Rochester and St. Cloud. Culture of Community Engagement In the 20th and 21st centuries, Minnesota politics have flipped between the Democratic and Republican parties. For example, 14 governors during this period were Republicans, while 12 hailed from the Democratic Farm-Labor (DFL) party and its various predecessors. DFL governors during the first four decades of the 20th century fostered a political culture promoting Progressivist policies in government. For example, the most popular form of municipal government in the state is a weakmayor system in which the city council holds both administrative as well as legislative authority, and the mayor’s powers are no greater than those of any other member of the council (https://www. jsp). Since 1957, Minnesota has also had an open meeting law ( hrd/pubs/openmtg.pdf). At the municipal level, these policies generally enable a more inclusive governance system fostering a stronger tradition of community engagement in political decision-making. Engaged scholarship and instruction between Departmental faculty/students and local communities, as well as non-governmental organizations, have flourished in this context.

Nexus of Federal, State, Regional, and Local Governmental Agencies and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) in a Progressive State With the growth of the state’s extractive, manufacturing, and service industries, numerous federal, state, and local governmental agencies emerged to facilitate the development and administration of these economic sectors. As part of its landgrant mission, the University provided technical and administrative assistance to these agencies and industries as they grew. For example, after the supply of economically extractable natural iron ore reserves was exhausted by mining in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Edwin William Davis, a University professor of civil and mineralogical engineering, developed an economically viable process of extracting iron ore from taconite rocks. This discovery was instrumental in sustaining the iron mining industry in northeastern Minnesota. In a similar manner, faculty and students in the Department of Landscape Architecture have worked with numerous federal, state, county and municipal agencies as well as NGOs in affairs relating to landscape design, planning and management. At the federal level, these agencies include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Economic Research Service, and the Forest Service in the US Department of Agriculture. Within the federal Department of the Interior, the Department worked with the National Parks Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Faculty have also worked on projects supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce. At the state level, the Department provided student and faculty assistance related to the activities of the Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation, Agriculture, and Parks and Recreation, respectively, as well as the Metropolitan Council. County- and municipal-level activities

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


focused on work with local planning, urban development, and recreation programs. Departmental faculty and students have also participated in statewide assessments of generic environmental impact relating to agriculture and forestry in Minnesota, managing impacts of camping behavior in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and development of growth management strategies in Rice and Washington Counties, as well as the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

structive dialogues with community members where values, concerns and community priorities are shared. Service-learning opportunities also enable students to learn participatory facilitation techniques, engaging community members as true design partners. This approach facilitates students’ development of a personal, empathetic design process (Penn and Katz, 2019), which values the creation of landscape spaces as authentic representations of and supports for community needs.

Departmental work with NGOs ranges from an extensive and long-standing service learning program with Juxtaposition Arts, continuing work with three international artist-designer-academic networks, and research with the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and Friends of the Minnesota Valley. Design studio projects involved students in developing regional landscape management plans for the Upper Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, the St. Croix River, and the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota. Studio projects have also completed work in Native American communities on management of sacred and educational sites, as well as numerous park and recreational sites managed by the Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as other suburban and outstate communities.

Native American Community Design

Examples of Departmental Activity in Community Engaged Design Since its founding in 1965, the Department has pursued the University’s land-grant mission by working with communities throughout the State. Often providing conceptual design ideas for smaller, underserved and economically disadvantaged citizens of Minnesota, the Department pursued numerous service-learning opportunities. Inspired by the work of Hester (1990, 2006), Bose (2014) and Francis (2009), the Department pursued these opportunities for several reasons. They enable students to engage in con-


In 2015, a Master of Landscape Architecture design studio engaged with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (FDL) and the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Forestry Center (CFC) in northern Minnesota, to develop concepts and design development proposals for a bridge and multi-use trail connecting the two communities across a wetland and stream. “This project brought University of Minnesota students with limited exposure to Native American cultures together with tribal members on their homelands to work jointly in realizing a long-term community vision. The vision foresaw both a physical connection between two neighbors and a dream of increased collaboration and mutual respect between the tribe and the CFC—to build a bridge, both literally and metaphorically between two cultures. The outcome produced dynamic design solutions as well as a pedagogical model that prioritizes relationship-building as the bridge between cultures and shared needs” (Tallman and Koepke, 2016). The 2015 efforts continue, with engineering plans currently being developed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and ongoing joint fundraising activities by FDL, CFC and the Department. For his capstone design project, a Master of Landscape Architecture student created a master plan for an Anishanaabe language immersion center.

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Transdisciplinary Collaborative Design The Department also engaged in numerous transdisciplinary collaborative projects with diverse partnerships to generate new knowledge. Collaboration is generally defined as a joint intellectual effort and transdisciplinary connotes a research approach that includes many disciplinary partners in order to create holistic findings. A transdisciplinary approach enables inputs and scoping across expert and non-expert stakeholder communities, and it facilitates a systemic way of addressing a challenge. This includes initiatives that support the capacity-building required for the successful transdisciplinary formulation and implementation of research actions (Stokols 2011). The Department’s involvement in helping to create the Laurentian Vision Partnership (LVP) in northeastern Minnesota communities in the early 2000’s is an example of its transdisciplinary and MN-ASLA chapter award-winning collaborative design efforts. The LVP, set in the context the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota, was the brain child of an ad hoc group of stakeholders concerned with the future of the Iron Range. Over time the LVP developed into a voluntary organization hosted by a government entity, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). “The LVP promotes and advances ideas for rebuilding range mine landscapes, creating working relationships among local and regional stakeholders, and active participation by communities in directing their future.” It was conceptualized and created largely through the efforts of Departmental faculty and staff. Almost 20 years after its beginning, “the LVP continues to facilitate dialogue among range interests, provide funding for reclamation projects, and identify regional issues in need of discussion and resolution”. (Carlson, 2011, Carlson and Koepke 2017) The Peter Mitchell Landscape Framework Plan, the most significant project to date supported by the LVP, demonstrates the successful application

of a transdisciplinary, collaborative approach for advancing an innovative strategy to reclaim taconite mines on the Mesabi Iron Range. The plan details a sixty-year approach to rebuilding a mine, almost 11 miles in length, into future upland, shoreline and aquatic habitat, in response to state guidelines for mitigation of mining impacts to two critical watersheds. The framework, developed over a two-plus year period through “precedent-setting interdisciplinary collaboration by Departmental faculty and staff, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hydrologists, mine land regulators, wildlife staff, Cleveland Cliffs mining engineers, local community members, consulting ecologists, and hydrogeologists, advances landscape architecture thinking and practice in longterm planning and large-scale design of mining landscapes”. In 2011, an international mining company with multiple operations on the Mesabi Range agreed to meet state agency requirements for mitigation of impacts in the St. Louis River and Hudson’s Bay watersheds, in return for a permit to continue to mine one of its current taconite pits in NE Minnesota. The guidelines include formation of wetland and shoreline habitat, as well as upland revegetation consistent with but potentially above and beyond current state reclamation rules. “The Framework Plan offers a systematic approach to reclamation during and after mining is completed, including installation of innovative practices throughout the mine. The Framework is a ‘living guide’ for ongoing repair and reclamation that mine engineers can use to make day-to-day reclamation design decisions that respond to production planning and environmental conditions” (Carlson and Koepke, 2015). Summary and Conclusions In its 54-year history, the learning, research, and outreach/engagement programs of Department of Landscape Architecture (and its predecessors) have been closely attuned to the biophysical and

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socio-cultural diversity that exists in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The Department’s programs have effectively engaged diverse audiences in developing landscape design, planning, and management strategies for a wide array of purposes, at geographic scales ranging from a specific site to the entire spatial extent of Minnesota. Students receiving (especially) the Master of Landscape Architecture degree are highly pursued by private, public, and educational practitioners in regional, national, and international venues. Many departmental faculty edit and are widely published in internationally recognized diverse scholarly venues, and many have produced award-winning professional work. More than 15 current and former faculty or students have been elected Fellows or Distinguished Members of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the International Association of Landscape Ecologists. The Department’s situation in a comprehensive college of design within a land-grant university, with the scholarly and professional prowess of its faculty and graduates, enabled timely and significant contributions to the evolution of: a) internationally recognized parks and bicycle transportation systems; b) thriving and vital communities in urban, suburban, and rural settings; and c) sustainable strategies for landscape resource management that foster community engagement and provision of multiple ecosystem services. References Bose S. 2013. Self-help Groups and Rural Development. Chennai, India: MJP Publishers. Costanza, R., R. de Groot, P Sutton, S. van der Ploeg, S. J. Anderson , I. Kubiszewski, S. Farber , R. K. Turner. 2014. Changes in the global value of ecosystem services. Global Environmental Change 26: 152–158.


Carlson, C, J. Koepke and M.Hanson. 2011. From Pits and Piles to Lakes and Landscapes: Rebuilding Minnesota’s Industrial Landscape Using a Transdisciplinary Approach. Landscape Journal 30(1):35-52 Carlson, C and J. Koepke. 2017. The Laurentian Vision: Rebuilding Minnesota’s Mining Region. SCAPE, Summer 2017 Vol. 25:21-24 Carlson, C and J. Koepke. 2015. ASLA Minnesota Awards Issue. _SCAPE, Summer 2015 Vol. 21:43-44 Hester, R. 1990. Community Design Primer. Mendocino, CA: Ridge Times Press, Hester, R. 2006. Design for Ecological Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Francis, M. 2009. A research agenda for the impact of community greening revisited. Community Greening Review 13: 61-63. Hobbs, H.C. and J. E. Goebel. 1982. S-01 Geologic map of Minnesota, Quaternary geology. Minnesota Geological Survey. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http:// Holmquist, J. D. 1981. They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State’s Ethnic Groups. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press Jirsa, M. A., T.J. Boerboom, V.W. Chandler, J. H.Mossler, A. C. Runkel, D. Setterholm. 2011. S-21 Geologic Map of Minnesota-Bedrock Geology. Minnesota Geological Survey. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, Minnesota State Demographic Center. 2019. Our Estimates. Retrieved from demography/data-by-topic/population-data/ our-estimates/.

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Penn, A. D. and M. Katz. 2019. Why Use Empathic Design in Landscape Architecture? Retrieved from Land8 Landscape Architects Network. Retrieved from Stokols, D. 2011. Transdisciplinary Action Research in Landscape Architecture and Planning: Prospects and Challenges. Landscape Journal 30:1-5. Tallman, C. and J. Koepke. 2016. Gidaazhoganikemin: We Make a Bridge. _SCAPE, Winter 20162017 Vol. 24:20-23 Tester, J. R. and M. Keirstead. 1995. Minnesota’s Natural Heritage: An Ecological Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

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Thomas Oliphant

Writing About Making and Thinking Author Biography


Thomas Oliphant designs and manufacturers contemporary furnishings in diverse materials integrating technical facility and historical understanding. His practice with clients and contributing fabricators is inclusive and collaborative. These works are integrated into distinguished institutional, corporate and private environments and collections.

I am a designer and educator in Minneapolis. I teach three courses regarding furniture design, history and practice at the University of Minnesota. After thirty years as an adjunct lecturer, I remain more interested in questions than answers.

He teaches in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, and in the Graduate Program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He holds degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art and the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology. In his youth, he held BSA and Red Cross National Camp School certifications and later, license as architect (MN#24191, ret.). Abstract This reflection broadly regards the commonalities in the research, practice and teaching occurring within our very large, diverse land grant university. I write what I know from experience and what I believe to be self-evident to a person interested in creative processes. Keywords Principles of design, design education, foundation design, object design, furniture design, haptic learning


Here, with two examples, I describe foundational understandings that somehow precede specific design techniques. These means to action are guided by the agencies of human sense and physical ability within Cartesian space—governed by Newtonian gravity. Up/down; front/back; left/ right; now/then/later. We understand the world through our senses, then project our thinking outward into that world at differing scales. 1—PRACTICE Design is different from other creative practices in that all works of design begin in addressing needs—the needs of other individuals or groups, existent or anticipated. A need differs from a problem in the degree of specificity. Needs may be comprised of multiple, contradictory problems, including the human conditions of memory and love. A work of design begins with a named thing—“city”, “park land”, “home”, “chair”, “glove”, “letter-form”, “toothbrush”, and moves toward an unknown and optimized form of that thing. In practice, design is fundamentally about the acknowledgment of needs and the refinement of the conditions associated with those needs. The hardest thing about a creative act is learning to start something before you know what it is. Simple things come about through processes that are always more complex than the mind can accu-

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rately imagine. What is consistent in pursuit of any design is the creation of a thing that is named but formally unknown. While writing this essay, I have finished a commission—an editioned set of candle stands to be used by my clients as gifts to their clients. This serves as a place to start writing about making. My efforts were initially constrained by a simple triad of controls: quality, cost, and time. One can prioritize any two, but the one remaining must be left variable. It was quickly decided that high quality and low cost were important. My clients were sufficiently savvy to grant me flexibility with schedule. Too often, I enrich the final results with extra exploration and reflection, using my profit to do so. I have fine machine-tool capability for metal-working. My equipment includes powerful, accurate, hand-operated milling & turning machines with digital location indicators. It was state of the art in 1960. They are slow machines, perfect for prototyping and boutique production because of set-up flexibility and a low cost of operation.

whether my last idea was indeed my last, and suddenly occupied with discovery, editing and refinement of too many options. Observation, memory, cultural history and the dynamics of flame and candle then became the guides to my thinking—squat/thin/big/small—too Danish—like a machine part—the lip—a base... My aha moment1 arrived with a change of tooling—swapping out the standard three-jaw chuck for a four-jaw chuck2, allowing bored-out cubic forms to contrast other pleasing, diametric qualities in the initial cylindrical forms. The set became paired, an idea more interesting than matched. Black/white, square/round and, accommodating two candle types—columns and tea-lights. Additionally the shapes stacked, enticing the want of a second set. Checking that I had created something unexpected in fully addressing my client’s needs, I felt that I was done. They were pleased and I was paid. My wife, Lynnie, tells me that the stands will damage nice tables if dropped. I argue that the market will decide on that particular risk

Design context—the size, shape, and type of candle—was easy because my client has family history with a reputable, old American candle making company. Aesthetics of quality and cost then biased the language of form toward “turning”, with allowance for three additional machined or turned flourishes. Steel is what I do easily. Steel suggests permanence, feels good in the hand and allows integral “colors” of white and black in using stainless alloy or heat-treated carbon alloy. What remains profound to me after years of practice, is what follows the struggle in accounting for multiple and sometimes contradictory needs. However, once limits are established, my thinking passes through a venturi of these constraints to expand in unforeseen possibility. By constraining the possibilities, I became less worried with

Figure 1. Initial cylindrical explorations

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The following are terms that emanate from my experience of art, craft, design, and architecture: WHAT recognition of Need prompting a design Expression HOW a Method by which the Expression comes to be THING an Expression of Need via Method First you decide WHAT it is, then you choose HOW to do it. (Wurman)3 More importantly, I believe that as designers, WHAT we really know is HOW we know. We leverage our perceptions, understandings and beliefs via creative or clever processes of design—processes of free association, processes of scientific

Figure 2. Work holding: the three and four-jaw chuck —diagrammed with round and square work-stock


method and processes based in a history of best practice, speed or politics. Designers no-more understand the outcome of the process than the end-user. Clients always suspect you “know”, yet every design process regards how we codify what the thing isn’t at any specific moment in time and how then to best proceed. With experience, the designer may become expert in the development and making of the thing, but because of the complexity of use, the designer will never be singularly expert in the thing itself. All designs are temporal. Designs exist as expressions constantly transformed by use—there are no permanent solutions. Unexpected things alway happen with use, e.g.—the Post-it and Facebook. Every successful design, however, finds a “goodness in fit between form and content” (Davis)4 and achieves connection with others and with other ideas (Eames)5.

Figure 3. Heat treated carbon steel and stainless steel

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A Method for Thinking: A “Scientific” Method (René Descartes)6

defined and repeatable to the degree that it has been proven useful and teachable to many.

—trust what you know to be true in order to begin (action & accident)

—build from the simple to the complex (synthesis)

How do we know if it is “good”? Vitruvius’7 criteria to judge the quality of design—firmitas (firmness), utilitas (commodity) & venustas (delight) are not rules, but distinctions that allow us to use language to discuss if the soup is too sweet, sour, or salty. Kings choose. We argue about “goodness”. Sometimes we test, vote or agree and, sometimes a market rewards for “design”.

—check at completion (iteration)

QWERTY: quality doesn’t always make immediate sense. And, then there is Love & Memory...

—break large difficulties into smaller ones (analysis)

Training and experience in professional practice taught me to manage these processes with myself and with the client using documentation, communication, and testing. But, a pleasing result is never guaranteed. Often I return to an older iteration having proved through succeeding efforts that it was— really—the purest expression of genius. And, naturally, the user will also have opinions on my selected expression of genius... This method for creatively addressing any particular accounting of need is

Figure 4. vAB candle stands, 2019

2—TEACHING Aidan is a friend of mine who lives in Brussels. She grew up in a very creative home with two sisters. Her father is an architect, and her mother is an abstract painter. When I visited in 2015, Aidan had graduated secondary schooling and had been accepted for college studies at the design school, L’École de la Cambre. She worried that she had no experience making anything “real” which, to her, meant “three-dimensional”. It was a typically rainy day in Belgium and I suggested that we spend an afternoon together to make a chair, Sedia 1 from the 1972 Autoprogetazione project by Enzo Mari8. We looked at the plans together. Aidan prepared a list of materials before we walked to a wonderfully compact and urban hardware/home center. She selected straight, good looking lumber and received attentive service at the checkout counter. We headed home to set up in her Mother’s studio. Aidan practiced with the hand-saw, learning to make a square cut, then, with the power drill/driver to learn to use just enough torque to drive a screw without splitting the wood. Parts were laid out and assembled in stacked, mirrored pairs. As she worked, Aidan made adjustments to make the chair fit her more comfortably—to make it her chair.

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Communal, sturdy and comfortable, the Autoprogetzione furniture was intended for adaptation and fabrication by anyone using basic skills and common materials. The design of Sedia One is such that it self-makes and self-critiques—one connection directs the next. This is why it succeeds so well in Mari’s aim of broad accessibility. The humbling lesson for me was that this attribute was not initially evident from the plans. I discovered these qualities in the act of making the chair for myself.

Figure 5. Aidan Abnet with Sedia One designed by Enzo Mari. 2016

Later, there was a dinner-table event with Aidan upon her chair. Aidan’s sisters immediately had plans for their chairs and her Father was able to mansplain all about how to design chairs. The smile on Aidan’s face was wonderful—the smile of a person who had just learned of the discovery-experience essential in a process of creation— that acceptance & ordering of constraints leads to unforeseen possibilities and greater formal opportunity. Making your own chair is empowering. Aidan, being Aidan, excels in textile design at La Cambre. I helped with confidence that day by offering a project having enough definition to learn a big, small, thing.

Figure 6. Fixturing identical parts by stacking


Figure 7. Kludging a 3D looming device. L’École de la Cambre

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So, we may share the same chair, yet never the same body, time and space. Objects of furniture moderate our environment as expressions of individual need, yet, the collective use of furniture in environments is common and cultural—the history of furniture is remarkably egalitarian in conception and construction. Furniture is best known through experience and a chair’s comfort is paradoxically defined by its lack of discomfort (Rybcynski)9. No-one can tell you that you are not comfortable in the chair that you occupy. All chairs, especially the one you just made, and those famous, good looking ones are omg— super-comfortable (!!) when you first sit down—the question is how long it takes before they grow uncomfortable. You learn comfort through experience, not instruction. Furniture is and must be rendered or digitally modeled but, never in any way that conveys perception of Vitruvius’ principles qualities regarding structure, utility or pleasure. It is better to “sit” to understand the dimensions of a chair rather than to “intend” what that chair might sit like via drawing. And, it is easy to forget that directly making a physical thing can happen without fully knowing what that thing is before we begin. We all played when we were young. We were negating certain “risks” to discover things, making rules as we went along. This was, and remains, essential in order to create as adults. As a means of thinking, making something prioritizes the questions of WHAT-is and HOW-to by minimizing speculation and motivating iteration through the management or acceptance of failure. It is not exactly play, but like play—when it is accepted that the expression of an idea may supersede representational or material correctness, ideas may then be explored directly by making rough things quickly, using the techniques and materials immediately available. These functioning junky things can later be developed using numbers, drawings or, other forms of abstrac-

tion and refined representation. I cite Picasso’s 1912 paper “Guitars”10 as an icon of this method. With shocking representational economy, object, space, time and gravity are presented with sufficient clarity by using minimal effort and material. Another stringed-instrument-icon is Les Paul’s 1940 “the Log”11—a solid-bodied electric guitar prototype evolving many highly-coveted variations for Gibson. Artists refer to “maquettes” and “bricolage”. Engineers refer to “proof of concept” and “kludging”... The goals are Ideas—ideas that reach a larger context beyond commonly recognized boundaries of specific types. Things made fast and cheap are never conventionally good-looking and require coaching for the student to positively accept and speak “academically” about. For instance, I refer to “chairness” rather than “chair”—half-naming something with many possible potentials. With things they have made themselves, students may begin to trust in the confusion of ‘WHAT’—the “workmanship of risk”—to move with some underlying clarity towards ‘HOW’—the “workmanship of certainty”. (David Pye)12

Figure 8. Aidan Abnet, second year textile design, exercise. 2019 L’Ecole de la Cambre

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Making furniture is an exceptional teaching method like few I have ever practiced with. Furniture is a powerfully signifying object motivating students to learn principles with ownership of ideas and responsibility in execution. My belief is that each design discipline with history in the work of the craft-person is capable of putting forth these types of foundational teaching models. All learning results from an exercise in the self-serving motivation of experience—I made it, I use it, I own it. QUESTIONS Increasingly, my belief is that Scale is the one consistent challenge in all efforts of Design. How Big is it?—the complexity of need; the universality of the design expression; the physical size of the effort. How one learns to manage and track scale through abstraction, representation and specification is profound—perhaps impossible to instruct because of the interior nature of the discovery required. And, the period of time where these understandings of self are possible seems to be very limited, requiring dedicated time, patience, a diminished ego, and the openness of an unsophisticated curiosity. Age?—not so important. Young students have wonderfully plastic minds—older students arrive with developed executive functioning and lowered hormonal levels. I teach using experiential, self-critiquing exercises—encouraging students to explore using direct construction at any scale as to express ideas using only the degree of craft required to convey those ideas. I instruct in simple techniques using wood and metal. I advocate for the primacy a physical experience governed by time, gravity and the body. Memory, love, and historic types guide investigation. Students are required to connect beyond commonly recognized boundaries to imagine things in a larger cultural context.


Figure 9. Frankie Yu, UMN Des3322 Fall 2017. Chairs—question of “chair-ness”. 5 weeks. The ready availability of images compounds anxiety in every creative individual, yet much career work rewards for skills in identifying trends in order to specify and manufacture variants for larger, broader markets. These are real “Needs” and the practice drives me bananas. Not ironically, value-optimization seems to require a different set of skills than those I idealize and describe as the methods for design. This is the place for me to begin thinking. In the end I return to what I know to be true—the experience of my being in the world and trusting that it informs all of my “higher” learning. In my creative efforts, I seek to express the joy I receive via my senses—all that I process through my eyes and hands, etc. In doing so, I make things not for the sake of making, but for the sake of thinking.

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Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


References/endnotes 1. “my aha...” The Oxford English Dictionary defines the “aha moment” as: a moment of sudden insight or discovery” Popularly referencing Archimedes moment in his tub. 2. Work-holding is a important determiner in the form of any physical object. In this instance, both chucks allow generation of positive or negative cylindrical forms in turning. Three-jaws require only one adjustment to achieve an even clamping force. Four-jaws require two opposing adjustments to do similar work and, so, more can go wrong. Each are adaptable but ideally specific to a particular workpiece cross section. 3. “WHAT and HOW” referencing Wurman, Richard Saul (1935– ). Speaking at 1979 Aspen Design Festival and cited from notes by Lynn Barnhouse. WHAT & HOW are broadly pragmatic terms that are extremely difficult to use in spoken conversation, but have power in writing as placeholders for powerful concepts of creative practice. 4. Quote. 2008. Davis, Meredith (1948– ). Personal notes, Walker Art Center / Cooper-Hewitt K-12 design education conference. 5. “connections...” referencing: Eames, Charles (1907–1978). A principle theme in his thinking. “Eventually everything connects–people, ideas, objects... the quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.”—popularly accepted attribution

III, (c.30-15 BCE). The translation to English by Henry Wotton dates from the seventeenth century and should be argued over. 8. “Sedia 1”. (1972). Mari, Enzo uploads/2017/08/Autoprogettazione-HiRes.pdf Mari, Enzo (1932– ) wiki/Enzo_Mari 9. “comfort”. Referencing Rybczynski, Witold. Home: A Short History of an Idea. Viking. 1986. ch 4: Commodity and Delight. pg 95 10. “paper guitars”. Referencing Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973). https://wayback.archive-it. org/4387/20140613035236/http://www.moma. org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/picassoguitars//index.php 11. “Log Guitar 1940”. Referencing Paul, Les (19152009). digital/collection/photo/id/15047/rec/8. http:// 12. “the workmanship of certainty”, “the workmanship of risk”. Referencing Pye, David. Shales, Ezra (editor). (2008). The Nature and Art of Workmanship. Herbert Press Essential. 13. Quote. 1969/1972. Eames, Charles (1907-1978). “Q&A with Charles Eames by Curator Madame L’Amic, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. from: Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles & Ray Eames. Neuhart, John & Marilyn. (1989) Harry N. Abrams Inc. p 387-8 Essential

6. “a ‘Scientific’ Method” referencing: Descartes, René (1595-1650) Mathematician & Philosopher 7. “Firmness, Commodity, Delight” referencing: Vitruvius, Marcus Pollio (c.80–70 BCE – after c.15 BC). Principles outlined in De Architectura, Book


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William O. Beeman

Ethnography and Advances in Design Anthropology Author Biography William O. Beeman is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He has been teaching Business Anthropology in conjunction with the Carlson School of Management and the University of Minnesota School of Design since 2007. He hosted the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) in 2016 in Minneapolis. He is author or editor of 14 books, more than 100 scholarly articles and 600 opinion pieces. He has worked in the Middle East, Japan and India for more than 40 years. Abstract Design anthropology is an emerging field in which ethnographic research informs the design process. Design anthropologists provide insights into the cultural worlds of the consumers of design processes, elucidating their true needs and desires, rather than superficial reportage as derived from questionnaires and focus groups, as the first stage of design activity. In this presentation, several classic design process methods are reviewed: QFD (House of Quality). Kano methodology, the Sensys® system, and Design Thinking as promulgated at the Stanford Design School. In each case the positive intervention of ethnographic techniques embodied in Design Anthropology are shown as potential improvements in the quality of design activity. Keywords Design Anthropology, ethnography, QFD, House of Quality, Kano System, Sensys®

The fundamental need for engineering in the new century is to acknowledge and embrace the human nature of its endeavor. . . . beginning with straightforward design issues and escalating to philosophical assumptions about the nature of man. It is my contention that engineering must either enthusiastically incorporate a broad view of humane concern, or make room for a profession that will. (Rolf A. Faste 2001) Introduction In this discussion I will focus on the high value anthropological methodology, particularly ethnographic research, contributes to the effectiveness of the design process. In today’s rapidly changing, highly competitive world, product design, fashion design, architectural design, service design, food design, and graphic design require swift translation of fundamental human needs and desires into technical specifications for the development of products and services that meet those needs (Salvador et al. 2013). Although this discussion will focus on product design, many of my observations apply equally to other areas in the design field. The product design process calls for a complex integration of qualitative and quantitative data. But despite some notable successes, product design failures are today both extensive and expensive (Anonymous 2015), consuming enormous amounts of time and human labor. It is axiomatic that improvement to the process of product design is of great public benefit. Many historical approaches to product design address the problems inherent in this process with limited success. There is an extensive liter-

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ature available to product designers and engineers addressing lapses in strategies for the successful integration of qualitative and quantitative research data into the design process. Despite progress in the integration of data, two current systemic problems in product design continue to elude researchers. The first problem is a lack of accurate research focus and systematicity in the determination of relevant, qualitative, human-factors inputs to design, expressed as consumer desires. The second is the evaluation of the matching of human factors with potential design features, which can be complex and extensive, in determining the optimum features to emphasize in the product design. Research in the relatively new field of Design Anthropology has advanced our scientific knowledge of methods for improving approaches to product design through the application of research and analytical techniques from anthropology and other social sciences. First, design anthropologists are skilled in investigative-research methods directed at improving the design process by integrating qualitative, human-factors data derived from ethnographic fieldwork with quantitative data generated by computer and mechanical engineers. Second, they develop methods for advancing the automation of analytic processes contributing to the design process. Existing Systems of Product Design— Ethnographic Potential I. QFD Method Several well-known systems of product design have been implemented in industry for decades. One of the best known basic models is the Qualitative Function Deployment System (QFD) developed by Yoji Akao in 1966 (Akao, 1990) The QFD System has been widely promulgated with many suggested improvements (Bossert, 1991; Cohen, 1995; Daetz, Barnard, & Norman, 1995; Fical-


ora, Cohen, & Cohen, 2010). Typical QFD analysis involves correlations between customer needs and desires; and engineering and marketing factors to identify those aspects of design that will best address the original customer needs. QFD analysis is often realized through the construction of a House of Quality—a diagrammatic presentation of all of these factors that results in a “design solution” (Hauser, 1988; Madu, 2000).

Figure 1. House of Quality displaying Quality Function and Deployment Analysis The House of Quality analysis, and indeed the entire QFD process, depends heavily on robust qualitative input focusing on human factors derived from consumer research. The entire lefthand section of the diagram consists of qualitative inputs reflecting consumer desires and priorities. The top section consists of potential product features. The match-up between product features and consumer desires is reflected in the intersecting matrix in the middle of the diagram, the match-ups being weighted on an algorithmic scale to show strong vs. weak priorities. The entire diagram is then analyzed by trained designers, who essentially “eyeball” the diagram and make intuitive product design decisions based on their expert judgments.

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In practice the QFD method rarely involves careful research concerning consumer needs and wants. Therefore, as shown in the diagram above, there is a significant opportunity to improve input to the system by using rigorous ethnographic methodology to determine the entire set of significant input factors, thus greatly improving the accuracy of the process. II. Kano Model The Kano Model was developed by Noriaki Kano in the 1960s to assess product development and customer satisfaction (Kano et al. 1984). The Kano Model posits that there are three attributes of a product that govern consumer satisfaction: performance attributes, basic attributes and delight attributes. Customer satisfaction will be higher as performance increases. If performance is low, customer satisfaction will also be low. Basic attributes are attributes that customers expect to be present in a product. If they are present, customers are satisfied but their presence will not be noticed because they are expected to be present. If they are absent, customer assessment will be low. Delight attributes are attributes that, when present, are unexpected and give customers “delight.” If they are absent, customers may not notice, because they are not expected. Kano notes that over time delight attributes come to be expected, and thus change into basic factors ( Jones 1995, Matsushita, Kijima 2014, Cadotte, Turgeon 1988). As with the QFD system, the Kano model relies on expert judgment from product designers to determine the performance, basic and delight factors, as well as the time lags that convert delight factors into basic factors. These judgments may be based on consumer research, but such research is rarely systematic. In implementing the Kano method, determining all three of the salient factors: basic, performance and delight, needs to be determined though rigorous research with consumers.

Figure 2. Kano Method III. Design Thinking Design Thinking is a process associated with the Stanford University Design School and in particular with the recent work of David Kelley, founder of the design firm, IDEO (D. Kelley & Kelley, 2013; T. Kelley & Littman, 2001, 2005), however the roots of Design Thinking go back to the 1950s having their roots in engineering and research science, and in particular the work of Stanford engineer John E. Arnold (Arnold, 1956, 1959 and 2016). The intellectual pedigree leading from Arnold to Kelley passes through Arnold’s colleague Robert McKim (McKim, 1972) and the enormously influential Rolf A. Faste (Faste, 1972, 2001), who taught human centered design in the Stanford Joint Program in Design, the precursor to the Stanford Design School from 1984 to 2003. As elaborated by David Kelley, the Design Thinking Process consists of five stages as shown in the diagram below adapted from the writings of Kelley and others: As in the two methods shown above, ethnographic input is effective at the beginning of the process, the “empathize” stage—to determine how consumers feel, and what they truly desire.

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Figure 3. The Design Thinking Process IV. The CENSYS® service system

Figure 4. CENSYS® system

In 1992, Bob Worrell, founder of the design company Worrell in Minneapolis, MN developed the CENSYS® service system to create a product design process for commercial manufacturers that would embody an accurate prioritization of Kano’s three requirements for success. CENSYS® has been highly successful. The first product to utilize CENSYS® in 1992 was the design for a media storage system that met the needs of its customers so well that it captured 90% of the market.

The first factor is fundamental for any design process, and it is generally achievable by product engineers who create products that “work.” The second factor requires more effort working directly with customers and end users. Even a product design that is functional may not be competitive for a number of reasons: it may be inappropriately sized, clumsy to implement, unaesthetic, or either ignore or fail to achieve customer needs in a multitude of other ways. The third factor is the most elusive. A design that is truly successful creates “customer delight.” It sparks the imagination and intrigues the mind, delivering more than the customer expects. Aside from employment of the CENSYS® system, Worrell follows the general Design Thinking Process outlined above in its development of design solutions for its clients.

The CENSYS® system combines features of both QFD analysis and the Kano Method and embodies their three basic factors: 1. Basic requirements 2. Competitive features 3. “Customer delights” Below is a schematic design for CENSYS®. One can easily see the resemblance particularly to the Kano system.


CENSYS® continues to be a functional system. It represents an innovative advance over the well-established Quality Function Deployment (QFD) system, which has been in use since the 1960s. At present, although the CENSYS® system provides a somewhat greater degree of weighting of human-factor considerations than previously available, its creators emphasize that it has limitations. Qualitative data is elicited in a less than systematic manner. It is highly dependent on the informed intuition of its developers in determining qualitative inputs and weighting of potential product-design factors. Moreover, it requires expert interpretation to generate the product-de-

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sign results. Like all existing product-design service systems, it is continually under improvement. Worrell already utilizes ethnographic methods in formulating its design process as seen in the diagram above. I cite some of the efforts Worrell has utilized to increase the qualitative analytic dimensions of its work below. An Emerging Research Methodology I. Ethnographic Methods—Design Anthropology All of the historic product design systems described above start with the same exhortation to designers: before even beginning the design process, strive to understand what customers truly desire in the products they consume. The House of Quality process begins with consumer needs. The Kano system requires knowledge of consumer expectations and what will “delight” the consumer. Design Thinking begins with “empathy.: The CENSYS®This depends on a deep understanding of human nature as advised by Rolf A. Faste in the epigraph at the beginning of this essay. The fundamental difficulty faced by designers is that customers frequently don’t know what they desire themselves. This creates an informational vacuum where more sophisticated aspects of competitive viability are unknown, and where the elements that create “consumer delight” are also unknown. The most important needs and desires of consumers exist at an unarticulated level. Ethnographic research into the design process is the basis for Design Anthropology, which helps achieve the elusive goal of discovering what it is that consumers truly desire in a new product or service, what will make the product competitive and what will delight consumers, inspire them to acquire and use the product and what is most important to benefit from the enhancement the product or service provides for their lives. Ethnography as a methodology aims to “make the invisible visible.”

Discovering these needs through intense ethnographic engagement with human factors in their natural social and cultural context is the basic aim of design anthropology. Product designers as well as others in the business world often fail to understand ethnography as a methodology. Frequently ethnography is used as a buzz word for loose engagement with consumers. In design publications, the qualitative research needed for analytic methods such as the historical QFD, the Kano system, Design Thinking or CENSYS® requires all of these understandings at the outset. Designers do indeed undertake consumer research, and they may even call this work “ethnographic,” but these methods frequently consist of a few interviews with a limited number of people, or short sessions with a focus group conducted by individuals with no real ethnographic training (Madsbjerg, Rasmussen 2014, Kimbell 2014, Ladner 2014, Sunderland, Denny 2007, Denny, Sunderland 2014). Such research often also misses a fundamental point: the real basis for understanding consumer desires lies not in individual preferences, but in the broad cultural patterns in which products are embedded. Ethnography focuses on explicating the meaning of a given material product in the life experiences of members of a whole society. Only through this extensive holistic analysis can an accurate representation of consumer desires be formulated. Worrell, mentioned above, has made continual strides in increasing ethnographic analysis at the beginning of the firm’s design process, and at the “testing” phase. One innovative practice is the creating of “Discovery Kits” to help ethnographic researchers describe the “world view” of Worrell’s clients and customers. Here is a description of the composition of these kits from Worrell’s web site: Discovery Kits are custom-designed research tools (often in the form of a box or bag) that stay with a respondent for an extended period (from a few days to a week or more). Each Kit includes var-

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ious activities – journaling, questionnaires, video documentation, roleplaying, time mapping, etc. – designed for each project to illicit insights that are difficult to ascertain via traditional research methods.(Worrell, 2019) II. Interdisciplinary Research Problems in the product design process can easily be seen to reflect broader problems in science and social science: integrating qualitative and quantitative data for the design of practical systems. Indeed, the origins of the call for humanistic design originated in the need for attention to human factors in engineering and design, as stated above. This underscores the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to solve pressing human needs. Collaboration between designers and colleagues in social science, computer science, and mechanical engineering lead directly toward a more robust product-design system. First, using a robust ethnographic process to assess the existing system, research in Design Anthropology embraces a rich array of human-factors components to inform the design process. Rigorous ethnographic research involves extensive contact with consumers to determine the cultural, social and personal meaning a given product or process acquires in their lives. This is accomplished through standard ethnographic techniques properly employed—intensive observation over a long period of time, eliciting personal narrative, unstructured interviews, and comparisons between multiple consumers to determine broad patterns of attitudes and cultural meaning. This process, like all ethnographic research, is designed to determine the needs and desires of consumers of which they are themselves unaware. Some of the most successful product designers advocate strongly for its use (Brown & Katz, 2009; Griffin, 1993; T. Kelley & Littman, 2005; Lockwood, 2010; Madsbjerg & Rasmussen, 2014) but few have developed it to its full potential in the design process (Denny & Sunderland, 2014; DiCarlo, McGowan,


& Rottenberg, 2014; Kimbell, 2014; Ladner, 2014; Levine, 1992) III. Broader Impact: Better Human Centered Design Designers have long been moving toward more human-centered processes. Design firms such as Worrell and IDEO have been highly successful implementing this innovation philosophy, and design anthropology has emerged as a profession to aid in the qualitative aspects of this innovation process. Worrell’s CENSYS® service system was created to facilitate and enhance the viability of newly designed and innovative solutions, and while successful, it still requires a great deal of subjective expert judgment both in the determination of human-factors inputs and in the interpretation of the analytic scoring system. Product design has been one of the lifeblood economic activities of the US economy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Although it has yielded great economic and manufacturing successes, these successes come at great cost in terms of finances and human effort. Outsized product-development budgets result from inefficiencies in the design process: research methodologies fail to identify real consumer needs and data-management practices fail to identify product features that address those needs. This is an economic problem, a business problem, and a public policy problem. We hope that Design Anthropology, as a growing field, will address these challenges in current product-design practice by providing improvements in product-design processes. These require robust, qualitative, human-factors, data-collection methods developed to solve the problem of thoroughly identifying consumer needs and desires. In the best of all possible worlds, a robust integration of Design Anthropology with engineering and design activities will enhance commercially viable methods that will benefit the product-design indus-

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try and, by extension, the economic and material well-being of humans throughout the world. References Anonymous. (2015) Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All Time, Daily Finance, [Online], , pp. 10 Jan 2015. Available from: http://www.dailyfinance. com/photos/top-25-biggest-product-flops-of-alltime/. [10 Jan 2015]. Akao, Y. (1990). Quality function deployment: Integrating customer requirements into product design. Retrieved from enhancements/fy0742/89043209-d.html

Denny, R. M. T., & Sunderland, P. L. (2014). Handbook of anthropology in business. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press. DiCarlo, L., McGowan, H., & Rottenberg, S. (2014). Anthropology in a Design, Engineering and Commerce Curriculum. In R. Denny & P. Sunderland (Eds.), Handbook of Anthropology in Business (V. 1– Book, Section, pp. 247–265). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Faste, R. A. (1972). The Role of Visualzation in Creative Behavior. Engneering Education, 146, 124–127.

Arnold, J. E. (1956). Creativity In Engineering (No. 560004).

Faste, R. A. (2001). The Human Challege in Engineering Design. International Journal of Engineering Education, 17(4–5), 327–331.

Arnold, J. E. (1959). Creative Engineering (W. J. Clancey, Ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford Libraries Digital Repository.

Ficalora, J. P., Cohen, L., & Cohen, L. (2010). Quality function deployment and Six Sigma: A QFD handbook (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Bossert, J. L. (1991). Quality function deployment: A practitioner’s approach (21st ed.). Retrieved from fy0647/90043245-d.html

Griffin, A. (1993). The Voice of the Customer. Marketing Science, 12(1), 1–27.

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation (1st ed.). New York: Harper Business. Cohen, L. (1995). Quality function deployment: How to make QFD work for you. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. Daetz, D., Barnard, W., & Norman, R. (1995). Customer integration: The quality function deployment (QFD) leader’s guide for decision making. Retrieved from wiley041/95036688.html;

Hauser, J. R. (1988). The House of Quality. Harvard Business Review, 66(3), 63–73. Kelley, D., & Kelley, T. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York: Crown Business. Kelley, T., & Littman, J. (2001). The art of innovation: Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America’s leading design firm (1st ed.). Retrieved from fy0610/00050906-b.html; Kelley, T., & Littman, J. (2005). The ten faces of innovation: IDEO’s strategies for beating the devil’s advocate & driving creativity throughout your organization. Retrieved from;

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Kimbell, L. (2014). Design Ethnography, Public Policy, & Public Services: Rendering Collective Issues Doable & at Human Scale. In P. Sunderland & R. Denny (Eds.), Handbook of Anthropology in Business (Vols. 1–Book, Section, pp. 186–201). Left Coast Press. Ladner, S. (2014). Practical ethnography: A guide to doing ethnography in the private sector. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Levin, Gary. (1992). Anthropologists in Adland. Advertising Age, 63(6) [February 2], 3,49. Lockwood, T. (2010). Design thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience and brand value. Retrieved from; fy1006/2009026966-d.html Madsbjerg, C., & Rasmussen, M. B. (2014). The moment of clarity: Using the human sciences to solve your hardest business problems. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press. Madu, C. N. (2000). House of quality (QFD) in a minute. Fairfield, CT: Chi Publishers. McKim, R. H. (1972). Experiences in visual thinking. Monterey, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co. Worrell. (2019). Proven Research Tools for Revealing User Insights. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from


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Juanjuan Wu

Designing Fashion Relations? Looking Through the S-O-R Lens Author Biography Juanjuan Wu, PhD, is Associate Professor of Retail Merchandising. She joined the College of Design in 2008, serving as a bridge between retail merchandising and apparel design, from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, where she was an assistant professor from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that, she worked as a fashion editor and journalist for a renowned fashion magazine and as a marketing director for a popular jeans brand in Shanghai, China. She currently teaches Visual Merchandising and Retail Environments and Human Behavior. Wu’s scholarship is focused on the intersection and innovation of design and visual merchandising, especially in 3D virtual spaces. She is also a leading scholar on Chinese fashion studies. She is the author of Chinese Fashion from Mao to Now published by Berg. Abstract

following, word of mouth, loyalty, love, and the premium price that the user pays for a designer label. Stimulus (S) variables include all tangible and intangible offerings of a designer label (both material and symbolic aspects), such as fashion products, packaging, marketing communications, and online or brick-and-mortar environments. The S variables affect R variables through the mediation of Organism (O) variables, which may include the user’s enjoyment, excitement, pleasure, dominance, arousal, immersion, happiness, perception and other emotional, physiological, or cognitive states. O variables represent the experiential aspect of design. Thus, to build and strengthen the desired relations with the user, a designer label must holistically configure all material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of design. Keywords Fashion, Relationship, Designer Label, Stimulus-Organism-Response

This essay argues for the importance of singling out the relational aspect of design from a general concept of experience design as it plays an essential role in ensuring sustained consumption of designer-named fashion. The Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR, Mehrabian and Russell, 1974) framework from environmental psychology is borrowed to explain the variables that affect fashion relations. The vocabulary of the SOR offers a clear illustration of the relationships and an empirically tested mechanism of the effects between the material/symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of design. The desired fashion relations between user and designer label are considered Response (R) variables, which may encompass the user’s attention, interest, patronage intention, cult

Introduction Design thinking and processes have been widely adopted in the business world and in newer fields such as information technology, which has dramatically broadened the traditional scope of design. The variety of design research continues to expand the meanings and connections of design, “revealing unexpected dimensions in practice as well as understanding” (Buchanan, 1992). Designers create not only material objects and physical environments but also communications, systems, activities, services, experiences, and relations, etc. However, to what extent and how can fashion relations be designed? This essay attempts to pro-

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vide insights into this question by borrowing the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR, Mehrabian and Russell, 1974) framework from environmental psychology. The Centrality of the User in Design As commonly regarded as “applied” fine arts or sciences, many defining features of design, such as functionality, aesthetic, economics, and socio-political features are culturally situated. They allude to the critical, imagined participation of the intended cultural viewer or user in the design process. For instance, in order to plan for proper functionality, the designer must to some extent foresee the context in which the planned functionality will unfold. Among other factors, the human factor, e.g., the intended viewer or user, is one of the most salient factors that constitutes this context. In this sense, evaluation of the quality of design cannot be completed without a sense of the future user’s or viewer’s likely experience of the design. The importance of user experience has thus been widely acknowledged in design fields, to such an extent that a degree in “experience design” is now offered in many design schools. Pine and Gilmore (2011, p. 9) declared the advent of the “experience economy” as a result of the sustained and orderly economic progression from the agrarian, industrial, and service economies. They advocated for a paradigm shift for the entire business world: the core offering in this new economic paradigm should be memorable, pleasurable, immersive experiences instead of tangible products or intangible services. And thus production, marketing, retailing, public relations and all business functions need to place customer experience at the core of their thinking. However, Pine and Gilmore (2011, p. 9) treated “experience” as an upgraded offering to “commodities,” “goods,” and “services,” which differs from the argument of this essay: that favorable experience should be a design goal instead of a separate offering.


Authorship as an Integral Part of Value Nevertheless, by adopting this user-centric design approach the identity of the designer is often accordingly deemphasized and the intent of designing simplified so as to improve user experience. In fact, the view of the centrality of users first became evident in the field of information technology as users are shapers of technologies (Mackay et al., 2000) in which design authorship is rarely disclosed. In many design fields the designers do not reveal their identity in an obvious fashion and do not attempt to communicate with their users or viewers in dimensions other than through the designed artifact—they let their designs speak for them. In this case, the importance of design authorship becomes adaptable and situational. McCarthy (2011) pointed out that formal theories about graphic design authorship did not emerge until the early to mid-1990s. Even in the case of revealed authorship, the necessity of acknowledging authorship is always at the disposal of the final viewer or user. However, in the fashion world after the emergence of designer-named fashion, authorship became critical to the value of the design. Fashion designers started to become celebrities at the turn of nineteenth century (McNeil, 2010). The defining moment of publicized authorship could perhaps only be traced to when Charles Frederick Worth (1825–1895) opened the first haute couture fashion house in 1858. The opening of a designer-named fashion house marked a power shift from the customer to the designer as the creator of fashion (McNeil, 2010). Since then in haute couture or high fashion in general, design authorship has become an integral part of what is designed: the designer’s name is often literary sewn onto the designed garment in the form of a designer label. Authorship accounts for a significant portion of the market value of designer labels. In this regard, the author’s origin, life story, sense of humor, sentiments, location, and other socio-cultural,

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biographical, or personal attributes (and even their personal appearance) are all consumables. The designer can plan the communication of this information, as part of symbolic production of fashion, in a similar manner to how they plan the creation of clothing, as a form of material production of fashion. That is, though designers may not be able to “design” their personal identity they can to some extent design their label’s public image, e.g., how their identity, vision, appearance, and design work are communicated publicly. When a designer-named fashion label turns into a corporation, the authorship of fashion can become inauthentic because the fashion offerings are no longer designed or solely designed by the person whose name is the label. The label claims authorship of anything produced under its name, at least in the eyes of the users. Meanwhile, the real identity of the label’s hired design team is rarely revealed to the label’s users or the public. Not coincidentally, marketing studies anthropomorphize “label” or “brand” and invent concepts such as brand identity, brand personality, brand image, and brand love to better understand, design, and manage the brand. Thus, the relations between the humanized label and its user take on a central role in the value mix, though the relations between user and the founding designer or hired design team remain relevant to the value of the label. The Material, Symbolic, Experiential, and Relational Aspects of Design The imperative of recognizing the criticality of user experience in design challenges the assumption that a “perfectly” designed physical form (from a designer’s perspective) coupled with its symbolic add-ons (such as designer label) naturally leads to satisfactory user experience. The great variation in user needs, preferences, motivations, values, and contexts adds uncertainty to how a physical/symbolic form might be experienced (Crilly, Maier, and Clarkson, 2008). Similarly, the importance of the relational aspect of design challenges the assump-

tion that individual experience equates with relationship as both constructs are multifaceted. Trend forecasts, marketing research, and usability tests are some of the commonly used methods to help to understand user needs, demand, and usage contexts with the goal of providing satisfactory user experience. In practice, a co-design approach to involve users in the co-creation of products or systems is sometimes used to improve user experience. Involving users in the design process, no matter at the conceptual stage, during iteration and production, or in evaluating a prototype, often can lead to better designs “precisely because they meet user requirements better,” and thus “represents at least the direction for improvement” (Mackay et al., 2000, p. 738). However, once a design is rolled out to the market, how it is interpreted or experienced by the user can never be reliably controlled due to the complexity of the context of use (Crilly et al., 2008). The same is true even regarding how the material aspect of a design can be controlled: the materialization (e.g., construction, manufacturing, and packaging) process of a design concept can cause discrepancies between what the design is planned to be and what the design turns out to be (Crilly et al., 2008). This means the designer has some but not total control over how a design concept materializes into a product or an offering, especially if there are other individuals participating in this process. Comparatively, the designer has even less control over user experience. Yet this essay argues that design needs to go one step further to configure not only user experience but also relations with user, which apparently complicates things further. Though a designer may have decreasing control over a design’s material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects (roughly in this order), these various aspects of design need to be continuously and consistently planned and managed. Therefore, how a user experiences fashion at a moment of time, be it a form of visual communica-

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tion, a material object, an activity, a service, a system, or an environment (Buchanan, 1992), should not be the end point of a designer’s design considerations. The notion of user experience tends to stress the user’s needs and emotions as an end to design. For instance, Pine and Gilmore (2011, p. 47-56) mapped out the four realms of experiences: entertainment, educational, escapist, and esthetic (4Es) – all focusing on what the user gains. But for designer-named fashion, the goal of design needs to loop back to the designer or to the label in order to sustain continued consumption of works from the same designer or label. In the end, what matters to a designer label is really the relationship between the user and the designer or the label (note: though this relationship can include an interpersonal relationship between the user and the designer on a personal level, that is not the point here). This designer-user relationship is then manifested in the premium price the user pays, as well as interest, attention, passion, positive word-ofmouth, royalty, love, or cult following toward the designer or the label. This relationship can be the result of any or any combination of the touch points between the user and the designer label, ranging from experiences of patronaging stores, using products, viewing advertising, reading stories or descriptions about the designer, or interacting with the designer or designers’ PR team on social media, etc. In other words, all material, symbolic, and experiential aspects of design contribute to building or enhancing this relationship. Thus, the design of high fashion or any other physical or symbolic artifacts to which claimed authorship is part of the consumable value calls for the consideration of relationships not only between the user and the designed artifacts but also between the user and the designer or the label. The mere perfection of the physical form of a design at a material level is not at all adequate as a value package.


A variety of models exist regarding how all these design aspects are managed for a designer label. In large fashion firms, several units, such as design/product development, sourcing/production, advertising/marketing, public relations, merchandising/sales, work together to package all the material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of a design into holistic offerings. For a small design studio, the designer might assume the responsibility in developing and managing all these aspects of design. After a review of over 700 articles published in two prominent journals of design management studies between 1989 and 2006, Kim and Chung (2007, pp 47-48) reported that “the role of design management has expanded from managing product development into leveraging strategic and competitive advantages, managing identity and brand as strategic assets, and maintaining a cutting edge in the global and digital markets.” The concept of designing fashion relations can be particularly useful in promoting ethical fashion, e.g., slow instead of fast fashion. Fletcher (2010) pointed out that fast fashion grows out of the exploitation of the user’s desire for novelty at the lowest possible price. The relationship between a fast fashion label and its users is characterized by low prices, a speedy replenishment of styles, as well as the neglect of increased pollution, depleting resources, unfair labor practices, and reduced social wealth (Fletcher, 2010; see also Carter, 2008). Besides its environmentally and socially questionable methods of production, the fast fashion-user relationship is also associated with fast disposal or hoarding, low recycling rates ( Joung, 2014), and the new consumer’s overall lack of brand loyalty (Kusek, 2016; Lazarevic, 2012). An alternative, more sustainable fashion relation calls for a shift in value judgements from the purely material to the social, the environmental, an appreciation of localness, craftmanship, artisan production, cultural significance, and intellectual property, and above all, the human touch, which circles back to what is underlying the value of designer-named

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fashion. This value shift in the fashion-user relationship is essential in promoting a slow fashion culture that is composed of “different worldviews, with different economic logic and business models, values, and processes” (Fletcher, 2010). A value shift is also critical in the burgeoning sharing economy, in which the circular fashion-user relationship is changed from a focus on ownership to accessibility. Looking Through the S-O-R Lens Interestingly, the classic Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) framework (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974) from environmental psychology is instrumental in mapping the material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of design and in understanding the mechanism of effects among the related variables (see Figure 1). The power of this framework in this case lies in distinguishing “organism” and “response” instead of treating them as a single construct. It is thus particularly useful in illustrating the relations between a design’s material/symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects. As the links between the S, O, and R constructs have been empirically tested by researchers in various contexts, this framework provides a robust view of how all the material/symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects interrelate. Applying this framework, the user’s experiences of any material or symbolic stimuli of a design can be categorized as “organism” variables that may be described using emotional dimensions, such as pleasure-displeasure, degree of arousal, and dominance-submissiveness (Russell and Mehrabian, 1976), perceptual, cognitive, or physiological dimensions (Bagozzi, 1986). This S-O-R framework stresses that the user’s internal states, i.e., organism, mediate the effects of the external stimuli on the user’s psychological (e.g., attitude, satisfaction, preference, desire, intention, or decision) or behavioral reactions such as approach-avoidance or purchasing (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974; Bagozzi, 1986). Though I classify “experience” as an “organism” variable as it is more

internally oriented, a grounded theory approach and perhaps a linguistic perspective are needed to further understand this construct in order to clarify what “user experience” actually entails. Some studies frame experience broadly to include the user-designer relationship; this essay argues for the importance of singling out “relationship” as its existence depends on at least two partners and its consequence could be long-lasting and is of the utmost importance to any label’s success.

Figure 1. Applying the S-O-R framework to explain the material, symbolic, experiential, relational aspects of design To apply the S-O-R lens to illustrate the material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of a Chanel handbag: the material aspect of a Chanel handbag includes its intrinsic physical properties, such as the Chanel logo, leather material, surface design, shape, color, weight, size, dimensions, and workmanship. The symbolic aspect of the Chanel handbag can come from a variety of sources that add meaning and thus to the value of the material worth of the handbag: stories about the founding designer, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (1883–1971), history of the Chanel label, social status, scarcity of each product, high-profile models showcasing the handbag collection, extravagant fashion shows, appealing ads, the rave reviews of fashion editors or social media users, upscale retail environments, and associated celebrities. Even the

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premium price itself supplies meaning and thus constitutes the symbolic aspect of the Chanel handbag. Both the material and symbolic aspects of the design of a Chanel handbag are stimuli that can be meticulously planned to achieve a desirable user response. However, as previously mentioned, the user’s knowledge, needs, preferences, and usage contexts vary, so how users experience (i.e., the experiential aspect) the same Chanel handbag can greatly differ, which can result in different behavioral or psychological reactions (i.e., the relational aspect) to the handbag or to the Chanel label. The following hypothetical scenarios illustrate how the S-O-R model could be applied in this domain: 1) Scenario #1: A Chanel handbag is presented to two users who have no knowledge of Chanel. One user can assess the material and construction quality of a handbag while the other is incapable of assessing such quality. They will likely experience different levels of enjoyment, which can lead to opposite approach and avoidance behaviors toward the same handbag. [The same S causes different Os, which leads to different Rs due to the variability in users’ prior knowledge about the material aspect of the design.] 2) Scenario #2: One user is familiar with the Chanel label and can recognize its logo is compared with another user who has no knowledge of the label. When presented with a Chanel handbag, they will likely have different emotional reactions: one experiences pleasure and a high degree of arousal while the other appears indifferent with a low degree of arousal, which could in turn lead to two opposite behavioral responses, purchase vs. not purchase. [The same S causes different Os, which lead to different Rs due to the variability of users’ prior knowledge of the symbolic aspect of the design.] 3) Scenario #3: Two users are diehard fans of Chanel handbags, but one user just lost her pet fish and thus


has been depressed. When using the same Chanel handbag they experience different emotional reactions: one feels excited and happy while the other one whose pet fish is gone just feels sad. Thus, it leads to distinctly varied behavioral responses to the Chanel label: one tells others about how wonderful Chanel is [positive word of mouth]; the other has lost interest in Chanel forever. [The same S causes different Os, which lead to different Rs due to the variability in usage contexts] 4) Scenario #4: Two users are diehard fans of Chanel handbags. When using the same Chanel handbag they both experience the same emotional reactions: happy and excited. One user then decides to go shopping for a Chanel dress to match the handbag; the other just bought a house and thus could no longer afford any more expensive handbags, so she has no plans to shop for Chanel again but she does love Chanel more as a result. [The same S causes the same Os, which lead to different Rs due to the variability in the user’s demand.] 5) Scenario #5: Twin sisters go shopping for Chanel handbags together. They live in the same house and have similar tastes in fashion. At the store, the clerk chats with one sister but neglects the other. After both sisters look at the same Chanel handbag, the one who chatted with the clerk feels quite happy and thus buys it, but the other sister does not feel happy and thus goes next door and buys a Dior handbag. [Multifaceted, different Ss causes different Os, which lead to different Rs.] In real life the scenarios could be more complicated than those described above. These scenarios demonstrate that user needs, preferences, motivations, demands, and usage contexts, etc. can greatly vary, which may moderate the links not only between S and O but also between O and R. Also, stimuli, organism, and response are all multifaceted. The same emotional reaction toward a stimulus does not necessarily lead to the same behavioral response. Thus, if a particular kind of relationship, such as cult following, is desired, how

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should the experiential, as well the material and symbolic aspects, be correspondingly designed and managed? How should a designer label differently address user responses in the case that the users have the same experience? For instance, when a disappointed user keeps the disappointment to himself or herself the label has one case of disappointment to handle; but when a disappointed user persuasively communicates this disappointment to 100 people, the label will be faced with 100 cases of disappointment.

Figure 2. Applying the S-O-R framework to explain the material, symbolic, experiential, relational aspects of design with moderators Designing a Relationship? As reality is complex, precise control over either the experiential or relational aspects of design is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, a better understanding of these aspects and their relations do offer better control over outcomes in most cases. Based on a good understanding of users, market segmentation, differential advertising, and other data-mining supported target marketing and retailing are all effective means to provide somewhat controlled user situation or usage context, which will likely lead to better experiential and relational results.

Relationship develops dynamically between at least two partners. It can be episodic and short term as a result of a single encounter or it can be longstanding and a result of many affective, cognitive, and behavioral experiences over time. In the “relationship marketing” literature, the relational construct is extensively studied. Marketing scholars differentiate the various states through which a business to customer (B2C) relationship evolves. These evolving states also represent the most studied key relational variables (Zhang et al., 2016; Albert & Merunka, 2013), including identification, trust, commitment, dependence [few alternatives exist (Hibbard et al., 2001)], and relational norms, [a guiding structure reflecting shared expectations of behavior (Gundlach et al., 1995)]. These relational variables fit neatly under the “response” umbrella in the S-O-R framework. Identification, trust, commitment, dependence, and formation of relational norms can be the user’s responses to design stimuli, mediated by how the user internally experiences these stimuli. These relational variables are sometimes treated as mediators for other response variables, such as willingness to pay a premium price or word-of-mouth intentions (Albert & Merunka, 2013). A variety of angles have been taken to study the multifaceted construct of the relationship: cognitive vs. affective dimensions, partner- versus self-focused orientations, individual/unilateral versus bilateral/ reciprocal structures, online versus offline channels, and short- versus long-term perspectives (Kozlenkova et al., 2017; Zhang et al., 2016; Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001; Gundlach et al., 1995). Marketing studies have focused on the design of marketing communications, brand image, and the four Ps of marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place, Kotler, 2011) as stimuli for optimal experience and relational outcomes (e.g., brand identification, brand trust, brand loyalty, brand love, see Khamitov et al., 2019; Albert & Merunka, 2013). Retailing studies also include environmental stimuli, such as store design, ambient, and social

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cues. Studies in both the marketing and retailing fields test the S-O, S-R, O-R, and S-O-R links and attempt to provide insights for designing the right stimuli for the right people at the right time in the right context. However, design literature is often concerned with only the S-O or the S-R links and rarely use the S-O-R framework in its entirety. Though to what extent the designer-user relationship is designable is debatable, designers can certainly benefit from a well-rounded understanding of the material, symbolic, experiential, and relational aspects of their designs and their relations, but perhaps at the expense of the whimsical spirit of high fashion. References Albert, N. & Merunka, D. (2013). The role of brand love in consumer-brand relationships. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 30(3), 258–266. Bagozzi, R. (1986). Principles of marketing management. Chicago, IL: Science Research Associates. Buchanan, R. (Spring 1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5–21. Carter, K. (23 Jul 2008). Why fast fashion is so last season. The Guardian. Retrieved from https:// Chaudhuri, A. & Holbrook, M.B. (April 2001). The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing, 65 Crilly, N., Maier, A., & Clarkson, P. J. (2008). Representing artefacts as media: Modelling the relationship between designer intent and consumer experience. International Journal of Design, 2(3), 15–27. Fletcher, K. (2010). Slow fashion: An invitation for systems change. Fashion Practice: The Journal


of Design, Creative Processes & the Fashion Industry, 2(2), 259–266. Gundlach, G.T., Achrol, R. S., & Mentzer, J. T. (1995). The structure of commitment in exchange. Journal of Marketing, 59 ( January), 78–92. Hibbard, J. D., Kumar, N., & Stern, L.W. (2001). Examining the impact of destructive acts in marketing channel relationships. Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (Feb), 45–61. Joung, H. (2014). Fast-fashion consumers’ post-purchase behaviors. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(8), 688–697. Khamitov, M., Wang, X., & Thomson, M. (2019). How well do consumer-brand relationships drive customer brand loyalty? Generalizations from a meta-analysis of brand relationship elasticities. Journal of Consumer Research. Retrieved from https://doi-org.ezp2.lib.umn. edu/10.1093/jcr/ucz006 Kozlenkova, I.V., Palmatier, R. W., Fang, E., Xiao, B., & Huang, M. (May 2017). Online relationship formation. Journal of Marketing, 81, 21–40. Kotler, P. ( July 2011). Reinventing marketing to manage the environmental imperative. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), 132–135. Kusek, K. (25 Jul 2016). The death of brand loyalty: Cultural shifts mean it’s gone forever. Forbes. Retrieved from: kathleenkusek/2016/07/25/the-death-of-brandloyalty-cultural-shifts-mean-its-gone-forever/#627c38d4ddec Lazarevic, V. (2012). Encouraging brand loyalty in fickle generation Y consumers. Young Consumers, 13(1), 45–61. Mackay, H., Carne, C., Beynon-Davies, P., & Tudhope, D. (Oct., 2000). Reconfiguring the user:

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Using rapid application development. Social Studies of Science, 30(5), 737–757. McCarthy, S. (Winter 2011). Designer-authored histories: Graphic design at the Goldstein Museum of Design. Design Issues, 27(1), 7-20. McNeil, P. (2010). Fashion designers. Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (West Europe), L. Skov (ed.). Berg Fashion Library, DOI: 10.2752/BEWDF/EDch8028 Mehrabian, A. and Russell, J. A. (1974), An Approach to Environmental Psychology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Russell, J. A. and Mehrabian, A. (1976). Environmental variables in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 3, 62–63. Pine, Joseph B. II & Gilmore, James H. (2011). The experience economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. Zhang, J.Z., Watson IV, G.F., Palmatier, R.W., & Dant, R. P. (Sept. 2016). Dynamic relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 80, 53–75.

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Section IV

Design and Education


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Blaine Brownell Design with Matter: Three Approaches in Architectural Education Lucy Dunne & Elizabeth (Missy) Bye Formalizing Tacit Knowledge Toward a More Sustainable Apparel Practice Julia Williams Robinson & Mike Christenson Design Studio as Research Site: Generating Hypotheses and Test Cases Stephanie Watson Zollinger & Genell Wells Ebbini Thinking + Writing = Reflectionnaire Barry Kudrowitz, Monica Rush, and Krystianna Johnson Community of Practice in Product Design Studios

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Blaine Brownell

Design with Matter: Three Approaches in Architectural Education Author Biography Formerly a professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and interim head of the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, Blaine Brownell is now director of the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is an architect and former Fulbright scholar to Japan with a focus on emergent materials and applications. Brownell has authored seven books on advanced materials for architecture and design including the four-volume Transmaterial series, Matter in the Floating World, Material Strategies, and Hypernatural (co-authored with Marc Swackhamer). He has written the Mind & Matter column for Architect magazine since 2009, and his work has been published in over 70 architecture, design, science, and news journals. Blaine’s latest book is Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future. Abstract Material expertise is critical to many design disciplines, yet material considerations may not receive adequate time or attention in the design process. In the field of architecture, material knowledge is essential to achieving creative, innovative, and ecologically responsive outcomes. Yet conventional models of architectural practice and education today downplay the importance of materials by delaying material decisions and by separating material investigations from the design process. In order to be sufficiently prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future built environment, students must ascertain material knowledge in a way that is intrinsically linked to design applications. This article outlines three


different approaches to delivering material education as part of undergraduate and graduate architecture curricula at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Keywords Materials, design, innovation, architecture, pedagogy Introduction Architecture, like the work of many design disciplines, comes into being when a concept is embodied in material substance.“The design, the making of things is a measurable act,” argued the architect Louis Kahn. “Design is a material thing.” (Kahn, Louis 2003) The outcome of the architectural design process is nearly always the fabrication of a physical structure, assembly, or installation—and the performance of this construction is inextricably linked to its material constitution. And yet the traditional design approach prioritizes form over substance, delaying material decisions until relatively late in the process. “The privileging of form over matter is deeply imbedded in the drawing practices of architects today,” claims architectural historian Matthew Mindrup (2016). Furthermore, in the academy, material technology coursework is typically separated from studio instruction, thus further distancing material considerations from design methodology. Why is this disconnect between design and material technology problematic? First, it limits innovation. Advances in architecture are often precipitated by, or somehow related to, changes in technology. However, technological experimen-

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tation is uncommon in the field. “For a discipline that addresses such a broad range of cultural conditions, the range of building materials employed by architects is exceptionally restricted,” write architects Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth (2001). Yet, according to historian Richard Weston (2004), the architectural canon is biased towards buildings considered innovative with regard to novel technological and other characteristics. Second, the pace of technological change is accelerating. The number and variety of available materials have expanded considerably in recent years, accompanied by ever more frequent updates to existing technologies. “New scope and new features, inconceivable advances that meet the eye, require explanation because their novelty has no parallel to earlier experience,” write architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake in Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies Are Poised to Transform Building Construction (2004). Despite the conservatism that currently exists in the building construction industry, the attention architects must now pay to changes in material technologies is unprecedented. Third, ecological concerns have prompted an intensified scrutiny of building materials. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of all global resources, and increased attention is now focused on construction materials’ share of this consumption. According to the United Nations’ report Buildings and Climate Change (2009), “Though figures vary from building to building, studies suggest that... generally 10 to 20 percent of [global] energy is consumed in materials manufacturing and transport, construction, maintenance and demolition.” For these reasons, it is critical that today’s architecture students be adequately prepared with the knowledge and strategies to make informed material decisions in the design process. In the architecture courses I teach at the University of Minnesota, I foreground matter as a lens through

which students can explore critical design decisions and their implications. In both undergraduate and graduate classes of varying formats, I seek to broaden students’ understanding of material capacities in the built environment so that students are better prepared for the new challenges and opportunities of our contemporary world. The following descriptions outline three different approaches to linking material and design education. Each of these strategies is suitable to a typical curricular framework in architecture in which technology and studio instruction are separated. The methods are tailored to specific class formats: an undergraduate lecture course, a graduate design studio, and a graduate seminar. Material Transformations A fundamental goal of material pedagogy in architecture should be to expose students to the intrinsic design capacities of matter. Students should not only have an appreciation for the technical capabilities and appropriate uses of materials, but also for the ways in which matter may be modified, reconfigured, and hybridized to attain innovative results. ARCH 3511: Material Transformations—Technology and Change in the Built Environment is an undergraduate lecture course that surveys the evolution of primary building materials and their applications throughout history. Students analyze major material achievements through the study of technological change and reciprocal social and ecological effects, therefore developing an appreciation for materials’ role in transforming the constructed environment. Assignments model two primary architectural practices based on the categories established in the Journal of Architectural Education (2012): praxis (design as scholarship) and critique (the scholarship of design). Two assignments that address the former area, the practice of exploring the design potential of materials, are outlined here. One of the most important applications of materials in buildings is in the facade, where many sys-

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tems must be integrated to serve important, and sometimes conflicting, functions. Because of the challenging performance requirements and high visibility of the building envelope, it is a critical territory for the application of reliable material technologies that also represent the fundamental values and aspirations of a building’s client and users. In the first class project, student teams must survey, evaluate, and design the application of material technologies for an existing structure. [Fig. 1] The survey includes material sampling according to the physical context, typology, and technologies related to the building. In the evaluation and design stages, student teams create a decision matrix and illustrate their collec-

tive thought process in determining their selected material and the way it is applied. The primary contribution of this assignment is in developing students’ critical and original thinking; as in writing assignments, the work is evaluated based on its coherence, disciplinary appropriateness, and creativity. In the second praxis assignment, the complexity of material inquiry increases to encompass an entire freestanding structure: a hypothetical thematic pavilion for the “Size + Matter” exhibition at the London Design Festival. [Fig. 2] As small-scale, temporary structures, pavilions are model platforms for exploration, unencumbered by many of

Figure 1. Material survey: in this assignment, students analyzed the material palettes of buildings on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, programmatically similar buildings on other university campuses, and technologically innovative materials according to contextual, typological, and technological criteria, respectively. Credit: Sutath Amphavannasouk, Onri Benally, Amanda Benke, Tanner Else, Aalayha Robb, and Grant Simons.


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the restrictions placed on larger buildings. Pavilions often embody radical ideas for new applications using existing materials—something architect Sheila Kennedy (2001) calls material misuse: “The role of the architect is not so much to form these entities as it is to deform them from their standard applications and invent for them new definitions and uses,” she argues. This assignment includes similar survey, evaluation, and design stages as the first project, with more emphasis on the testing of material application ideas in the evaluation stage. Students must address Kennedy’s challenge by including unconventional materials and/or applications in the survey, thus simultaneously engaging Till and Wigglesworth’s critique of the restricted range of materials in standard practice.

Figure 2. Hypothetical pavilion design: a proposal for a structure composed of light-transmitting concrete blocks, demonstrating the structural and illuminating capacities of this novel material. Credit: Sam Clausen, Maria Hogoboom, Erin Kindell, and Quoc-Vy Le. Generative Matter In addition to addressing design applications in material technology courses, students should have a chance to engage material considerations in the design studio. This teaching format, typically taught in an atelier-type setting, mirrors the practice of architecture more closely than any other course. The increasing complexity, special-

ization, and digitization of architectural praxis have expanded the conceptual distance between architects and the material realities of their projects. The widespread reliance upon computer automated design and building information modeling emphasizes abstraction over physicality— and yet many of the most celebrated architectural firms prioritize material experimentation as part of their design process. Inspired by such experimental practices, ARCH 5250: Generative Matter—Procedural Material Design in Architecture, co-taught with architecture faculty Marc Swackhamer and Blair Satterfield, is a graduate design studio in which students develop architectural concepts through direct exploration of material capacities. The course effectively inverts the traditional design process, which typically begins with spatial, formal, programmatic, and contextual ideas and addresses material concerns late in the process. Rather, student teams initiate a set of material experiments that ultimately result in program, site, formal, and other considerations via a heuristic process of discovery. Although this “backwards” methodology may not be suitable for all studio courses or real-world commissions, it is intended to fill an essential gap in students’ educational experience regarding material agency in the design process. The studio thus increases students’ facility with a means of critical material inquiry that is fundamental to their future work. The benefits of this pedagogical approach include the widely varied and unexpected qualities of the outcomes. In one project, students worked with two materials that are ubiquitous in Minnesota winters: ice and road salt. [Fig 3.] These substances are not commonly used in building construction, yet the students devised an innovative subtractive manufacturing technique using the salt to erode ice blocks according to particular volumetric criteria. They then cast hot-melt adhesive over the affected ice to create a series of light-filtering, sound-absorbing building modules. Another team

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developed a method of salvaging waste wood, transforming the pulped material into air-entrained panels for use as thermal and acoustical insulation modules. [Fig. 4] These and other studio projects required significant experimentation and a careful negotiation between open-ended inquiry and goal-oriented technique development.

Figure 3. Cold Form: a proposal for an interior environment composed of surfaces made of custom-developed, aggregated, ice-cast thermoplastic modules. Credit: Isabella Finney, Brad Githens, and Tony Rabiola.

Figure 4. Wood F.O.A.M.: detail of a contoured, aerated wood panel—a proposal to turn construction wood waste into a usable repurposed product. Credit: Alex Greenwood, Trevor Kinnard, and Tim Shortreed.


Material Performance in Sustainable Building Technical courses on materials should provide an opportunity for students to anticipate the environmental impacts of material decisions on design outcomes. Because buildings consume nearly half of planetary resources, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is complicit in the ecological damage that buildings precipitate. ARCH 8565: Material Performance in Sustainable Building exposes students to critical methods of evaluating the environmental effects of materials throughout the design process, thus helping them position design decisions within a global environmental context. The first phase of the course is focused on developing students’ knowledge of analytical methodologies. They learn and employ established industry standards including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Ecological Footprint (EF), and eco-labeling methods to measure the environmental performance of materials. In the second phase of the class, students develop an independent research investigation concerning a particular ecological challenge or opportunity related to one or more building materials. This project consists of three phases of work: 1) a preliminary presentation of the proposal and initial development, 2) a draft paper for peer review and discussion, and 3) a final paper. Students bring physical samples of their material experiments to class and share the results of their quantitative analysis for collective feedback. Some students propose modest modifications to existing building materials with the intent to improve their functionality, environmental responsiveness, and aesthetic potential. For example, Kaylyn Kirby set out to modify the surface treatment of concrete—the most widely consumed building material on the planet—to be more accommodating of plant growth and natural patination. [Fig. 5] One of her research questions was: “Can the issue of weathering cease to be seen as an inevitable nuisance or problem, but rather

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as an opportunity to be harnessed and embraced?” (Kirby 2013). Kirby developed a method of casting concrete using several material layers, including PETG and bubble wrap, to impart a variable embossed pattern in its surface. Once exposed to the elements, the concrete provided a conducive environment for the growth of moss, lichen, and other small plants while protecting the encapsulated reinforcement from degradation.

Figure 5. Biologically supportive concrete: a custom-developed, textured concrete designed to support plant growth and natural patination. Credit: Kaylyn Kirby. Other students in the class pursue novel material ideas based on their anticipated environmental benefits. For instance, Neva Hubbert proposed reengineering food waste into building products. She studied potato peel waste in particular, suggesting that it might be reconstituted into a granular, bio-based material akin to cork. [Fig. 6] Hubbert created three varieties of “potato peel cork” based on the use of different additives such as corn starch and acrylic-based adhesive. Employing the model of an individual acoustical ceiling panel, she calculated that a single module would save over 125 kg of CO2 equivalent in emissions— based on the argument that this method retains stored carbon that would otherwise be released back into the atmosphere via degradation

Figure 6. Potato peel cork: samples made from compressed potato peel—a research investigation in repurposing agricultural waste into a cork-like building product. Credit: Neva Hubbert. Conclusion The aim to establish strong connections between materials and the design process is an attempt to improve upon the shortcomings of conventional practice while modeling the exemplary material methods of particular architecture firms. “With typical buildings, the site is chosen, then form, and lastly the details,” says Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (2011). “By then, there is less time for the details—only standard details are considered because of the limited time.” In Kuma’s practice, which is recognized internationally for its material innovation, the office considers technical details from the outset of the project—thus providing significantly more time to develop thoughtful and creative material approaches. “For example, if we have a year to design, we think about those details for a whole year. In that way, we do not leave things to the end.” (Kuma 2011). No design discipline should, as a matter of standard praxis, wait until the end of a project to address questions about its media. Architecture, like the work of many design fields, requires sig-

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nificant time and effort to develop, and delaying decisions about materials diminishes the capacity to produce innovative, informed, and ecologically responsive solutions. In my architecture courses at the University of Minnesota College of Design, I attempt to model an improved version of praxis in which matter plays a pivotal role— scaled appropriately to materials’ significant global resource impact—so that students will be better prepared to lead future practice. With the exception of entirely digitally based design fields, such as web design or graphic design for online applications, this material-focused strategy would presumably benefit the work of other design disciplines as well.

Mindrup, Matthew. (2016). The Material Imagination: Reveries on Architecture and Matter. Abingtonon-Thames: UK, Routledge Press, 2. Till, Jeremy and Wigglesworth, Sarah. (2001). “The Future is Hairy” in Hill, Jonathan, ed., Architecture: The Subject is Matter. Abington-on-Thames: UK, Routledge Press, 26. United Nations Environment Programme (2009). Buildings and Climate Change. Weston, Richard. (2004). Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century. New York: NY, W. W. Norton & Company, 11–12.

References The Journal of Architectural Education. (2012). Kahn, Louis I. (2003). Louis Kahn: Essential Texts. New York: NY, W. W. Norton & Company, 69, 120. Kahn distinguished between material and form, claiming that form “is not a material thing.” Kennedy, Sheila. (2001). “Material Presence” in Kennedy, Sheila and Grunenberg, Christoph, KVA: Material Misuse. London: UK, AA Publications, 20. Kieran, Stephen and Timberlake, James. (2004). Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies Are Poised to Transform Building Construction. New York: NY, McGraw-Hill, xi. Kirby, Kaylyn. (2013). “Concrete: A Surface Investigation,” a final paper submitted to ARCH 8565: Material Performance in Sustainable Building, University of Minnesota School of Architecture, Minneapolis: MN. Kuma, Kengo quoted in Brownell, Blaine. (2011). Matter in the Floating World: Conversations with Leading Japanese Architects and Designers. New York: NY, Princeton Architectural Press, 36.


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Marilyn DeLong

Trend Thinking, Change Making AUTHOR Biography Marilyn DeLong, PhD, is Professor of Apparel Studies in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. She has served for 27 years in various administrative roles at the University of Minnesota, from Director of Graduate Studies to Associate Dean. Scholarly research is focused upon design history, aesthetics, material culture and activism related to design, societal and cultural trends. DeLong is author of numerous books including The Way We Look, Dress and Aesthetics and Color and Design, and research articles in such venues as Fashion Theory, Clothing Cultures, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, Senses & Society, Textile, Qualitative Market Research, and Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. DeLong has been co-editor of Fashion Practice, a journal focusing on global sustainability, from its inception in 2009. She has given keynote and/or research presentations in Spain, France, Portugal, England, Denmark, Brazil, South Korea, and throughout the USA and China. She has been named Fellow in two professional organizations, International Textiles and Apparel Association, and Costume Society of America. Abstract This paper provides an overview of some concepts and processes for trend thinking used in an undergraduate upper level course taught in the College of Design. Besides being offered to students in the College, students who take the course come from various colleges at the University of Minnesota—i.e. CSE, CLA, CEHD. Trend thinking is about becoming aware of changes in the thinking of the user that can affect the future success of products in the marketplace and even the marketplace itself. Increasingly the multidimensional

nature of the marketplace includes: appealing to the user through multiple channels of shopping; new markets opening for second-use clothing; and a designer’s focused output offered online for a global reach. Keywords Strategy, pedagogy, trends, change critical thinking Introduction In this information rich era, what is “trending” is critical to understand for anyone involved in the design and marketing of consumer products. Trends are a prediction of something that may likely happen in a certain way—”specifically something that will be accepted by the average person” (Vejlgaard 2008, p.7). When design is approached from a human-centered, behavioral, change-making perspective, designer, maker, user all become informants in the process and the need for change is related not only to one’s physical and cognitive needs, but also to one’s social and emotional needs (Goncu-Berk 2018). Manzini (2019) in his recent book, Politics of the Everyday, describes individuals of the 21st century as living in a spatially open and fluid world. Increasingly, their well-being is based upon their own design capabilities—freedom to design how they want to live, how they want to appear. According to Manzini, designers are those who focus, develop and use the culture and its tools for design, and people involved in the design process and who make such choices are all designers. The designer’s role must be to catalyze those positive resources required to address our environmental

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concerns and our social and cultural catastrophes. In this fluid world, this means everybody must be involved in the design process. The design process The design process, especially for apparel products, involves understanding the concepts of fashion and style (DeLong 2010). The concept of fashion exists as agency for change in the design process. Fashion is related to individual and collective lifestyle behaviors and attitudes: it is about what we eat and drink, what we like to read, the movies we watch, the activities we pursue and the way we want to appear within a given cultural context. Fashion has traditionally been characterized as the prevailing style. Style has been defined as a characteristic manner of expression (Nystrom 1928). Any industry designing products or services is aware of the need to pay attention to fashion and style. Fashion works best when identification of both the group or collective, and the individual can be addressed and satisfied. When a fashion is identified as a particular style or characteristic expression within a certain time and location, a tension often occurs between conformity to that fashion and the individual’s ability to find a means to express individuality. For example, collective behavior that identifies a style tribe such as the punks’ penchant for resisting the currently accepted fashion—must find expression both within the group and for the individual (Sklar &DeLong, 2012). Within any fashion cycle, a variety of styles are accepted and worn by the majority. The current trend is for increasingly casual dressing for the entire US with fewer explicit guidelines for what is an acceptable appearance. This trend is occurring broadly and across generations, although each generation accepts this casual dressing trend based upon their own experiences.


The concept of trends The concept of trends involves keeping abreast of those changes that occur within a culture. Trend forecasts are predictions of the future. Most industries spend time thinking about how trend forecasts will affect the success of their products. Trend thinking is about observing what behavioral changes are in-process or taking place within a culture and connecting those changes with consumer products and services. For example, the breakdown of gender boundaries within the USA has influenced the need for design of new categories of product in the market. The marketing of products based upon gender is no longer entirely viable and products labeled as “unisex” are offered in growing numbers. Trends happen whether a person is aware of them or not, and they involve both collective behavior and individual expression (DeLong 2018). An example of collective expression would be a person who thinks about and gives expression to being up-to-date. An individual expression would be if the person strives to be unique in some measure, i.e. dressing, eating, or in choices of entertainment. There is some tension within an individual when the person wants both—to conform to express collective behavior, and at the same time wants to dress for individual expression. Trends can occur long term or short term. Long term trends can be century long and involve major lifestyle changes. An example of a long-term trend is the 20th century trend toward democratization of dress that involves casual dressing with fewer categories of clothing worn for a wide variety of occasions that do not differentiate status. This has been possible with increasing mass and global production that has resulted in affordable, albeit minimal products often of low quality. Now everyone can afford this casual look! And with this long-term trend toward casual dressing has come short term trends.

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Designers often differentiate product details which can become short term adaptations of a long-term trend. For example, blue jeans have played a significant role in the casualization and democratization of how we like to appear in the USA. In the early 20th century such bifurcated garments for covering the lower torso and legs were worn primarily to do manual labor because they were sturdy, washable and held up over time. As this item of dress has taken a role in casual and less labor-intensive dressing, jeans are now designed with details that create the need to buy more. For example, details include using artificial means to distress through such processes as bleaching, ripping holes in the legs, cutting the leg portion off at various lengths and leaving them raw edged—and even with raw edges facing out. Technologically we have the capability of creating something durable that wouldn’t look worn out even after years of wearing. Is this logical to create a distressed look that is expensive and possibly not affordable to the general population— even though it looks casual and affordable? The answer may well lie in the democratizing effect of the trend, that is, the need to make expensive products look affordable. Such practices are being criticized because they conflict with the more immediate need for sustainable products whose wear life can be extended rather than cut short by distressing the product (Clark 2008). Recognition of a trend is often accompanied by descriptive language that names and calls attention to the occurrence. Terms such as “athleisure,” a combination denoting leisure and athletic wear, are coined to describe and market such democratizing trends. Other terms arise as a result of the introduction of a product, such as the “Fitbit” that recognizes the need to monitor one’s body movements. Technological innovations such as the “smart phone” and its meteoric acceptance and adoption have given rise to terms such as “social media”. The widespread use of social media has created a phenomenal change within our culture.

Trend thinking as change making can occur over time with a variety of outcomes. For example, in 1992, trend forecaster, Faith Popcorn coined a term, “Cacooning,” for a trend defined as the need to protect oneself from the harsh and unpredictable realities of the outside world. (Popcorn 1992, p.27). Some 25+ years later, we continue to find evidence of this long-term trend in the form of “cozy comfort” and the sprouting of words to describe the effect, i.e. hygge, a Danish word for the feeling of cozy comfort at home (Underwood, 2018). The Star Tribune ( January 26, 2019) sought to define the concept as it relates to winter subzero temperatures. In the feature, “How We Hygge,” activities are suggested, such as nestling into a comfy couch, or visiting an indoor conservatory, or stopping at a marketplace filled with Scandinavian knitting patterns for sale. Such cozy comforts are ways Minnesotans can create hygge in the midwinter months. The past affects the present and future in trend thinking. For example, the art of dress, according to Pbrzybyszewski (2014) in her book by the same name, has changed within the 20th century from a formal set of guidelines for creating ensembles that look coordinated within a certain specified stylistic expression. These early 20th century guidelines included gender definition and boundaries i.e. females and males differentiated through appearance, specified skirt and pant lengths as so many inches from the floor, what colors “went” together, i.e. no to color combinations such as black with navy, and what to wear seasonally, i.e. no white after Labor Day. Trending in the 21st century avoids such collective stylistic guidelines and accepts a greater sense of and tolerance for individual expression. There are few remaining boundaries for gender, season, color or culture. However, such change happens more easily for the younger than older users who may adhere to learned habits of thinking from their youth. The extent of one’s life experiences plays a role in trend thinking and change making. In recent

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years, generations are named for the collective characteristics they embody. For example, the Baby Boomer generation are those born post WWII, 1946-1964, characterized by what they embraced, the technology, i.e. TV, and protests i.e. the Vietnam war. Woodstock is a common benchmark event of this Baby Boomer generational cohort. On another generational spectrum, the Millennial Generation, those born 1981-1995, and children of the Baby Boomers, are attentive to brands with strong ecological and humanitarian concerns and more interested in technology than clothing products. Such lifestyle characteristics are key in understanding trends (Brannon & Divita, 2015). The Process of Trend Thinking The process of trend thinking mirrors the design thinking process and is reasoning that involves a combination of the familiar deductive and inductive reasoning and the less familiar abductive reasoning process. A deductive process begins with a theory or generalization and seeks to find data to confirm the generalization, often by using quantitative research methods. The inductive process begins with specific observations and moves to infer a conclusion or generalization that may be true, often using qualitative research methods. Inductive reasoning is a process useful in making predictions about the future. On the other hand, abductive reasoning is sideways thinking in which the researcher engages in collecting data as systematically as possible, but then must consider how it all comes together into a diagnosis or prediction. An example is a physician who gathers what facts are available to make a diagnosis. Abductive thinking proceeds in an orderly and methodical way toward the development of useful inferences. It requires knowledge and integrative skills that combine logic—but often are not considered entirely logical. Because inference may result from hunches, clues, symptoms, analogies, and scenarios, it often takes a creative leap to come forward with something new and useful


(Fisher 2018 p.25). To accomplish trend thinking using abductive reasoning there are helpful activities that proceed as follows: Integrate Concepts: The process of trend thinking means learning through a series of building blocks. It begins with techniques for learning how to examine the pertinent literature on the topic, how to observe and take note of what is happening around you, being curious and willing to characterize the user (both “oneself” and the “other”) in terms of likes and dislikes, life-style preferences, attitudes and behaviors. Imperative is understanding the role of the user, product and marketplace within the context of time, place and the collective direction the culture is taking. Proceeding on, the researcher examines the user as an individual and as a collective, the selected product and its potential in the marketplace. This includes current products and markets as defined by the user. As the researcher collects data the relationship of the forecast to the user, the product and marketplace become fodder for the trend. To integrate concepts when examining readings, students are asked to select a key idea from a current reading assignment and then find support for that idea from previous readings and their own reflections. This process of integration of both the readings and reflection are then summarized. Here is an example written by a student in the class that illustrates this process of first, selecting a key idea and second, reflecting upon its impact: 1. Select a key idea and quote: “To effectively arbitrate the debate between environmentalists and the fashion industry, we must demonstrate clothing’s potential to reflect aesthetic and ethical ideals. Both fashion and the environment are undeniably important. Yet it is often terribly frustrating to get proponents of either side to understand each other’s position. To environmen-

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talists, fashion is an unnecessary extravagance pandering to the vanity of the wealth and contributing to escalating consumption. For the fashion sector, the moral imperative of sustainability threatens creativity and profit (Fletcher, 276).” 2. Reflect upon its impact using your other readings and observations: This has been an important debate for years. Sustainability has been a crucial factor in many parts of society, and has hit a high in the recent years, especially in fashion. Many fashion brands have recognized the importance of the environment and sustainability and have made significant changes to how they operate and manufacture clothing. However, many of these companies still operate in the realm of fast fashion. Due to this, consumption increases and will remain high even with their green initiatives to combat environmental issues, because consumers will continue to buy goods and not stop. This is observed in an excerpt from Fashion Zeitgeist: Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System: “Glittering and blinding, fashion draws attention away from the substance of things. It is the very personification of the individual alienated in the rush of consumption, of the self-lost in the brilliant world of commodities (Vinken 2018, 3).” The consumer does not help the issue of sustainability often. However, some are working towards limiting themselves to what they buy and how they use the items. An example of this is capsule wardrobes, which is becoming a mega trend. Who What Wear reported, “While the minimalist lifestyle has been gaining traction for a while now, lately it seems the trend has narrowed in on an area dear to our hearts: the closet... One closet-reducing program that’s especially buzzy as of late is the capsule wardrobe (Collings).” This integration of readings often evolves into reflection that applies the concept to the student’s final project to predict future of products within a market segment.

Recognizing Individual and Collective Behaviors Trend thinking as an educational tool involves a trend researcher learning first the difference in perspective of oneself as an individual compared to collective behavior (Blumer 1969). From “Me-to-We” is a useful concept in trend thinking, as first the researcher must examine and understand his or her own behavior, i.e. preferences, likes and dislikes. This requires practice in first distancing oneself from one’s habitual ways of being in order to become conscious of those very habits. Second, the researcher becomes aware of and sorts out similarities to how others within one’s cohort group are behaving. A third step in this process is to move outside one’s own cohort group and learn how to discover the behaviors of another group different from one’s familiar cohort in such aspects as age, preferences or lifestyle. Learning the perspective of the “we” and the “other” is very useful when designing or marketing consumer products, especially when designing outside the realm of the familiar. Making the strange familiar occurs when designing for a cohort group other than one’s own group. Goncu-Berk (2018) has suggested how to think about design for someone other than oneself and outside one’s culture. Another important activity is an exercise in making the familiar strange. Make the Familiar Strange Learning how to make the familiar strange means bringing to awareness the habits of being that influence us. Only when we do not take for granted those familiar experiences can we accept some measure of objectivity in our perspective. Think about the change in perspective that extended travel to an unfamiliar location can bring or being away from and then returning to the familiar, such as returning home. One means of accomplishing this is through the practice of participant observation.

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Participant Observation is a means of making the familiar strange but also the strange familiar. In sociology and anthropology, participant observation is a process by which one learns to maintain a sense of objectivity while participating in a familiar activity –The process involves first being a careful observer, a good listener and being open to the unexpected (Kawulich 2005). Once you have walked away from observing the activity, you quickly record what is remembered to analyze what is happening to the “we”. At first the activity selected should be a familiar one. For example, to apply the process of participant observation, students have selected activities familiar to them: riding on the bus between campuses, eating out at a restaurant, or attending a familiar theater. Here is a student example of a participant observation of something familiar— handing out treats at Halloween in their neighborhood: “For this event, I observed the trick or treating event at 50th and France storefronts on Saturday, October 27. Growing up, the majority of costumes I would see were store bought and consisted of a lot of superhero’s, princesses, and popular TV or movie characters. During the trick or treating event I barely saw any boys dressed as a super hero or a girl decked out in a princess dress from the Disney store. The majority of the costumes were either DIY ideas found on Pinterest or food, which was very surprising. Children were dressed as Tacos, donuts and watermelon which made me laugh because that is something I never would have thought to dress up as a child. The most creative DIY costume I saw was a cup of hot coco. The girl had made her costume as a mug and put little white balloons around her neck area to act as marshmallows. She had even added a design to the fabric mug and monogrammed her initials on it. I really appreciated the out-of-the-box thinking by both parents and their kids when it came to selec-


tion of a Halloween costume to wear this year. It shows that as consumers become more creative, they are less willing to pay for the over-priced, low quality, generic costumes that can be purchased readymade.” (Report of Student in class 3217) After using such familiar activities to engage in participant observation, eventually one can move on to observe the unfamiliar, that is, an unfamiliar activity for the observer. An unfamiliar activity is in some ways easier to observe. However, this requires skill learned in observing the familiar— to observe clues that are there in front of you. It means learning about being an astute observer and learning to create a certain distance not only from your familiar group but also to the other group. It takes practice to reach beyond the familiarity of one’s own group to consider and observe another group without becoming resistant and judgmental in the outcome. Remaining open in your observation is key. For example, let’s consider pet owners as a collective. Observing the activities of neighbors who own a pet is unfamiliar to you because you have never owned a pet. You observe the neighbors first walking their dog and other activities of the neighbor and the dog; this means not engaging yourself in any negative thoughts such as the dog that starts barking so early as to awaken you. Once you have completed your observation, then you move on to engage in observation of owners and their pets in activities at a pet park, or pet owners posting pictures of their pets on social media. Then the “what if” and the “where for” can begin to take shape. How would this increase what you need to observe in pet ownership and accompanying activities that relate to the need for new product categories? What if the trend towards owning and caring for a dog continues in an upward trajectory? For whom is the trend to be targeted? These questions can inform trend thinking and help identify those activities that create societal changes.

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Identifying what makes for societal change Look for Signs in Threes How does one learn to observe changes that become trends? Key to recognizing a trend is to look for signs that some aspect of human behavior is changing within the cultural context. When such a sign is recognized within three different human activities, places or products, you most likely have meaning becoming explicit. When this triangulation is noted a possible trend may be gaining momentum (Raymond 2010). Once recognized you put these signs into an analytical framework and apply trend thinking concepts. For example, apply your observations about dogs and their owners—first your own neighbor and his dog—then dogs in the neighborhood. Is there also an increase in the number of dog owners in your neighborhood? What are the numbers nationwide? Is there an increase in the number of dog owners nationwide and what types of dogs are increasingly owned? You note that the increase in number includes service dogs. And what does this say about a cultural trend? Could you consider that an increase in the number of owners of dogs as pets and service animals is creating a market for dog related products? Then you consider how pet products are being offered in the marketplace. You discover a whole section of the market focused upon presents for pets—toys, furniture, clothing, accessories. You begin to read about caring for a dog on social media. In this way of developing your curiosity to look for and collect signs from any sources, you will begin the triangulation process. Future Tense The Use of Scenarios. Futurists often create scenarios that are useful in predicting trends, such as the rise of retail and e-commerce, social networking, and sustainability (Singh 2012). One exercise that helps to make the strange famil-

iar is to engage in scenarios—storytelling about the future. If you start with a change you are aware of such as climate change, with its evolving clues. From this start you can create a scenario by extrapolating what is known now to a future that you describe as a story for which you can describe options that could predict the future. A scenario narrative explores the future use of a product from a user’s lifestyle point of view. Such scenarios can make design ideas more explicit. As Martin and Hanington (2012) suggest, scenarios should focus more on what technology might enable than on the details of technology. Here is an example: Future Scenario: In year 2035 the number of retail stores has diminished, and retail has gradually given way to increased online shopping for users in the US. In addition, the government has urged all populations to adopt sustainable products because of the sheer glut of non-biodegradable products—both new and used— that are stockpiled around the country. Questions: With this scenario, how would the design of products change? How could individual expression be achieved? What could become a mega-trend? Solutions considered by students include products designed for second use; products that are biodegradable; multiples designed in basic shapes and colors to serve both the gendered and gender-neutral markets; body modifications such as tattoos to achieve individual expression. The teams address outcomes of such a scenario: the differences that could occur in changes in shopping behavior; design for those seeking gender neutral clothing; how designers would change the product. It works best if you describe options and then consider each, one by one. For example, as climate change is experienced, what would happen if coastal areas disappear and central colder regions become more stable and therefore more habitable? Would Minnesota with its central location interior to the continent, and a cli-

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mate of seasons with some extreme temperatures, suddenly become a destination for those looking for such a stable location? In this activity of scenario building, it is rewarding to find ways to think collectively.


Think as Teams—Think Collectively

Brannon, E. and Divita L. (2015). 4th edition. Fashion Forecasting. New York: Fairchild Books.

Throughout the term, students are organized into a team of 4-6 according to the self-defined expertise and diversity of its members. Individuals within the team engage in a series of projects involved in collecting data on the user in the marketplace that must then be arranged into a series of inferences. There is time allowed to present the work of the team to the class for discussion and further suggestions. Ample time is provided to consider how projects fit together: how to recognize individual and collective behaviors; how to optimize clues, symptoms, analogies, scenarios and hunches; and how to integrate concepts. Such teams operate most optimally when they share experiences and activities of trend thinking and engage in such other activities as scenario building. To summarize and conclude These concepts and processes for trend thinking are applied to the design and marketing of consumer products as well as changes that might occur in the marketplace. These processes infer the need to consider impact of the user in the process of change. The user is paramount within the context of the current time but also becomes important in weighing past experiences as part of the prediction for the future. Communication within the fashion life cycle is key and includes maker, marketer and user. As we all become informants in the trend thinking process, we can regard change to be related to our physical and cognitive needs, and to our social and emotional needs. If we considered change thoughtfully using trend thinking in this way, we could trend toward having a more sustainable world.


Blumer H. (1969). Fashion: From Class Differentiation to Collective Selection. The Sociological Quarterly 10: 3. 275–291.

Clark, H. 2008. Slow + Fashion—an Oxymoron—or a Promise for the Future? Fashion Theory, 12(4), pp. 427-446. Collings, K. The Capsule Wardrobe: How to Reduce Your Closet to 37 Pieces. Who What Wear, 10 Sept. (2018), how-to-capsule-wardrobe. DeLong, M. (2018). Developing an Expert’s Viewpoint, Communicating Fashion:Trend Research and Forecasting. communicatingfashion/. DeLong, M.R. (2010). Fashion, Theories of. In V. Steele (Ed.). The Berg Companion to Fashion. an ebook in the Berg Fashion Library. Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved July 15 2021, from 474264716.0007020 Fletcher, Kate. (2007). Not One But Many: New Visions for Fashion. In the Future of Fashion, White Papers. p. 275-283. Lynch, A. & Strauss, M. Fashion as Collective Behavior. In Changing Fashion an ebook in the Berg Fashion Library Fisher, T. 2016. Designing our Way to a Better World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Glertz-Martenson, I. 2010. Fashion Forecasting. In Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe.

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Goncu-Berk, G. (2018). The Trend Research Toolkit.Communicating Fashion:Trend Research and Forecasting. communicatingfashion/. “How we Hygge,” (Saturday, January 26, 2019). Star Tribune. Variety Section E1,3. Kawulich, B. 2005. Participant Observation as a Data Collection Method. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 6:2

Vejlgaard, H. 2008. Anatomy of a Trend. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Vinken, Barbara. What Fashion Strictly Divided. Fashion Zeitgeist: Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System. (pp. 3–40)Oxford: Berg, 2005. 3–40. Bloomsbury Fashion Central. Web. 13 Nov. 2018. < edu/10.2752/9780857854094/FASHZEIT0004>.

Manzini E. 2019. Politics of the Everyday. London: Bloomsbury. Martin, B. & Hanington, B. 2012. Universal Methods of Design. Beverly, MA: Rockport. McKinney-Valentin, M. “Trends,” in Eicher & Tortora, Volume: Global Perspectives. Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Berg Fashion Library. Nystrom P. 1928. Economics of Fashion. New York: Ronald Press. Popcorn, F. 1992. The Popcorn Report: on the future of your company, your world and your life. New York: HarperCollins. Przybyszewski, L. 2014. The Lost Art of Dress. New York: Basic Books. Raymond, M. 2010. The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook. London: Laurence King. Singh, S. 2012. New Mega Trends, Implications for our Future Lives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Sklar, M. & DeLong, M. 2012. Punk Dress in the Workplace: Aesthetic Expression and Accommodation. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal. 30(4), 285-299. Underwood, L. 2018. Comfort is personal in cozychic retreats. In Star Tribune, Section H. October 1

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Lucy Dunne & Elizabeth (Missy) Bye

Formalizing Tacit Knowledge Toward a More Sustainable Apparel Practice AUTHOR Biographies Lucy E. Dunne is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she directs the Apparel Design program and is the founder and co-director of the Wearable Technology Lab. She is a co-author (with Susan Watkins) of “Functional Apparel Design: From Sportswear to Space Suits” (Fairchild Books, 2015), and her academic background includes degrees in Apparel Design (Cornell University, BS and MA), Electronic Engineering (Tompkins-Cortland Community College, AAS), and Computer Science (University College Dublin, PhD). Her research is focused on pursuing the vision of scalable, wearable garment-integrated technology, and explores new functionality in apparel, human-device interface, production and manufacture, and human factors of wearable products. Dr. Dunne has received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and the NASA Silver Achievement Medal for her work with functional clothing and wearable technology. Dr. Elizabeth (Missy) Bye’s scholarship balances published research and creative works with a focus on the relationship between design/manufacturing/sustainability, socially responsible design, and apparel technology including human factors, sizing and fit of wearable products. Recent projects include Racial Equity in Sustainable Apparel and work with Native American designers around gratitude & reciprocity as Foundational Values for a Sustainable Apparel Future. Dr. Bye is an International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Distinguished Scholar and received the ITAA Lectra Innovation award for faculty research twice. She received the College of Design Outstanding Teaching Award and the Tekne Award for Collab-


oration for Community Impact. Dr. Bye was the department head of Design, Housing, and Apparel from 2011–2020, and past ITAA president. Abstract The apparel industry in its current incarnation faces many fundamental problems of sustainability and social justice. A key driver is that production and demand have outpaced the traditional reliance on human intelligence alone for decision-making. We find that there are strategic opportunities for systemic change as the scale, speed, and impacts of design practice begin to push the limits of human intelligence and reliance on tacit knowledge, and force the development of new processes. Identifying, coding, and operationalizing the tacit and unwritten knowledge that resides in expert, experienced designers and industry professionals is a complex proposition and the boundaries of transferability and/or generalizability of this knowledge are not well-understood. We begin to illustrate the specific use of tacit knowledge in apparel design from a creative and technical perspective and call for moving beyond the traditional process (expert analysis through a case by case approach) by uncovering systems and models that can establish applicable, nimble and proven understandings. Several forms of knowledge and expertise are represented in this domain and require formalization for new applications. Identifying core concepts that can be characterized through objective research is a starting point to operationalize this foundational tacit knowledge.

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Keywords Tacit knowledge, apparel design, designer Introduction As the discipline develops, the role of tacit knowledge in apparel design continues to evolve. Initially rooted in the skill and understanding developed via making processes, the critical role of theory has been stronger in socio-cultural understanding of apparel, and less emphasized in informing the development and execution of design. There is a general lack of design theory across design disciplines, particularly in apparel design. Here, we question the reliance on tacit knowledge in current practice and the implications of this practice for a discipline navigating a shifting paradigm. The current state of design practice in many design fields is one of transition, as the scale, speed, and impacts of design practice begin to push the limits of human intelligence. This is a strategic time for designers as they address unprecedented global challenges from environmental, economic, and social demands. While exact sales numbers are difficult to quantify, it is estimated that about 30% of apparel produced is never sold. Of the clothing that makes it home with a consumer, only 30% (men) to 5% (women) is worn regularly (Dunne, L., 2015). This represents a significant error margin for the apparel industry: the vast majority of what is produced is not worn. The availability of inexpensive apparel has led to overconsumption and a devaluing of the creativity, materials, and labor involved in apparel design. The production of cheap fashion, often with copied designs, poor quality materials, and poor working conditions has contributed to the fashion industry’s record as a large contributor of both pre- and post-consumer waste. Many design decisions are driven by the need to generate a profit, yet the market is suffering from poor apparel sales. Producing too many of the wrong items leads to consumer dissatisfaction and increases our impact on the planet.

New models of apparel product development that consider more circular models that include new technologies, systems, and a consumer who is more socially aware have the potential to reduce apparel’s negative impact. Our current practices are not sustainable and as researchers, we have the responsibility to support innovation. Better design relies on a better understanding of what consumers want and will wear. In theory, the skill of a good designer lies in solving just this problem. However, from the evidence available, it seems that designers do not have access to the information they would need to effectively design a solution. We believe that current practice suffers from over-reliance on knowledge held by the expert and unequally distributed, and that improving on the state of the art requires that the tacit and unwritten knowledge that resides in expert, experienced designers be captured and coded. Then, it can be shared and inform the development of new, powerful tools to generalize and assess the validity of tacit hypotheses that have long been held by practitioners. As a generation of experienced personnel retires, businesses are experiencing real difficulty in hiring qualified designers. New designers have had more formal education yet many lack the expertise and tacit knowledge to be successful. However, the qualifications for a designer have expanded to include more analytical, strategic planning, and collaborative abilities while still understanding the foundational tacit knowledge. Tacit Knowledge Tacit knowledge is gained via the experiential practices of making, doing and the implicit problem-solving tasks those activities involve. It often resides in the subconscious of the experienced practitioner and can be difficult to put into a form that can be easily shared and understood. It is the means by which implicit, intuitive understandings are created and held in the mind, and is an effective strategy that spontaneously arises

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in situations of significant complexity (Reber, A., 1989). There are few formal principles or theories to guide decisions or best practices, and novices are taught to “know it when they see it” mainly through experiences in the classroom or on the job. The practice of apprenticeship is one method of transferring tacit knowledge (though a rarely used convention in our industrialized, digital world). While much implicit knowledge is transferable to new contexts, the boundaries of transferability and/or generalizability of this knowledge are not well-understood. Formalizing tacit knowledge does present a complex undertaking. In design practice these tacit skill sets are formed and implemented at many interrelated levels of the creative process. At the most basic, the judgment used to select appropriate techniques of craftsmanship: the right seam for this fabric, the right finish for that surface. At an intermediate level, aesthetic judgement: the manipulation of design elements such as proportion or emphasis, sometimes called “connoisseurship” (Nimkulrat, N., Niedderer, K., & Evans, M., 2016). At the most abstract, the skill that guides what is sometimes known as “abductive reasoning” (Peirce, C. S., 1935): ideation and innovation, generating and selecting among novel concepts. Importantly, tacit knowledge is synergistic with learned structure—supplying abstractions of an underlying mechanism improves the efficacy of tacit knowledge, provided that structure is consistent with the individual’s implicitly generated abstraction. (Conflict between the individual’s abstraction and a taught abstraction had a neutral to negative effect on performance (Collins, H., & Evans, R., 2008). Design education across many disciplines shares a universal foundation of tacit knowledge around 2D and 3D images and forms, design principles, studio culture, and critique. Both educational systems and professional practice are heavily studio-based, an environment in which activities are


informed by principle, executed by trial-and-error, and refined by critique. Designers learn by practicing through case examples at all levels of the design process: from inspiration and concept development through execution. However, this knowledge is rarely abstracted into a learnable structure. The Utility of Tacit Knowledge in Apparel Design In apparel design, tacit knowledge is made most explicit in the critique of instance cases: a diagnosis of the flaw in given concrete examples; “That waistline is too high”, “that curve is too sharp”, “these colors don’t create enough contrast”. Importantly, designing apparel is a domain in which the full scope of the design and development process is considered part of the designer’s training. Apparel is a uniquely complicated practice as it requires resolving the relationship between an infinite variety of malleable, moving human forms and a countless variety of possible materials. Added to the success of a design are the aesthetic, psychological, social, and cultural interpretations that are required to satisfy the desires of each individual. Therefore, the implicit knowledge of the apparel practitioner spans from mechanics and geometry of unpredictable materials to psychology of aesthetics to sociology of individual and group identity expression. At each level, abstraction of example-based tacit knowledge into an ontology, model, or set of rules may improve the designer’s ability to generate effective solutions. Tacit knowledge in the design process The process of designing apparel involves the synthesis of creative and technical tasks (Fig. 1). A design process framework provides direction for an apparel designer. Knowing how to apply the process is learned and becomes internalized for most good designers. As a starting point, skilled designers immerse themselves in a culture or con-

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Figure 1. Creative and Technical/Analytical Tasks in the Apparel Design Process text, in which they conduct market research and explore trend forecasts to predict emerging consumer interests. In the case of forecasting apparel trends, the goal is recognition of patterns of behavior and dress that reflect the zeitgeist. Inspiration from current culture or the natural world serves to filter a broad creative space, leading to brainstorming with a more focused outcome. The cultural signals synthesized by the designer may be presented as ‘intuition’ though more likely held as tacit knowledge. Designers begin to translate these early concepts into possible designs by sketching rough ideas. This process is based on tacit knowledge and skill: the designer self-edits and revises continually, making judgements about each sketch and using those to inform revisions that will match the criteria for the design. A fraction of the total ideations progresses to a prototyping stage. The decision of which ideas to advance is a collaborative mix of tacit and explicit information: implicit judgement of experienced design leaders as well as more explicit drivers like sales history and projected cost. In the initial prototyping stage, ideations and stylized illustrations are refined to clarify communication of the concepts. Materials are selected, and a garment pattern is made to render the 3D shape.

Each of these tasks involves a large number of creative decisions: specifying proportion and volume, the relationship to material properties, and assembly nuances using stitches and seams. The creative illustration may specify some of these variables, but many are decided at the prototyping stage. Importantly, the individual responsible for the initial concept is rarely the same person executing the prototype. Clear communication and the ability to correctly interpret a sketch is critical. Prototypes typically pass through some number of revisions where aesthetics and functionality are assessed, and areas of improvement identified. There is an essential need for tacit knowledge in making decisions about how a garment looks on a body and how well a garment fits and functions. Current CAD systems, body scanners, and motion analysis equipment can speed the process, but still require an intimate knowledge and problem-solving ability to reach a fit approval by the design team and the consumer. Automated machines to cut and stitch garments together are in limited use due to the tacit knowledge of the experienced people cutting and assembling garments with a countless variety of materials and conditions. The implicit models that guide decisions in this process are rarely generalized: each case is treated as relatively unique.

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In an ideal, sustainable scenario, designers would manufacture only the clothing that consumers want to wear under a circular economic model. However, this transition is fraught with risk: companies must be ever more sure that they are producing items that are wanted and will be used. Moving tacit knowledge into an operationalizable form can support decision making at all levels of the apparel development process. Supporting apparel practice Current technologies to support apparel practice are largely concentrated on digital execution of traditionally paper-based tasks, such as CAD pattern drafting software or digital rendering of illustrations and technical drawings. Tools to support the creative process commonly take the form of brainstorming strategies, image collections, figure templates for drawing, or guidelines for best practices in garment fabrication. Even the relatively specific, geometry-based pattern drafting process (a task that involves creating a 3D volume from a 2D pattern) is heavily driven by rules of thumb and rudimentary methods developed decades (or centuries) ago. How can our understanding of

these creative tasks advance to launch apparel design practices beyond the digital adaptation of traditional practices? A different way of thinking is essential to producing different results. How do we decrease routine cognitive load to tackle more strategic, innovative paths? (Wood, N., Rust, C., & Horne, G., 2009) Informing decisions with validated formal methods and/or with data-informed practices is likely to improve the resulting products. Having the ability to consider multiple options and challenge decisions could expand the possible solution space. A new form of tacit knowledge around applying data-informed and/or theory-informed systems would likely develop. Designers could shift their attention to creative systems and strategic approaches to meet the individual needs of each consumer. While the industry has embraced just-in-time production to reduce costs and ensure that products are ready for sale, this thinking has not extended to consumers’ purchase decisions. With new models of developing apparel, people may be satisfied with less quantity of clothing in exchange for apparel that is well-made and truly meets the needs of each consumer.

Figure 2: Genesis and Communication of Tacit Knowledge in Creative, Practice-Based Disciplines


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Moving from Experiential to Propositional Knowledge As previously discussed, tacit skill sets exist at many interrelated levels of the creative process (Fig 2). Throughout, and perhaps most starkly within the learning process, the practitioner possesses both contributory expertise (Collins, H., & Evans, R., 2008)) or experiential knowledge (Niedderer, K.& Reilly, L., 2007) and interactional expertise (Collins & Evans, 2008) or propositional knowledge (Niedderer, K.& Reilly, L., 2007). Contributory expertise or experiential knowledge is the kind that is internally facing, implicit or tacit, and based on experience. Interactional expertise or propositional knowledge is knowledge in an explicit form that can be more easily transmitted to others (represented as fluency in the language or concepts of a domain). Interactional expertise can be acquired without direct experience, as in the case of a critic or scholar who does not practice in the domain. The transition from experiential knowledge to propositional knowledge requires articulating implicit knowledge in explicit form, though propositional knowledge in design is typically case based. For example, an expert designer can convey the principles that influence the success or failure of a particular garment, but not necessarily the characteristics of all successful garments. An iterative process of generalization and evaluation is required to extrapolate beyond the case in question. In science, this is the process of inducing a hypothesis, theory, or model from observations. The nature of the observations in design is more fluid and nuanced than that of scientific observation where the variables can be tightly controlled. This acts to obscure the generalization process for many aspects of creative design, which in turn limits the transmission and impact of the practitioner’s knowledge. While the principles and elements that form the foundation of aesthetic practice are used to diagnose or justify a critique, the application of those principles is not explicitly

defined. Yet, as with many skills of the “I know it when I see it” variety, there is nevertheless some consistency in the judgements of experts. Some shared understanding of “successful” applications of the foundation principles exists, a “collective tacit knowledge” (Collins & Evans, 2008).

Capturing, Assessing and Generalizing Tacit Knowledge Understanding the nature of tacit knowledge in apparel is a starting point, however developing a method to capture, assess, and generalize it presents a challenge. Designers, even those in academia, have not been guided to view their practice as a means of generating new knowledge and theory. Bye has questioned the scholarship of making when the tacit knowledge that is uncovered through experience remains with the designer. She calls for a reframing of that work so that new discovery can be disseminated and suggests “As the field continues to evolve, designers will require empirical knowledge that is not currently available from existing models of professional design practice.” (Bye, 2010) Great opportunity exists by moving beyond the expert acting in a case by case approach by uncovering systems and models that can establish applicable, nimble and proven understandings. In the development of an AI system for wardrobe selection, Dunne discovered that implicit understanding of acceptable pairings of garment styles, colors, and proportions must be explicitly understood in order to code a system to make these decisions (Dunne et al., 2015). While technical aspects of apparel development (see Figure 1) are more immediately formalized, the formalization of aesthetics is perhaps the area in which the most development is needed (and where advances may prove to have the highest impact). The most basic foundation of operationalizable knowledge in apparel aesthetics is an ontology of

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basic attributes: the elements of which a successful whole is composed, and which may be used to predict the success of a given design. These attributes are defined through myriad definitions and frameworks, centuries of advice, expertise, and principle that have been taught to designers and consumers alike. Few of the existent frameworks for understanding aesthetic qualities have been empirically validated, and some (for example the principle of proportion) have found very weak evidence when assessed formally (Saiki, D., & Makela, C., 2007). Dressing advice typically focuses on a subset of apparel attributes such as color schemes ( Jackson, C., 1987) or body/garment proportions (Woodall, S., 2002); or prescribes a sparse set of examples that pair semantic garment properties (such as a specific sleeve shape or trouser length) with an aspect of the consumer’s person (body shape, personality, wearing context, etc.). Apparel textbooks enumerate both semantic attributes (garment elements that can be named, such as sleeve or collar types) and abstract principles (relationships between attributes such as proportion, emphasis, and balance). Semantic attributes may have only a loose relationship to these abstract principles: for example a bishop sleeve may typically have a larger volume than a tailored sleeve, but the degree of added volume is highly variable between two bishop sleeves. Abstract attributes may be defined as relationships between area/ volume, color contrast, and body attributes, and semantic attributes may be composed of certain relationships between abstract attributes. However, no validated understanding exists of the basic building blocks or first principles of aesthetics. Developing this foundation is a necessary first step toward formalizing design principles. There may similarly exist a wide range of interpretations of design attributes as they relate to successful design products, and many different successful relationships between attributes may be feasible (as opposed to a single-ended optimization relationship). Modeling these relationships is the next step in formalizing design principles.


It is here that differences of opinion may be the most stark – certainly between aesthetic sub-categories attribute relationships may be highly variable. Theoretical concepts like the Apparel Body Construct framework (which describes a relationship between individual perception and assessment of apparel, the body, and the context in which it is worn (DeLong, M., 1998) may provide a baseline for abstracting attribute relationships, which can be developed more specifically for relevant sub-categories There is no formal proof that coherence exists among expert opinions, yet the evidence provided by fashion trends supports the likelihood of at least some coherence. The degree to which agreement can be reached among experts (or, even, the relationship between expert opinion and consumer perspective) remains to be discovered. While the utility and success of a formal approach to modeling a tacit visual decision making process is unclear, the process alone affords a perspective into creative practice that has not yet been experienced by apparel designers. At minimum, a rich conversation about what we “know” when we “see it” can be expected. Identifying core concepts that can be understood with objective research is a starting point to develop this foundational tacit knowledge. At best, that knowledge can be structured and operationalized in order to reduce the catastrophic impact the textile and apparel industry continues to have worldwide. References Bye, E. (2010). A Direction for Clothing and Textile Design Research. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 28(3), 205–217. Collins, H. and R. Evans, R. (2008). Rethinking Expertise. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. DeLong, M.R. (1998). The Way We Look. New York, NY: Fairchild Books.

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Dunne, L. E. (2015). Technology and Sustainable Futures, in Sustainable Fashion: What’s Next? A Conversation about Issues, Practices and Possibilities. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing. Jackson, C. (1987). Color Me Beautiful. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. Nimkulrat, N., Niedderer, K., and Evans, M. (2016). On Understanding Expertise, Connoisseurship, and Experiential Knowledge in Professional Practice. Journal of Research Practice, 11(2). Niedderer, K. and Reilly, L. (2007). New Knowledge in the Creative Disciplines—Proceedings of the First Experiential Knowledge Conference 2007. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 6(2), 81–87. Peirce, C. S. (1935). Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Volumes V and VI: Pragmatism and Pragmaticism and Scientific Metaphysics. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press. Reber, A. S. (1989). Implicit Learning And Tacit Knowledge. The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118(3), 219. Saiki, D. and Makela,C.J.(2007). Proportion in the Design of Women’s Fashionable Clothing: A 50‐ Year Retrospective. Family and Consumer Science Research Journal, 36(2), 110–129. Wood, N.R. Rust, C. and Horne, G. V. (2009). A Tacit Understanding: The Designer’s Role in Capturing and Passing on the Skilled Knowledge of Master Craftsmen. International Journal of Design, 3(3), 65–78. Woodall, T. and Constantine, S. (2002). What Not to Wear. Riverhead Books.

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Julia Williams Robinson & Mike Christenson

Design Studio as Research Site: Generating Hypotheses and Test Cases AUTHOR BiographIES Julia Williams Robinson, PhD, FAIA, is Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota and a registered architect. She is recognized as an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor, and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In addition to her doctoral degree from Delft University of Technology, Professor Robinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, and a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, from the University of Minnesota. She is author of many articles, book chapters, and books including Complex Housing: Designing for Density (Routledge, 2018), Institution and Home: Architecture as a Cultural Medium (Techne Press, 2006), The Discipline of Architecture (co-edited with Andrzej Piotrowski, University of Minnesota Press, 2001), and a monograph: Programming as Design (with J. Stephen Weeks, University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 1984). Mike Christenson, AIA, NCARB, is a licensed architect, the author of the book Theories and Practices of Architectural Representation (Routledge, 2019), and the Associate Editor for Architectural Computing for the journal Architectural Science Review. Christenson’s professional work includes experience at Minneapolis-based Alliiance, on teams in collaboration with Jean Nouvel on the design of the Guthrie Theater on the River and in collaboration with Cesar Pelli on the design of the Minneapolis Central Library. Together with Malini Srivastava, he is a Principal Architect in the award-winning architectural firm Design and Energy Laboratory, LLC. As a Professor of Architecture at the University of


Minnesota, he teaches in the areas of design fundamentals and digital representation. Abstract In the discipline of architecture, defined as a research-oriented field within the last twenty years, using the studio as a site for research is a contested idea (Groat and Wang, 2013). Much of the early architectural research evolved primarily in technical fields and in the more quantitatively-oriented social sciences such as psychology and sociology, which is not well-suited to work in the design studio. On the other hand, the design studio, with its exploratory orientation, fits well with work that does not test, but develops hypotheses. This paper argues for the design studio as a site for exploratory research in which the approach and resulting cases are addressed with rigor, and presents two contrasting approaches to such research. Keywords Architecture, research, design studio, hypothesis, case study Introduction This chapter proposes using the academic architectural design studio as a site for research. While in architecture, it is controversial to see design as a valid research methodology (Groat and Wang, 2013), the broader field of design already advocates this approach ( Joost et al, 2016). However, in the latter context, design is understood as professional practice and not professional education.

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Findeli’s concept of “project-grounded research” requires that questions be framed as projects “constructed anew by the designer-researcher according to each situation, through a sort of permanent hermeneutic process.” (2016, 28-9). Design researchers must uncover “the specific anthropological issue at stake and ... elaborate the proper research inquiry,” while designers must “deliver an adequate proposal to the actors/stakeholders” (p. 30). Babbie addresses three purposes of research: exploration, description and explanation (Babbie, 2016: 90-93). For Babbie, “[e]xploratory studies ... are essential whenever a researcher is breaking new ground, and they almost always yield new insights into a topic for research. ... The chief shortcoming of exploratory studies is that they seldom provide satisfactory answers to research questions, though they can hint at the answers and can suggest which research methods could provide definitive ones” (91). Dudovskiy describes exploratory research as investigations exploring a question’s nature without requiring conclusive results: “the researcher ought to be willing to change his/her direction as a result of revelation of new data and new insights” (Dudovskiy 2018).

tations to evidence-based research, for final-year undergraduates in the B. S. in Architecture program. The studio began with Hennepin County’s desire to address underutilized youth detention facilities. The community had rejected an earlier proposal as too institutional, too large, and inaccessible. In seeking the best way to serve adjudicated youth, the county suggested developing a spectrum of services, including sites for youth incarceration and treatment.

Our approach to studio pedagogy as a form of exploratory research, following Zeisel’s idea of the design hypothesis (Zeisel, 1986/2006), is to see it as a hypothesis-seeking process. The studio operates uniquely as an environment for generating hypotheses, in that it enables students to uncover issues, redefine projects, and deliver proposals, as mutually reinforcing tactics. Within this context, we examine two studios, one taught by each author, to compare their tactical commonalities and approaches to the studio as a site for research.

The design approach comprised a preconceptions exercise exploring normative and innovative attitudes toward incarceration; precedent analyses including traditional, innovative, and normative settings for adults and youth; sketch models exploring relationships between attitudes and architecture; and program design, site selection, and schematic design (Robinson & Weeks, 1984).


Precedent analysis covered a range of housing settings engaging cultural attitudes from punitive to healing. Analysis revealed that security concerns drove the design of American incarceration facilities in contrast to other forms of housing. Emphasis on security included establishing distance from local communities, separating staff

The first studio, led by author Robinson, with participation by Dan Treinen, architect at BWBR, and Angela Cousins of the Hennepin County Department of Community Correction and Rehabilitation, combined academic and professional orien-

The research approach incorporated readings, literature searches, videos, site visits, precedent analysis, expert speakers, and class discussions presenting issues including racism, trauma-informed design, mental illness, addiction, age of maturity, and innovative incarceration approaches. The studio visited a youth residential incarceration setting, an adult short-term prison or workhouse, and a high-end youth addiction treatment center. Experts, including a youth psychiatrist, architects and interior designers with specialties in incarceration and therapy, prison personnel, and parents of adjudicated youth, gave presentations and participated on design reviews.

Uncovering Issues and Redefining the Project (2089)

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space from residents, the use of cells and prison bars, and a lack of visual and physical access to exterior spaces. Based on precedent studies, site visits and personal experiences, students designed pairs of sketch models representing contrasting attitudes (e. g., healing, normalization, education, therapy), identifying design attributes associated with attitudes. The models revealed the importance of activities such as youth 1) making meals and having their own room (normalization), 2) having access to natural settings, the ability to control stimulation and of feeling secure (healing), 3) having comfortable, adaptable furnishings to personalize settings and provide transition spaces supporting adjustment to different settings (therapy), and 4) having acoustically and visually calming settings (education). These exercises, alongside expert presentations and site visits, revealed issues such as the high proportion of adjudicated youth with mental illness, and family trauma (Ford et al, 2007; Dierkhising et al, 2013). They reinforced the need to pursue therapeutic design, even as incarceration experts stressed a security focus. (From the visits students learned that only a small proportion of adult residents require the level of security provided in the facility we visited, and very few youths are so violent that they require high level security.) We theorized that high security associated with incarceration makes people incorrectly fear that former youth and adult internees are dangerous, stigmatizing them upon release. Furthermore, having experienced trauma and mental illness, adjudicated youth would benefit from therapeutic environments, rather than punishment and high security. The class decided that treating all adjudicated juveniles as potentially violent was unjust, and that our work should focus on the 90% or more of adjudicated youth who were non-violent. We learned from parents that an extreme shortage of mental health treatment leads to unaddressed


crises. Youth needing care are often sent out of state, creating hardship for their families. Institutionalized racism also became apparent in our site visits: at the county detention facility, all of the youth were of color, while residents in the highend youth addiction facility, funded by insurance, were 90% Caucasian, with few if any youth of color. We learned that incarcerated youth came from a few impoverished neighborhoods, and we decided that our designs should focus on these neighborhoods, with the goal of preventing youth from getting in trouble. We held a class discussion addressing a possible care continuum and its implications for our project. Informed by statements from class presentations by parents, we concluded that providing indirect family and community support was as important as directly supporting youth. We analyzed what it would mean to have a spectrum of care for a child at various development stages, and examined what challenges could arise in each stage and which institutions and programs might appropriately address these issues (Figure 1). We thus redefined the approach from a care continuum for youth to a care continuum for youth and families. Our visit to the existing youth detention facility uncovered problems with its suburban location. A lack of public transportation restricted access for low-income parents. Students had to leave their high schools when in treatment, and the limited population reduced educational offerings. Upon treatment completion, returning youth could no longer access familiar therapists. These observations reinforced our decision to focus both on community-based treatment and on small, non-institutional settings for 24-hour treatment settings. Although the original intention was to improve conditions at the county facility, uncovering these issues redefined the problem as one of preventing incarceration by helping youth in impoverished neighborhoods avoid trouble. This public-health approach encompassed youth, their families, and

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Figure 1. Continuum of Care.

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their communities in a care continuum no longer limited to housing, but instead involving services such as child care, after-school recreational activities for older youth, family and individual therapy, occupational training, English-language and literacy education, tutoring, college prep, and mentoring for parents and youth. Delivering Proposals Designing for prevention in neighborhoods with large numbers of adjudicated youth required a research orientation to siting. Students identified programs addressing neighborhood needs, avoiding duplication of existing services. They designed facilities to serve youth and families with services including localized out-of-home care and transitioning back to the community. Exercises asked students to develop a program with two alternative formal arrangements and to analyze two alternative sites, placing the designs on each site thus creating four alternative designs, from which one was chosen to develop.

One student proposed bringing youth treatment to local communities. His project (Figure 2) proposed small group homes as housing for youth with specialized problems (mental health, homelessness, etc.). These residences would share an after-school treatment and activity center near families and local high schools. The residents would sleep in the group home, attend a local school, go to the treatment center after school and return to their group home for the evening. After completing their residence term, they could maintain their daily pattern, exchanging the family residence for the group home. The use of assumptions, hypotheses, and design guidelines alongside form-giving and analysis exercises helped students see how ideas changed in response to research findings and design insights. For final projects, students responded to research issues as well as to context, proposing a neighborhood mental health center for adolescents, a park facility including athletics and a spectrum of after-school and therapeutic services, a pre-school program that would identify handicaps and train parents to deal with their handi-

Figure 2. Community-Based Adolescent Care, Luke Walsh, Reconceiving Youth Incarceration Undergraduate Studio 5, Fall 2018


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capped offspring, and a neighborhood residential facility for adjudicated youth, training them for occupations in art, technology, or shop. The Hypotheses The design studio is a site of exploratory research with hypotheses as product. Such hypotheses, whether relating to physical design or to ideas about treatment are architectural because they generate program and thus affect built form. Creating and comparing alternatives at every design phase revealed how architecture communicates ideas and affects actions, directly influencing hypotheses. For example, comparing precedents and designing contrasting spaces revealed the effects of security measures (e. g., durable materials, the ability to personalize space, and the communication of criminality rather than normalization). Designing a care continuum influenced by issues raised by parents and other experts, when applied to sites, revealed resources and service gaps affecting hypothesis development. Student projects responded to hypotheses, indicating possible implementation in architectural form. Based on research findings and student designs, a set of twelve hypotheses were developed concerning treatment and its architectural implications. The hypotheses include research assumptions on problem description, theorizing about design’s possible effect, and directives connecting design elements to hypotheses. The following are examples of hypotheses linking research findings to design: Hypothesis: Creating hyper-secure incarceration facilities stigmatizes incarcerated people and prevents them from living in normal housing. Only extremely dangerous people should be placed in high level security facilities. Others should be housed in what Nirje describes as “providing the conditions of everyday life which are as close as possible to the norms and patterns of society’s mainstream” (1969:

181). As Europeans are learning, removal from one’s own home is sufficient punishment (Benko, 2015). Hypothesis: It is counter-productive to incarcerate youth. They should be considered as troubled youth, their problems should be addressed, and unless they are dangerous, they should remain in their communities. Hypothesis: Many youths are incarcerated because of mental illness and addiction. Instead of being incarcerated as criminals, these young people should receive treatment for their problems. Small mental health and addition facilities should be provided for adolescents in local communities. Hypothesis: By providing facilities in local communities for young people and families that assist with activities such as parenting, child care, family counseling and support, job training, literacy training, college preparation, mentoring, and afterschool activities designed for older youth (including athletic recreation, expressive arts, digital and other skills development, and tutoring), families will be more able to address the needs of their youth members, and the young people will be less likely to get in trouble. Student presentations combined models, images, and words. Written components included annotations on drawings and models detailing observations and design decisions, assumptions, hypotheses, and design directives (descriptions of the elements of design that achieve the intended outcomes). THE BORDER-CROSSING STUDIO The second studio, led by author Christenson, was an instance of the Integrated Design Studio in the second year of the University’s professional M. Arch. degree program. As such, the studio was expected to address relevant external accreditation criteria related to integrated building design.

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Within this context, students were expected to mediate between diverse and potentially conflicting forces (e. g., between structural questions, material questions, legal issues, project costs, and political issues). This mediation positioned the studio as a research-based studio in two ways. First, students conducted background research into factors such as building codes, construction materials, and costs. Second, students confronted open-ended and somewhat ill-defined questions demanding architecturally specific response. The pedagogy focused on the question of architecture as interface, where interface referred to a designed entity through which perception is filtered. An architectural interface could be a building, or a wall, or a window; less obviously, an interface could be a drawing of a building. Thus, an interface enables multiple constituencies to interact, to exchange ideas, and to negotiate priorities. A border-crossing station is an appropriate vehicle to test these ideas because it constitutes a designed entity that is obligated to mediate between two sociopolitical constructs (Mexico and the United States). The studio deliberately conflated “research tasks” with “design tasks.” The trivial example of ascertaining the dimensions or precise character of an existing site condition – a task normally associated with research, with interpreting and translating information from external sources – was pedagogically positioned as a task of design, as a negotiated and iterative process in which representational artifacts (drawings and models) were called into service to sustain a shared understanding. Uncovering Issues Through their review of existing literature, students identified normative conditions, e. g., the importance of spatial sequencing regarding the processing of non-citizen entrants, and the privileging of security over entrants’ ability


to move freely. A normative condition assumes that person-to-person interactions will take place across counters or through windows, that individual movement will take place through a sequence of distinct spaces, and that movement will be constrained by doors or gates operating according to rules. Yet, as students discerned through their iterative design processes, architectural interfaces enable multiple constituencies to interact and consequently bring differing expectations and practices into overlap and conflict. In the case of a normative border-crossing station, a power imbalance is enforced in which staff have the ability to evaluate and assess the bona fides of visitors, but the visitors are essentially powerless to evaluate and assess the staff. In short, the architectural interface of the border-crossing station establishes specific behavioral expectations and power differentials for distinct populations. Redefining The Project As students moved beyond a review of existing conditions, they began to explicitly question implied and explicit priorities. Many students came to view the normative assumptions as unfairly and inappropriately valuing procedure and security over foundational expectations of human decency. Consequently, some students proposed redefinitions of the received program, implying a loosening of requirements associated with spatial sequencing, even to the point of suggesting erasure of the international border, with the border-crossing station transforming into something less like a gate and more like a point of destination. This active questioning proceeded into other dimensions of the proposals. For example, students were required to design a strategy for ventilation of the proposed building. Although it was not required that this strategy be mechanical (i. e., involving fans, artificial cooling, etc.), several

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students began by assuming that the building would be artificially air-conditioned. Over time, supported by background research into ventilation strategies traditionally employed in hot, dry climates, students identified potentials of natural ventilation. This enabled a simplification in spatial boundary conditions, and in some cases the abandonment of airtight, artificially-controlled environments. Stated differently, once the students began to model their design approaches after traditional hot-dry-climate building practices, their designs became simpler in execution; specific boundary conditions, previously seen as imperative to the functioning of the border-crossing station, began to loosen. This loosening inevitably raised new questions. Practically, it prompted students to ask whether the border-crossing station could abandon – by degree – its assumed obligations to boundaries, security functions, and spatially-sequenced procedures while continuing to function effectively. Politically, many students speculated that abandoning security requirements in favor of a more open approach could be appropriate and even desirable.

border-crossing station, in which the “line” of the border became a “community” of various functions designed to welcome visitors from both sides of the border (Figure 3). The illustration of her proposal suggests both its building-scale and region-scale implications: a multiplicity of functions both anticipates and responds to the needs of constituencies (e. g., children, scholars, tourists), even as the territory on either side of the border becomes saturated with dispersed “refuge” stations for road-weary migrants. Her project questions the dual premises of separation and channeling and instead problematizes the act of crossing as one of interaction and discovery. In all of these ways, the project was redefined from an exercise in adhering to strict criteria into one which actively questioned the appropriateness of those criteria and of assumptions concerning the border-crossing station’s function and political position on a contentious international border. More generally, the act of redefining the project explicitly acknowledged that student work could raise architecturally specific questions in ways that were simultaneously mundane and provocative.

One student’s work in particular demonstrated possibilities inherent in loosening boundary conditions. She proposed a spatial dispersal of the

Figure 3. Border-Crossing Station, Ashleigh Grizzell, Integrated Design Studio, Spring 2019

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Delivering Proposals and Generating Hypotheses Normative practice for the final meeting of an architecture design studio requires individual students to verbally present their completed work to a panel of invited guests and subject-matter experts, i. e., a “jury.” Jury members are expected to bring their subject-matter expertise to bear on individual projects and to provide the students – individually and collectively – with critique addressing a range of issues, e. g., by highlighting missed opportunities, or by identifying possible paths for future development of the work. By contrast, in the border-crossing studio, the discussion was structured to enable simultaneous small-group discussions, in no instance of which was the student-author present to explain their proposal. Thus, subject-matter expert response was not conditioned by students’ verbally stated intentions. The small-group meetings were explicitly positioned as an opportunity to generate questions for large-group discussions. Rather than position the student-authors of proposals as the authority of signification, the act of interpretation was left up to others, raising new insights into the projects. The discussion format enabled students and guests to work together to infer, extrapolate, and articulate questions. This activity minimized the extent to which student arguments were defended with respect to other stakeholders, precisely because individual students were not physically present to defend their work or answer questions about it. Although proposals could be critiqued on the basis of stakeholder interest (e. g., failure to comply with governmental standards), critique was balanced by the emergence of post hoc design justifications. The emergent value of proposals did not derive from their defensibility but from their latent ability to provoke new questions for possible investigation. The following questions are examples of the hypotheses that emerged from the end-of-semester discussion:


Hypothesis. If the border-crossing station is programmed as an attractive destination, settlement will intensify on either side of the border, and over time, a cross-cultural settlement will evolve, diminishing the politically divisive effect of the international border. Hypothesis. Rather than manifesting as a standalone building at a location where a road crosses the border (and consequently reinforcing differences between “legal” and “illegal” crossings), the border station should be a physically dispersed facility occupying the entire length of the border, in order to appropriately cater to the needs of refugees. Future work deriving from hypotheses of this kind would necessarily revisit and challenge existing assumptions (e. g., present in the existing literature), proceeding from a basis newly informed by possibilities suggested in student proposals. Discussion The two studios discussed here differed in several important respects. The incarceration studio was constituted around an existing, real-world problem upon which a discipline-specific perspective was brought to bear. Students engaged an actual site, learned from community members vested in the problem, and applied models for problem-resolution. Exercises assured that decisions would promote proposal development. Speculative solutions emerged as designed projects and as written hypotheses capable of further testing and application. By contrast, the border-crossing studio engaged students in a speculative process addressing an imagined project on a remote site. “Outside” voices (i. e. invited guests) impacted the process in only a very limited way. The two studios assumed different positions on the overlap between research and design activities. Students in the incarceration studio relied on design and research activities to explore ideas, but their research findings were expressed as argu-

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ments foundational to the design proposals. Each student reframed research findings in the form of design hypotheses represented as test cases. By contrast, the border-crossing studio assumed a tactical identity between research and design, proposing that research and design do not differ in terms of actual activities carried out, but rather in the kinds of questions they respectively prompt (Christenson 2012). Hypotheses emerged only at the studio’s conclusion: student proposals were not test cases, but rather collections of artifacts capable of provoking research questions.

Benko, Jessica. (2015). The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison: The Goal of the Norwegian Penal System is to get inmates out of it. New York Times Magazine, March 26. magazine/the-radical-humaneness-of-norwayshalden-prison.html


Davis, Angela. (2003). Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press.

In Findeli’s terms, both studios uncovered anthropological issues and delivered proposals; from Dudovskiy’s perspective, both uncovered new issues and reframed questions. Both studios conformed to Babbie’s idea of yielding new insights without providing definitive answers. Beyond this, student designs, while not definitive, proposed or suggested possible alternatives to normative solutions, wherein lies their value. The power of the studios as sites for research derived from several attributes: the studios enabled exploration, redefinition, and understanding through design; the process of design inquiry revealed underlying issues, both possible causes and possible solutions; students with different backgrounds developed a variety of approaches and designs to address the issues; and the approaches generated hypotheses susceptible to future testing and embodiment in built form. References Alexander, Michelle. (2012). The New Jim Crow; Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, New York: The New Press.

Christenson, Mike. (2012). “Mixing Algorithms in Urban Analysis and Transformation,” Proceedings of the 2012 EAAE / ARCC International Conference on Architectural Research, 578-581.

Dierkhising, Carly B., Susan J. Ko, Briana WoodsJaeger, Ernestine C. Briggs, Robert Lee, and Robert S. Pynoos. (2013). Trauma histories among justice-involved youth: findings from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. European Journal for Psychotraumatology, 4:10, Taylor & Francis website. Dudovskiy, John. (2018). Exploratory Research. Research Methods website. research-design/exploratory-research/ DuVernay, Ava. (2016). 13th. Netflix Findeli, Alain. (2016). The Myth of the Design Androgene. In Joost, Gesche, Katharina Bredies, Michelle Christensen, Floran Conradi, and Andreas Unteidig (Eds.), Design as Research: Positions, Arguments, Perspectives, Basel: Birkhäuser. Ford, Julian D. John F. Chapman, Josephine Hawke, and David Albert. (2007). Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Critical Issues and New Directions. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice website, June.

Babbie, Earl. (2016). The Practice of Social Research (14th Ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning Custom Publishing.

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Groat, Linda and David Wang. (2013). Architectural Research Methods, 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Jacobson, Kristi. (2019). Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison. HBO Joost, Gesche, Katharina Bredies, Michelle Christensen, Floran Conradi, and Andreas Unteidig (eds). (2016). Design as Research: Positions, Arguments, Perspectives, Basel: Birkhauser. Nirje, Bengt. (1960). “The normalization principle and its human management implications.” In R. Kugel & W. Wolfensburger (Eds.) Changing patterns in residential services for the mentally retarded. Washington: President’s Committee on Mental Retardation. Robinson, Julia W. and J. Stephen Weeks. (1984). Programming as Design. Minneapolis, MN: School of Architecture, University of Minnesota. Robinson, Julia W. (2019) Preventing Youth Incarceration: Studio-Based Research. Future Praxis: Applied Research As A Bridge Between Theory And Practice (Toronto, Canada), Proceedings of the ARCC 2019 Conference, Toronto. Van Buren, Deanna. (2019) We Must Plan for a Decarceration Nation,” Architect Magazine, May. practice/deanna-van-buren-we-must-plan-for-adecarceration-nation_o Zeisel, John. (1986/2006). Inquiry by Design, Zeisel, J. 1982 [2006]. Inquiry by Design, Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.


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Stephanie Watson Zollinger & Genell Wells Ebbini

Thinking + Writing = Reflectionnaire AUTHOR BiographIES

lishing international standards on indoor environmental design and policy.

Stephanie Watson Zollinger, Ed.D. has been involved with higher education for over 20 years. She is currently a Professor in the Interior Design program at the University of Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Interior Design from Kansas State University as well as a doctoral degree in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas. Zollinger’s research focuses on the learning styles of interior design students and the implications for teaching, advising, and recruitment. Zollinger has published and disseminated her work in internationally recognized journals, conferences, and workshops. Formerly an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, Genell Ebbini, MDS, NCIDQ, LEED-AP ID+C, BD+C, IIDA, ASID, IDEC, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Built Environment at Indiana State University. Her practice and research program advances the study of sustainable interior environments from a holistic “living systems” perspective. She focuses on developing the concepts and practices of sustainable design so that they encompass a full range of ecological processes, social dynamics, and psychological orientations. The purpose of her work is to move beyond partial and piecemeal metrics of sustainability and to recognize the role that design can play in prompting a reassessment of our relationship to nature and authentically embodying this change. She concentrates on redefining the practice of sustainability and how to effectively apply biophilic principles to create built environments that are environmentally responsive and healthy using evidence-based design and sustainable ideologies. Ebbini’s work has contributed to sustainable initiatives, estab-

Abstract Reflection is essential to quality education. When students reflect, they learn to consider features of their lives and environments to which they otherwise may not have given much thought. Reflection provides the basis for students to cultivate sophisticated personal responses to the environment and instigate meaningful design interventions. Reflections are used throughout the interior design curriculum at the University of Minnesota to encourage students’ creative processes and help them rise to the challenges of professional design practice. This chapter presents pedagogical reflection techniques and outcomes of students’ writing exercises, referred to as “reflectionnaires.” In a reflectionnaire, questions posed by the instructor prompt students to analyze some aspect of their experience and then articulate its significance in writing. Reflection can increase the depth of students’ problem-solving abilities, confidence, and self-awareness. Although examples presented in this paper focus on interior design education, the same approaches can be applied across numerous allied disciplines. Keywords Reflection, reflective writing, design education, professional development Introduction Reflection should play a major role in academic learning. The act of writing is integral to reflective thinking. In writing, one “puts into words”

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the unstructured thoughts and ideas that form the material for reflection. Through reflective writing and thinking, individuals have the opportunity to discover the links between different aspects of their life experiences, and to reconsider past experiences in light of new information. Reflection allows one to draw conclusions about past experiences and develop new insights that can be applied to future activities (Wade & Yarbrough, 1996). John Dewey wrote: “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflection on experience. Reliving of an experience leads to making connections between information and feelings produced by the experience” (Dewey, 1933, p.78). Dewey is recognized as the eminent 20th-century influence on reflection in education; he emphasized the importance of engaging students in reflection to help them make personal connections with the lesson. Similarly, the philosopher and educator Donald Schön (1983, 1987) argued that new knowledge is developed primarily through a process of “reflection-in-action,” which involves cognitively analyzing an activity while also engaging in the activity. Schön emphasized how reflection during and after personal experiences can provide a powerful means of developing professional knowledge. This work has significantly influenced our understanding of the theory and practice of learning. This type of reflection is essential to design education, where reflective methods are used as creative learning processes to meet the challenges of professional development in students. When we reflect, we consider deeply something that we might not otherwise have given much thought. Reflection is a form of personal response to experiences, situations, events, or new information. It is a “processing” phase where thinking and learning take place (Learning Center at the University of South Wales, 2008). Interior design practice, in particular, is strongly based on individual creative performance, inter-


personal skills, and applied knowledge. An effective interior design practitioner can best develop these traits through reflection, as well as other associated processes such as critical assessment, problem-seeking, and problem-solving (Trelfa, 2016; Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 2018). Practitioners who use reflective practices in their work may have an advantage in developing more innovative and influential cultural products (Moffat 1996, cited in Trelfa 2016). More fundamentally, the practice of reflection can be understood as part of the essential nature of all design practice (Trelfa, 2016). Recognizing the importance of reflection processes in design, accredited higher education programs are increasingly requiring students to engage in such activities as a fundamental part of their curriculum (Trelfa, 2016; Galford, Hawkins & Hertweck, 2015). The importance of reflective practices for design education have been recognized throughout history, and these practices have been increasingly formalized in professional education programs from the 1980s onward (Schon, 1987; Trelfa, 2016; Banks & Nøhr, 2003). There are key principles behind the ideas presented in this chapter. Primarily that reflective writing needs to be practiced in an enjoyable and engaging way by interior designers. Articulating and processing experiences through reflection is a vital part of finding a design “voice” that can lead to innovative and effective outcomes. The ideas that evolve through this practice expand design students’ ability to think and discover who they are and how they belong to the world. Although the focus in this chapter is on two interior design courses, the same ideas can be applied to many different areas of the curriculum. Reflection in Design History Courses Reflection and reflective writing are not among the course objectives that one would typically associate with large-enrollment classes relying on lectures and PowerPoint presentations, such as a

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course in interior design history. However, even in such courses, reflection practice can provide students with the skills to process learning experiences and successfully transfer their learning to other situations (Zollinger, Guerin, & Enz, 2014). Pat Francis’s (2008) technique of Reflectionnaire is used in a design history course at the University of Minnesota. Francis defines “Reflectionnaire” as a combination of “reflection” and “questionnaire.” Reflectionnaires use the “I”. The use of the “I” and the act of writing helps students to take ownership of the learning process, which can ultimately act as a form of self-empowerment. This ownership of learning can contribute to the development of personal stance and “voice” through which agency and power is communicated (Moon, 1999). Reflectionnaires can take many forms: they can be graded or not-graded, they can draw from different types of experiences during a course, and they can be employed at various times during the semester (Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013). Reflectionnaires Based on Class Lectures The first step in teaching reflective skills is to raise students’ awareness of themselves as learners and thinkers. Metacognition, or the awareness of oneself as a learner, has been identified as a key aspect of “deep” and sustained educational experience (Marton & Saljo, 1984). Deep learning is necessary to make the material meaningful and to facilitate the transfer of learning into long-term memory (Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013). Reflectionnaires for this purposes can be woven into the content covered in course lectures; in many cases they may not be graded or even collected by the instructor. Examples of such reflectionnaires include: •  A pioneer of Italian Renaissance architecture and a talented sculptor, Filippo Brunelleschi is characterized as hard working and an overachiever. Ask yourself, “When did I have to work extra hard to get what I wanted? What did I have to do to achieve this goal? How did it feel to succeed?”

•  For many years, the Elgin Marbles have inspired a controversy about which few people can remain partial. Whom do I believe should have ownership of the Marbles – the British or the Greeks? What arguments have contributed to my decision? •  Andre Charles Boulle was passionate about his work as a cabinetmaker. What am I passionate about in my life? What is my dream for the future? Reflectionnaires Based on Field Trips During the semester, design history students are required to go on two field trips. Research has indicated that students on field trips sharpen their skills of observation and perception by utilizing all of their senses (Nabors, Edwards, & Murray, 2009). Students develop a positive attitude for learning, motivating them to build connections between theoretical concepts in the classroom and what has been experienced in the field (Behrend & Franklin, 2014; (Boud, Keog, & Walker, 1985; Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013). In providing successful field trips, educators must orchestrate the experience from which learners extract understanding and make links between the field experiences and their broader educational endeavors (Caine & Caine, 1994). Reflectionnaires can be an important part of this process. Here are three examples of reflectionnaires that have been used at the University of Minnesota in conjunction with field trips to the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: •  Find one exhibit in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts that interests you. Describe what you see and identify several things you learned from the exhibition. •  The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a treasure trove of inspiration for the designer. Ask yourself: What collections do I see

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myself visiting again and again for inspiration, and why? •  Consider the space in the Cathedral of St. Paul. Ask yourself: How do I feel regarding what I see, hear, feel, and smell? What architectural elements have contributed to my sensations? A response from an interior design student that demonstrates the value of these activities: The St. Paul Cathedral is visually stunning! I feel small, humble, and in awe. The large scale of the columns, stone, and dome contribute to this. It is almost silent with a mystical light coming in from the stain glass windows, giving me a spiritual experience that allows me to contemplate how great God is. The paintings, mosaics, and sculptures enhance this experience delighting my eyes and soul. I smell the burning wax from the votive candles. The massive structure of the dome, gives me the feeling of being humble, with all the Angels looking down at me. It was a beautiful experience (Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013, p. 122). The student was able to convey, in writing, impressions of the space based on the sensory experiences of seeing, smelling, and the surround feeling of the space. In addition, the student also begins to generate a record or idea of the mood, aura, and range of meaning of the sacred space (Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013). Overall, the outcome of the experience depends on the individual student’s interest, motivation, life circumstances at that time, prior experience, and knowledge. Through direct experience and reflection comes greater confidence and intrinsic motivation (Behrendt & Franklin, 2014). Reflectionnaires as Exam Questions Each of the exams in the design history course includes at least one Reflectionnaire question that aids in deep learning and promotes indepen-


dent thought. This means that students need to focus their thinking and articulate in writing the results of their learning experiences (Hadjiyanni & Zollinger, 2013). The following is a Reflectionnaire question that was used on an actual exam: •  There were a variety of chairs produced during the Renaissance. If I were to be described as a chair during the Italian, French, or English Renaissance, which would I be? Describe the chair and discuss how it reflects my personality, traits, etc. One student’s response to this reflectionnaire exam prompt was: Appearing in England at the end of the 16th century, the Farthingale Chair is an upholstered armless chair or “back stool” that was named for the full skirts women wore at the time (Tudor Period – England). It was for these women that the Farthingale chair was designed. The chair possesses a wide rectangular seat and a rectangular half back that provides back support. Comfort is added by the use of fitted cushions on the seat and back. Both the seat and the back are upholstered in either high-quality leather or turkey work, a textile resembling an Oriental rug made when the wool thread is pulled through the loosely woven cotton base, and hand knotted. Piping, tassels, and nail heads may be added to the upholstery for additional visual interest. The four wooden legs are simple and straight with a rectangular section. Similar wooden elements attach the seat to the half-back at a slight angle. Rectangular stretchers near the floor attach each of the legs, giving the chair seat and base a cube-like form. The understated, simple and comforting qualities of the Farthingale Chair reflect some aspects of my personality. Lacking ornate carvings and detailing like other chairs of its era, the Farthingale chair possesses a subtle sophistication that I also seek to embody. Its solid wood structure gives it presence in the space but does not demand attention. Clean lines and simple forms give it a timeless aesthetic

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that parallels my approach to style and design. Additionally, the cushioned and upholstered seat makes it a comfortable chair; this reflects my personality because I am always trying to make people feel at ease. Overall, the Farthingale Chair is a notable chair of the English Renaissance that demonstrates some key parts of my personality. This design student generated an accurate description of the Farthingale Chair, displaying strong intellectual knowledge, while also integrating that knowledge by reflecting and applying it to their own personality. Chairs, in fact, have long been used as a medium for self-expression and/or revealing a person’s characteristics (Cranz, 1998). Reflection in Upper Level Interior Design Studios Reflective practices are a vital aspect of the design process in studio courses, particularly through the process of design critique. The primary objectives of interior design studios are to advance the students’ practices of creativity, innovation, technical application, and expression. Students are expected to reflect on the technical and cultural knowledge gained from previous courses, and to apply this knowledge as a means to expand their proficiencies and their professional skills. The studio context thus allows for a great range of reflection techniques, supporting a multitude of different creative processes and cognitive learning styles (Watson & Thompson, 2001; Studak & Allison, 2016). For example, students may engage in guided reflective dialogue with peers, instructors, and industry partners. They may also engage in more personal reflection activities such as “mind mapping,” journaling, and writing assignments, as an aid to developing their conceptual outlooks and creativity. All of these forms of reflection can be integrated into studio course requirements, assisting in both the evaluation and the professional development of design students.

Reflectionnaires Based on Team-Building Activities Reflection can be an integral component of the team-building process. In one of our studios, the instructor incorporated a reflective activity called the “Marshmallow Challenge,” developed by Peter Skillman. This involved a team-building activity to help students learn to work together in solving complex problems. Taking the form of a team competition, the students were asked to design and build a tall structure using one marshmallow, 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, and one yard of string. This activity supports important professional standards in design education, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation’s Standard #5, which emphasizes the importance of teaching students how to engage in collaborative design practices and participate in allied interdisciplinary teams (Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 2018). A reflective approach to this mandate includes not only gaining practice in team participation, but also being able to think critically about the concept of teamwork and analyze team experiences. Doing so promotes in students an active stance toward collaborative design and the ability to take on leadership roles in team formation. Near the end of this studio session, the students were asked to complete written reflectionnaires about their teamwork experiences. Four questions posed to the students were: “Was it [the challenge] harder than initially thought, and why?” “Did you make any assumptions?” “If you could do this task again, would you do anything differently?” and “What lessons does this challenge present to us?” The following students’ responses to the last question indicated that the students realized working in teams takes more effort in negotiating solutions. Some lessons I got out of this challenge was teambuilding, time management, and communication. We needed to work as a team to figure out the best way to approach the tower. My members

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[team] had ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of under pressure. Time management is essential as for any project we learned to think things through instead of waiting at the last second how to get the marshmallow to stay. This challenge was definitely a great way to represent the importance of team work and time management. Within the limited amount of time, we were required to accomplish a task as a team . . . In the real life of working in a design firm, this can be similar in the way that there is a deadline of a project and you work with the coworkers. Being able to positively work through a task . . . as a designers is a very important skill to have. The challenge really made us learn how to work together on an unconventional project while also under time pressure. I think our group worked relatively well together. We all brought different ideas to the table and helped each other out. However, there was one team member that did seem to take over unnecessarily and somewhat steamrolled the rest of the groups’ ideas. The replies demonstrated the development of a thoughtful outlook on the activity as a form of professional development, along with an awareness of the evolving nature of roles and the problems that can arise in team projects. Reflectionnaires Based on Integrative Experiences Near the beginning of one of our fourth-year interior design studios, the instructor employed an immersive learning technique. Its goal was to help the students to develop a stronger experiential and conceptual understanding of biophilic principles. Small groups of students engaged in a multi-sensory experience of simple natural artifacts, such as a tree branch, rock, or fern-leaf, and then shared their personal responses and interpretations in discussion with their peers. After completing this exercise, the students were asked to write a reflection about the experience in their course journals,


with an emphasis on how it expanded their understanding of the human-nature connection. One of the most important components of the exercise was to prompt students to consider the similarities and differences in their peers’ reactions to the same object, and thus develop a broader awareness of what “nature” means to people of different backgrounds. Ideally, such reflection can help design students come to a more nuanced consciousness of biophilic reactions, which can then be integrated into their creative work to develop interiors that evoke connections to the natural world. Some of the responses are as follows: As I sat there with my eyes closes, the rock placed in my hand, all attention on this natural element. The rock was cold to the touch, taking me to the edge of a river, very open, airy, and natural surroundings. I felt my toes in the water, pressing against the smooth, but unperfect rocks, like the one placed in my hand . . . . While holding this rock, it took me to the beauty and also the imperfections of nature and the world around us. These imperfections didn’t seem bad they felt good and strong in their own way. Pushing me to relate myself to nature. During the exercise I first reflected about how a geode is formed and how something can appear to be just a boring rock on the outside can have such a beautiful crystals on the inside . . . . The geode brought me to a volcano because that is where they are formed. The environment was really hot with the sun beaming down. The air was dry and the view was beautiful. The air smelled fresh and like the small of nature. The space was carefree and not stressful. During the mediation practice, the rock I brought in was smooth and flat. It brought me to Grand Marais, Minnesota. While visualizing, I recall all of the times I went skipping rocks with my family on vacation. I felt happiness and a sense of content. I felt my bare feet on the hot rocks. Lightly stepping so they wouldn’t hurt my feet. Water and waves and the skipping of rocks are what I heard the most. This experience can be related to space because the

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things I was hearing and seeing come from an individual place. People will digest spaces and memories of spaces differently. I thought it was really interesting that everyone in my group had very different artifacts, yet each one of us was brought to a memory associated with water during the meditation. It is interesting that water gives so much relief and how strongly memories can be associated with it. I think the feeling of relief and oasis it gives is something I want to reflect on for my dental office design [studio project] and to incorporate water as well. These reflections demonstrate that the integration of students’ personal experiences, as a design process, provided structural meaning to their overall thought processes (Kolb & Kolb, 2005; Mezirow, 1990). For many of the students, these initial biophilic reflections had a strong influence on their final studio design projects. Reflectionnaires Based on Information Processing Methods An important part of design education is teaching students how to identify the parameters of a project, gather appropriate information, and synthesize the available data into a coherent picture. One of the approaches that we use to teach students about this process is based on Jon Kolko’s concept of “sensemaking” (Kolko, 2010; Guiette & Vandenbempt, 2015; Ebbini & Ryan, 2017). In this process of prioritizing, judging, and forging connections, students learn how to identify relationships and patterns within disparate information. They begin by creating sketch-note images and conceptual mind maps as a way to creatively organize the information, and then they apply specific analytical techniques (mind mapping the main ideas and forging connections) to better understand the emerging relationships. After carrying out the “sensemaking” exercise, students were asked to complete a reflection-

naire about how this technique affected their ability to process information and to identify previously overlooked relationships. The responses indicated a variety of different reactions students had in creating graphic artifacts of their research process. Students’ reflections highlight the value of managing complex ideas, information, and new knowledge as a visual summary to refer to throughout the semester to inform and support their design decisions: I really enjoyed making connections using this method . . . . Almost every connection I made was a new idea that I found to be useful. Most of the time, the connections were unexpected . . . new headings had to be added to account for new connections, forging each one as a vital part of the process. The process of mind mapping was a unique way of organizing thoughts and information. The combination of images and text allowed me to collect and synthesize information in a different way than I normally do. While this was an effective learning tool and encouraged me to culminate information in a different way, it took a while for me to become comfortable with the relaxed and organic process. I enjoyed this exercise and am glad that it was highly encouraged; however, I am not sure how effective it will be for me to utilize in the future. This week, I added more connections to my visual map that specifically related to my NEXT Workplace project. The reading about interior space gave me a lot of useful information about space planning and helped me develop my floor plan further. My biggest finding had to do with the concept of “aggregation.” I realized that an open office with a goal of collaboration should be organized in this manner. This allows for both synthesis and sensemaking to occur within the same space. Also, I developed my circulation pathways off of the concept of “fragmentation.” This week I added a few more subcategories to my map from what we learned in lecture about branding, graphics, and what we learned in the reading.

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I also added (in dark blue marker) ways each of the subcategories can be applied into my plan or in the design. Like I mentioned in a previous week’s Visual Map, lighting, materials, and variety seem to pop up a lot. Having quiet areas as well as social areas benefits multiple categories, as does having adjustable and ergonomic furniture. I’ve been finding myself looking at this map a lot more lately for ideas and to remind myself of the values I am aiming for in this design. Conclusion Reflection is essential to high-quality design education. Activities that engage reflection guide students toward discovering, exploring, and evaluating relationships between their own broader life experiences and the course content of readings and lectures. By encouraging students to internalize a lesson, reflectionnaires help the student to take ownership of his or her education. This enhances the ability for students to grow and change through their experiences and to develop creative insight, one of the most important lifelong professional skills. When we, as design educators, engage students in ongoing reflection in our courses, we not only help them to retain information and transfer lessons-learned to other applications, but also promote their readiness to become more engaged and introspective learners. Reflective practice helps students to recognize their strengths, manage their behaviors, take ownership of educational material, and ultimately become active innovators in the field (Stanchfield, 2013). In today’s educational environment, most design courses are fast-paced, content-driven, and overloaded. A lot of these courses incorporate variations of the “Drop Everything and Read” philosophy (DEAR), a concept that encourages students to obsessively consume and regurgitate information. In resistance to this trend, we support pedagogical approaches that prompt students to “Drop Everything and Reflect.” How might students’ personal and professional development be affected if


educators took time out of each day to allow students to reflect on what and how they are learning? References Banks, S. and Nøhr, K. (eds.) (2003). Teaching Practical Ethics for the Social Professions. Copenhagen: Formation d’Educateurs Sociaux Européens / European Social Educator Training (FESET). Behrendt, M. & Franklin, T. (2014). A review of research on school field trips and their value in education. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 9(3): 235–245. Boud, D., Keog, R. & Walker, D. (1985). Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page. Caine, R. & Caine, G. (1994). Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Boston: Addison-Wesley Longman. Council for Interior Design Accreditation (2018). Professional Standards. wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Professional-Standards-2018.pdf Cranz, G. (1998). The Chair-Rethinking Culture, Body and Design. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think. A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Chicago: Henry Reghery. Ebbini, G. & Ryan, K. (2017). Ethnographic strategies: Framework for sensemaking and creative Synthesis in design studio. In Interior Design Educators Council Annual Conference, 391-394. Chicago: Interior Design Educators Council. https://www. Francis, P. (2008). Inspiring Writing in Art and Design. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

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Galford, G., Hawkins, S. & Hertweck, M. (2015). Problem-based learning as a model for the interior design classroom: Bridging the skills divide between academia and practice. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 9(2). Guiette, A. & Vandenbempt, K. (2015). Learning in times of dynamic complexity through balancing phenomenal qualities of sensemaking. Management Learning 47(1): 83–99. Hadjiyanni, T. & Zollinger, S. (2013). Writing in design thinking: Deconstructing the question of being. International Journal Of Architectural Research 7(1): 116–127. Kolb, A. & Kolb, D. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy Of Management Learning & Education 4(2): 193–212.. Kolko, J. (2010). Abductive thinking and sensemaking: The drivers of design synthesis. Design Issues 26 (1): 15–28. Learning Center at the University of South Wales. 2008. Reflective Writing. http://www. Marton, F. & Roger Saljo, R. (1984). Approaches to learning. In The Experience of Learning, edited by Ference Marton and Noel Entwistle, 36–55. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Academic Press. Mezirow, J. (1990). How critical reflection triggers transformative learning. Fostering Critical Reflection In Adulthood: A Guide to Transformative and emancipatory learning: 1-20. San Franciso: Jossey-Bass Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice. London: Kogan Page.

Nabors, M., Edwards, L. & Murray, R. (2009). Making the case for field trips: What research tells us and what site coordinators have to say. Education 129(4): 661–667. Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Schön, D. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Stanchfield, J. (2013). The value of reflection. Experiential Tools. http://www.experientialtools. com/2013/12/16/importance-of-reflection Studak, C. & Allison, D. (2016). Developing interdisciplinary partnerships based on cognitive learning styles. International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings. 40. itaa_proceedings/2016/presentations/40 Trelfa J. (2016) What is reflective practice? In Current Issues and New Thoughts on Reflective Practice. Journal of Research Institute,53: 1-22. Wade, R. & Yarbrough, D. (1996). Portfolios: A tool for reflective thinking in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education 12(1): 63–79. Watson, S., & Thompson, C. (2001). Learning styles of interior design students as assessed by the Gregorc style delineator. Journal of Interior Design, 27(1), 12-19. Zollinger, S., Guerin, D. & Pamela Enz, P. (2014). Infusing Reflective Writing in the Interior Design Curriculum.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Section V

Community Engagement


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Thomas Fisher Community-centered Design Abimbola O. Asojo & Hoa Voe Using the Maker Mindset to Build Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students in Minnesota Dewey Thorbeck Design for Urban and Rural Futures at a Community-engaged Land-grant University Timothy Griffin, Jonee Kulman Brigham, & Dewey Thorbeck Do The Map! Design for Community Regeneration (D4CR) in a Land-grant University

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Thomas Fisher

Community-centered Design AUTHOR Biography


Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA, is a Professor in the School of Architecture, the Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design, and the Director of the Minnesota Design Centre at the College of Design, University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published writer about architecture, having written 10 books, over 50 book chapters or introductions, and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications. He has been named a top-25 design educator four times by Design Intelligence.

Community, design, humility, collaboration, prototyping

Abstract In contrast to human-centered design, with its focus on the needs and desires of individuals, community-centered design attends to the needs of groups of people with shared interests. It begins with humility in the face of community members’ insights and understanding, leverages the creativity of the group to imagine a better future for their place, and initiates a number of low-cost, lowrisk experiments to see what works. This chapter explores this process through a number of community-based projects that have been done by the Minnesota Design Center with a number of cities and organizations across the U.S. The text will discuss how community-centered design work occurs in different settings and why it sometimes works better in some places and with some groups rather than in others. An analysis of how to do community-centered design – and how to educate students for it – will conclude the chapter.


Introduction Human-centered design has emerged as a practice in which designers apply our methods and ways of thinking and working to services and systems as we have long done to creation of consumer products and physical environments. This reflects the fact that the value of services—as opposed to goods—in high-income countries now accounts for 74% of the gross domestic product. (Buckley, Majumdar, 2018) At the same time, the rise of human-centered design stems from a growing recognition that services are as designed as much as goods and environments, and that many services are badly designed – ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable – in part because the design community has historically not paid much attention to them. (Fisher, 2016) Some historians trace the origin of human-centered design to the participatory design work of several firms in Scandinavia in the 1960s and to the theoretical work of a number of mainly British and American academics. (Szczepanska, 2017) However, the practice of human-centered design as we now know it had its start with the founding of the consulting firm IDEO in 1991. (IDEO, 2019) IDEO’s co-founders, David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, and Mike Nuttall, and colleagues of theirs, such as Tom Kelley and Tim Brown, have demonstrated the value of human-centered design in a number of ways: through the work of their firm, through their teaching and research as part of the D School at Stanford University, and through the

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books they have written and the information they have put out on their website.

Our community-centered design process involves three fundamental values:

A focus on the interactions between people and technology, products, and environments has made the practice of human-centered design very much about the individual person. And as a result, this practice has largely drawn from the fields of graphic and product design as well as disciplines such as human factors, psychology, anthropology, and kinesiology. While that attention to the individual has made sense in a consumer-oriented economy, a different, complementary approach has emerged, one focused on communities. Community-centered design reflects not only where the services economy has grown, but also where the marketplace has failed: where people’s needs go unmet and largely ignored by the private sector.

1. Humility: Human-centered design typically starts with empathy, but we have found that community members can see an empathetic designer as having pity on them, which reinforces the position and power of the professional over members of the public. Instead, we start with humility, with the conviction that the people in a community know its challenges, assets, and opportunities better than designers. Our role as designers is to help elicit that knowledge and to learn as much as we can from the lived experience of the people most affected by our work.

IDEO has, once again, led in this work, with the establishment of the non-profit (IDEO. org, 2019). Much of their admirable work, however, has focused on developing nations. The Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota has applied community-centered design to the challenges faced by underserved populations on our own shores, in the upper Midwest. We have focused on the design of urban/suburban communities, rural communities (mostly under 5,000 residents), and public-sector services, mainly in the government and healthcare sectors. The remainder of this chapter will discuss some of the work of the Center over the past few years in these three areas, with some of the lessons we have learned along the way. Three Values of Community-Centered Design Established in the late 1980s, with a grant from the Dayton-Hudson Foundation, the Minnesota Design Center employs design methods to help primarily underserved communities envision a better future for themselves. (MDC, 2019)

2. Radical collaboration: We use the adjective “radical” to describe collaboration intentionally to highlight the need in community-centered design for a highly diverse set of people serving together on teams. Whether that diversity involves age, gender, ethnicity, culture, income, sexual orientation and every other way possible, the more diverse the combinations of people working together on a community’s issues, the better the results: the more innovative, unexpected, and likely to be embraced and implemented. Radical collaboration also involves giving a voice to the people who never have a seat at the table and whose ideas are rarely heard 3. Rapid prototyping: Community-centered design involves not just studying possible solutions, but also acting on what comes out of the collaborative process. A lack of action after the development of new ideas from a range of stakeholders only makes the participants – and the general public – more cynical about the possibility for change. Prototyping the most promising ideas in a low-cost and lowrisk way is essential. It allows the testing, critiquing, and iterating those ideas until the community is satisfied. We conceive of this as a shift from a ‘thinking-to-do’ approach to a ‘doing-to-think’ approach, and its value lies in helping communities overcome the political paralysis that complex problems can produce. Rapid prototyping involves starting some-

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


where (anywhere) and learning something new and unexpected about the problem and building on that. The Politics of Community-Centered Design Communities, even more than individuals, suffer from a lot of badly designed policies. The dysfunctional aspects of communities often arise from political processes that arise more out of ideology than humility, that favor partisanship more than collaboration, and that prefer wielding power more than prototyping. As a result, too many decision makers tend to: •  address the symptoms of a situation, without dealing with the underlying causes that often require a reframing of the problem, •  act as if they already know the answer to a problem, often based on political positioning, without involving the people most affected by it, •  follow a top-down, expertise approach to problems, without being open to diverse perspectives and unconventional ideas, •  adhere to precedent and processes that can reflect outdated assumptions or that lack any relevance to current needs, •  seize on an idea and push it through as a policy without the iteration that designed systems require if we want to avoid unintended consequences. These mistakes are especially acute at the community scale, where those who have power too often think that they know what is best for others and that they have the right to impose their ideology – be it cutting more taxes or spending more money – on everyone else. Ideology kills innovation; new ideas never come from people who have the answer even before they know the problem.


The Minnesota Design Center experienced this when working with future leaders at a Federal agency. While the participants in the design workshops we led showed great openness to new ideas and tremendous creativity in addressing the issues they faced, the problems they were asked to address had been determined by their superiors, who were not involved in the workshops. It also became clear during those sessions that some of the most inventive ideas would never fly since they did not fit the agenda of those at the top of the organization. Nevertheless, those workshops did give those Federal employees skills in reframing old problems, developing new solutions, and collaborating in ways that many had not done before. Community-centered design can build community among the people despite the outcome. (Roberts, 2016) Community-centered design also allows ordinary people to co-create their future. In a project that the Minnesota Design Center did with a regional rail authority, we did not follow the typical expert-driven process in which the public is asked to give their input to a few predetermined alternatives. Instead, we developed a set of physical models that allowed community members to place and combine pieces in ways that make sense to them, and gave people the information they needed to make the best decisions. Community-centered design is empowering, and not just for those in power. Asset-Based Design Communities have a lot of unappreciated and under-leveraged social, cultural, physical, and natural assets. Community centered design often starts with an exploration of what assets a place already has and a re-imagining of what more those assets could do to help move the community forward. That may seem obvious, but many of the conversations that occur in communities, especially those struggling with social, economic, or demographic disruption, tend to focus on what

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the place lacks or has lost, rather than what it still has to work with. For example, in an workshop with city managers, the Minnesota Design Center helped that group of leaders move from a deficit-based to an assetbased view of the challenges they faced. While it took a while for them to make that shift, once they began to list all the assets they had in their communities, the work groups began to develop a whole range of creative new ways to leverage those strengths. Their ideas ranged from the deployment of school buses as a transit system when not in use carting their children, to the conversion of a hockey rink closed in the summer as a recreational space for youth, to the use of a public golf course as a city park during downtimes. The workshop ended with the city managers developing specific next steps that they could take to prototype these ideas in their communities. Design and Diversity Diversity of all kinds – cultural diversity, age diversity, socio-economic diversity, racial and gender diversity – remains fundamental to successful community-centered design. Unlike the design goods and environments, which tends to focus on the needs of particular consumers or specific users, community scaled work requires the involvement of as many different perspectives and as many different ways of knowing as possible. Diversity isn’t a box to check or a token gesture to make; community-centered design does not work without it. When the Center worked with several counties on the redesign of the adult foster-care system, we had everyone from state regulators and county staff to group-home providers and residents involved, working together on diverse teams. The residents had never been asked to be involved in such a process, even though they must live with the effects of the adult foster-care systems every day. And the government employees charged with oversee-

ing the system had also never heard residents talk about their experiences. Because of the range of perspectives and the diversity of the teams, groups came up with a number of innovative ideas, four of which are currently being prototyped. In some ways, humans have always practiced community centered design, addressing in a collaborative way the challenges that groups of people face. Only in the last century have we “professionalized” innovation and expertise and taken away the agency of the very people who often have the most innovative ideas because they are not bound by existing ways of looking at things. The lack of diversity in most professions has only made that worse, producing outcomes that often reflect an upper-middle-class view of the world. In a project looking at the challenges faced by “sandwich generation caregivers,” who care for children and elderly parents at the same time, the Minnesota Design Center, along with the Citizens League and the Wilder Foundation, has launched design studios with a broad and diverse cross section of people, including those from communities of color, urban, rural, immigrant, low-income and those caring for individuals with disabilities. The studios provide a place in which people can share their diverse experiences with the current sandwich caregiving ecosystem, synthesize these experiences, and have a safe space to design and test new ideas. Rural-Centered Design Most designers work in urban and suburban settings, which has led to the relative neglect of rural communities and the underserved communities there. The urban – rural divide that plagues our political system partly reflects that absence. Most rural communities can no longer survive on the agricultural economy and must seek new opportunities based on their natural, social, and cultural assets that appeal to diverse interests, something that community-centered design can help address.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


In one rural-focused initiative, the Minnesota Design Center has led a pilot effort in Southeast Minnesota in which we have worked with local governments and community groups in three communities, each under 5,000 in population. We have used community-centered design to produce more promising economic development strategies and enhance the development of community resilience. In one community, Wabasha, that work has involved re-imagining an under-used natural asset – the Zumbro slough – as part of an active-aging strategy for the city. It has also led to leveraging the city’s location along the Mississippi River to appeal to people interested in birding, boating, and biking. In another community, Spring Grove, the work has capitalized on existing community networks – artisanal farmers and craftspeople – to begin to make the town a mecca for those interested in artisanal goods. And in a third place, Grand Meadow, the work has tapped the town’s strong school system to help enhance its growing reputation as a family-friendly community within commuting distance of larger cities. Design as Innovation Innovation happens through analogies and metaphors, through the combination of existing things in new ways and the examination of them from a different point of view. That process applies at the community scale as much as it does the individual one. The Minnesota Design Center’s work in re-imagining how communities house the homeless offers an example of this. In the Envision Community project, we have partnered with Hennepin Healthcare, which has a real incentive to find a solution to homelessness because of the high recidivism and cost to hospitals of this population. The project has re-defined the problem: treating housing for the homeless as remote patient rooms, which can tap health funds. In another project, called Settled, we have partnered with the faith community to take advantage of


the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to develop tiny home communities for the homeless on church-owned land. ( Justice Department, 2002) Community-centered design also puts technology in its place. In research the Minnesota Design Center has done with National Science Foundation funding, we have looked at the impact of shared autonomous vehicles on the built environment. While most experts have focused on the vehicle technology itself, we have looked at the opportunities that this transformation in our transportation system will create for communities, while ensuring that it benefits everyone, especially underserved communities that often lack access to affordable mobility. Community-Centered Education Community oriented innovation involves skills that every student can use to thrive in the 21st century economy. As the director of the Center, I teach design thinking in a grand-challenge course at the University of Minnesota called Global Venture Design. In the course, students from diverse disciplines work in teams with stakeholders in countries such as India, Uganda, and Nicaragua as well as in parts of the U.S., from Puerto Rico to Greater Minnesota. The students often start with solutions in mind and quickly learn from the communities they work with how to be more humble and listen to the people who live with challenges every day. Then, through the radical collaboration of diverse students with diverse stakeholder, the simplest and most sustainable ideas emerge, ready for prototyping. This course does not seek to make everyone a designer. But it does believe that every students should know how to leverage existing assets, to imagine better futures, and to tap the creativity of their communities. With that in mind, the Minnesota Design Center oversees a master of science degree in which students are encour-

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

aged to re-think the systems and services that have driven communities in unsustainable and inequitable directions. The students graduating from that program are in high demand, in part because they have learned how to do community-centered design. Indeed, the demand for community-centered design seems almost endless. We live in a time when many of the policies and systems that we have inherited from the 20th Century no longer work for us, without knowing how to change them or what to change them too. Design’s problem-reframing, paradigm-shifting way of work seems perfectly suited for times like these, and communities everywhere have begun to seek it out. The time has come for the design community to respond – and to embrace community-centered design.

MDC/Minnesota Design Center (2019) University of Minnesota., Accessed August 1, 2019 Roberts, Jess; Fisher, Thomas; Trowbridge, Matthew; Bent, Christine (2016) A Design Thinking Framework for Healthcare Management. Healthcare. Elsevier, Vol. 4, No. 1. Szczepanska, Jo (2017) Design Thinking Origin Story, plus Some of the People Who Made it Happen. The Medium. szczpanks/design-thinking-where-it-camefrom-and-the-type-of-people-who-made-it-allhappen-dc3a05411e53, Accessed August 1, 2019.

References Buckley, Patricia; Majumdar, Rumki (2018) “The Services Powerhouse: Increasingly Vital to World Economic Growth,” Deloitte Insights. https:// issues-by-the-numbers/trade-in-services-economy-growth.html, Accessed August 1, 2019 Fisher, Thomas (2016) Designing Our Way to a Better World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. IDEO (2019) “Our Story,” about, Accessed August 1, 2019 (2019), Accessed August 1, 2019 Justice Department, United States Government (2002) “Chapter 21C – Protection of Religious Exercise in Land Use and by Institutionalized Persons.” title-42-public-health-and-welfare, Accessed on August 1, 2019

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Abimbola O. Asojo & Hoa Vo

Using the Maker Mindset to Build Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students in Minnesota Author Biographies Abimbola O. Asojo, PhD is the Associate Dean for Research, Creative Scholarship and Engagement and Professor in the Interior Design program at the University of Minnesota, College of Design. Her research focuses on cross-cultural design issues, African architecture, computing and design, architectural lighting design, and sustainable post-occupancy evaluation. Her research has been disseminated in the Journal of Interior Design, International Journal of Architectural Research, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, the Handbook of Interior Design, LEUKOS, the Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, Building Research and Information, and Bauhaus Imaginista journals. She has an upcoming book titled African Humanity: Creativity, Identity and Personhood co-authored with Dr. Toyin Falola, UT Austin to be published by Carolina Academic Press. In 2018, she received the Environmental Design and Management, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, Distinguished Alumni Award, and has been twice named one of Design Intelligence’s Most Admired Educators (2017, 2010). She is a licensed architect, NCIDQ certified and a LEED Accredited Professional. Hoa Vo, M.F.A., is a 3rd year PhD student, graduate instructor, and research assistant in Interior Design program, College of Design, University of Minnesota. She is a current student-member of Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). Her research focuses on the notion of creativity, feedback as a tool to foster creativity in design-educational and -professional contexts, and human well-being in the built envi-


ronment. Hoa is especially curious about the cognitive aspects of creativity and measures of its domain-specific outcomes. With the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Abimbola O. Asojo, Hoa works on multiple projects and got published in Academic Exchange Quarterly, IDEC, EDRA, Creativity & Cognition (C&C) conference proceedings. Abstract Literature shows that minority communities are underrepresented in design and STEM professions. They also lack equal access to the maker movement traditions in K-12 education. Similarly, K-12 underrepresented students are seldom exposed to design opportunities at schools and are unaware of design career prospects. Hence, the lack of exposure to design and maker mindset led to the establishment of College of Design Building Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students program with the following four goals. (1) Increasing K-12 students’ understanding of the different design career opportunities. (2) Experiencing hands-on design processes and making activities in interior design, architecture, three-dimensional modeling and digital fabrication and their intersection with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). (3) Collaborating with students, faculty and minority design professionals to learn about design. (4) Learning about the contributions of minorities and underrepresented designers to the built environment to understand and promote inclusive design pedagogies. The program outcomes have been accessed with pre- and post-surveys, students’ engagement levels and tracking of their career paths. The themes that emerged from the data (n=112) include (1)

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

awareness of design thinking and making processes, (2) design career exposure, (3) design digital technology, (4) design networking, (5) teamwork and collaboration. It is evident that many of the themes dovetail with the literature on the benefits of the maker movement. Participants have also reported increased knowledge of design and enrolled in design schools and internship programs in firms. Our chapter focuses on the program outcomes and findings from the experience. Keywords Minority, underrepresented, maker mindset, design career, K-12, STEM Introduction Exposing students to design using the Maker Movement has become of great interest among educational institutions across the country due to its promising outcomes (Brie & Daniel, 2017). The outcome most valued among researchers and educators, especially the constructivists, is the maker mindset. The constructivists in education believe that students actively build their knowledge through hands-on experiences (Steffe, & Gale, 1995). The maker mindset is the umbrella term for the following characteristics: playfulness, assetand-growth-orientation, failure-positivity, and collaboration (Martin, 2015). The pleasure of making and using one’s own creations without formal classroom restraints unlocks the ability to have fun, take risks, and experiment (Petrich et al., 2013). The free shifting attention between activities requires assessment-based decisions and foster the growth of new skills (Dougherty, 2013). For instance, makers can examine an object at hand and develop new alternatives based on their current knowledge. Through the process, they also expand their repertoires with new understanding and skill sets. Fun and experimental failures are rewarding and encouraging for next trials (Mohammadi, 2011). Exchanging ideas, communi-

cating goals, and getting feedback are the heart of the maker movement (Kuznetsov & Paulos, 2010). The maker mindset facilitates creativity, which is central to design disciplines in the following ways. First, playfulness has long been linked to creativity due to the ability to enhance imagination and divergent thinking (Lieberman, 1977). Second, asset-and-growth-orientation resonates with the making and finding cognitive process of creativity. It is a continuous cycle in which individuals work toward their goals, perceive the consequences of their acts, and deliberate alternatives (asset) (Koutstaal & Binks, 2015). Through this process, individuals learn new skills and expand their repertoires (growth). Third, failure-positivity is the psychological resilience that suppresses negative emotions of failures while encouraging curiosity and openness, which, in turn, benefit creativity (Fredrickson, 2004). Fourth, collaboration also boosts idea generation, it provides instant peer-feedback, and increases creative outcomes (Bennett, 2011). Literature shows that minority communities are underrepresented in design and STEM professions. In addition, they lack equal access to the maker movement traditions in K-12 education (Milligan, 2018; National Center for Education Statistics, 2018; Jackson et al., 2013; Hurtado et al., 2010). Similarly, K-12 underrepresented students are seldom exposed to design opportunities at schools and are unaware of design career prospects. Hence, the lack of exposure to design and the maker mindset led to the establishment of the College of Design Building Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students program with the following four goals. (1) Increasing K-12 students’ understanding of the different career opportunities in design. (2) Experiencing hands-on design processes and making activities in interior design, architecture, three-dimensional modeling and digital fabrication and their intersection with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). (3) Collaborating with

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


students, faculty and minority design professionals to learn about design. (4) Learning about the contributions of minorities and underrepresented designers to the built environment to understand and promote inclusive design pedagogies. Our essay focuses on how a maker mindset is used to help K-12 students experience these four goals.

findings show discrimination against women and minorities such as lower salaries and prevention from roles such as contact with clients, construction supervision and field experience. All these show that underrepresented professionals and minorities in the field do not have equal access and opportunities (Asojo, 2019).


With regards to design curriculum, Turpin’s 2007 review of design literature highlights the importance of an inclusive design history particularly because minority students need to see role models that look like them in the profession during their formative years. Travis (2018) asks one very critical question for interior design to ponder on: “How does an organization of professionals and educators (IIDA, ASID and IDEC) make way for new ‘perspectives’ and create “atmospheres” for young black individuals to comfortably exist in interior design firms and academic programs?” Using the architecture experience, Travis notes for the past 50 years the AIA has funded four separate Diversity Committees, four Diversity conferences, retains a Diversity Officer, and publishes demographic statistics about the architecture profession. Despite the intensity of discussion and programs in architecture, statistics show that progress is still very slow when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Underrepresentation in Design fields and the Academy Travis (2018) notes “the subject of race is perhaps the hardest conversation in this, the most diverse country in the world. It’s certainly not an easy conversation in the environmental design disciplines...” (p.3). The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics documents that only 3.4% of employees in design services are black or African American, 7.7% are Asian American and 13.1% are Hispanic or Latino (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). No demographic information is available for Native Americans and Pacific Islanders in design services profession at United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. In the architecture field the numbers look bleak too, as only 2% (1814) of licensed architects in the United States are African American, and 0.2% (450) are African American Women (Center for the Study of Practice, 2019). In the interior design field, these demographic statistics are not published or readily available. No demographic statistics are published by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). On the subject of diversity, Anthony 2007 notes “The lack of diversity in the architecture profession impedes progress not only in the field but in American society at large…” (p. 14). Anthony’s book titled Designing for diversity: Gender, race, and ethnicity in the architectural profession provides a comprehensive study of problems faced by minorities and women architects in the US. Anthony’s survey


Within the interior design profession, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) hosted a think tank in January 2016 focused on tackling diversity and inclusion in the design industry. Their report, titled Diversity and Design: Why Gender, Equity, and Multidisciplinary Thinking are Essential to Business, presented a significant action plan to rally behind in the interior design academy so as to engender diversity. They are: “initiate discussions about race, define diversity for your organization, create and enforce a diversity agenda, make the pie bigger, be inclusive, go beyond the poster, look for opportunities to move the agenda forward, act local, and share best practices and success with colleagues: what

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one firm did” (p.13-15). The report is very comprehensive, with leaders in design presenting discourse on diversity and inclusion from practice. Gabrielle Bullock, Perkins+Will noted: “Diversity is the mix; inclusion is what you do with the mix. It’s the difference between just asking someone to the party versus asking them to dance.” Likewise, Shauna Stallworth, Luhf Branded noted: “Inclusion, acceptance, and engagement are three words that we can rally behind. And let’s not make it difficult.” Edwin Beltran, NBBJ noted: “A truly diverse work environment, and one that thrives through innovation and creative energy, requires building a team around diversity of professional background and expertise, cultural experiences, educational backgrounds, personal interest, thinking styles, etc.” Cheryl Durst, executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA who moderated the think tank, noted that diversity “is telling our stories, sharing our full selves.” The report presented stories and perspectives from leaders in interior design that clearly indicate the urgency to strive for diversity in design. Like Travis, Durst, Bullock and others at the forefront of the work to create a more inclusive design profession have suggested, pipeline programs can help build community and make design professions more representative of the diversity of our Nation. Particularly, given that the current US population census estimates indicate 39.3% of US population is non-White. As population trends indicate US population is becoming more ethnically diverse, so must our classrooms. The National Center for Educational Statistics trends from 2000 to 2016 shows an increase in non-white school-aged children from 38 to 48 percent, and current population projections show an upward trend. The State of Minnesota ranks 48th and 50th in high school graduation rates for African American and Hispanic students, respectively (National Center for Education Statistics). This achievement gap is a direct result of the lack of access to advanced curriculum in school. Research highlights that many minority and underrepresented

students are not prepared for college-level rigorous curriculum (University of Minnesota: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Craig & Scott, 2019) and have unequal access to maker-centered forms of learning, science, math, and engineering in K-12 schools. Students who learn in maker spaces and who are engaged in project-based learning have been found to outscore their traditionally educated peers in standardized testing and are better prepared for real-world challenges (Brie & Daniel, 2017; Hwang, 2017). Therefore, the maker mindset and movement is a way to engage underrepresented populations. The Maker Mindset and Maker Movement The Maker Movement originally developed outside the school environment and mostly involved adults. However, there has been a recent interest in integrating it into K-12 education. Specifically, to create opportunities for K-12 students to engage in STEM professions. Investment by funding agencies, increased coverage in the popular press, and investment in maker spaces by museums are all signs of the growing interest in and validation of this type of engaged, informal, hands-on STEM learning. Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Ingenuity Lab at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, Maker Space at the New York Hall of Science, and MAKEShop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh are all high-profile examples of maker space exhibits (Kalil & Miller, 2014; Finn, 2012; Giridharadas, 2011). The US government has made substantial investment in maker spaces through funding agencies and other initiatives. In 2014, the White House declared June 18 the “National Day of Making.” In 2015, the White House expanded these activities to a Week of Making from June 12 to June 18 in Washington, DC. The initiative was an overall call to action for companies, colleges, and communities to promote invention, creativity, and resourcefulness and to celebrate the maker movement (National Research Council, 2011).

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


While there are many types of “making,” Bevan and Ryoo (2016) identified three specific types of makers programs (Bevan et al., 2016). The first type is entrepreneurship program (i.e., making products for market). The second type is workforce development. The third type is educational program. Our focus for the K-12 program is primarily on educational programs. Researchers have discussed three types of educational making—Assembly, Creative Construction, and Open-Ended Inquiry (Bevan et al., 2016; Bevan et al., 2015; Resnick & Rosenbaum, 2013). In assembly type, learners are given a stepby-step process of how to make an object that results in an identical object. Creative construction involves providing learners with a challenge to address and the resulting design/object is personalized. Open-ended inquiry involves a learner developing an individual idea and figuring how to accomplish it. This method is often called Tinkering since it emphasizes creativity (Bevan et al., 2015). Bevan et al. (2016) note, “When Making is organized to leverage students’ ideas and interests, it can create powerful conditions for learning to occur particularly for students who may not already affiliate as STEM learners”. Making supports a combination of creating, craft making, and experimentation, and evidence shows that these are attributes of top-performing scientist and that these skills are highly valued by STEM educators, professionals, and industry (Root-Bernstein et al., 2017).

tion (Chen et al., 2016). In the following section, we discuss how these practices were incorporated in our program.

Despite the abundant examples and implementations of maker programs, only few researchers address how K-12 and underrepresented students learn about design in a maker environment. Therefore, our essay aims to bridge this gap. The Building Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented K-12 Students program employed investigating practices and sense-making practices in the making experience. Investigating practice is about asking questions, planning and developing the experiment (Brenner & Brill, 2016). Sense-making practice refers to building models, analyzing, interpreting, and constructing an explana-

Making experiences such as wood working and laser cutting are found to nurture STEM related skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and innovation in K-12 students (Khoo & Cowie, 2018; Brie & Daniel, 2017; Martin, 2015). Using the digital, physical tools in woodworking and laser cutting, K-12 students experienced the making of objects from scratch. Hence, they learned about creation, exploration, and fabrication through the process (Martin, 2015). The Product Realization Lab at Stanford University used woodworking and laser cutting as a component of design courses to provide students with equipment access and man-


Program Context Since 2013 we have organized annual panels, workshops and summer camps to engage diverse participants in design problem-solving exercises focused on cultural expressions in the built environment. We structured the program to include after-school and summer design/making camps, lectures and panel discussions. In the design/ making camps, K-12 students are guided through ideation, concept sketching, and modeling exercises. The week-long summer design and making camp focuses on daily hands-on activities in design, three-dimensional modeling, fabrication and field trips (Figure 1, 2, and 3). Lectures and panel discussion for K-12 students focus on learning about global design history, multicultural design perspectives and diverse contributions to the built environment. A systematic instructional design process that engages the learners, objectives, methods, and evaluation is used in the development and execution of the programs. Feedback is obtained through pre- and post-surveys from student participants to improve the programs. Woodworking and laser cutting making experiences

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ufacturing training (Wilczynski, 2015). Similarly, we engaged underrepresented K-12 students in designing their name tags on the laser cutter and open-ended experimentation in the wood shop (i.e., building imaginative objects from recycled wood). As our group walked the students through the design fabrication resources of the College of Design, we explained the different design careers in the college and their making processes.

future career goals. Through a process of constant comparison, grouping and categorizing (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Stake, 2006; Strauss & Corbin, 1998) of the data collected from student participants (n=112) in the program since 2013, the following five themes emerged:

LEGO making experiences

A student noted:

In a recent study, participants ages 8 to 10 reported profound accessibility, curiosity, enjoyment, and collaboration with peers through the making experiences using LEGO (Khoo & Cowie, 2018). Likewise, at the University of Westminster, Gauntlett (2014) found LEGO a powerful tool to facilitate creative thinking (Gauntlett, 2014). It is compact in size yet flexible, affordable, and applicable for a wide range of age and gender. Therefore, we engaged K-12 underrepresented students in different LEGO making experiences from small to large scale. For the small-scale projects, K-12 underrepresented students created the logos of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and American Institute of Architects (AIA). For the largescale one, they recreated the Sugar Hill Building designed by Black Architect, Sir David Adjaye, who is the Architect of the African-American Museum in Washington DC. Two female renowned guest architects, Marilyn Porter, AIA and Rosemary McMonigal, FAIA together with our group and teams of K-12 underrepresented students built the structure using LEGOs (Figure 2). Program Outcomes A thematic analysis was conducted on the qualitative data collected from the open-ended questions. For instance, in the pre-survey we asked about prior design knowledge and learning expectations. In the post-survey, the questions captured their learning experiences and evaluation of the program including their best experience and

Awareness of design thinking and making processes.

“I now know a design career is building, aesthetic, thinking, working, making, and trying. I think that’s right.” Another student also stated “ I learned that designing is a lot more complicated than it seems. It requires a lot of time and effort.” When asked to describe the best experience(s) in the programs, students replied: “Model design shop, Lego structure.” “Legos. Because now I know how to make houses with the Legos I have at home.” Design career exposure. A student expressed: “The camp helped enrich my experience in design and was educational. It gave me insights about design career, too.” According to another student: “This camp let me know about all the different design careers that I didn’t know about. Also, it gave me insight on what I would be doing if I was in the U of M design school.”

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Design digital technology.


A student noted:

Our findings show the importance of exposing underrepresented children to design careers early in their K-12 education. We found that participants were very engaged and learned a lot about design related fields and future career opportunities. Given that the College of Design has very few underrepresented students, programs like this can provide a pipeline to design careers. The goal is to continue to develop this maker mindset program to build a pipeline to design careers for underrepresented K-12 students in Minnesota. For example, future versions of this program will involve more collaboration with STEM based fields and further exploration of the intersection between design and STEM. This will provide the opportunity to seek federal and foundation funding to support the College of Design pipeline programs, scholarships, and workforce development for underrepresented minorities.

“I loved building and learning about the tools and trying them out.” Design networking. A student recalled: “Being exposed to all different things so we could talk to people in the career path we liked.” Another student also stated: “… we got to be creative and met another architect.” Teamwork and Collaboration. As a student reflected: “I also learned how teamwork is so important.” Another student noted: “I learned how all the different design careers can go hand in hand.” It is evident that many of the thematic outcomes dovetail with the literature about the benefits of the Maker mindset and Movement. Participants have also reported increased knowledge of design and enrolled in design schools and internship programs in firms. Two high-school 12th-grade female students who participated in the camp have applied to the high-school internship program with Cuningham Group, our professional firm collaborator in the program. One high school alumnus of the Diversity and Design programs we have held since 2013 has graduated from Kansas State architecture program and works in a firm in Minneapolis St Paul. Another matriculated this fall and is studying architecture in Chicago.


Acknowledgement The authors would like to acknowledge the University of Minnesota Women and Girls of Color Engagement and Research Initiative Grant ($10,000), Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. ($1,000); Target Campus grant ($1,750), College of Design RFP grant ($25,000) and University of Minnesota Micro grant ($1,000) for providing funding support for the K-12 programs. We also acknowledge our external partner Brian Kelley, Director of Young Builders and Designers for supporting the LEGO experience.

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Figure 1. Design workshops from 2013 to 2017.

Figure 2. Design Summer Camp 2019, first day at fabrication workshop, Rapson Hall.

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Figure 3. Design Summer Camp 2018, K-12 students using tools in the fabrication workshop and modeling a building designed by David Adjaye from Lego pieces. References Anthony, K. H. (2007). Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Asojo, A.O. (2019, March 29). Racial Diversity in Interior Design: A Way Forward [Letter to the editor]. Journal of Interior Design, 44 (1). Retrieved from full/10.1111/joid.12146 Bennett, J. (2011). Collaborative songwriting: The ontology of negotiated creativity in popular


music studio practice. Journal on the Art of Record Production, 5, 1–18. Bevan, B., Ryoo, J., & Shea, M. (2015). Equity in Out-of-School STEM Learning: Professional Development Needs and Strategies. The Exploratorium. Bevan, B., Ryoo, J., Shea, M., Kekelis, L., Pooler, P., Green, E., & Hernandez, M. (2016). Making as a Strategy for Afterschool STEM Learning: Report from the Californian Tinkering Afterschool Network Research-Practice Partnership. The Exploratorium.

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Brenner, A. M., & Brill, J. M. (2016). Investigating practices in teacher education that promote and inhibit technology integration transfer in early career teachers. TechTrends, 60(2), 136-144. Brie, L., & M. Daniel, D. (2017). The Maker Movement and K-12 Education Current Status and Opportunities for Engagement in California. California Council on Science & Technology. California. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019). Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. Retrieved from cps/cpsaat18.htm Center for the Study of Practice. (2019). The Directory of African American Architects. Retrieved from Chen, C. H. E., Ying, C. H. E. N. G., & Qing, K. E. (2016). Sense-making Theory: A Review. Information Science, (6), 30. Dougherty, D. (2013). The maker mindset. In Design, Make, Play (pp. 25-29). Routledge. Finn, H. (2012, Oct. 5). Amateurs to the rescue. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online. 804578034360604565452 Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). The broaden-andbuild theory of positive emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 359, 1367–1377. Gauntlett, D. (2014). The LEGO System as a tool for thinking, creativity, and changing the world. LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon, 1-16. Giridharadas, A. (2011, May 13). The kitchen-table industrialists. The New York Times. Retrieved from the-kitchen-table-industrialists.html

International Interior Design Association. (2016). Design & Diversity. Retrieved from Hurtado, S., Newman, C. B., Tran, M. C., & Chang, M. J. (2010). Improving the rate of success for underrepresented racial minorities in STEM fields: Insights from a national project. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 5-15. Hwang, J. P. (2017, September). Maker Movement Influence on Students’ Learning Motivation and Learning Achievement–A Learning Style Perspective. In International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Education (pp. 456-462). Springer, Cham. International Interior Design Association. (2016). Design & Diversity. Retrieved from Jackson, D. L., Starobin, S. S., & Laanan, F. S. (2013). The shared experiences: Facilitating successful transfer of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. New Directions for Higher Education, 2013(162), 69-76. Kalil, T., & Miller, J. (2014, February 3). Announcing the first White House Maker Faire. The White House Blog. Retrieved from http:// announcing-firstwhite-housemaker-faire Khoo, E., & Cowie, B. (2018). Mobile makerspaces as a catalyst for fostering STEAM activities in the community. Koutstaal, W., & Binks, J. T. (2015). Innovating Minds: A Thinking Framework for Creativity and Change, New York: Oxford University Press. Kuznetsov, S., & Paulos, E. (2010, October). Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures. In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries (pp. 295-304). ACM.

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Lieberman, J. N. (1977). Playfulness: Its relationship to imagination and creativity. Academic Press. Martin, L. (2015). The promise of the maker movement for education. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 5(1), 4. Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Milligan, S. (2018, May 4). America Is Still Unequal For Blacks in 2018: Report. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from the-report/articles/2018-05-04/african-americans-lag-behind-whites-in-equality-index Mohammadi, G. (2011). Most spectacular failure award at handcar regatta. Make Magazine Blog. National Center for Education Statistics (2018). State High School Graduation Rates By Race, Ethnicity. Retrieved October 31, 2018 from http:// National Research Council (2011). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards, Board on Science Education, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Petrich, M., Wilkinson, K., & Bevan, B. (2013). It Looks Like Fun, but Are They Learning?. In Design, Make, Play (pp. 68-88). Routledge. Resnick, M., & Rosenbaum, E. (2013). Designing for tinkerability. Design, make, play: Growing the next generation of STEM innovators, 163-181.

Root-Bernstein, R., Pathak, A., & Root-Bernstein, M. (2017). A review of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of integrating arts, music, performing, crafts and design into science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical education, part 1: A taxonomy of integrated bridges. Leonardo, 1-3. Stake, R.E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York, NY: Guilford. Steffe, L. P., & Gale, J. E. (Eds.). (1995). Constructivism in education (p. 159). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Travis, J. (2018). An interior of inclusion or the illusion of inclusion. Journal of Interior Design, 43 (3), 3–7. Turpin, J. (2007). The history of women in interior design: A review of literature. Journal of Interior Design, 33(1), 1-15. United States Census Bureau. (2018). United States Census Bureau State & County Quick Facts. University of Minnesota: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Craig, William J; Scott, Tom. (2019). CURA Reporter [K–12 Achievement Gap Is a National Problem]. Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle. net/11299/201541 Wilczynski, V. (2015). Academic maker spaces and engineering design. In American Society for Engineering Education (Vol. 26, p. 1).

Retrieved from https://www.census. gov/ quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217


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Dewey Thorbeck

Design for Urban and Rural Futures at a Community-engaged Land-grant University AUTHOR Biography Dewey Thorbeck, FAIA, FAAR is an Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Emeritus Founder and Director of the Center for Rural Design, and a Research Fellow in the Minnesota Design Center in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. He received his BArch from the University of Minnesota, MArch from Yale University, and won the Rome Prize in architecture and spent two years as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and an award-winning architect in private practice. To Thorbeck the making of place is rooted in the human spirit and is the basis for architecture. The spirit of a place exists in the feelings that people generate about it. A beautiful building can evoke an emotional response, but a beautiful building that is part of nature is poetic. Abstract Design is a powerful tool for integrating knowledge to improve quality of life and it is something everyone uses. As a problem-solving process it encourages participation by all involved in a shared process of learning, discovery, and resolution. A community-engaged College of Design in a land-grant university encompasses multiple professional design disciplines, and the design process is fundamental to all of them. Design is a way for the disciplines to work together to utilize its problem-solving process through a bottom-up approach to work with communities to help them understand place and shape urban and rural futures. Global issues of population increase, poverty, climate change, soil replenishment, food

security, water resources, renewable energy, and human, animal, and environmental wellness are major issues that impact everyone on the planet. There is a divide between urban and rural people and this divide is hindering the development of design ideas that cross borders and connect urban and rural people and land-use issues. The shaping of future land use is a shared urban and rural design problem. Professional designers, using a bottom-up design process working with citizen groups can help link and shape urban and rural land uses today that allows future generations the ability to shape theirs. Keywords Design process, design disciplines, rural design, urban design, community design Design for Urban and Rural Futures A College of Design in a community-engaged land-grant university may be the most respected academic format to bring design into research, teaching, and working with rural and urban communities. In a time of rapid change, it is critical that urban and rural futures be linked to resolve local and global issues of population increase, poverty, climate change, soil replenishment, food security, water resources, renewable energy, and human, animal, and environmental wellness. Design is a powerful tool for integrating knowledge to improve quality of life. As a problem-solving process it encourages participation by all involved in a shared process of learning, discovery, and resolution. Professional designers utilize the design process in their work, but design

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is also integral to all of our lives and something everyone uses.

tum be utilized by professional designers as they work to resolve land use and community issues.

Urban design and rural design are similar in that both focus on quality of life. However, rural design is fundamentally different in seeking to understand and embody the unique characteristics of the open landscapes and ecosystems where buildings and towns are components of the landscape rather than defining infrastructure and public space as in urban design. However, the making of place is rooted in the human spirit and is the basis for all design – urban and rural.

Urbanization worldwide since 1960s has been rapidly accelerating as people move from rural to urban areas for economic advancement. This has led to a significant divide between urban and rural people. From a recent survey by political science professor Katherine J. Cramer at the University of Wisconsin three issues were identified: 1) That rural people feel they are not being listened to by state governments and when they provide government aid it is top down and not what they need; 2) That rural people feel that more public resource is being proportionately devoted to urban areas; and 3) That rural people feel they are not respected by urban people. (Cramer 2016)

Design offers a problem-solving methodology to accomplish this as it works with communities to define and shape place. The Norwegian architect, author, educator and architectural theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz, wrote about the environment, discussing the importance and understanding of place in the design process: Our everyday life-world consists of concrete “phenomena”. It consists of people, of animals, of flowers, of trees and forests, of stone, earth, wood and water, of towns, streets and houses, doors windows and furniture. And it consists of sun, moon, and stars, of drifting clouds, of night and day and changing seasons. But it also comprises more intangible phenomena such as feelings. A concrete term for environment is place. It is common usage to say that acts and occurrences take place. In fact, it is meaningless to imagine any happening without reference to a locality. Place is evidently an integral part of existence. (Norberg-Schulz 1979) Thinking about the future also implies that architectural design must go beyond the Louis Sullivan dictum of “form follows function” and become the dictum that form follows function, culture, climate, and place. As design looks at the future of urban and rural communities it is critical that this dic-


These findings are similar to those observed by the author when he was director of the Center for Rural Design at the University of Minnesota while working with multi-disciplinary design teams on rural issues with rural Minnesota communities and this work continues through the leadership of Thomas Fisher and the Minnesota Design Center. Many rural towns in Minnesota that developed in the late 18th and early 20th centuries to serve the farming community have shrunk in population and are struggling today, with stores closing, schools consolidating with other small towns, and people having to drive long distances for services and health care. This shift in population from rural to urban and an enormous investment in infrastructure to enlarge cities and enhance urban life have contributed to a serious divide between urban and rural interests and urban and rural people – economically, socially and politically. (Thorbeck 2019) By 2050 there may be another 2.5 billion people living on the planet with 100 million more in the United States, and one million more in Minnesota. Where will these people live, work, and play and how will the Earth’s limited land be shaped,

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replenished, and utilized? Professional designers have attempted to shape urban development as cities have expanded, but they have done so primarily from an urban perspective. Areas of transition from rural to urban requires the lens of spatial arrangement from both urban and rural perspectives to use, manage, and preserve the ecosystems that all people depend upon. A community-engaged College of Design within a land-grant university can lead the way to bring design as a problem-solving process to rural and urban futures, because design thinking is fundamental to each of the professional design disciplines. Architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design are the most critical disciplines for the built environment because of their primary role in designing and constructing buildings and landscapes. However, the design disciplines have been taught to design individual projects for clients without much academic emphasis on interdisciplinary involvement with other designers. Design as a problem-solving process is an opportunity for all of the professional design disciplines to emphasize integrated design in their work and use the design process to collaborate and bring all of their collective design skills together to shape urban and rural environments for the future. Working with citizen committees using a bottom-up design process they can help link and shape urban and rural land uses today that allows future generations the ability to shape theirs.

Figure 1. Photograph of a typical University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design community design workshop reflecting the bottom-up design process. Credit: Center for Rural Design This design process would include ideas like: •  Using a community design approach that involves citizens in a bottom up planning process to create meaningful long-term support for design ideas that emerge. •  Studying areas of transition from rural to urban and land uses at the urban/rural edge using the lens of spatial arrangement from both urban and rural perspectives. •  Integrating changes at the urban/rural edge while preserving landscape character and community values for both urban and rural people. •  Making room for new agricultural and processing technologies, including urban agriculture and soil replenishment, to improve economic vitality while protecting environmental resilience. (Forester & Escudero 2014) •  Designing landscapes, housing and other buildings that are sustainable while responding to culture, climate and place as well as function.

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•  Providing design ideas for economic and business innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to combat poverty. •  Finding better ways to communicate design ideas to citizen’s involved in the planning process. •  Emphasizing design collaboration in the organization and management of design teams working with urban and rural communities. Design thinking is a manifestation of the design economy and a methodology of how rural and urban regions can use the design process to gain control over technology so that the production of goods and services through regional cooperation and collaboration contributes to rural economic development, environmental improvements, and quality of life. Design thinking is a concept that nurtures the democratic ideal and free flow of information. It can create a social and business environment in rural small towns, cities, and regions where innovation and entrepreneurship will flourish. (Brown 2009) To emphasize the importance of design collaboration, the current mission statement of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota is: Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, our mission is to lead, innovate, and educate in a full range of design fields. We research ongoing and emerging issues, explore new knowledge, and address and solve real-world problems; all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable principles, and collaborative design thinking.

plinary and integrated design. While this is being done through the Minnesota Design Center, the mission statement of the College of Design would be better if it was described in a way that emphasizes crossing borders in the academic curriculum to address critical global issues of climate change, food security, water resources, renewable energy and wellness – human, animal and environmental, such as: Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, our mission is to lead, innovate, and educate in a full range of design fields while seeking multi-disciplinary design collaboration to research ongoing and emerging issues, explore new knowledge, and address and solve critical local and global issues. Our students work together on projects to develop design solutions for future land use issues impacting both urban and rural people, while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable principles, and collaborative design thinking. Shaping Future Land Use Similar to many other regions of the country and worldwide, Minnesotans are wondering what will the state’s character look like in twenty or fifty years? Where will people live and work and where will the million-plus additional new people arriving to live in Minnesota by 2050 be located? What kind of transportation and what kind of environment will the state have? Will it maintain a high quality of life with outdoor recreation and a beautiful rural landscape as well as vibrant metropolitan and rural regions? What will be the economic drivers and what kinds of jobs will there be and where will they be located? How can rural Minnesota continue to compete in a global marketplace?

Currently the design disciplines within the College of Design reflect very well their individual disciplines, but rarely do they cross academic borders and connect with other design disciplines in the learning process to collectively address problems and create solutions that reflect interdisci-


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people (families, young people, and elderly) needed to maintain anchoring institutions such as schools, hospitals, businesses, and houses of worship? •  What will enable transportation (road, rail, and river) needs to be seriously considered as infrastructure—in visioning and supporting economies of the future?

Figure 2. Center for Rural Design drawing of a landuse scenario illustrating different zoning for rural areas as a means to guide and manage land-use decisions to preserve natural and scenic areas. Credit: Center for Rural Design These are questions that the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design, from 1997 to 2016, had been discussing with rural communities throughout the state to empower citizens through a bottom-up community design approach. The Center merged with the Minnesota Design Center in the College of Design in 2016 and continues to research and explore urban and rural connections. Here are some of the important observations, questions and issues in shaping future landuse issues that the integrated design process can address for Minnesota: •  The population will increase significantly in both urban and rural regions due to immigration with a more diversified and aging demography. Where will these people want to live and work? •  The rural landscape of each region of the state was developed with a unique economy in mind. As new opportunities and needs emerge, what knowledge base can aid the state to recognize the landscape’s potential for economies of the future? •  For the economies of the future, how can a regional approach support the critical mass of

•  How can education be best delivered to enhance economic prosperity? How can local school districts and higher education be better connected? •  What are the relationships of small rural towns to regional centers, and what are the relationships of rural centers to the Twin City metropolitan region? •  What is the land-based assets of each region that can be utilized to ensure a healthy future? •  What aspects of the unique geological and landscape character of the state’s three biome regions need to be preserved and enhanced for the future? •  What are the opportunities for entrepreneurship and capital funding to support and enhance environmental protection, economic development, and quality of life? Development has often been an ‘external’ phenomenon whereby small towns or cities engage experts to suggest changes and provide guidance to a specific program. For example, if a city wants to establish an industrial park to promote new businesses and jobs, it often hires professional planners and consultants who have designed other industrial parks to develop a plan. Even when the community is involved in the planning process, the recommended plan often reflects the thinking and skills of the consultants rather than

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the unique land assets of the region and the values citizens place on it. Externally driven plans may have good ideas, but often lack the community support necessary to become successful.

as a “center for innovation” and embrace entrepreneurship, market technological creativity, and promote human diversity to effectively compete in the global economy.

On the other hand, development that is ‘internally’ driven is much more likely to gain community support and achieve consensus on a strategy but may not be so successful in implementation. For example, if a regional industrial park is a goal for economic development, a region might form a non-profit entity or government authority to coordinate and manage efforts to entice a company to locate and construct a building in the park. Often this role becomes part of the local Chamber of Commerce, and while the intention is good, and may have strong local support, the real opportunities and innovative options for entrepreneurship and business expansion may have been overlooked.

Richard Florida calls people who like to function this way the ‘creative class.’ In an essay he states that more and more businesses understand the importance diversity has in hiring and retaining creative employees, yet most civic leaders fail to understand the same relationship. Places that succeed in attracting and retaining creative people are more likely to prosper. Those places generally have greater diversity of people and higher levels of environmental quality—places that accept newcomers and immigrants quickly into all sorts of social and economic situations.

Sustainable development can be best achieved when it embraces and fosters systemic and holistic design thinking. In the example of a regional industrial park for economic development, the community-based design approach professional designers would first survey and determine regional land assets, find connections between economic development, education, financing, tourism, and quality of life; and then, through community workshops, define the values the community places on them. By using the community-based process of design, planners, architects, landscape architects, interior designers and other consultants can work together with citizens to outline options, provide alternatives, and connect the dots to create a vision for the regional industrial park as an integral part of the social, economic, environmental, political, and cultural fabric of the community. (Figure 3 near here) Because of the community-based bottom-up vision based on regional assets the name “industrial park” might be reconsidered by the community and become branded


Florida goes on to argue that creative people value diversity in all its manifestations, enjoy a mix of influences with different kinds of music and try different kinds of food. They want to meet and socialize with a wide range of people. Also, creative people value outdoor recreation very highly and are drawn to places and communities where many outdoor activities are available. Openness to migration is particularly important for smaller cities and rural areas. To attract and welcome creative people they must develop the kind of social opportunities creative people value (Florida, 2002). The importance of social capital cannot be underestimated and is often described as two types: 1) external bridging that connects people from different groups; and 2) internal bonding within a homogenous group. (Putnam 2000) It is essential that both types of social capital be involved in developing the kind of community so crucial to the problem-solving process of design thinking in addressing and resolving rural and urban needs. When human diversity and academic knowledge are joined through the design process great things can happen.

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nomically self-sufficient image of the 1960s to a model more in tune with today’s realities. Small towns do not exist in a vacuum: they are part of a vital, interactive, symbiotic, regional network and our attention should be focused on nourishing and positioning the regional network for success in the future.

Figure 3. Diagram of the rural design process illustrating the innovative potential for design thinking and creative problem-solving to cross borders and connect the dots to find optimum solutions. Credit: Center for Rural Design One of the problems is that rural regions in America are organized around counties, townships and incorporated cities that were established in the 19th century or earlier. There boundaries made sense as the communities and their agricultural landscape developed, but today there is a need to cross-borders and make connections for mutual benefit. In an article published in 2006, Dr. Tom Stinson the Minnesota State Economist and Dr. R. Thomas Gillaspy the State Demographer, outlined reasons why rural development must recognize that the economic role of small towns had changed considerably: •  People today are much more willing to drive to a regional center to shop. The result has been that in small towns some local retail outlets grew unprofitable and they closed. The closing of a local grocery store does not mean that the town is dying, it is only a signal that the community’s future role in the regional economy is being redefined. •  Those concerned about the future of small towns in rural regions need to shift their thinking away from the self-contained, eco-

•  A more productive way of thinking about today’s rural communities is to envision them as spatially separated neighborhoods. When rural communities are thought of as spatially separated neighborhoods, a rural community’s future depends on the success of the regional economy in which it is located., not its relative success compared to its neighbors. The spatially separated neighborhood model highlights the interdependency of all communities in a region and the need for increase cooperation among those communities. (Stinson and Gillaspy 2006) When working with a rural town the design process is most effective when evidence is brought to the process. Evidence-based design is a twoway process bringing research evidence developed by the university to the problem and in return identifying questions that the research community can clarify.

Figure 4.. Diagram of evidence-based design as a twoway street for design thinking between the research land-grant university and rural and urban societies. Credit: Center for Rural Design

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Professional designers working with a rural town need to familiarize themselves with established research evidence to support their design recommendation. Much of the research is now readily available on the web or it can identify landgrant university researchers in the region that the designers can connect with. This diagram illustrates the way that the design process can bring resolution to both urban and rural futures. Rural character varies depending on the geology and climate of place and is uniquely defined by different communities. If design is to be effective it must recognize the unique characteristics of place, including the natural characteristics of climate, seasons, vegetation and the agricultural, cultural, and social history of the place. New innovative and economic opportunities can emerge when the assets of place and culture are clarified and organized.

and state agencies is an exciting opportunity to attract young people. Tourism is another opportunity for small towns when place is celebrated. People like to visit an area for the same reasons people like to live there. With tourism, good restaurants, lodging, and a grocery store and other shops can emerge as the opportunity to engage tourists with the people of the town and the surrounding agricultural landscape by celebrating and promoting place. With more people the opportunity for new housing and health care availability may also emerge. The sustainability of a rural town or a larger city can be enhanced by integrating economic, environmental, and social/cultural opportunities with specific focus on innovation in health and wellness, new business development, renewable energy, and education and life-long learning through integrated sustainable design. Here are some of the opportunities: •  Using energy from renewable resources (solar, wind and biomass from a variety of sources, including waste) to reduce energy consumption from the grid through Net and Gross Zero Energy strategies. •  Providing for soil replenishment and on-site management of storm water such that there is net-zero runoff in comparison with existing conditions and enhances water resources and soil capacity for crops.

Figure 5. Diagram of urban and rural design working together to shape both urban and rural futures, and to do so in a way that future generations can shape theirs. Credit: Center for Rural Design Finding new ways for unused buildings in rural towns to became attractions for entrepreneurs and/or public functions working with municipal


•  Providing for a local multi-modal street network (pedestrians, bicycles, cars, alternative vehicles) and regional inter-modal (bus) access with goal to reduce vehicle miles of travel. •  Creating a green infrastructure that enhances biodiversity and preserves and enhances critical habitats and natural areas.

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•  Integrating active multi-generational living and a matrix of wellness services and employment which are accessible, connected and integrated into the fabric of the community. •  Integrating life-long learning across disciplines developing integrative cultural centers, libraries and schools while creating the technological infrastructure to use wireless and new net-based communication technologies emphasizing technology transfer, knowledge-synthesis and global connectivity. •  Fostering a strong sense of community through development of a walkable, livable design that promotes human interaction and provides a high quality of life and sense of well-being. (Thorbeck 2017) Thomas Fisher, former dean of the College of Design and now director of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota ends his book on Designing to Avoid Disasters with this statement: The task before us amounts to relinquishing our attachment to the unhealthy and unsustainable path we have wandered down over the last two centuries and returning to the path we have long been on as a species, remembering what we once knew, and relishing the wealth, now so often overlooked, of all that is free and in infinite supply: family and friends, love and learning, cultivation and co-creation. In such relationships and activities lies our real resiliency as individuals and sustainability as a species. And to imagine what such a world, built on such principles, would be like, we have only to look at what our ancestors have left behind for us and at what our progeny would undoubtedly want us to leave behind for them. (Fisher 2013) This statement reminds us that rural towns and cities have a legacy that is based on the agricultural past, and their future is dependent on development of policies to promote economic develop-

ment and the quality of the physical environment on a regional scale where the municipality is an integral part of the regions natural and evolving agricultural landscape while crossing borders to connect with other towns and urban places. Agricultural Heritage Monocultural agriculture is an impediment to promoting the rural economy because it is generally not connected or supportive of the small rural town. Writing about new models of agriculture for rural regions, Parvis Koohafkan and Miguel Altieri in their book Forgotten Agricultural Heritage identify many Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and from their studies state: The new models of agricultural humanity will need to include some forms of farming that are more ecological, biodiverse, local, sustainable and socially just. Such systems have fed much of the world for centuries and continue to feed people in many parts of the planet. The future sustainability of agriculture depends also on young people wanting to remain on the land, and therefore farming must provide a way of life which is satisfying for young people. (Koohafkan and Altieri 2017) These GIAHS sites are intriguing to visit and see and learn how people have lived and worked together for centuries in harmony creating a unique landscape and living environment on Earth. One of these places is the Sacred Valley in Peru and the rural town of Pisac with its daily public market where farmers and townspeople interact as they have for hundreds of years and still do today. It is a region with terraces on hillsides where many varieties of potatoes have been grown. A sketch by the author illustrates how this GIAHS site still operates with open stalls covered by canvas awnings with farmers selling their produce and crafts as they have for centuries, and today it also has a modern Coca Cola truck parked adjacent

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to the market making deliveries—even an ancient GIAHS community can be part of the 21st century!

Summary The multi-disciplinary research work of the Minnesota Design Center has found that it is important to avoid thinking of a rural town as a single community serving farmers in the adjacent agricultural landscape as it once was. Today, with the dramatic changes in farming, the rural town that survives and thrives must connect to other towns and larger communities through the agricultural and natural landscape and economy of the region they share. They must also encourage young entrepreneurs to move to rural areas and help in financing new businesses.

Figure 6. Sketch by the author of the century’s old daily public market in the rural community of Pisac in the Sacred Valley Region of Peru—with a modern Coca Cola truck making deliveries. Credit: Dewey Thorbeck In Minnesota the state was originally habituated by Native Americans and later with European exploration and settlement it was fur trading, logging, and farming along with iron mining and railroads that created the economy. Today it is banking, computer, and health care that dominate, but the agricultural heritage is the one that still stands as a major economic force in the state. However, support of monoculture agriculture needs to change so the future is constructed around an integration of urban and rural design thinking so food security, water resources, and renewable energy can shape land uses promoting human, animal, and environmental wellness.


Composers of the built environment, when working with a community in a rural region, need to bring a rural perspective to the issue and promote a regional rural approach to nurture shared goals, scholarship, and lines of inquiry with near-by towns and larger rural cities that can help them shape their collective future. And to do so in a way the allows future generations to shape theirs. The design process offers a new way of resolving land uses for small towns, larger rural cities and their relationships with metropolitan regions. It is a methodology for finding creative and transformative regional concepts and innovations for a healthy and prosperous future for everyone— urban as well as rural—in North America and around the world. (Thorbeck 2012) It is my hope that the College of Design at the land-grant University of Minnesota will evolve into a global leadership position showing the nation how land-grant universities can become the catalyst for change and crossing borders using multi-discipline design as a problem-solving process to help create and shape exciting and prosperous urban and rural environments for the future, while preserving the opportunity for future generations the opportunity to shape theirs.

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references Brown, T. (2009) Change by Design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation (Harper Collins) Cramer, K. (2016) The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (University of Chicago Press) Norberg-Schulz, C. (1979) Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture (Rizzoli) Fisher, T. (2013) Designing to Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design (Routledge) Florida, R. (2002) The Rise of the Creative Class (Basic Books) Forster, T., Escudero, A. (2014) City Regions as Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (Landscapes of People, Food and Nature Initiative) Koohafkan, P. & Altieri, M. (2017) Forgotten Agricultural Heritage: Reconnecting food systems and sustainable development (Routledge) Putnam, R. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (Simon & Schuster) Stinson, T, Gillaspy, T. (2006) Spatially Separated Neighborhoods & Ruralplexes. Rural Minnesota Journal V1 ( January) Thorbeck, D. (2012) Rural Design: A New Design Discipline. (Routledge) Thorbeck, D. (2017) Architecture and Agriculture: A Rural Design Guide. (Routledge) Thorbeck, D. (2019) Agricultural Landscapes: Seeing Rural through Design (Routledge)

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Timothy Griffin, Jonee Kulman Brigham, & Dewey Thorbeck

Do The Map! Design for Community Regeneration (D4CR) in a Land-grant University Biography Tim Griffin FAIA, LEED AP, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Minnesota Design Center. He is an architect and city planner whose creative collaboration is reflected in innovative and inclusive processes resulting in sensitive area plans, development frameworks and waterfront transformations. He led the Saint Paul Design Center for 15 years, reconnecting Saint Paul to its Mississippi River. Tim has had leadership roles in the Minnesota Main Street Program, American Institute of Architects, Lambda Alpha International and Friends of the Chicago River. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he received his Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Planning. Jonee Kulman Brigham, AIA, LEED AP O+M, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Minnesota Design Center and a Fellow of the Institute on the Environment working in Green Schools and Environmental Education. Her work as an architect, educator, researcher, artist, and writer explores humanearth systems interdependence and sustainability. Brigham is lead researcher and designer for the MN GreenStep Schools Program, developer of the Earth Systems Journey art-led environmental education curriculum model, co-author of the first NCARB monograph on sustainable design, and former co-leader and co-editor of the MN B3 Sustainable Building Guidelines. Dewey Thorbeck, FAIA, FAAR, is an Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Emeritus Founder of the Center for Rural Design, and Senior Research Fellow in the Minnesota Design Center. He received his BArch from the University


of Minnesota, MArch from Yale University, and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and American Institute of Architects. An award-winning architect in private practice his work has been published nationally and internationally with over 30 awards and has authored three books on rural design. Abstract Design for Community Regeneration (D4CR) is a project that builds on this call to engage communities in doing the map to build a better future together. D4CR catalyzes greater resilience in rural and urban communities by bringing a transdisciplinary team to work with communities to innovate redevelopment of underutilized land to address grand challenges such as food and energy security, water infrastructure, climate change, social cohesion and changing socio-economic forces through a 21st century lens. Collectively, strategies to address these many issues, in a layered way, on a single site or district, create multi-faceted “resilience projects” that aim to solve many challenges together in one place. Led by the Minnesota Design Center (MDC) in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, the multi-disciplinary team is testing design approaches and solutions to inventory and redevelop underutilized land, such as under-used golf courses, school yards, and urban/rural vacant lots. Using a collaborative, systems-based geodesign process, the goal is to shift these lands from being financial drains requiring subsidy to new sources of community and environmental income, wealth, and equitable wellbeing.

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Keywords Design, geodesign, regenerative design, collaboration, negotiation, GIS, food systems, energy, urban, rural, peri-urban, Design Thinking

introduction Do the Map! Is Ian McHarg’s directive to create maps of community design initiatives to help communities understand conditions and develop projects and policies to capitalize on underuses of forgotten community assets. It comes from Ian McHarg’s mapping and analysis methods described in his seminal work, “Design with Nature”, published in 1969. 50 years later, it remains a call to a more informed community design conversation that creates shared priorities for local economic development and community wealth building. It was stated, and the sticker provided by Joe Minicozzi, AICP, Principal of Urban 3 at the 2019 Geodesign Summit. Need, Approach and Background These 21st century grand challenges are major issues that impact everyone on the planet. Population increase and urbanization worldwide is accelerating as people move from rural to urban areas for economic advancement creating a divide between urban and rural people. By 2050 there may be another 2.5 billion people living on the planet. Where will these people live, work, and

play and how can limited land uses be shaped and utilized for today so that future generations can also shape theirs? Design is a powerful tool to address 21st century challenges. Design integrates knowledge to improve quality of life, which is something everyone uses. Design may become the most powerful academic format to integrate education, research, and public service at a land-grant university to resolve critical global and local issues. The communities will engage in geodesign which is interdisciplinary, participatory design at geographic scale using GIS-based tools. Using a bottom-up design approach communities can articulate choices to shape future land uses to provide food, water, and energy security while increasing economic opportunities. As a problem-solving process, geodesign encourages participation by all involved in a shared process of learning, discovery, and resolution. The project team is being informed by the International Geodesign Collaborative (IGC) (http://, joining a network of over 120 universities and organizations using geodesign to improve communities world-wide. According to Esri founder, Jack Dangermond, around 2008 the term “Geodesign” was invented to describe the concept of a progressive framework that brings geographic analysis into the design process. Here, initial design sketches are instantly vetted for suitability against a myriad of database layers describing a variety of physical and social factors for the spatial extent of the project. Carl Stienetz developed and refined the methodology as described in his book “A Framework for Geodesign.” Stienetz was mentored by Kevin Lynch, the author of “The Image of the City,” which connects Lynch’s cognitive mapping of places to today’s practice of the geodesign method. Geodesign can also be traced to “Design with Nature,” Ian McHarg’s 1969 seminal work that essentially admonished planners and designers to “do the map!” and create a layered context

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for clues and decision making. Our conversation is also informed by the International Geodesign Collaboration, a network of over 120 universities and organizations around the world. Their geodesign projects present potential outcomes in 10-year and 30-year horizons and also if nothing is done. In addition to geodesign, D4CR is informed by the 21st Century Development performance goals developed by AIA Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research in 2018. ( The shift to a resilient future requires a regenerative design approach that repairs environmental and socioeconomic problems and builds measurable community and environmental wealth, health, and wellbeing. The team is building on prior work with collaborators to use 21st Century Development performance goals for regenerative design: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. This matrix tracks progress from standard practice toward regenerative design. The framework also encourages the assessment of current economic and policy barriers where they obstruct regenerative design. This is important as innovative projects, such as D4CR, can help show where economic and policy innovations are needed as well. D4CR also builds on a history of community design assistance programs including the Minnesota Star City Program (1981-87), Minnesota Main Street Program, Minnesota Design Team, Green Step Cities, Regional Sustainable Development Program and others. It is hoped that D4CR will be a valued community empowerment tool as well and that, in the fullness of time, there will be clear economic and social measurement of equity, community wealth, jobs, and municipal finance balance sheets over the next 30 years.


Design for Community Regeneration Project and Process D4CR is a 21st century model of how land-grant universities in the United States can evolve to cross academic borders by utilizing design to find solutions to critical issues in their regions. D4CR is a proposed 10-year project. It is currently in a three-year exploratory phase involving pilot project work with three communities across the rural to urban spectrum. Step two is a seven-year expansion of the project to 42 other communities across the State of Minnesota. D4CR consists of: 1) developing, teaching, and applying a statewide Geographic Information System (GIS) from which participating communities create local portals to this shared database; 2) Generating a menu of locally possible resilience projects and supporting policies and regulations; 3) Developing four different perspectives and plans on what prosperity looks like locally, based on various community group priorities; and 4) Negotiating a set of project ideas to test and bring to economic scale.

Figure 1. Agri-voltaics Source: Dewey Thorbeck, FAIA, FAAR

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This effort involves the creation of a supportive member community network pairing transdisciplinary design and economic development resources with local project representatives. The network will be sustained with quarterly gatherings, supported with a remote Zoom Meeting platform, periodic seminars and symposia, and a project dashboard engagement platform. Over time, this group will develop strong relationships by sharing challenges and celebrating successes. Urban Roots and Frogtown Farm in Saint Paul, MN, the statewide Solar Commons conversation, and Seward Redesign in Minneapolis, MN are examples that have informed the beginning of this exploration research. These, and other resilient strategies like agri-voltaics, illustrated here, show the potential stacking of many contributors in one project. For example, in agri-voltaics, shade tolerant plants and electric production through photovoltaics, located above those plants can improve performance of both systems (University of Arizona). D4CR will utilize the IGC mapping and project time frame protocol introduced earlier. A statewide, 10 layer GIS includes 8 standard layers plus 2 locally identified interests. The eight GIS layers are “Water”, “Agricultural Land and Facilities”, “Green Infrastructure”, “Energy Infrastructure”, “Transportation Infrastructure”, “Industry and Commerce”, “Institutions” and “Mixed-Use Development” (which is relatively concentrated in urban areas). The two D4CV and Minnesota interest layers are: “Educational Institutions and Lands” and “Community Equity, Racial Makeup and Community Wealth”. This data provides a basis for statewide comparison and International geodesign collaboration efforts. Communities may choose to develop additional GIS coverage layers for their location, but the base mapping will form the basis for benchmarking with other D4CV projects and the larger geodesign initiative. The following figure shows the sequence of the local application of the process.

Figure 2. D4CR Geodesign Process First, the 10 existing statewide system layers are zoomed into the project geography where additional layers may be developed by D4CR and/or the community. Second, in collaboration with community representatives, a system menu of 100 locally possible agri-solar projects and supporting policies and regulations is developed for the area, roughly 10 projects and policies per layer. Third, four community groups that represent notably different community points-of-view based on history, circumstance, income, race, etc., select a set of projects and policies based on their values, situation, and priorities. These dynamics are grouped as: 1) Existing Residents and Businesses; 2) Newcomers and Cultural Organizations; 3) Potential Investors; and 4) Government Representatives and Organizations. The four priority plans that they each produce usually include 30 to 40 consensus items from the menu, plus some new project and policy suggestions not initially listed. Fourth, negotiations begin. Groups 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 compare their respective menu orders and negotiate a group of projects and policies that each support, typically 20 or so each. Next, the combined Group 1 and Group 2 plans are negotiated with the combined Group 3 and Group 4 plans. The resulting outcomes form the basis of organizational work plans and institutional and government adoption. More importantly, the most promising projects are immediately prototyped and tested in demonstration projects with the goal of bringing these projects to scale locally within three years. D4CR will provide resource attraction and technical assistance through the prototyping period. A project dashboard will track the

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metrics of project information through job creation, municipal revenues and population growth and home ownership (as a sign of community wealth building). It is expected that early adopters will show significant results by 2035 and later adopters by 2050. The challenges that communities face are urgent and increasing, Design for Community Regeneration aims to be a tool that helps communities rapidly respond to the challenges and opportunities of our time, in a way that is equitable and increases the value of their underutilized land with immediate and lasting results. In this way, the University of Minnesota can bring the best of its depth of research, design thinking, teaching, and outreach to fulfil its land-grant mission to the people of Minnesota, making real and systematic improvements to their future. references Lynch, Kevin. (1960). The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA. The MIT Press. McHarg, Ian. (1969). Design with Nature. Garden City, N.Y., Published for the American Museum of Natural History [by] the Natural History Press. Steinitz, Carl. (2012). A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design. Redlands, CA: Esri Press. Griffin, Brigham, Thorbeck. 2019. “Design for Community Vitality Interim Draft”. Minnesota Design Center


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Section VI

Design and Imagining the Future


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Karl Engebretson The History of the Future: As Told Through Typography in Science Fiction David G. Pitt & Bryan Runck Collaborative Geodesign of Agricultural Landscapes for Biofuel Production Jacob Mans Becoming Itinerant: A Neo-Medievalist approach to a Post-Normal World Lauren Kim & Marilyn DeLong Exploring the User’s Role in Sustainable Apparel Practices Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Julia Robinson & Austin Watanabe Infusing design inquiry into studies of children’s mental health: A cross-disciplinary partnership Jonee Kulman Brigham A Different World: Designing for Systemic Change in Human-Nature Paradigms

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Karl Engebretson

The History of the Future: As Told Through Typography in Science Fiction. Author Biography Karl Engebretson, MFA, has been teaching typography and graphic design at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, College of Design since 2014. His MFA in graphic design is from the same institution. His focus and passion for typography is apparent not only is work, but also its impact on his students. From course review: “Karl was extremely helpful. I now dream in typography. Everywhere I look all I see is type now. I tried to eat alphabet soup the other day but by the time I was ready to eat it, it was cold because I couldn’t stop testing typographic systems with the letters. It’s almost a curse. I’m scared.” He has assisted with multiple typeface projects for Associated Typographics and has received design recognition through various outlets—most notably a cover win in the AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers competition in 2014. Abstract The future is a nebulous collection of imagined possibilities that often coalesce for the sake of popular entertainment. Typography’s elemental interaction as the vehicle and aesthetic drive of messaging often becomes a key design tool when establishing the setting and tone of a futuristic story. What is considered and accepted as futuristic in science fiction movies, series, and games must be approachable to a large audience. Irony becomes a persistent stowaway on any visualized prediction of the future because mainstream sci-


ence fiction has come to heavily rely on accepted typographic trends of futures that were instigated in the late 1960’s. This omits conceptual, experimental, and actual typographic developments that continue to evolve how text-based language is used to communicate. What we, the viewer, see as radical innovation, should be mundane to characters in future settings. Inspiration and imagination fuel innovation; by including more radical and experimental typographic approaches in science fiction the platform of popular entertainment would transmit more food for change to a broad audience. Keywords Typography, future studies, movies, science fiction INTRODUCTION Extrapolation is the art of extending knowledge into believable or likely scenarios. Science fiction (sci-fi) is a category of stories embodied in movies, games, and writing that extrapolates what is the known in the past or present into potential futures that stories inhabit. Typography is a subtle, but key, vehicle in the development of culture. How communication of text-based messages manifest speaks to the present culture that created it (in their present) and how their current conventions of typography might assimilate in a future setting. A consumer of a sci-fi story in the present has a complex and often subconscious understanding of typography and how it relates to culture, class, and their greater designed world. That design flu-

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ency is what becomes stretched and reconstituted in sci-fi scenarios. Use of particular typefaces and refinement in applied graphic design signal levels of luxury, craftsmanship, or other elements of information consumption that stretch an audience’s existing understanding of design in their daily life to make the proposed future seem real, but also approachable. Predominantly, the marketing or identity of a sci-fi movie or game starkly simplifies the structure of lettering to make it feel futuristic. The changes are enough to impart a foreign or alien feeling, but the individual letters still maintain their recognizability. Typographic choices that communicate the future to a wide audience are rooted in typographic developments from the late 1960’s that that have been used with great frequency for many decades within the production of sci-fi stories. While the producers of science fiction do rely on the projections of futurists from many industries, a sci-fi endeavor still requires a threshold of popular consumption in order to recoup its costs of creation. This dictates that sci-fi stories commonly project future decipherable enough such that the audience of the present can easily interpret novel advancements but focus primarily on the characters and plot. A sci-fi story with (projected) wider appeal might omit forms of aberrant or imagined communication technology—writing systems and their delivery methods—making the setting even more comfortably believable. This has led to timidity in how typography has been applied in sci-fi entertainment.

popular culture’s collective consumption of sci-fi, tropes have emerged that the audience recognizes as futuristic and producers of sci-fi consistently deliver. Through distillation of significantly influential sci-fi movies Dave Addey’s book Typeset in the Future (2019) has established 10 witty rules to help express the commonly recognizable futuristic aesthetic through title typography (figure 1).

Figure 1. Dave Addey’s “The Rules” outline 10 alterations to type that imply a popularly known, futuristic aesthetic. Reprinted from Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies (p 14–15). AESTHETICS OF THE PAST ARE THE FUTURE


Experimentation with the construction and legibility of typographic forms provides ongoing evolution of written language. Deviations branch into different scripts and writing systems utilized by different language populations. A language population will share an understating of the underlying structure of letters (Blesser et al., 1973). Through repeated exposure that group should predictably recognize the same letters within a typeface—a western example being that an ‘O’ is predominantly a circular shape and a ‘W’ is constructed from combining two modified ‘V’s.

A representation of a future has many facets but a few principal expectations that influence letterform creation and application have emerged over decades of popular sci-fi story productions. By frequently weaving these design choices into the

Through repeated exposure readers are trained to read type styles they are familiar with (Unger, 2007) and legibility can still be maintained through drastic deviations if their foundational letter structures remain similar (Blesser et al., 1973).

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When a typeface’s underlying framework diverges into a new or experimental set of rules that guide letter construction those letters must be decoded from one another rather than quickly recognized. The decoding process challenges the expectations of the reader and that obstacle to easy letter recognition is what feels foreign or alien. The United States is a key player in the production of sci-fi stories—as well as a leader in space exploration—and has helped to establish many foundational pop culture representations of the future. Typographic representation in future scenarios rely heavily on the simplification of letterforms, but the typefaces utilized are frequently innovations from the mid 20th century. The volume of sci-fi created has established expectations for its content in very wide audience and as a result these stylistic choices that cater to that culture are very entrenched.

Figure 2. The typeface Eurostile has come to be a default choice when it comes to utilizing a typeface within a sci-fi setting. Reprinted from The Visual History of Type (p 364–365). The typeface Eurostile (figure 2) has come to dominate usage inside of sci-fi settings. Eurostile can be classified as a geometric, sans-serif typeface because of guidelines its creator used to ensure all letters fit in with the rest. Squarish letterforms, frequently rounded corners, and strokes that appear consistent in width are what makes Eurostile unique and a versatile fit for sci-fi. It is legible, but also a departure from the structure of typog-


raphy tradition. When applied to the sides of space vessels, airlocks, and within user-interfaces Eurostile is a foundational, but subtle and pervasive signaling of the future. The “neither round nor rectangular” letters became extremely popular in 196o’s and were “reflecting the technological optimism of the space age” (McNeail 2017). Eurostile has been utilized in many, massively popular sci-fi movies from 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 to Wall-E in 2008. The historical ambiguity of its letterforms allows Eurostile to support the traits of the futuristic setting while communicating information in a mostly neutral manner. In the mid-1960’s a different group of lettering styles were developed to be readable by humans and also present the data as “readable” by machines at different stages of technological evolution. OCRA, OCR-B, and Data 70 (figure 3) provided different approaches to computer-readable data provided in print formats that still maintained legibility by humans. Letterform details were strictly influenced by a grid because the presence of strokes in specific areas of that grid is what made each letter discernable to the machines. Use of optical character recognition typefaces (OCR) grew to be quite ubiquitous in institutions such as banking and international trade “…found on cheques, bank statements, postal forms, and credit cards.” (Osterer, Stamm, 2014, p. 184). Even after its use by machines dwindled, the aesthetic of these peculiar letterforms has evolved to be its own sect of typography that communicates futuristic recognition and some semblance of machine intelligence.

Figure 3. OCR-A (left) and OCR-B(center) introduced readable typography for both humans and machines. Data70 (right) used a special magnetic composition in its ink to register its value to the machines. Reprinted from The Visual History of Type (p 386–87, 396–97).

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Figure 4. Stop echoes many aesthetics signals of other machine readable typefaces, but was not machine readable. Reprinted from The Visual History of Type (p 402–403). Stop (figure 4) appears to be a typeface that is the embodiment of Addey’s rules (Figure 1). It appears futuristic by accentuating characteristics that make each letter unique in ways that depart from the western tradition of typography. Released in 1970, Stop also clearly references the form and structure of human-computer readable typefaces with its mostly consistent width of letters, optimization of uppercase or lowercase letters and rounded corners—yet this typeface was not designed to be machine readable. Even though Stop, and similar typefaces, have been in public use for almost fifty years their design details still signal a futuristic aesthetic. TOO FUTURISTIC FOR THE FUTURE The practice of austerely simplifying letterforms in typeface development gained momentum in the late 1960’s. These deviations from easy legibility or comfortably recognizable letterforms challenged users to grasp the message, but also pointed toward a future of letters built with formulaic or conceptual structures rather than derivations from handwriting and printing history. These novel typefaces confront established norms and require some deciphering to be read due to their underlying unfamiliar structures.

The typographer, Wim Crouwel, established and has maintained his sovereignty within this experimental field of lettering for decades. His New Alphabet and Vormgevers (figure 5) typefaces are rooted in systematic construction of letterforms that are divorced from the vestiges of hand-writing. It can be argued that his innovations, and typefaces of similar experimental nature, posit evolutions of writing systems and their modular approach lettering allows for very simple conceptual frameworks to establish recognizable letters. Crouwel’s lettering work has been broadly received by the design community, but application of this sort of lettering in science fiction stories is quite sparse.

Figure 5. Wim Crouwel’s Neu Alphabet (left) and Vormgevers (right) were early experiments in modular systems to compose typography. Reprinted from The Visual History of Type (p 376, 388–389). The blunt simplicity of this category of typefaces can be jarring to readers as letterforms are straying far from readers’ expectations. These novel approaches to systematic styles have not garnered wide spread use but have endured for niche markets and typographic enthusiasts—there is a lack of critical mass adoption from the public. Utilizing a systemic style that might pique the curiosity within a visual work of fiction would potentially distract the viewer from the characters, plot, or other key elements. Futuristic settings will focus on grander designs (architecture, personal technological devices, e.g.), but leave the text easily readable to aid non-verbal transmission of details.

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Progeny of this systemic style concept have developed and are embracing the flexibility a digital typeface design environment provides. Muir-McNeil’s Intersect and Petr van Blokland’s Bitcount (figure 6) incorporate multiple graphic variables along with each unit of the modular structure. The tools to adapt typographic variables through code on a website or through design programs were made widely available in 2017 coordinated by Adobe, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. This fluidity of form seems to be a key component of the real future of typography.

Figure 6. Muir McNeil’s “Intersect” *(left) and Petr van Blokland’s “Bitcount” (right) explore modular construction of letterforms with variable elements. Intersect image from MMcN_Intersect_Specimen.pdf (p 3). Bitcount image obtained from https://typographica. org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/BitcountTypographicaReview05.png. THE FUTURE IS FACING US The arguably most successful evolution of typographic communication is already in common use. Emoji have become prevalent in person-to-person communications on mobile devices and the trend is extending into any chat or text-based messaging. Like most typography, the language system of is built of distinct, recognizable symbols, but emoji are more visually rich than letters and, as a result, can transcend many limitations of a particular language. Emoji allow for a message’s ideal interpretation or context to be more precisely


received by relying on the symbols that approximate human faces or gestures. Emoji’s imitative facial expressions have been incorporated into sci-fi stories for characters without faces of their own (figure 7). Bungie LLC’s 2009 action game Halo 3: ODST endowed simplified facial expressions to the artificial intelligence of a city occupied by enemy forces (Bertone Jr.). The protagonist character is guided by the city’s system through prompts and warnings and their clandestine communications are aided by the static facial expressions the AI shares on interface screens. The 2018 movie, Next Gen, provides just enough anthropomorphism through digitally displayed faces to interpret the intentions, character, and even feelings of robots throughout the movie (Adams). Their caricatures of human faces allow for quick understanding of intent and action of these non-human characters to be transmitted.

Figure 7. Applying dynamic emoji-style faces has become a method of anthropomorphizing artificial intelligences, Halo 3: ODST (left), Next Gen (right). Halo AI image obtained from gallery/56Be8. Next Gen image obtained from FROM SCREEN TO LIFE Easily enjoyable or understandable interpretations of the future may be timid manifestations of what could be—too tied to what is commercially viable as entertainment. The future represented in sci-fi remains at a comfortable, recognizable distance—though its goal is to entertain, it could as use its platform to inspire.

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Digital tools are available that provide new approaches to how text-based communications are being delivered. Spritz is a web plug-in developed to feed words to the reader in sequential order; a process called rapid serial visual presentation (figure 8). Reading via Spritz offers an altered approach to consuming the written word, one not tied to eyes skipping across the lines of text. Spritz’s developers claim that it, “eliminates the eye movements via the [Optimal Recognition Point] word centering and allows more time for the reading processes and provides greater focus,” (Spritz accessed February 17, 2019). Studies that test reading comprehension and visual fatigue with Spritz have yet to prove any benefit (Benedetto, Carbone, et al, 2015). This delivery system offers a conceptually progressive departure from the norm of reading even though it is not yet a wholly beneficial approach to reading.

Table even included a reference to the movie itself in the proposal because the conceptualization was already so vividly understandable. Shedroff and Noessel infer specifically, “The main lesson from this story is that the technology might never have been developed if Douglas hadn’t seen the film.” The blockbuster movies The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and Minority Report (2002) both showcase people interacting naturally with interfaces that utilize augmented reality (AR) spaces. Now, in 2019, early AR products like Magic Leap and Meta are beginning to become available to the public for entertainment and also as digital workspaces.

Figure 8. Spritz experiments with how words are displayed and reading is delivered. Screen capture of Spritz plug-in for Chrome. Science fiction that has really embraced the potential flexibility of user interfaces standout as very compelling worlds that the characters inhabit and often an imagined technology can become a point of inspiration for an actual, real-world development. In their book MAKE IT SO: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction Nathan Shedroff and Chistopher Noessel (2012) recount how Douglas Caldwell investigated and developed a significant improvement in how the US Army command can view 3D topography in the field because of an imagined technology in the movie X-Men (2000). The creation of Xenotran Mark II Dynamnic Sand

Figure 9. The imagined writing systems of the aliens in Arrival. Rings that imply emotion and context visually. Arrival image obtained from https://imgur. com/gallery/ocClU 2016’s Arrival showcases an alien form of typography almost as its own character. The mysterious aliens that are communicating with the protagonists are faceless, behind glass, and shrouded in mist. They communicate audibly, but humans and aliens slowly learn how to communicate with each other. The expressive forms the aliens cast

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in inky rings (Figure 9) are an invented sentence structure and allow viewers a non-contextual interpretation (aggressive, placid, e.g.) of what the aliens are implying. This example of sci-fi typography directly challenges the expectations of the viewers such that intentions are deduced without full context. INTERPRETATION

and video games, e.g.) has come to rely too easily on incorporating previously determined choices for communicating the future and establishing futuristic settings for the characters within the story. There is a problem here that needs a creative solution—how do we establish futures for entertainment that are more than thin veneers cast around a contemporary story or understanding of current technology.

While typography in a movie, show, or video game really serves to help inform the story, it need not follow tropes or expectations. In day-to-day life typography frequently occupies a noticeable, but ancillary position in people’s focus. Pushing conceptual forms of typography and its application will help to unseat the viewer from their time and step into the future.

Sci-fi typography or technology need only be believable to be effective and act as a starting point of reference for designers. This paper is advocating for radical re-interpretations of how text, type, and communication can be shared and consumed in popular media—utilizing its broad reach as a platform for inspiring potential future developments.

How typography is interpreted and displayed on digital devices is extremely flexible in reality. Aesthetics of typefaces and the parameters that aid in reading are fluid variables that UI, stylesheets, and the widely available opentype format give access to. Even though the critical mass of readers who follow an established reading pattern of left-toright, top-to-bottom is very large and departure from this method of consuming information will be slow, it does not mean that alternatives cannot be imagined or implemented more broadly across popular media. There is potential to imagine expansions upon typography, technologies, and future aesthetics of the present that challenge the consumer to accept more drastic innovations of how communication is visualized in the future. Fluidity in how letterforms are shaped and interact and how information is transmitted through text is up for massive re-interpretation.


Design as a category of commerce and creation is often over-simplified as problem solving. Crafting solutions for immediate answers build the trends that become popular and that progressive designers resist. Typography’s selection and utilization within visualized science fiction (movies, series,

Because an imagined future in popular form (movie or show, e.g.) must be entertaining they frequently project comfortable and understandable advancements. A story in the future should be more than a staid extension of the known to a setting rife with “bleeps” and other gimmicks of pro-


Science fiction is a story telling method that proffers cultural critique of known issues of the present and engaging imaginations of what could be to its audience. How typography is utilized in these works (movies, games, series, e.g.) aids in establishing the story’s setting, situation, and timeframe. A great deal of typographic choices within sci-fi stories rely on design motifs for the future that were established in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. These stylistic defaults offer a superficial veneer of how communication through textbased messages might evolve or how text is delivered. Experimental typography from that same era, in both form and function, explored modular simplification of letterforms and as well as how machines and humans could both draw content from the same set of lettering.

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duction. Actual technological developments tied to text, reading, and communication in the future will likely evolve beyond popular comprehension before they are broadly understood. Science fiction, and especially the typography included within, should take work to decipher. The sci-fi audience is broad and spans cultures, countries, ages, and other classifications but that audience is being underserved by timid imaginings. Science fiction as a genre possesses the freedom to imagine and include any technological innovation. Utilizing typography—or other omnipresent aspects of visual storytelling like wardrobe— to suit the future population/s as well as work to reveal key details of the plot allows for a multimodal understanding of the plot, characters, and setting. The additional work of innovating facets of each new future would be a departure from current studio practice and require a critical mass of enthusiasm from science fiction’s audiences to be maintained. Normalizing radical approaches to typography would assist the aspirational creative and technological momentum as science fiction ideas become real world innovations. References Adams, K. R., & Ksander, J. (Producers & Directors). (2018). Next Gen [Animated Motion Picture]. USA: Netflix, Inc. Addey, D. (2018). Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Blesser, B., Shillman, R., Cox, C., Kuklinski, T., Ventura, J., and Eden, M. (1973). Character Recognition Based on Phenomenological Attributes. Visible Language 7, No. 3: 209-23. McNeil, P. (2017). The Visual History of Type. London: Laurence King Publishing. Shedroff, N., & Noessel, C. (2012). MAKE IT SO: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. New York: Rosenfeld Media. Singer, B. (Director) & DeSanto, T. (Writer). (2000). XMen [Motion Picture]. United States: Twentieth Century Fox. Spielberg, S. (Director), Dick, P. K. & Frank, S. (Writers). (2002). Minority Report [Motion Picture]. USA: Twentieth Century Fox. Spritz: The Science. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2019 from Unger, G. (2007). While You’re Reading. 1st ed. New York: Mark Batty. Villenuve, D. (Director), Heisserer, E. & Chiang, T. (Writers). (2016). Arrival [Motion Picture]. USA: Lava Bear Films. Wachowskil, L. & Wachowski, L. (Directors & Writers). (2003). The Matrix Reloaded [Motion Picture]. USA: Warner Bros.

Benedetto, S., Carbone, A., Pedrotti, M., Le Fevre, K., Amel Yahia Bey, L., & Baccino. T. (2015). Rapid serial visual presentation in reading: The case of Spritz. Computers in Human Behavior Volume 45: 352-358. Bertone Jr., P. (2009). Halo 3: ODST [Xbox Video Game]. Bellevue, WA: Bungie, LLC.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Priscilla A. Gibson, Catherine Squires & Abimbola Asojo

Art of Healing: Interdisciplinary Approaches for Women of Color in Academia and a Pop-up Rejuvenation Space Author Biographies Priscilla Gibson, PhD is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota and a 2020 Fulbright Scholar in Namibia. A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), she teaches courses on social work direct practice methods, diversity, and social justice. For the past three years, she has developed and taught an interdisciplinary curriculum for Title IV-E Fellows to increase their knowledge of and skills in working with African American families. She conducts research on intergenerational caregiving, mainly in Grandfamilies and kinship care arrangements. As a member of an interdisciplinary team, she studied health and healing of women of color at the University of Minnesota, which resulted in the creation of a Rejuvenation Space. Catherine R. Squires, PhD is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. She has published several books about the history and politics of race and the media, including The Post-racial Mystique (New York University Press) and Dispatches from the Color Line: The Press & Multiracial America (SUNY Press). Professor Squires’ current work focuses on intergenerational healing and learning through story-sharing and movement practices. She lives with her husband and children in St. Paul, where she’s always on the lookout for interesting birds. Abimbola O. Asojo, PhD is the Associate Dean for Research, Creative Scholarship and Engagement and Professor in the Interior Design program at the University of Minnesota, College of Design. Her research focuses on cross-cultural design issues, African architecture, computing and


design, architectural lighting design, and sustainable post-occupancy evaluation. Her research has been disseminated in the Journal of Interior Design, International Journal of Architectural Research, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, the Handbook of Interior Design, LEUKOS, the Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, Building Research and Information, and Bauhaus Imaginista journals. She has an upcoming book titled African Humanity: Creativity, Identity and Personhood co-authored with Dr. Toyin Falola, UT Austin to be published by Carolina Academic Press. In 2018, she received the Environmental Design and Management, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, Distinguished Alumni Award, and has been twice named one of Design Intelligence’s Most Admired Educators (2017, 2010). She is a licensed architect, NCIDQ certified and a LEED Accredited Professional. Abstract Barriers to health and well-being result in chronic stressors, which are exacerbated at predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) but may be shifted by implementing certain designs into a space. An interdisciplinary team of faculty from Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Dance, Communication Studies, Interior Design, and Social Work collaborated on a research project titled the Art of Healing (AoH). The aim of AoH was to design a portable Rejuvenation Room to mitigate the stress and enhance the well-being of Women of Color and Indigenous Women (WOCIW) at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. Our processes included data collection and data analyses to inform the design of a Rejuvenation Room. After the Room was installed as a pop-up at each

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of the three different campuses respectively, feedback was collected from WOCIW on their reactions to it. Content described in this chapter support how such designs could inform health and healing for WOCIW from their own voices and lessons learned by the interdisciplinary team as well. Pictures of the Rejuvenation Room design are provided to give a concrete illustration of its elements that promoted health and well-being. Keywords

healing and resistance are fostered and sustained by WOCIW. Faculty involved in this project reflect not only disciplinary and collegiate diversity, but also decades of continued practice in leadership, engaged research, and scholarly and creative production that led to forming belongingness, or we-ness, among ourselves and with our subjects. As WOCIW, we experience disparities in health and continue to observe the same in our female students of color and indigenous students. Health disparities in WOCIW

Health and healing, designing a rejuvenation room Introduction Women of Color and Indigenous Women (WOCIW) are impacted by systemic and social ills that lead to negative health outcomes. At the University of Minnesota, we created a portable Rejuvenation Space to mitigate stressors and promote healing for WOCIW. The design was informed by findings from the Art of Healing (AoH), a community-engaged research project. The title of this research project describes our focus on higher education and wellbeing using story-sharing methods to explore various experiences about healing, health equity, and resistance, particularly at the intersection of multiple kinds of marginalization and social determinants. Findings from four story-sharing workshops informed the design of the Rejuvenation Space. The workshop sessions, led by intergenerational and interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students, included a diverse group of WOCIW from local and global communities across the three main campuses of the University of Minnesota (East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul). The project brought together perspectives from faculty and students in Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Dance, Communication Studies, Interior Design, and Social Work. These collaborators produced an embodied or encapsulated, social-justice agenda for research focused on how

It has been well documented that WOCIW experience health disparities related to the stressors of “structural racism”. In fact, a recent report by the Minnesota Department of Health used those exact terms to call attention to the plight of this group.1 The report detailed the high rates of later-stage breast cancer in African American and Latina women, among other health issues.2 Nationally, heart disease is the second major cause of death among Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaska Native women.3 Cancer (or malignant neoplasms) is the leading cause of death for Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Asian and Pacific Islander women and the second leading cause of death for Black women.2 Addressing conditions that lead to these trends, the Critical Race Feminism approach calls for attention to not only racism but also patriarchy in the lives of WOCIW.4 Strategies to deal with the intersectional challenges faced by WOCIW include going beyond dealing with implicit bias and structural racism in organizations to developing ways to engage and support these women.5 Chronic stress in academia for WOCIW WOCIW, regardless of their positions as student or faculty, encounter structural and systemic inequities in the academy that result in stress6,7 and negatively influence their health status. Neither higher income nor advanced education have

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significantly erased health inequalities between WOCIW and White women. For example, recent studies show that Black women with doctoral degrees are more likely to die during childbirth or have their infants die than White women with only a high school degree8. In addition to stress, WOCIW in the academy contend with frustration, isolation, self-doubt, and exhaustion. Such experiences can drain emotional and intellectual reserves, resulting in injury and hurt from the numerous forms of aggressions, described by Falcón (2017) as academic violence.9 Students who belong to groups that are marginalized report feelings of frustration, isolation, self-doubt, and exhaustion,10 yet are less likely to solicit assistance from their instutitions.11 Institutional oppression and daily microaggressions push WOCIW to erase or deny parts of their cultural identity to make White colleagues more comfortable, a process that depletes physical and emotional energy, effects confidence and general well-being, and diminishes career aspirations.12 Often in spite of this reality, it has been found in studies of diversity in higher education institutions that faculty of color can make a positive difference in lives of WOCIW students.13 Collective Healing versus Individual Health The stressors facing WOCIW cannot be reduced to individual-level factors. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism are social-level ills, and WOCIW are targets due to intersecting grouplevel identities. Additionally, these women know that other WOCIW suffer and have suffered the same-shared fate, amplifying individual feelings of pain. This sense of common experiences and critical consciousness garnered by deep understanding need to be addressed when developing supports and interventions for WOCIW.9,14 One of the causes of stress is isolation—for example, being the only WOCIW in a department or classroom. Thus, creating opportunities for these


women to connect in a supportive, healing environment is crucial to fostering well-being.12 Moreover, many WOCIW come from cultures where healing practices are not undertaken in isolation.15 Rather, through rituals, meals, interactions with nature, therapeutic touch, chanting, and other strategies, groups heal with each other. This communal, relational understanding of healing practices emerged in the poetry workshops of AoH, where multiple women wrote and spoke about learning how to use herbs and teas in the kitchen with multiple female relatives or dancing with a group to alleviate depression or anxiety. Methods and Findings AoH was conducted from June 2016 to January 2019 with multi-level processes and activities, which are summarized here. We, as an interdisciplinary group of WOCIW faculty, gathered to bond, explore, and create collective healing models. Using community-engaged research strategies including feminist perspectives and storytelling, other WOCIW faculty and students were invited to participate in two data-collection activities: focus groups and individual reflections. The first focus group featured poetry writing and reading. Subsequent sessions featured movement, visual arts, and other activities. Sessions were recorded and transcribed. The aim was to gather and experience embodied collective understandings and modes of healing often suppressed in traditional Western health systems and ignored within most Predominately White Institutions (PWIs). Initial analysis with NVivo (open and selective coding) created artifacts and narrative elements for a pop-up healing space (rejuvenation space), welcoming events, and healing for WOCIW. Findings from the focus groups revealed that most of the participants rarely experience campus as a place where their holistic health is valued. The themes that emerged included: the need for nurturing space; a desire for increased opportunities

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for intergenerational contact between WOCIW faculty and students in order to share experiences and advice; a tendency to draw on personal and cultural resources to support self and community healing; ways to identify stressful/toxic spaces; and the need to create and identify healing/non-stressful spaces for WOCIW in PWIs. From these findings emerged greater connections and the impetus for the design and launch of the Rejuvenation Space. Pop-up Rejuvenation Space Several conceptual ideas for a pop-up rejuvenation space emerged from the focus groups. We decided to create a “Pop-up” space based on the findings noted above and the fact that participants were scattered across all three campus spaces (the West Bank, East Bank, and St. Paul campus)—members of all three communities having expressed interest in access to a healing space. Unfortunately, creating a space for each of these was beyond our budget. Thus, a pop-up mobile space was a solution to serving WOCIW on all three campuses in the Twin Cities. The content and structure of this mobile space was informed by our findings from the focus group sessions. When asked what types of spatial elements would support healing and rejuvenation, participants asked for the space to incorporate nature, provide a sense of security, and offer a place for relaxation and retreat. When asked about different kinds of furniture, participants suggested comfortable seating for meditation and relaxation, artwork, and moveable partitions for a sense of security and respite. Participants were also asked about color preferences and what kind of lighting will support healing such as “warm” or “cool.” Participants expressed preferences for neutral colors, accents of blue and warm colors, sounds, and dimmable lighting. The pop-up rejuvenation space was designed based on these data.

the parameters of a $2000 budget. The design process involved sharing conceptual and schematic ideas with AoH interdisciplinary group of WOCIW in two presentation sessions. Some key elements of the final design (Figure 1) included the following: a moveable swing, small comfortable poufs on the ground for meditation and relaxation, dimmable LED color changing lighting to be flexible for different uses and create a relaxing mood, neutral colors and blue accents from pictures, and moveable partitions for a sense of security and respite. Overall femininity was expressed through colors and organic natural forms. The goal was for the space to create a sense of community and help visitors feel a sense of belonging and safety, and that they themselves contributed something to the space. When they entered, each participant was invited to write or draw a representation of how they were feeling as they transitioned from campus into the space, and to draw or write a note describing how they felt once they were ready to leave the Rejuvenation Room. We asked participants to sign in anonymously on a card with their representation of how they felt when they arrived in the space and to sign out after using the space. Essential oils, herbal and green tea, and water were provided in the space for participants to enjoy. After using the space, they also were given a tote bag designed by one of our artistic collaborators, which featured a poem crafted from the poetry exercises in one of the focus groups. The rejuvenation space debuted in fall 2017 in Nolte Hall (Figure 2). The Winton Chair, Professor Alexis Pauline Gumbs, performed a closing ritual for the space after its first incarnation. The pop-up rejuvenation space was reconstructed in the African and African American Studies program in spring 2018.

The third author and an interior design student designed a moveable rejuvenation space within

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Figure 1: Rejuvenation space design (Source: Rendering by Miranda McNamara, Interior Design UROP student

Lessons Learned and Implications for Design Lessons learned include our process as “we” working on this project and findings from our focus groups and reflections about the pop-up rejuvenation space. Our “we-ness” or collective belongingness16 was cemented by our prior work with social justice issues and relationship between and among us. As WOC faculty, we also experience the stresses in our own experiences and those of our similarly situated students. Thus, we realized that we had a personal stake in the outcomes and design of the product.

Figure 2: Rejuvenation space, Nolte Hall, fall 2017 Reflections from the Rejuvenation Space We collected and analyzed notes and artwork shared by visitors to the Rejuvenation Space. As indicated in the table below, WOCIW felt a palpable sense of relief while being in the space, and that it mitigated some of the stressors they felt on other campus spaces. This before-and-after shift is evident in their comments about how they felt after having just a short time of respite in a space designed by and for WOCIW.


The importance of using design concepts as a strategy to heal social ills, such as stress and frustration in a space, cannot be denied. The inclusion of designers on our interdisciplinary team increases our learning about the many and varied uses of space for health and well-being. Findings from our two data-collection activities highlighted the importance of having a respite space for WOCIW. The overwhelming requests we got from University campus programs requesting the pop-up rejuvenation space, in addition to the before-and-after moods reported by visitors to the space, show the importance of having a respite space like this readily available and accessible for WOCIW. The authors hope that the lessons learned from this experience can lead to strategies to create a welcoming environment for WOCIW.

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references 1 Minnesota Department of Health. Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota. Retrieved from: equity/reports/ahe_leg_report_020114.pdf. 2 Women of Color Data Book. Retrieved from WoC-Databook-FINAL.pdf. 3 Crenshaw, K.W. (2011). Twenty years of critical race theory: Looking back to move forward. Connecticut Law Review, 43 (5), 1253-1352. 4 Ikemoto, L.C. (2006). In the Shadow of Race: Women of Color in Health Disparities Policy. Retrieved from 5 Hosteller, M. & Klein, S. (2018, September 27). In Focus: Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care by Confronting Racism. Retrieved from https:// newsletter-article/2018/sep/focus-reducing-racial-disparities-health-care-confronting. 6 Bent-Goodley, T. B., & Sarnoff, S. K. (2008). The role and status of women in social work education: Past and future considerations. Journal of Social Work Education, 44(1), 1-8. 7 Vakalahi, H.F.O., & Starks, S.H. (2010). Complexities of becoming visible: Reflecting on the stories of women of color as social work educators. AFFILIA, 25(2), 110-122. 8 Meadows-Fernandez, R. (2018, August 8). Beyonce and Serena Williams Speaking out about Their Birth Experiences Is Good for All Black Women. Washington Post. Accessed at https:// wp/2018/08/08/beyonce-and-serena-speak-

ing-out-about-their-birth-experiences-is-goodfor-all-black-women/?noredirect=on&utm_ term=.f08f10947966. 9 Falcón, S.M. & Philipose, E. (2017). The neo-liberal university and academic violence: the women’s studies quandary. Fem Rev 117(186).186-192. doi:10.1057/s41305-017-0082-7. 10 Pittman, C. (2012). Racial microaggression: The narratives of African American faculty at a predominantly white university. The Journal of Negro Education, (1), 82.doi:10.7709. 11 Lamb, S., & Plocha, A. (2015). Pride and Sexiness: Girls of Color Discuss Race, Body Image and Sexualization. Girlhood Studies 8(2).86-102. doi:10.3167/ghs.2015.080207. 12 Wilson, S. (2012). They forgot Manny had a brain, in G.G. Muhs, Y. F. Niemann, C .G. Gonzales & A. P. Harris, Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race, and Class for Women in Academia. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Press. 13 Mehl-Madrona, L. (2007) Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process. Rochester, VT: Bear & Company. 14 Tuitt, F.; Hanna, M.; Martinez, L. M.; Salazar, Maria del Carmen; Griffin, R. (2009).Teaching in the line of fire: Faculty of color in the academy, Thought & Action, National Education Association Higher Education Journal, 65-74. 15 Clonan-roy, K., Jacobs, C. E., Nakkula, M. J., (2016).Toward a Model of Positive Youth Development Specific to Girls of Color: Perspectives on Development, Resilience, and Empowerment. Gender Issues 33(2). 96-121. doi:10.1007/ s12147-016-9156-7. 16 Anderson, J. (1997). Social Work with Groups: A Process Model. New York: Longman.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


David G. Pitt & Bryan Runck

Collaborative Geodesign of Agricultural Landscapes for Biofuel Production author Biographies David G. Pitt, PhD is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. His scholarship and teaching interests focus on the integration of spatial modeling of ecosystem services values with collaborative planning processes to create multifunctional regional landscapes. He was invested as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planning and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He formerly edited Landscape Journal for eight years. Bryan Runck, MS, PhD is an Eco-informatics Scientist with the GEMS Agroinformatics Initiative at the University of Minnesota . He earned both his MS and PhD at the University of Minnesota, the M.S. in Applied Plant Sciences and the PhD in Geography. Bryan’s research focuses on advancing geospatial computing for the purpose of identifying and testing generalizable principles underlying the spatial and temporal dynamics of human interaction with their environment, and improving our ability to efficiently and effectively integrate spatial modeling and decision support systems into agricultural management and policy. Abstract Stakeholder groups used an adaptive, collaborative, and communicative geodesign system to rapidly create and evaluate designs for agricultural landscapes to integrate biofuel production into the mix of food commodities normally grown in conventional rural landscapes in southern Minnesota. Multiple groups of participants worked collaboratively to create designs on


55-inch touch-screen computer displays. The system used geospatial algorithms to evaluate each design based on six landscape performance criteria, including: generation of surface runoff, soil erosion, phosphorus removal that occurred from agricultural fields in the watershed; as well as the amount of carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat enhancement, and financial profitability (or loss) generated by a design. Electronic evaluation of each design proposal across the six criteria occurred within 30 seconds after design generation. Stakeholders received digital graphs and figures communicating the performance of each design on the six evaluative criteria. Stakeholders worked iteratively from one design proposal to the next in search a solution that optimized design performance. Individual stakeholder groups used the adaptive, collaborative and communicative geodesign system to generate and evaluate as many as 19 design proposals in a two-hour period. Stakeholder groups could use the skeletal structure of the geodesign system for rapid generation, evaluation, and adaptation of multiple design proposals for other land use combinations in diverse geospatial settings. Keywords Geodesign, stakeholder collaboration, biofuel production, adaptive design, public engagement, agricultural landscape, southern Minnesota) Introduction As part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 2016), the Paris Agreement established a target of adopting strategies that hold further increases in a global

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temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Achieving this goal will require expanding the functions of agriculture beyond production of traditional food and fiber commodities to also include production of biofuel and bioproduct commodities. Such a transition will radically change the appearance and function of agricultural landscapes. In this context and under auspices of grants from the USDA-Conservation Innovation Grant Program as well as the University of Minnesota (UMN) Office of the Vice President for Research, a team of investigators in hydrology, soil science, agro-ecology, forestry, urban and regional planning, agricultural economics, and geographic information science as well as landscape architecture undertook a transdisciplinary project relating to the design of multifunctional agricultural landscapes for biofuel resource production. In a 9712 hectare (ha) south central Minnesota watershed, the project sought to encourage rural landscape stakeholders to integrate production of cellulosic biomass (corn stover, swithgrass, and harvestable native prairie species) into conventional food commodity production systems ( Jordan et al. 2011; Lovell et al. 2010).

•  maintaining market profitability of the watershed’s agricultural economic base. Criteria for evaluating performance of the multifunctional landscape designs relative to the existing pattern of corn and soybean production systems included: •  level of reduction in surface runoff volume, total suspended sediment flows, and total phosphorous movement from agricultural areas; •  level of increased habitat diversity for upland birds and carbon sequestration;and •  increased profitability for farm operators. Generation and evaluation of rural landscape designs to achieve these multifunctional criterion measures involved a collaboration of local and expert knowledge that was necessarily both transdisciplinary across the subject matter expertise of participating researchers (Fry 2001, Tress and Tress 2001) and engaged with knowledge bases held by participating stakeholders (Slotterback et al. 2016, Jordan et al. 2011).

Goals of the project focused on: •  collaboratively engaging multiple stakeholder constituencies, including farmers and other producers, agricultural and natural resource agency managers and institutional personnel, local planners, and nongovernmental organizational staff; •  designing working rural landscapes that include areas of commodity production for both food and biomass suitable for energy generation; •  enhancing upland habitat, water quality, and carbon sequestration; and

The critical challenge was identifying a design framework to integrate multiple evaluation criteria in a broadly accessible but scientifically valid fashion. We accomplished this with geodesign technology. Geodesign is a map-based technology wherein multiple sketch plans for a design can be easily generated by multiple sets of users. Once completed, a sketch plan can be evaluated by a central processor that runs scientific models to identify the expected ecological, economic, and social performance of the design on the basis of specified performance criteria. In the following, we describe the theoretical background of how the geodesign system and process were constructed. Then, we provide discussion of the impacts of the process on users.

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Incorporation of Local Knowledge Over a ten month period, the UMN research team engaged a group of approximately 40 local stakeholders in eight workshops at a venue located within the watershed (Slotterback 2016). The first four sessions engaged participants and researchers in discussions of the hydrologic, water quality, habitat, carbon sequestration, and market profitability of both conventional food commodity production systems as well as biofuel production. In both large and small group discussions, initial workshop activities allowed participants to explore the potential benefits and costs of using integrated conventional/biofuel cropping systems in creating multifunctional landscapes to achieve desired objectives as discussed above. A day-long field trip allowed participants to witness existing examples multifunctional landscape within the watershed. Sessions five through eight focused on use of five geodesign work stations. Each station involved use of a 55” touch-sensitive screen display (Figure 1). This system allowed groups of participants to collaboratively construct design proposals for converting existing land cover in the watershed to alternative patterns that included use of cellulosic biofuel cover types (Figure 2). Reflective conversation among stakeholders informed the construction of the designs, which were simultaneously drawn and digitized on an electronically displayed aerial photograph. Easy to use digital display and drawing tools allowed participants to zoom in on and pan to desired locations within the watershed. These tools allowed participants to rapidly create, save, and evaluate their designs in an iterative manner. This is an adaptation of Lyle’s (1985) (Figure 3) and Zeisel’s (2006) models of design proposition and disposition in which design proposals are generated, subjected to rigorous evaluation based on specific criteria, and then adapted based


on composite evaluation of performance on the multiple evaluative criteria. Participants were also able to regulate the display of background information concerning the spatial distribution of land cover, physiographic, and hydrographic conditions as well as transportation in the watershed. For example, participants could “turn on” and zoom in to closely examine locations of significant wetland, grassland, and forest habitat types throughout the watershed. They could view physiographic and soil conditions creating significant water quality risks as well as local patterns of roads and highways. In Figure 4, participants have displayed and are using water quality contamination potential in the watershed to identify suitable areas for using corn stover recovery technology as a means of producing cellulosic biofuel feedstock. They could also have displayed representations of other biophysical phenomena, such as significant avian habitat and soil erosion hazards. The displays were equipped with “smart” technology to capture and digitize the spatial topology and informational content of a proposed land cover plan. The nature and spatial pattern of land cover types in the plan were sent on a wireless network to a central processor for evaluation relative to each of the six water quality, habitat, carbon sequestration and profitability criteria identified above. Feedback from evaluation of designs was sent wirelessly to the displays in the form of bar charts within a 10-15 second time period to inform the group’s generation of the next design iteration (Figure 5). Of critical concern in application of the system to real-world conditions are the questions of whose local knowledge base is to be included (or excluded) in the design exercise and why (Batie 2008). In this study, participant selection was based on opportunity sampling strategies rather than a representative sampling of stakeholder typologies (Slotterback et al. 2016). While

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perceptions of the value and effect of other participants (including researchers) were recorded, there was no systematic attempt to evaluate the relative contribution of each of the diverse local knowledge systems in generating the collaborative design proposals. Incorporation of Transdisciplinary Expert Knowledge Coming into the workshop sessions, participants brought their knowledge base of the watershed to bear upon the issue of developing future land cover proposals for integrating biofuel proposals into conventional cropping systems. This individual knowledge base was augmented by participants’ ability to view the spatial distribution of specific pieces of information about the watershed (e.g. significant habitat areas). Impacts of each design proposal on water quality parameters were estimated using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) (Arnold & Fohrer 2005; Dalzell et al. 2012) that was developed by the US Department of Agriculture. Habitat and carbon sequestration implications were estimated using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model (Nelson et al. 2009; Dalzell et al. 2012). Finally, farm profitability estimates for the design scenarios were generated from the Biomass Crop Enterprise and Environmental Budgeting Tool (CE2T) (Lazarus, et al. 2019). It is important to note that estimations of water quality, habitat and carbon sequestration as well as profitability were generated for each specific design as it was sent in the workshops to the central processing unit. Processing time varied, depending upon the complexity of the design, but averaged between 10-15 seconds.

Integrating Local and Expert Knowledge Systems into an Adaptive and Collaborative Geodesign System Geodesign is a landscape design and planning method that couples the creation of multiple landscape design proposals with the performance of each proposal on a specified set of evaluative criteria using digital technology (Steinitz 2012). It involves iterative processes wherein performance feedback from previous design scenario proposals informs the adaptive and collaborative construction and evaluation of the next generation of scenario proposals (see Figures 3 and 6). It is an adaptive design process that allows modeled performance of landscape systems to be integrated into generation and evaluation of alternative future landscape design proposals (Flaxman 2010 and Ervin 2011). Geodesign users are able to “try on” alternative design proposals and evaluate how well they “fit” on the basis of specified performance criteria. Geodesign involves collaboration among professionals in environmental management and design, geographical sciences, and information technology as well as local residents (Steinitz 2012). It: •  Engages multiple stakeholders (disciplinary specialists, locals, and public and institutional representatives from expert and lay knowledge bases). •  Builds trust to promote recognition, acceptance and integration of diverse perspectives among multiple stakeholders. •  Fosters decision making that is iterative, communicative, and reflective leading to construction of common understandings among stakeholders in which folks talk, listen and reflect. Over time, they form common visions for creating a design.

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•  Enables collaborative and adaptive construction and evaluation of alternative design scenarios through interaction with geodesign technology. •  Leads to consensus–based collaborative, iterative, and adaptive decision making in construction/evaluation of design scenarios (Stokols 2006). Figure 6 illustrates the integration of local and expert knowledge systems to create an adaptive and collaborative geodesign system. Geodesign engages stakeholder groups collaboratively in iterative, communicative and reflective processes (P) for creating and evaluating alternative design scenarios. It uses landscape information (I) to model scenario performance on specific criteria. Finally, it communicates (C) performance based on specified criteria in terms that are relevant to stakeholders’ perceptions of salience or importance; legitimacy or validity; and creditability. In the sense that geodesign involves the construction of design scenarios through communication among multiple stakeholders, it is collaborative. It is iteratively adaptive in the sense that the performance of each scenario is evaluated on a set of previously defined criteria. Repeated cycling through the process of scenario proposition, disposition, and adaptation leads to creation of designs that are adaptive to the scenario’s performance in the environment in which it exists. The geodesign system was employed in four workshops. Groups of six to eight stakeholders worked on an individual workstation. Using the ICP geodesign modeling process (Figure 6), in the context of a three-hour workshop session, stakeholders collaboratively and adaptively developed up to 19 discrete iterations of their final design proposal (Klosterwill 2017, Runck et al. forthcoming). Figure 7 presents three designs generated by one stakeholder group. The left diagram is the initial design generated by the group while the right diagram reflects the group’s final design. Beneath


each diagram is a spider-plot (sometimes referred to as radar plot) showing the multi-dimensional performance each design. The fourth spider-plot diagram on the far right of Figure 7 represents results from an expert-generated design created to optimize performance across the six criteria. Examination of designs generated by the individual stakeholder groups suggests that the dynamics of a group working in an iterative, communicative, and reflective mode and receiving landscape performance estimates for each design iteration communicated in salient, legitimate, and creditable terms can be explained by a generic pattern of design exploration. Initially, stakeholder groups explored the benefits of maximizing use of a particular design strategy, as appropriate to the biophysical properties of the watershed (see far left diagram in Figure 7). Moving to the right in Figure 7, this was followed by an exploration of the enhanced benefits of combining effects of multiple land cover practices. Having devised generic combinations of multiple land use practices that optimized performance across practice types, participants pursued a course of refining the specific combinations of land cover practices to produce a scenario that optimized performance across the various design landscape practices (Runck et al. forthcoming). As might be predicted from Lyle’s (1985) cyclical (Figure 3) process of proposing/disposing/and design adaptation, stakeholders sought to optimize performance across the six design performance criteria through an iterative trial and error process of exploring multiple patterns of comprehensive design performance (Figure 7). The geodesign system also enabled stakeholders to simultaneously view up to four design scenarios (Figure 8). Color-coded bar charts accompanying the display of each scenario presented estimates of comparative performance across the six evaluative criteria as generated from the SWAT, InVEST, and CE2T expert systems analyses. The analysis permitted comparison of vari-

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ous stakeholder generated design scenarios based on multiple socio-ecological criteria. Having collaboratively generated each scenario, stakeholders used this feature to compare costs and benefits across multiple scenarios. They could then select and combine worthy features from one design with those in another toward construction of an adapted design that optimized performance across the six criteria.

cover changes based on identified landscape performance criteria, and •  Development of computational capacities to rapidly capture and represent landscape changes associated with a design alternative as well as the consequences of land cover changes as evaluated by selected landscape performance criteria.

Summary and Conclusions


Having brought stakeholders to a common understanding about the values and issues associated with integrating biofuel production into traditional food commodity production systems in the Seven Mile Creek landscape, the digital ICP geodesign system provided a vehicle for stakeholders to work collaboratively in designing the scenarios. The capacity to receive nearly instantaneous feedback on scenario performance as estimated from standard expert systems allowed local stakeholders to work iteratively in adapting their designs toward realization of an optimal design solution as defined by the integration of water quality reduction, habitat value enhancement, and market profitability.

Arnold, J. G., & N. Fohrer, 2005. SWAT2000: Current capabilities and research opportunities in applied watershed modelling. Hydrological Processes, 19(3), 563–10 572. http://doi. org/10.1002/hyp.5611.

The geodesign system described in this chapter can be readily adapted for use in evaluating multiple design proposals for altering land use in other landscapes as well as for other purposes. Such an adaptation requires:

Dalzell, B., D. Pennington, S. Polasky, D. Mulla, S. Taff, S, and E. Nelson 2012. Lake Pepin Watershed Full Cost Accounting Project. Retrieved from view-document.html?gid=20358

•  The ability to engage non-specialist stakeholders in clearly delineating proposals for altering land cover. •  Definition of specific criteria for evaluating the performance of design proposals based on public policy objectives. •  Creation of valid and reliable algorithms for evaluating the consequences of the proposed

Batie, S.S. 2008. Wicked problems and applied economics. American Journal of Agricultural economics. 90(5):1176-1191. Klosterwill K. 2017. Models of collaboration: A custom geodesign process aims to help prototype solutions for the health of a rural watershed. Landscape Architecture Magazine. Nov 2017: 50-55.

Ervin, S. 2011. A System for Geodesign. In Digital Landscape Architecture Conference (pp. 1–14). Retrieved from 3 http://www.gsd.harvard. edu/images/content/5/3/536223/A-System-for-4 Geodesign.pdf. Flaxman M. 2010. Geodesign Summit. Redlands, CA; as amended by Stephen Ervin. 2012, Geodesign Summit, Redlands, CA.

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Fry, G. L. A. 2001. Multifunctional landscapes— towards transdisciplinary research. Landscape and Urban Planning, 57(3–4), 159–168. http:// 2046(01)00201-8 Jordan et al., 2011; Jordan, N. R., C. S., Slotterback, K. V. Cadieux, D.J. Mulla, D. G. Pitt, L. S. Olabisi, J.-O. Kim. 2011. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: A communicative and systemic approach. Environmental Management, 48(1): 1–12. http:// Klosterwill K. 2017. Models of collaboration: A custom geodesign proccess aims to help prototype solutions for the health of a rural watershed. Landscape Architecture Magazine. Nov 2017: 50-55. Lazarus, W., F. D. Smith, J. Gamble, D. Current, D. Zamora, S. 2019. CE2T: Crop Enterprise and Environmental Budgeting Tool for biomass, forage, agroforestry, annual crops, and orchards. Retrieved from: Lovell, S. T., S. DeSantis, C.A. Nathan, M.B. Olson, V. Ernesto Méndez, H. C. Kominami, W. B. Morris. 2010. Integrating agroecology and landscape multifunctionality in Vermont: An evolving framework to evaluate the design of agroecosystems. Agricultural Systems, 103(5): 327–341. http://doi. org/10.1016/j.agsy.2010.03.003 Lyle. J.T. 1985. The Alternating Current of Design Process. Landscape Journal. 4(10): 7-13. Nelson, E., G. Mendoza, J. Regetz, S. Polasky, H. Tallis, D. Cameron, M. Shaw, 2009. Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7(1): 4–11. http://doi. org/10.1890/080023


Runck, B., C. S. Slotterback, D. G. Pitt, L Kne, D. Mulla, N. Jordan, M. Grubbs, M. Goldkamp, A. Heid, P. Wringa, Y. Xie. forthcoming. Co-Designing Geodesign Systems from Theory to Practice. 2016 In Porter William F., Jinhua Zhao, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, and Miles McNall. Eds. Innovations in Collaborative Modeling. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. (in press). Slotterback, C. S., B. Runck, D. G. Pitt, D. L. Kne, N.R. Jordan, D. J. Mulla, M. Reichenbach. 2016. Collaborative Geodesign to advance multifunctional landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning, 156, 71–80. 11 landurbplan.2016.05.011 Steinitz, C. 2012. A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design. Redlands, CA: ESRI Press. Stokols, D. 2006. Toward a science of transdisciplinary action research. Amer. J. of Community Psychology 38 (1): 63–77. Tress, B., & G. Tress. 2001. Capitalizing on multiplicity: a transdisciplinary systems 18 approach to landscape research. Landscape and Urban Planning, 57(3–4), 143–19 157. S0169-2046(01)00200-6. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2016. Report of the Conference of the Parties on its twenty-first session, held in Paris from 30 November to 13 December 2015. Addendum Part two: Action taken by the Conference of the Parties at its twenty-first session. Retrieved from: https://unfccc. int/process/conferences/pastconferences/paris-climate-change-conference-november-2015/ paris-agreement Zeisel J. 2006. Inquiry by Design. New York: Norton.

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Wireless router

Figure 1. The technological components of the geodesign system consist of five InFocus Big Touch 55-inch touch-sensitive displays. Each display contained a Windows 8 processing unit. Workshop participants could pan across and zoom into digital aerial photography of the Seven Mile Creek watershed. They could also view reference layers containing location of roads, streams, land cover, topography, and Public Land Survey System section lines, as well as data layers relating to existing wildlife habitat areas, soils suitable for wetland restoration and production of perennial cover crops (e.g. native prairie and switchgrass), highly erodible as well as highly productive soils, and areas containing high surface water quality contamination risk potential based on land cover, topography, soils and hydrology. Participants used their finger or a stylus to draw polygons of proposed changes in land cover directly on the touch-sensitive displays. This input was digitized by the on-board Windows 8 processor and sent wirelessly to an on-location PC processor, which evaluated the proposed design using expert judgment evaluation models on multiple performance criteria. The processor returned a series of bar charts and other graphic images to the display systems depicting the multiple criteria performance of the proposed designs. Given the availability of enough room and electrical connections, the system could operate in virtually any space. For the four meetings that used the geodesign systems, they were transported 70 miles from the University of Minnesota (UMN) campus in Minneapolis to a public library community room in in St. Peter, MN in a small UMN truck. Truck used in transporting geodesign system 70 miles for applicaion in St. Peter, MN.

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Figure 2. Two groups of stakeholders use the geodesign system to explore alternative design strategies for integrating biofuel production into the Seven Mile Creek watershed.

Figure 3. John Tillman Lyle (1985, 9) proposed that design thinking involves an alternating current of idea proposition and idea disposition (thought of in the sense of setting “in order” or applying “to a particular end or purpose— rather than in the more common sense of disposing of—getting rid of.”) With the capacity to evaluate the potential performance of design proposals, we propose addition of adaptation to Lyle’s model. The disposition of proposed ideas based on specific performance criteria leads to adaptation of previously proposed concepts based on performance feedback. In this sense, geodesign can be construed as an adaptive process that leads to performance optimization across multiple evaluative criteria (adapted from Lyle 1985, 10).


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Figure 4. A stakeholder group uses the data layer showing expert modeling output for moderate and severe surface water quality contamination susceptibility in shades of blue on the monitor. Designs drawn could then be saved and processed in terms of performance on the water quality contamination susceptibility criteria. The group could also have viewed other data layers, such as significant avian habitat locations, and drawn its design based on both water quality and habitat.

Figure 5. Having saved a design for biofuel introduction into the watershed, as exemplified in the purple polygons on the display, a stakeholder group views graphic representation of feedback to each of the six performance criteria.

Figure 6. The geodesign conceptual framework involved processing, integrating and communicating socio-ecological information allowing stakeholders to construct and evaluate multiple biofuel landscape design scenarios in the Seven Mile Creek watershed.

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Figure 7. Progression of a group’s designs toward the ideal multifunctional performance.

Figure 8. Stakeholders were able to visually compare up to four of Seven Mile Creek designs at one time along with the designs’ performance feedback on each of the six evaluative criteria.


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Jacob Mans

Becoming Itinerant: A Neo-Medievalist Approach to a Post-Normal World Author Biography


Jacob Mans is an architect and educator focused on understanding the feedback loops between building-scaled technical systems and large-scaled social and ecological systems. As architects and architectural researchers, we often describe these systems, and study them independently from one another. The reality is that architecture collects, channels, and distributes energy and materials across these immense, powerful and interconnected socio-technical systems. He believes architecture should ask questions and engage in critical inquiries that affect immense change rather than prioritizing research on the incremental improvement of preexisting architectural questions. Within a socio-technical research framework, a building can no longer be the sole scale of response to the question of building.

Itinerancy, socio-technical systems, governance, post-normal science, neo-medievalism, wicked problems

Abstract This essay utilizes a post-normal design framework to develop a neo-medievalist approach to architectural practice, education, and research. We explore how to shift design-research from a short-term project-based model that leverages narrow bands of external design expertise, toward longer-termed relationship-based models that are place-based and that co-develop around extended communities of practice. This approach combines concepts from post-normal science, socio-technical systems, governance design, and itinerancy to rethink the potential for architecture to proactively engage larger-scaled systems and to embrace more complexity and higher levels of uncertainty often associated with today’s most pressing wicked problems.

Introduction “Wicked problems hold the key to the most consequential breakthroughs of the 21st Century,” writes John Kao in Innovation Nation, and that is true for the built environment as it is for every other area of human activity (Kao, 2007).. Although today’s “wicked problems crowd us like piranha,” as Marty Neumeier observes in The Designful Company, the discipline of architecture needs to embrace them, not only because they comprise most of the problems worth solving, but also because designers know how to address such ill-defined, complex challenges such as pollution, over-population, inequality, and climate change (Neumeier, 2009). While tame problems, involving a limited set of well-defined issues, lend themselves to technological solutions, wicked problems require that we factor in social and cultural considerations as well. Architects deal with wicked problems and socio-technical solutions in almost every project. But the profession has too often accepted as normal the drive in capitalism and in science to either treat wicked problems as insoluble or as tame problems in disguise, resulting in solutions that either ignore or repress the real complexity of the most pressing problems we face. A “Post-Normal” approach to science and policy, rooted in the wicked-problem-solving capacity of design, offers us a way to grapple with that com-

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plexity and to achieve the consequential breakthroughs that we need to make in order to deal with our greatest challenges. Some of the conditions characterizing a post-normal situation include: Irreducible complexity, deep uncertainties, multiple legitimate perspectives, value dissent, high stakes, and urgency of decision-making. As such, post-normal science (PNS) calls for extended peer communities encompassing broader notions of knowledge, uncertainty management, and acknowledgement and management of multiple valid perspectives. Unlike normal science, the goal is not to attain certain knowledge. The goal of PNS is quality, a more robust ‘science for policy’ (Ravetz, 1987). This approach requires long-term relationships with diverse communities and points of view. It adjusts its methods and alters its materials based on local conditions, cultures, and resources. And it combines different disciplines in a diversity of places with the aim of gaining and incorporatiing as wise a range of perspectives as possible. The architectural profession arose in parallel with the modern world and it has embraced, often uncritically, the “normal” practice of providing custom service to fee-paying clients. But in a Post-Normal world of wicked problems, that practice no longer works. It avoids too many of the most important challenges while solving too many tame or inconsequential ones. A more relevant practice for our time is that conducted by architects prior to the modern world, prior to Brunelleschi and Alberti (Harvey, 1972). For centuries in the Medieval period, architects practiced in Post-Normal ways, working with diverse fields, using what was at hand, moving to communities facing wicked problems, and producing amazing buildings suited to local conditions and cultures (Mans and Fisher, 2017). The time has come to rediscover and revive such practices. Neo-medievalism focuses on the adoption of a set of practices that increase the number and disciplinary complexity of collaborative


relationships. This complexity then expands the scale of system boundaries considered during the production of architectural interventions utilizing technological itinerancy as a kind of medieval process to physically decentralize architectural practice. Beyond physical itinerancy, the neo-medievalist approach also seeks to adopt a set of pre-modern habits of mind that itinerant Medieval architects used to piece together uncertain and incomplete data sets and to organize amazingly complex architectural projects that tapped into massive and energy and material flows over extended distances and vast timeframes (Mark and Clark, 1984). These practices are incredibly valuable when characterizing architectural design as a wicked problem. In this case, the architectural solution of a “building” is but a small component of a design of a socio-technical system operating at a scale and complexity of problems that “buildings” are illequipped to solve. The design of this socio-technical system, while not solved by a “building”, is something that architecture needs to actively engage. We can do this by shifting who we consult with and reconsidering the variables that we optimize for when developing our designs. In what follows we outline our neo-medievalist approach and the key terms attached to it. We start by characterizing our current situation within a post-normal context. This context informs the type of problem we are exploring (namely, the wicked kind), in which we seek to intervene through the design of socio-technical systems. Lastly, this design process is centered around participatory governance and the concept of itinerancy. The reality is that this approach is neither as linear nor as simple as this progression suggests. However, this progression does provide a framework for re-thinking the questions that architecture can ask through the production of buildings.

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Post-Normal Science

Wicked Problems

The concept of post-normalism science developed in the early 1990’s (Funtowitz & Ravetz 1993) as an expansion to a scientific critique from the 1960’s (Kuhn 1962) that characterized “normal” science as being a practice overly constrained to the study of problems with relatively low uncertainty and relatively narrow systems boundaries. This concept critiqued the progression of normal scientific inquiry from the enlightenment onward as being focused on dividing systems into smaller and smaller increments (isolated from the at-large system to minimize uncertainty) that were studied by more and more esoteric experts and specialists. The concept of “post-normal science” (PNS) arose out a recognition that “normal” science was uninterested in or unable to establish inquiries within the levels of uncertainty attached to non-linear, far-from-equilibrium systems (Kay et. al, 1999) and/or the uncertainties attached to the application of normal science toward human-policy decisions (Funtowitz & Ravetz, 1993). PNS established an intellectual framework for developing scientific inquiries that operated under the assumption of unpredictability, incomplete control, and a plurality of legitimate perspectives.

Our neo-medieval framework applies to a particular kind of design problem: wicked problems. Rittel and Webber coined the term in 1973 to describe the challenges attributed to socially constructed planning problems (Rittel and Webber, 1973). The authors argued that the problems that develop around natural systems are quite different from the problems that develop around social systems. In the case of natural systems, problems are inherently “definable and separable and may have solutions that are findable”, problems they classified as “tame”. In the case of social systems, problems are “ill-defined, and they rely on illusive political judgment for resolution”, problems they classified as “wicked”.

When we apply the post-normal framework to architecture, we see a similar critique. Modern architectural practice has not leveraged recent advances in information and design technology to operate on problems with higher levels of uncertainty. Instead it has specialized on narrowing bands of building performances in order to optimize isolated aspects of a building’s performance. It is not that this knowledge is not needed; it is. We take issue with it when it fails to acknowledge or account for the social implications of its technical solutions. Moreover, as Koenig et. al, suggest, a new ethos of PNS achieves enhanced levels of TRUST (Transparency, Robustness, Uncertainty management, Sustainability and Transdisciplinarity), restoring the public’s confidence in experts and science in general (Koenig et. al, 2017).

In short, wicked problems are incredibly messy and complex, difficult to characterize, have multiple resolutions, engage multiple—often conflicted—stakeholders, and are difficult if not impossible to evaluate in the near-term. One key difference between wicked and tame problems is that wicked problems are not solvable. They are at best “resolvable”; and, they require repeated resolving because they are social, and social opinion and power structures change. The problem with the wicked problem is that you cannot satisfy all stakeholders, and often there is not money to repeatedly resolve these kinds of problems when certain stakeholders are not satisfied. Environmental problems, energy issues, global warming and dealing with the consequences of climate change are just some of the policy issues recognized as wicked problems. More recently, due to the severity of climate-related catastrophes (hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, etc.), critical resilient infrastructure systems and processes (CRISP) have emerged as wicked problems because of the high level of uncertainty associated with their design and the large amount of stakeholders involved. Either through the direct production of a piece of critical infrastructure (a building for example),

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or the indirect production of systems and things (economies and material waste, for example) that are produced when buildings are made, architecture is inherently wicked because of the social systems tied to it. This recognition calls for not just the insertion of technological innovations to achieve sustainable transitions in a number of areas (food, energy, water, built environment, etc.), but also the relational, governance and cultural aspects of these transitions. In the next section we pay attention to the particularities of socio-technical systems that exemplify the need for a PNS approach. Socio-Technical Systems People do not experience artifacts; people experience artifacts within a context. Artifacts require integration with human agency, social structures and organizations to take on functionality. This context is shaped by more than direct human/ technology interaction; it is also shaped by the broader network of systems that influence human behavior toward technology—by regulation, user preference and practices, financial markets, economic standing, existing infrastructure (and access to it), production cycles, and maintenance, etc. (Geels, 2005). Combining this kind socio-technical network creates, as Hughes defined, “large technological systems” that are both social shaping and socially constructed (Hughes, 1983). Even simple design artifacts link to socially constructed contexts; they are components of much larger technological systems that actively shape the societies that produce and/or use them (Krohs, 2008). In this regard, whether obvious or not, design is inherently wicked. When we go down the system thinking digression, eventually everything connects to everything else. This has a crippling effect on decision-making; but consciously considering social-technical impact of a design can allow a designer to re-prioritize their design agenda and agency. That is, if they can develop strategies to serve the interests of a broader com-


munity, albeit somewhat subversively, they can meet their professional obligations to their client’s building needs while also developing solutions to larger socio-technical issues. Governance Design This offers an opportunity to further sociotechnical research by organizing around the concept of governance and “governance design”. We conceptualize governance as the way different stakeholders in a system effectively participate in the decision-making processes necessary for the system’s sustainable transformation, transition, or development. Governance design determines the space and processes that allow this participation to occur. The governance approach distances itself from the traditional public administration approach in that it focuses on a polycentric socio-technical system, and then identifies, develops and assists in sustaining interactions through collaborative multi-stakeholder configurations for public decision making, rather than taking a unicentric view of government as the sole agent of change. Therefore, rather than concentrating on increasing the capacity of government as the sole agent for transitions transformations, our approach looks at designing governance structures that redistribute capacity across sectors, utilizing the tenets of sustainability as a guide for vision development. The neo-medievalist approach concentrates on the operationalization of networked heterarchical systems and organizations. Itinerancy It is not effective to engage in a governance-based design approach remotely. Centralized design processes lead to miscommunication and generate both perceived and real power imbalances. Architectural itinerancy, as a practice, places the design expert inside communities to co-define and co-solve problems with them. While the designer has expertise, becoming itinerant allows the designer to become temporarily “non-expert”

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within an extended community of local experts. Becoming a non-expert does not discount knowledge or avoid rigorous inquiry, rather it facilitates a mental repositioning that increases the designers’ nimbleness to move in and out of areas of limited expertise. Experts are constrained to limited disciplinary silos and are conditioned through rigorous professional and/or academic training to think they already know what needs to be known. This sense of” knowing” makes the expert less curious and less open to new ideas that conflict with their limited knowledge and knowledge-based world views (Berger 2014). In contrast to this, the non-expert is a perpetual beginner, forever open to new possibilities and nimble enough to spot the critical questions that lead to innovative ideas (Suzuki and Dixon, 1970). An architect solving a problem in an architectural office is professionally driven toward solving the problem with a “building”—it is after all, what architects do—but removing architects from the office repositions them as a non-expert and allows them to integrate as much knowledge from others as possible when conceptualizing a design question or a design solution. Once this is established the architect must then revert to being an expert to technically resolve selected solutions. Neo-Medievalism The prime difference in the neo medievalist approach is that expertise is applied after extended stakeholders engagement and design-thinking strategies are first applied to developing governance structures that can socially operationalize technical solutions more familiar to an architect. Integrating wicked problems, post-normal science and governance calls for an emphasis on communicative rationality rather than instrumental rationality. The governance perspective points to the inclusion of socio-political, socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-ecological perspectives as well as non-scientific community based knowledge. This contribution will be effective only if it can converge with the contributions of the design

disciplines. This approach can give us a systemic perspective of integrated socio-technical systems, highlighting the importance of visions, expectations and scenario-building for shaping and orienting the transformation of those systems. By working with both our engineering and computer science colleagues we can assist in the interactive construction of scenarios as a tool for systematically thinking about the long-term perspective of the transformation processes. This then serves as a bridge towards reflexive and adaptive strategies of policy-making for a long-term transition towards more sustainable designs. Another helpful concept is that of transition management. It is based on a storyline that persistent problems require fundamental changes in social subsystems, which are best worked at in a forward-looking, yet adaptive manner, based on multiple strategic visions and actions. The concept is situated between two different views of governance: the incremental ‘learning by doing’ approach and the blueprint planning approach. The various elements of transition management are combined into a model of multi-level governance, which consists of three interrelated levels: •  Strategic level: visioning, strategic discussions, long-term goal formulation. •  Tactical level: processes of agenda-building, negotiating, networking, coalition building. •  Operational level: processes of experimenting, implementation. Transition management tries to improve the interactions among different levels of government for the sake of certain transitions. It is about organizing a sophisticated process whereby the different elements of the transition—management process co-evolve: the joint problem perception, vision, agenda, instruments, experiments and monitoring through a process of social learning (Loorbach, 2010).

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Finally, learning—or more precisely social learning—is a core element in successful innovation processes. Learning cannot be reduced to a cognitive act of knowledge acquisition given the number of different learning mechanisms and sources of learning, as well as the embodied and social character of knowledge creation. Various authors have advocated learning-by-doing (Arrow, 1962), learning-by-using (Rosenberg, 1982) or learning-by-interacting between producers and users (Lundvall, 1988), the latter being especially relevant for the purposes of this article, as it could inform the analysis of transition processes and the related actor reconfigurations (Rohracher, 2001).

“architecture” beyond buildings and toward a new architecture of relationships.


Geels, F. (2005). The dynamics of transitions in socio-technical systems: A multi-level analysis of the transition pathway from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles (1860–1930)., Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 17:4, 445-476

An itinerant, neo-medieval approach to architectural practice promises not only to expand the opportunities and impact of architects, but also to bring needed design expertise to the most challenging problems of our time. It reconnects architects to an earlier and much expanded form of practice, embedded in communities and that is as much involved in socio-technical and governance issues as it is in the design and construction of buildings. Our post-normal world, full of wicked problems, requires it. Acknowledgements The ideas embedded in this essay were co-established between two critical sets of influences that I would like to acknowledge. The first of these is Tom Fisher, with whom I began to articulate the neo-medieval architectural approach in an essay we co-authored for the Journal of Architectural Education in 2017. Thank you for helping me make sense of this anachronism. The second influence is the relationship I share with Marla Perez-Lugo and Cecilio Ortiz-Garcia and with whom I have had countless late-night conversations outlining the integration of governance into this design framework. Thank you both for exposing me to PNS and for helping to expand my definition of


REFERENCES Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question : The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas (First U.S. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury. Funtowitz, S., Ravetz, J., (1993). Science for the post-normal age. Futures. Pergamon. John Hooper Harvey, The Mediaeval Architect (New York: St. Martin’s, 1972).

Kao, J. (2007). Innovation nation : How America is losing its innovation edge, why it matters, and what we can do to get it back (1st Free Press hardcover ed.). New York: Free Press. Kay. J., Regier, H., Boyle, M. and Francis, G. 1999. “An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainability: Addressing the Challenge of Complexity” Futures Vol 31, #7, Sept. 1999, pp. 721–742. Kuhn, T. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Loorbach D. 2010. Transition management for sustainable development: a prescriptive, complexity-based governance framework. Governance 23:161–83 Mans, J., & Fisher, T. (2017). The Itinerant Architect: Toward a Land-based Architectural Practice. Journal of Architectural Education, 71(2), 252-260.

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Mark, R., & Clark W.W., (1984). Gothic Structural Experimentation. Scientific American, 251(5), 176-185. Neumeier, M. (2009). The designful company : How to build a culture of nonstop innovation : A whiteboard overview. Berkeley, Calif.: New Riders. Ravetz, J., (1987). Usable Knowledge, Usable Ignorance: Incomplete Science with Policy Implications. Science Communication Vol 9, Issue 1, pp. 87–116 Rittel, H., & Webber, W. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155-169. Rohracher H. 2001. Managing the technological transition to sustainable construction of buildings: a socio-technical perspective. Technol. Anal. Strateg. Manag. 13:137–50 Suzuki, S., & Dixon, T. (1970). Zen mind, beginner’s mind. New York ; Tokyo: Weatherhill.

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Lauren Kim and Marilyn DeLong

Exploring the User’s Role in Sustainable Apparel Practices Author Biographies Naeun (Lauren) Kim PhD is an Assistant Professor of Retail Merchandising Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include collaborative consumption, sustainability, international retailing, and entrepreneurship. Her work has been published in several international refereed journals, and she received the ITAA (2019) Best Research Award for Socially Responsible Apparel Practice for her research on collaborative consumption. Marilyn DeLong. PhD is Professor of Apparel Studies in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Scholarly research is focused upon design history, aesthetics, material culture and activism related to design, societal and cultural trends. DeLong is author of numerous journal articles in such venues as Fashion Theory, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Senses & Society, Textile, Qualitative Market Research, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. DeLong has been co-editor of Fashion Practice, The Journal of Design, Creative Process & the Fashion industry, from its inception in 2009. She has given presentations in Spain, France, England, Denmark, Korea, China and Brazil. Abstract This paper explores the relationship of sustainability and the role of the user in research completed in the College of Design. A capsule wardrobe project highlighted user experiences with limited clothing that could be directed toward sustainable practices for the user. A project that included multiple venues is reviewed: a global competition for designs that involved sustainable best practices, an exhibition in the Goldstein Museum of


Design and an accompanying workshop for youth based upon the prototypes displayed in the exhibition. Focus is on a workshop that involved a day long series of hands-on activities created to motivate the youth to consider ways to extend the wear of clothing. Finally, collaborative consumption research explores several managerial implications to vitalize collaborative consumption activities for sustainable apparel consumption. Keywords Clothing consumption, user, extended wear, outreach, apparel industry Introduction Sustainability, in the most encompassing sense, is defined as ensuring development that meets current needs without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their needs (United Nations World Commission 1987). The Brundtland Report (1987) that resulted from a call by the General Assembly of the United Nations, further clarifies that such needs must include the interconnection of three spheres: social, environmental and economic. Fashion involves all three spheres as defined in the Brundtland report; it is a material product involving economic gain, worn as an expression of the wearer or user and directly linked to the environment (Hethorn & Ulasewicz, 2008). Apparel fashion, therefore, provides multiple opportunities for the application of sustainable concepts and practices through the intersections of the apparel industry with the user. The relationship of the apparel industry to the product life cycle and the user has recently been changing away from the fast fashion approach of

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planned obsolescence. Fast fashion encourages rapid merchandise turnover and relies on a consumer’s insatiable desire for the new (Schor and Taylor, 2002). However, Shedroff (2009) believes that the concept of slow fashion has emerged because finding ways to promote sustainability will be essential for the future of the planet. Slow fashion involves all facets of the apparel industry and the user. Slow fashion is not the opposite of fast fashion; it is rather an alternative approach for users to engage with fashion in more targeted and sustainable ways (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen, 2013; Clark, 2008; Fletcher & Grose, 2012). Slow fashion encourages the user to understand the knowledge base and value of using local resources, understand the relationship between production and consumption and the value of creating quality products. Slow fashion “focuses… attention on valuing and knowing the object and demands design that generates significant experiences” (Clark, 2008, p.440). Products that produce this type of positive response are durable—emotionally, physically, and stylistically. For the user to extend the wear of clothing is a primary means to slow fashion. Slowing fashion may mean a shift in thinking for the apparel industry and specifically for the designer of products that could be designed to be marketed for a second life with more than one user. Generations of Millennials and Generation Z consumers are increasingly finding value in shopping for secondhand clothing at thrift stores (Xu, Chen, Burman, & Zhao, 2014). Younger consumers turn to secondhand shopping to seek emotional enjoyment and unique products (Xu et al., 2014); these emerging generations of consumers tend to be more concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption choices (Hwang & Griffiths, 2017). This paper explores projects that could extend the life of the fashion product through means available in the College of Design at the University of

Minnesota. Focus is upon finding ways to encourage the slow fashion movement by rethinking the user’s involvement in the design process or finding a way of sharing clothing no longer in use. This paper explores some of the ways that involve the user in a positive and dynamic experience of clothing within its life cycle, resulting in slowing fashion for a more sustainable future (DeLong,, 2017; DeLong, 2014). Strategies for Sustainable Best Practices for the User The aesthetic experience involves the wearer’s emotional and cognitive reactions to a designed product that must be considered within the context of his or her culture at the time and place, as well as personal experiences, beliefs and attitudes (DeLong 1998). A study comparing older users from two cultures on strategies for sustainable design found that it matters who the user is in terms of past experiences in playing out strategies for extended wear (DeLong, 2017). For example, interviews with users in South Korea and the USA revealed some differences among the respondents. In South Korea, extended wear was reported by users who purchased high quality customized ensembles initially and then worked to maintain the relationship of the various pieces making up the whole. In the United States, such extended wear was the outcome for users who bought separates to create their own ensembles oriented to mixing and matching. These users named a single item of clothing that they had used to create many and multiple ensembles. In both societies the objective of extended wear was achieved but through different means. Another study on sustainable practice demonstrates that consumers are quite willing to purchase sustainable clothing as long their aesthetic and emotional needs are met (Niinimaki, 2010). Indeed, vintage clothing provides a growing USA market in the 21st century (DeLong, Heinemann & Reiley 2005). During interviews of selected vin-

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tage wearers, we discovered that the wearer of vintage clothing was looking for very specific unique, high quality clothing and reported being satisfied and even proud of the outcome of shopping and wearing vintage. In the following sections, three unique strategies concerning users’ sustainable apparel consumption practices are discussed. User Experience in Limiting the Wardrobe A recent study focused upon the personal experience of the user with a capsule wardrobe, a collection of 33 or fewer interchangeable clothing items worn for two months (Bang, 2019). The 33 items included clothing, shoes and bags—but did not include accessories and jewelry. Seven students in the College of Design volunteered for the project. Upon selection of a limited number of clothing pieces for their capsule wardrobe, they responded to an online survey to collect demographics, shopping habits, wardrobe strategies and their degree of interest and understanding of sustainability. Throughout the project, daily journals were kept that included the selfies of daily outfits and assigned item numbers to analyze the patterns participants used for creating ensembles. Two in-depth interviews were conducted before and after the project that helped to understand participants’ overall experience of engaging in the capsule wardrobe project including motivations, perceived benefits, and limitations. Various wardrobe strategies and patterns of dressing emerged for creating ensembles with limited items. Participants responded that layering in untraditional ways and selecting versatile items were essential strategies for success with their capsule wardrobes. Participants also found that accessories were great tools to make their looks more individual as well as wearing different makeup or changing hairstyles. Participants also responded that when they selected certain pieces with significant meaning and unforgettable mem-


ories, they felt both physical and emotional comfort every time they wore them. Thus, when users are limited in their wardrobe, they find ways to vary their appearance through other means than purchase of new clothing. Youth Using Prototypes for Sustainable Design An example of what constitutes a sustainable design prototype was the topic of an exhibition in the Goldstein Museum of Design 241 Gallery in the College of Design (DeLong, Heinemann, & Reiley, 2014). The exhibition “Redesigning, Redefining Fashion” resulted from a comprehensive call for examples of sustainable design. (See figure 2). Out of 200 submissions from around the globe, 27 examples were selected to represent prototypes that included the following themes: •  Repurposed materials: converting useless products into higher quality products •  Emotional Connection: wearing heirloom or memorable garments and considering cultural attachments with multiple meanings •  Versatility: garments that could be worn for several events or a number or ways •  Valuing Resources: slow fashion movement, participatory redesign, and high-quality craftsmanship •  Alternative constructions: natural dyes, minimal processing, and zero waste

Figure 1. Activities during youth workshop

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Figure 2. Prototypes from design exhibition at the Goldstein Museum of Design; icons by macrovector/Freepik An opportunity to extend the impact of this exhibition was created through Minnesota Extension by funding a project to teach youth about sustainability. Youth groups in 4H and Girl Scouts were approached to participate in educational interventions (programs) on sustainable best practices regarding clothing. Saturday workshops were conducted for each group, geared to their needs and based upon conversations with their leaders and administrators. The Girl Scout youth received their designer badge for participating in the day long workshop. Participants included 240 urban youth (7-18 years) living in Minnesota. The program included an intervention in which the youth experienced prototype designs in the exhibition, then completed hands-on designing activities in a workshop format (See figure 1). At the end of the day they engaged in discussion, evaluation, and reflections and took a survey about their experience. Data collected and analyzed from the workshop activities included interviews with five program educators and surveys completed from 186 youth. Results from the data collected included the youth’s top ten means of making clothing more sustainable: donate or pass down; upcycle; reuse; alter or embellish;

make your own; buy pre-worn clothing; repair; care for clothing; buy quality; and use for a long time (see figure 3). Reflections at the end of the workshop indicated that the youth were excited about the idea of understanding sustainable best practices through prototypes followed by hands-on activities. The youth easily created ideas for new opportunities that could become best practices in their use of clothing they wear every day.

Figure 3. Top ten ways youth indicated to make clothing more sustainable. n=186

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User Experience with Collabortive Consumption Collaborative consumption is a phenomenon of sharing fashion goods as in renting or purchasing secondhand products through online platforms. It has gained significant popularity as an alternative, ecological consumption mode (Botsman & Rogers, 2011). It is projected that the fashion resale market will surpass the size of fast fashion in the next ten years, with over $64 billion in annual sales (Thredup, 2019). While the practice of repurposing unwanted items by allowing others to use them has continued throughout history, the concept of collaborative consumption has recently gained momentum with the development and accessibility of information technology, which connects users online and mediates transactions (Hamari, Sjöklint, & Ukkonen, 2016). The collaborative consumption trend has also been observed among students at the University of Minnesota. According to a survey of 85 College of Design freshmen and sophomores, more than a third of them indicated they had bought or sold secondhand items online in the past year, a big increase from the handful of students who did so years ago. The modern notion of collaborative consumption includes renting, swapping, or reselling activities (Hamari et al., 2016; Park & Armstrong, 2019). For example, users may rent a designer gown for a specific time period from an online rental platform or swap used fashion items with a peer user using virtual currency (e.g., company credit). With the emerging ideas of dematerialization and decrease in the sense of personal ownership, collaborative consumption has shifted the focus from consuming new and more products to making more use out of existing products and giving them a second life (Armstrong, Niinimäki, Lang, & Kujala, 2016). Notable players in the fashion collaborative consumption industry include Rent the Runway, Gwynniebee, Poshmark, Tradesy, and Thredup.


Kim and Jin (2020) conducted research on uncovering the underlying dimensions behind consumers’ collaborative consumption orientations. Collaborative consumption is a marketing practice that first and foremost offers users an opportunity to participate in a sustainable consumption practice and make a positive environmental impact (Edbring, Lehner, & Mont, 2016; Hamari et al., 2016; Möhlmann, 2015). Pooling of material goods via renting or swapping leads to increased intensity in the use of a single product. As a result, waste is avoided, and overproduction is countered (Möhlmann, 2015; Mont, 2004). Another incentive driving collaborative consumption is economic gain (Dall Pizzol, Ordovás de Almeida, & do Couto Soares, 2017; Edbring et al., 2016; Hamari et al., 2016). Through collaborative consumption, consumers can generate a small income by selling garments that are no longer wanted and rent or trade items at significantly cheaper prices than what can be found in the regular market, and therefore lower the financial risk and investment. Kim and Jin (2020) and Möhlmann (2015) note that collaborative consumption platforms create virtual communities in which consumers can interact and socialize. Like-minded consumers are able to connect with one another and exchange goods, ideas, and feedback in peer-to-peer marketplaces (Botsman & Rogers, 2010). Lastly, consumers are able to access a wider variety of products and brands through collaborative consumption. Exploration of the resale market may lead to the discovery of discontinued or limited-edition items. Therefore, collaborative consumption can serve as a means to expand one’s assortment choices (Kim & Jin, 2020). At the same time, concerns are also raised with this alternative approach to consumption. Since the activities take place in online platforms, consumers need to rely on the product descriptions provided by the seller or service provider and are

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unable to physically check the products to ensure quality. Furthermore, users have expressed their concern regarding hygiene and contamination resulting from sharing garments with strangers (Edbring et al., 2016; Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2012). Another barrier associated with the renting model is the lack of emotional attachment to the garment. Emotional attachments that result from wear, memories and personal associations can help prevent users from discarding the garment and ensure a product’s longevity. Instilling emotional attachment and durability into rental products may be difficult given the transient relationship between individuals and clothing (Braithwaite & Schlemann, 2018). Lastly, the poor quality of fast fashion clothing may discourage multiple use and ownership transfer. As fast fashion clothing is designed based on the planned obsolescence strategy, it may lose functional value after a couple of uses and become unsuitable for sharing. Overcoming these challenges is necessary before the apparel collaborative consumption can become a potential solution to the industry’s sustainability problems. Conclusion This paper explored sustainable apparel consumption practices including user experiences with a capsule wardrobe, youth education on sustainability, and user experiences with collaborative consumption. Our research at the University of Minnesota, College of Design, has involved an exploration and reconsideration of the user within an expanded clothing life cycle. Figure 4 illustrates how the user can become involved in this life cycle to encourage a more dynamic and positive relationship. Each stage expands the concept of sustainable best practices. We have discovered that when people find ways to experience a continued relationship with the clothing they own, they are more likely to establish emotional connections and manage their clothing with more

care. Fostering such relationships tends to extend the clothing life span (Schifferstein & Zwartkruis-Pelgrim, 2008).

Purchase Dispose/ Reuse

- Think before purchase

- Upcycle, Recycle, Reuse

- Buy clothing from thrift stores

- Rent clothing

- Donate clothing

- Buy good quality clothing

- Swap clothing

- Buy clothing produced ethically

Consume - Manage clothing properly

Wash clothing properly - Consider Versatility - Wear clothing for an extended time

Figure 4. Sustainability for the User through the Clothing Life Cycle Youth were approached with prototypes for sustainable best practices, as occurred with the design intervention. Activities were created for youth to apply such practices, and the outcome could be long lasting if repeated. In other research completed with youth on sun protection practices, we found that repetition was needed to reinforce the concept (DeLong 1999). If the practice is to become habitual, the need to remind youth with periodic interventions would be an important consideration. From a marketing perspective, as the collaborative consumption industry expands and more businesses including startups and traditional retail brands participate in the trend, companies with a sharing-based business model will need to market their offerings effectively to users. Making the exchange process more easily accessible and enjoyable through vitalization of user-interaction and enhanced shopping experience can also improve consumer perceptions toward the concept of sharing. Furthermore, companies can emphasize the cost-saving aspect by displaying the original retail price and mark-downs. Displaying messages on

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the environmental impact that results from sharing can help reinforce consumers’ sharing decisions as well (Kim & Jin, 2020). Companies should also communicate a message of proper cleaning and well-maintained condition of the shared item to minimize perceived contamination. While there are several hurdles to overcome, with consumers’ increasing demand for sustainable practice, collaborative consumption may become the new megatrend of sustainable fashion practice. Hence, further research can explore the different ways in which apparel can be designed and marketed for multiple use. Researchers can also examine ways to motivate consumers to engage in sustainable apparel practice as well as to address the current challenges in collaborative consumption.

Braithwaite, N., & Schlemann, A. (2018). Product Service Systems: A Viable Business Model for Fashion Brands? In C. Becker-Leifhold & M. Heuer (Eds.), Eco-friendly and fair: Fast fashion and consumer behavior (pp. 132-143). New York, NY: Routledge.


Clark, H. (2008). SLOW + FASHION—an Oxymoron—or a Promise for the Future …? Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 12(4), 427–446. doi:10.2752/175174108X346922.

Aakko, M., & Koskennurmi-Sivonen, R. (2013). Designing Sustainable Fashion: Possibilities and Change. Research Journal of Textiles and Apparel, 17(1), 13-22. Armstrong, C. M., Niinimäki, K., Lang, C., & Kujala, S. (2016). A Use‐Oriented Clothing Economy? Preliminary Affirmation For Sustainable Clothing Consumption Alternatives. Sustainable Development, 24(1), 18-31. https://doi. org/10.1002/sd.1602 Bang, Haeun (2019) Personal Experiences of a Capsule Wardrobe. Unpublished dissertation University of Minnesota. Bardhi, F., & Eckhardt, G. M. (2012). Access-based Consumption: The Case of Car Sharing. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(4), 881-898. https://doi. org/10.1086/666376 Botsman, R., & Rogers, R. (2010). What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. New York: HarperCollins Publisher.


Brundtland Report (1987.) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Accessed January 8, 2020. documents/5987our-common-future.pdf Casto, M. & DeLong, M. (2019), Exploring Esthetic Response to Classic As a Means To Slow Fashion, Fashion Practice, 11:1, pp. 105-131.

Dall Pizzol, H., Ordovás de Almeida, S., & do Couto Soares, M. (2017). Collaborative Consumption: A Proposed Scale for Measuring the Construct Applied to a Carsharing Setting. Sustainability, 9(5), 703. https://doi. org/10.3390/su9050703 DeLong M., Min, S., Casto, M.A., & Lee YK. (2017). “Sustainable Clothing from the Older Female User’s Perspective.” Clothing Cultures, Focused issue on Aging. 3.3 DeLong, M., Heinemann, B. & Reiley, K. (2014). Redefining, Redesigning Fashion: Designs for Sustainability. Fashion Practice. 6:1, 125-130 DeLong, M., Heinemann, B., & Reiley, K. (2005). Hooked on Vintage! Fashion Theory, 8(1), 23-42. DeLong, M., LaBat, K., Gahring, S., Nelson, N., & Leung L. (1999). Implications of an Educational Intervention Program Designed to Increase Young Adolescents’ Awareness of Hats for Sun

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Protection. Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, 17(3), 73-83. DeLong, M. (1998). The Way We Look, Dress and Aesthetics. New York: Fairchild

Park, H., & Armstrong, C. M. J. (2017). Collaborative Apparel Consumption in the Digital Sharing Economy: An Agenda for Academic Inquiry. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41(5), 465-474.

Edbring, E. G., Lehner, M., & Mont, O. (2016). Exploring consumer attitudes to alternative models of consumption: motivations and barriers. Journal of Cleaner Production, 123(1), 5-15.

Schifferstein, H. N. and Zwartkruis-Pelgrim, E. P. (2008). Consumer-Product Attachment: Measurement and Design Implications. International Journal of Design, 2:3, 1–14.

Fletcher, K. & Grose, L. (2012). Fashion & Sustainability : Design for Change. London: Laurence King Publishers.

Schor, J. & Taylor, B. (2002). Sustainable planet: Solutions for the Twenty-first Century. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M., & Ukkonen, A. (2016). The Sharing Economy: Why People Participate in Collaborative Consumption. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(9), 2047-2059.

Shedroff, N. (2009). Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable. Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media.

Hethorn, Janet & Ulasewicz, Connie (2008), Sustainable fashion: Why Now?, New York: Fairchild Books. Hwang, J., & Griffiths, M. A. (2017). Share More, Drive Less: Millennials Value Perception and Behavioral Intent in Using Collaborative Consumption Services. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34(2), 132-146. Kim, N.L., & Jin, B.E. (2020). Why Buy New When One Can Share? A Scale Development for Collaborative Consumption of Consumer Goods. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 44(2), 122-130.

Steele, V. (2019). Fashion Futures. in A. Geczy & V. Karaminas (eds), The End of Fashion. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts. Thredup. (2019). 2019 Resale report. Retrieved from United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987), Our common future (The Brundtland Report), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Xu, Y., Chen, Y., Burman, R., & Zhao, H. (2014). Second‐hand Clothing Consumption: A Cross‐ Cultural Comparison Between American and Chinese Young Consumers. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 38(6), 670-677.

Möhlmann, M. (2015). Collaborative Consumption: Determinants of Satisfaction and the Likelihood Of Using A Sharing Economy Option Again. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 14(3), 193-207. Mont, O. (2004). Institutionalization of Sustainable Consumption Patterns Based on Shared Use. Ecological Economics, 50(1-2), 135–153.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Julia Robinson & Austin Watanabe

Infusing Design Inquiry into Studies of Children’s Mental Health: A Cross-disciplinary Partnership Author Biographies Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, PhD is Northrop Professor of Interior Design at the University of Minnesota. A refugee from Cyprus, she holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a Master of Science in Urban Development and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Her doctoral work in Housing Studies at the University of Minnesota, presented in her book “The Making of a Refugee – Children Adopting Refugee Identity in Cyprus” (Praeger, 2002), began her interdisciplinary and community engaged scholarship on exploring how culture and identity intersect with place-making. Hadjiyanni’s driver is the belief that design can be leveraged for innovation and change to create Culturally Enriched Communities, healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive. Hadjiyanni’s latest book “The right to home—Exploring how space, culture, and identity intersect with disparities” features stories from Hmong, Somali, Mexicans, Ojibwe, and African Americans in Minnesota to argue that efforts to eliminate health, income, and educational disparities must also encompass the home. Julia Williams Robinson, PhD, FAIA, is Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota and a registered architect. She is recognized as an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor, and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In addition to her doctoral degree from Delft University of Technology, Professor Robinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, and a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, from the University of Minnesota. She is author of many articles, book chapters, and books


including Complex Housing: Designing for Density (Routledge, 2018), Institution and Home: Architecture as a Cultural Medium (Techne Press, 2006), The Discipline of Architecture (co-edited with Andrzej Piotrowski, University of Minnesota Press, 2001), and a monograph: Programming as Design (with J. Stephen Weeks, University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 1984). Austin Watanabe is an Architectural Associate at Alchemy Architects and a founding member of the utopic spatial practice Interesting Tactics. Austin’s involvement with this study began as an Undergrad Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota. Since that time Austin graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor in Architecture and a minor degree in Interdisciplinary Design. Austin has also received a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Abstract Understanding of the ways by which environmental parameters intersect with daily living for children with mental health challenges is currently limited. This chapter shares lessons from an interdisciplinary collaboration, funded by the National Science Foundation, among the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, the Department of Psychiatry, and the College of Science and Engineering1. The pilot study used video recordings in a laboratory setting to unravel how children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) relate to everyday interior elements, such as tables, sinks, 1

Team members from the Department of Psychiatry include Dr. Gail A. Bernstein and Dr. Kathryn R. Cullen and team members from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering from the College of Science & Engineering include Dr. Vassilios Morellas and Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos. 1

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and rugs. The findings can inform the development of early diagnosis and treatment tools. Keywords Design, mental health, children, OCD, table, sink, rug. Introduction Understanding of the ways by which environmental parameters intersect with daily living for children with mental health challenges is currently limited. This chapter shares lessons from an interdisciplinary collaboration, funded by the National Science Foundation, between the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, the Department of Psychiatry, and the College of Science and Engineering . The pilot study used video recordings in a laboratory setting to unravel how children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) relate to everyday interior elements, such as tables, sinks, and rugs. The College of Design team included two faculty (the two authors) and four undergraduate students, two of whom were from Interior Design and two from the School of Architecture. Three of these students were Honors students. The College of Design team helped inform the questions asked and constructed tactile physical environments through which new datasets could be generated, helping reveal insights that could have remained hidden through conventional methods and approaches, challenging how mental health is understood and studied. The team also assisted in data gathering and data analysis. Testimony to the pilot study’s success is its inclusion as a plenary at the Environmental Design Association’s 2015 conference (see Hadjiyanni, Robinson, Young, & Bernstein, 2015) and the journal article in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology that summarized the findings being cited as a “High Impact Paper” (Bernstein et al, 2016).

One reason for the relative absence of the design fields from mental health inquiries is the fact that most studies originate in fields such as psychiatry and neuroscience, where the environment is treated lightly or not at all. Many of the compulsions associated with OCD however, such as repeating and cleaning rituals and excessive handwashing involve physical objects and spaces such as bathroom sinks, faucets, tubs, showers, and mirrors (Vickers et al., 2017; Wahl, Salkovskis, & Cotter, 2008; Zor, Fineberg, Eilam, & Hermesh, 2011). The urgency to broaden scholarly approaches to mental health derives from statistics indicating that close to 43.4 million Americans experience mental health challenges—approximately 17.9% of the adult population (Center for Behavioral Health Statistics & Quality, 2016). As early diagnosis is instrumental to treating and managing mental health disorders across a life-span, better understanding of the impact of mental health on daily living is paramount for the well-being of families and communities. The discussion below starts with a brief background on OCD and describes how the set-up of the pilot study laboratory employed design elements to expand understanding of how environmental parameters impact daily living. Background on OCD OCD is a debilitating anxiety disorder experienced by around 1.2% of the U.S. population (impacting close to 4 million people) (APA, 2013). It is the fourth most common mental disorder in the U.S., and the World Health Organization has ranked it as the tenth most disabling, based not only on the effects of the disorder but also on lost earnings and diminished quality of life (Bobes et al., 2001). Despite the huge impact of OCD, it can take many years from the time OCD symptoms appear to receiving full and appropriate treatment (Fenske & Schwenk, 2009). As OCD frequently begins during childhood (APA, 2013), early diagnosis and treatment can have life-transforming outcomes.

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OCD affects up to 2% of youth. Children and adolescents with OCD experience debilitating obsessions and compulsions that often disrupt their daily activities, interfere with family and peer interactions (Piacentini, Peris, Bergman, Chang, & Jaffer, 2007), and are associated with reduced quality of life (Lack et al., 2009). These life aspects include: •  Contamination and cleaning, which refers to obsessions about germs and contamination, handwashing and cleaning compulsions; •  Ordering and repeating, which relates to checking, ordering, counting or repeating rituals; •  Hoarding, which is about the need to retain objects and fear of throwing things away; and •  Intrusive, taboo thoughts about aggression, sexuality, and religion (Bernstein, Victor, Nelson, & Lee, 2013). OCD manifests in varying levels of severity and currently, the severity of compulsions is primarily diagnosed during visits to doctors’ offices, where doctors rely on patients’ and parents’ description of symptoms for diagnosis and treatment decisions. Methodology Video recording was used in studies of mental health, primarily as a data collection tool related to the observation of adult human behavior (Bromley, Mikesell, Mates, Smith, & Brekke, 2011; Nolan & Volavka, 2006; Zor, Hermesh, Szechtman, & Eilam, 2009; Zor, Fineberg, Eilam, & Hermesh, 2011; Wahl, Salkovskis, & Cotter, 2008). The benefits include the fact that videotaped interactions can be reviewed repeatedly, enabling both quantitative and qualitative analysis with the potential to unearth more detail in each viewing and reduc-


ing the subjectivity of field observations and of those in a clinic setting (Kim et al., 2010). This study (which was approved by the University of Minnesota’s Institutional Review Board) used video recording to observe the behaviors of 18 children with OCD and 21 matched healthy controls, a total of 39 children ages 5-17 in 2014. Once written informed consent was obtained from parents and children, the project coordinator administered standardized tests to assess the children’s level of OCD severity. These tests were completed by both the child and the parent. The College of Design’s role was instrumental in forming the study’s focus, as well as in staging and determining the everyday tasks that the children would undertake as part of the study. The College of Design members’ advocacy for the relevance of environmental parameters in physical, mental, and emotional well-being helped focus the primary research questions on the role of the environment in affecting OCD and how to use this understanding for better diagnosis and treatment. Several tasks were created in an experimental setting to help identify and quantify behavioral markers in youths with OCD compared with healthy controls. The first step in the process was an extensive review of the literature that shed light on environmental parameters already documented in the home, from flooring to doors and colors, and the OCD-related conditions associated with these design features. Gaps in the literature were also identified for spaces and features either unaffected or not addressed in studies—see Figure 1 for a summary of the findings. Using that knowledge, the College of Design team collaborated with the rest of the team members to create a pilot study around three key environmental parameters: a table, a sink, and visual patterns that can impact OCD compulsions, particularly ordering and repeating rituals and handwash-

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Figure 1. Review of literature summary ing compulsions. The experiments took place in the College of Design’s Travelers Innovation Lab, located in Northrop Hall on the University of Minnesota campus. Five Hero GoPro cameras were mounted to the ceiling above each station to record each task.

Free Arrangement on a Table

Discussion and Analysis Below we elaborate on three of the tasks that were part of the pilot study and the findings from analyzing the video recordings. As you will see, being able to observe videos of behaviors allowed for a more thorough understanding of OCD behaviors that cannot be achieved through an office visit:

Figure 2. Free arrangement on a table task With this task, we turned our attention to a table top to better understand how children’s behavior relates to furniture. Although the importance of claiming space for children’s development has been studied academically, much of the attention

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has focused on scales larger than a piece of furniture, such as the ability of children to play outdoors (Harten, Olds, & Dollman, 2008; Van Ingen & Halas, 2006). Similarly, calls to study design elements and their affordances, that is, the messages they send as to how they can be used in an intuitive way to avoid errors and accidents have been extensive (see Norman, 1988)—a chair for example is for sitting. Participants were seated on a chair by a table and provided with a box of school supplies, e.g., markers, tape, pencils, glue sticks, etc., and instructed to arrange the objects on the table in any way they chose (Figure 2). Intriguing was the finding that youths with OCD compared with controls were significantly more likely to use a smaller amount of space in completing the free arrangement task. Recognizing that the physical and spatial territories of youths with OCD are significantly constrained can expand treatment and diagnostic approaches as well as inform the development of design interventions that aid children in expanding their spatial usage. Arranging Objects in Contrasting Environments on a Rug The goal of this task was to test whether pattern had an impact on children’s ability to function. Our hypothesis was that the presence of a bold pattern, versus a plain one, would interfere with children’s ability to focus, particularly those with OCD. Subjects organized school supplies on a plain rug and also on a bold, accentuated, and intense patterned rug matching the arrangement provided on a sample card (Figure 3). The main finding was that the rug pattern did not affect how the two groups of children arranged objects. A more detailed analysis however, showed that within the OCD group, children who were rated by parents as having greater severity of attention problems and greater conduct problems used significantly less space during the task (reinforcing the findings of the Free Arrangement on a Table task).


Figure 3. The two contrasting environments test for the impact of pattern on children.

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Handwashing with a Sink

ing natural light but no direct sunlight (Figure 4). The findings pointed to OCD participants being significantly more likely than controls to exhibit ‘‘other’’ behaviors during hand washing (e.g., touching/tapping the sink, washing/drying the sink, drinking water, investigating the setup, rubbing the countertop). Closing Comments and Next Steps Employing our skills as designers, the College of Design team was instrumental at identifying contexts that included environmental elements in which we could observe and analyze behavior. The quantitative analysis of the data we collected pointed to differences between the ways that children diagnosed with OCD, and those without such a diagnosis, behave in relation to environmental design variables. These include the amount of space children with OCD claim as well as their over-engagement with environmental parameters such as the sink.

Figure 4. The handwashing station The goal of this task was to examine children’s relationship to a sink during a handwashing activity. The space was arranged to represent a typical bathroom interior with a toilet (non-working), a portable sink set into a countertop, one faucet with two handles (both dispensing cold water), and a trash can. On the countertop sink were a box of tissues, a built-in soap dispenser, two loose soap dispensers, and a linen towel. Participants also had the option of using paper towels since some children may believe cloth towels to be contaminated. A step stool was provided for smaller children to reach the sink. The sink was set under a large window fitted with roller blinds provid-

Future studies can identify and test potential design interventions. For example, in the table task, children with OCD used less space than those without. Designs of tables that include markers of potential spatial use can propel children toward an increased awareness of how their behavior can relate to space. Similarly, in the handwashing task, subjects with OCD over-engaged with parts of the sink. This is an opportunity for design to reorient focus in spaces studied by redirecting attention to environmental elements more salient to the task and away from those that propel compulsions, such as including the number “1” on faucets’ handles to communicate to users that handles must only be touched once. At the same time, a broader range of environmental parameters can be studied, ranging from color to texture and lighting. For our team, next steps also include a deeper immersion into the videos, one that allows for a more detailed understanding of how children with OCD interact with environmental parame-

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ters. A preliminary review of two videos showed for example, that in the Free Arrangement on a Table task, the bodily composure of a subject with OCD mimicked that of the table, giving her clues to squarely orient her body toward the table. The table’s rectangular shape in parallel, communicated to her solutions to how to handle the task she was given--the table’s corner for instance, became the arrangement’s starting point. Future studies can build on this knowledge and delve deeper into how the built environment is used to make the world comprehensible in the eyes of children with mental health challenges, from schizophrenia to the Tourette syndrome. Places to be studied range from homes to schools and educational environments as well as playgrounds and hospitals and increased knowledge can inform the work of parents, teachers, doctors, and nurses. As we continue to work with our partners in the Department of Psychiatry and the College of Science and Engineering, our hope is that the development of computer vision tools capable of recognizing and diagnosing OCD behaviors will expand the power of clinicians in making an early diagnosis. Although much remains to be done in the mental health arena, our experience confirms the need for designers to expand their contributions in broadening questions asked, streamlining methods, and advocating for the consideration of environmental parameters in solving grand challenges.

References American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM5®) 5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing. Bernstein, G. A., Hadjiyanni, T., Cullen, K. R., Robinson, J. W., Harris, E. C., Young, A., Fasching, J., Walczak, N., Lee, S., Morellas, V., & Papanikolopoulos, N. (2016). Use of Computer Vision Tools to Identify Behavioral Markers of Pediatric OCD: a Pilot Study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 27(2), 140-147. doi: 10.1089/cap.2016.0067. Bernstein, G. A., Victor, A. M., Nelson, P. M., & Lee, S. S. (2013). Pediatric Obsessive-compulsive Disorder: Symptom Patterns and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 2(3), 299–305. Bobes, J., Gonzalez, M. P., Bascaran, M. T., Arango, C., Saiz, P. A., & Bousono, M. (2001). Quality of Life and Disability in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. European Psychiatry, 16(4), 239--245. Bromley, E., Mikesell, L., Mates, A., Smith, M., & Brekke, J. S. (2011). A Video Ethnography Approach to Assessing the Ecological Validity of Neurocognitive and Functional Measures in Severe Mental Illness: Results from a Feasibility Study. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 38(5), 981--991. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (2016). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HHS SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fenske, J. N., & Schwenk, T. L. (2009). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Diagnosis and Management. American Family Physician, 80(3), 239-45.


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Hadjiyanni, T., Robinson, J., Young, A., & Bernstein, G. (2015). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Infusing Person-environment Questions in Studies of Mental Health. Invited for a Special Session at EDRA 46, Los Angeles, May 27-31. Harten, N., Olds, T., & Dollman, J. (2008). The Effects of Gender, Motor Skills and Play Area on the Free Play Activities of 8–11 Year Old School Children. Health & Place, 14(3), 386-393. Kim, K., Kim, S. I., Cha, K. R., Park, J., Rosenthal, M. Z., Kim, J. J., ... & Kim, C. H. (2010). Development of a Computer-Based Behavioral Assessment of Checking Behavior in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 51(1), 86-93. Lack, C. W., Storch, E. A., Keeley, M. L., Geffken, G. R., Ricketts, E. D., Murphy, T. K., & Goodman, W. K. (2009). Quality of life in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: base rates, parent–child agreement, and clinical correlates. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 44(11), 935-942.

Vickers, K., Ein, N., Koerner, N., Kusec, A., McCabe, R. E., Rowa, K., & Antony, M. M. (2017). Selfreported Hygiene-related Behaviors Among Individuals with Contamination-related Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Individuals with Anxiety Disorders, and Nonpsychiatric Controls. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 14, 71-83. Wahl, K., Salkovskis, P. M., & Cotter, I. (2008). ‘I wash until it feels right’: the Phenomenology of Stopping Criteria in obsessive–compulsive Washing. Journal of AnxietyODisorders, 22(2), 143-161. Zor, R., Fineberg, N., Eilam, D., & Hermesh, H. (2011). Video Telemetry and Behavioral Analysis Discriminate between Compulsive Cleaning and Compulsive Checking in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(11), 814-824. Zor, R., Hermesh, H., Szechtman, H., & Eilam, D. (2009). Turning Order into Chaos through Repetition and Addition of Elementary Acts in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 10(4-2), 480-487.

Nolan, K. A., & Volavka, J. (2006). Video Recording in the Assessment of Violent Incidents in Psychiatric Hospitals. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 12(1), 58-63. Norman, D. A. (1988). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books. Piacentini, J., Peris, T. S., Bergman, R. L., Chang, S., & Jaffer, M. (2007). Brief report: Functional Impairment in Childhood OCD: Development and Psychometrics Properties of the Child Obsessive-Compulsive Impact Scale-Revised (COIS-R). Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36(4), 645-653. Van Ingen, C., & Halas, J. (2006). Claiming space: Aboriginal Students within School Landscapes. Children’s Geographies, 4(3), 379-398.

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Jonee Kulman Brigham

A Different World: Designing for Systemic Change in Human-Nature Paradigms Author Biography


Jonee Kulman Brigham, AIA, LEED AP O+M, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Minnesota Design Center in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and a Fellow of the Institute on the Environment working in Sustainable Design, Green Schools and Environmental Education from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her work as an architect, educator, researcher, artist, and writer explores human-earth systems interdependence and sustainability. Her art-led experiential environmental education curriculum model called Earth Systems Journey (ESJ) has participants explore the infrastructure of their learning environments to discover the continuum between human-engineered and natural systems and is the basis of multiple grants and coursework from Pre-K to graduate level. Brigham is lead researcher and designer for Minnesota GreenStep Schools, a program to challenge, assist, and recognize K-12 schools for their progress in environmental impacts, health, and environmental education. Brigham co-authored the first NCARB monograph on sustainable design, and was a former co-leader and co-editor of the Minnesota B3 Sustainable Building Guidelines.

To address society’s environmental grand challenges, we need a better understanding of the interdependence of human and natural systems and strategies for effectively negotiating those relationships. At the root of the challenge are human-nature paradigms that contribute to our current environmental crises, for example how viewing humans as separate from the rest of nature creates an inaccurate mental map for understanding and responding to our inherent ecological interconnections. Designers can improve their impact on the rest of nature by reducing the negative lifecycle effects of their designs. But designers can also work further upstream—beyond the apparent boundaries of their disciplines—to question and improve the mental maps of the human relationship to the rest of nature, and redesign the foundations for systemic change. The author describes the case for infrastructure as a place for designers to engage in paradigm change and includes an example of her interpretive work in this area that explores the interconnection between human and natural infrastructure. Other opportunities for designers to work with paradigms are discussed, including how to stay flexible by collaborating with other disciplines as well as other species.

Author Note Conflict of Interest: Jonee Kulman Brigham is the owner of Full Spring Studio, LLC, which owns the Earth Systems Journey curriculum model referenced in this article. This relationship has been reviewed and managed by the University of Minnesota in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.


Keywords Human-nature paradigms, infrastructure, design, curriculum, systems

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A Different World: Designing for Systemic Change in Human-Nature Paradigms PART I: Premise, Problem, and the Call to Design One day, when I was taking my boys to childcare, we encountered a beautiful bird as we walked up the tree-lined entry path. It had grey and lavender feathers, some of them iridescent. We paused to appreciate this fellow creature. After I dropped my boys off and I was leaving the building, another mother and her son were entering. I heard her say to him, with an irritated tone, “what a stupid bird.” It was the same bird. It was a different world. It was just a pigeon. That is the mainstream story. The pigeon does not enjoy the value our culture places on the rare, the exclusive, or the novel. It has no market value. Yet the urban pigeon (actually a “rock dove,” Columba livia,) is an integral part of our urban ecosystem and culture, eating human garbage, providing companionship to park visitors, and providing food for peregrine falcons (Kaufman, 2014). But many see the pigeon as an urban pest that doesn’t belong. The pigeon story is a microcosm of the conflicting views we hold about the rest of nature. There are many places we might call “natural” where some see beauty and complex communities of animal relatives while others see timber or mineral rights. Whatever we see, scientists from ecology to public health tell us that our human fate is intertwined with our world’s ecosystems. With a culture that is largely blind to this reality, our current unsustainable path is enabled by our view of humans as separate from nature, and by how we approach our relationship: superior, linear, extractive, and controlling. This way of thinking has led to policies and practices that have created multiple “grand challenges” including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and ocean acidification. We are venturing outside our planetary boundaries which define

our safe operating space that supports human life (Steffen et al., 2015). From pigeons to the planet, our underlying ideas about the world—our paradigms – affect how we perceive our environment and how we act toward it. To create a sustainable future, we need new paradigms that provide a more accurate mental map of our interdependence. This is upstream work that lays the foundation for all other change. Seeing a different world can lead to making a different world. What might new paradigms mean then for designers who are responsible for making so much of the world? This paper explores how designers can work toward a better world by finding their place in larger systems and integrating paradigm change into their practice to improve human-nature relationships. PART II: Guiding Concepts and the Role of Design To set the stage, I’ll first clarify four concepts used in the paper including “designer,” “systems thinking,” the “better world,” and “human-nature paradigms.” Guiding Concepts Designer: By “designer,” I mean all design disciplines, but also the design impulse that exists in all people who envision a better future and make plans to get there. While I will often refer to design and designers in general, my training and orientation is in architecture and many of the examples will refer to architecture. However, many of the ideas have relevance for any design discipline. Whether the design of cities, landscapes, interiors, apparel, products, graphics, or user experiences— all shape our human environment and experience, and all affect our human-nature relationships. Furthermore, almost all aspects of our human-made lives are designed, or at least have a design that can be changed such as our economic models, our system of government, or our standards of ethics.

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Systems Thinking: “Systems thinking” is a lens throughout the discussion and is succinctly defined by a leading thinker in the field, Peter Senge, as “…a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing ‘patterns of change’ rather than static snapshots (Senge, 1990).” Systems thinking is used in design, even if not by name, and is a skill that designers use to negotiate relationships to achieve a desired result. Systems thinking is also recognized as a critical skill in designing for grand challenges (Grohs et al., 2018). Better World: The concept of a “better world” is, of course, not well-defined and it depends on the location as well as who you are asking. Its definition is often approximated by what it is not. For this discussion, the desired world is not threatened by the climate crisis, it is not a world of inequity and hunger. It is not a world of conflicts over resource scarcity and environmental pollution. It is not a world of mass extinctions. The different and better world we desire is one where these grand challenges for human society and the planet have been addressed and do not consume our attention, nor have us fearing for our children’s future. A positive vision is needed and imagining what that is and designing how to get there is “The Great Work” of our time, as Thomas Berry (1999) says, in which we need “…to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.” Human-Nature Paradigms: The focus of the paper is “human-nature paradigms.” These mindsets or world views are underlying ways of seeing and understanding the relationship between humans and nature. In exploring these paradigms, the words used, such as “nature,” can be slippery in meaning since words are parts of paradigms embodied in language. Does nature include humans or is it defined by what is not human? Which humans are being considered? These paradigms are neither static nor homogenous. For


example, in North America, one could trace the evolution of multiple human-nature paradigms. Indigenous Peoples’ often view humans as an integral subset of larger natural systems, in a relationship of reciprocity (Kimmerer, 2014; Peacock & Wisuri, 2002). This paradigm is in stark contrast with the “second creation” narrative of the European settlers, who saw it as their mission to improve upon what they saw as God’s first creation by making the most productive use of the land – clearing trees for farms, laying cartesian property grids over nature’s curves, or damming rivers for hydro power (Nye, 2003). Conservationists like Aldo Leopold and John Muir pushed back on this narrative, with paradigms of nature’s aesthetic, spiritual, and recreational value (Philippon, 2005). Leo Marx, in the Machine in the Garden (1964/2000), articulated the history of a tense and conflicted relationship between human technology with human appreciation of the pastoral landscape. Now we have the “Anthropocene,” a paradigm of human dominance of the planet’s geology and ecology, which could be seen as a “second creation” story writ large and with unintended, and undesired consequences (Brigham, 2017). Marx’s ‘machine’ has conquered (and spoiled) the world. My own feeling is that we will be best served by a human-nature paradigm that integrates humans and their technology within a larger hierarchy of Earth-systems, and is based on principles of mutual care and humility (Brigham, 2017). The Role of Design in Systemic Change There are many roles for designers in making systemic change for better human-nature relationships. For designers seeking greater impact, exploring the dynamics of systemic change is a good place to start. There are many theories for how systems change. To frame the discussion, this article uses ideas from systems analyst Donella Meadows. After decades of modeling the interaction of human and natural systems, Meadows (2008) ranked places to intervene in systems according

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Figure 1. “Places to Intervene in a System,” adapted from Donella Meadows (Meadows & Wright, 2008). their leverage. Design can inform all levels of system interventions, and all levels are important.

levels, but the focus of this paper is on a higher leverage point: paradigms.

While design and design thinking could apply to any of these areas, designers are often associated with the physical manifestations of their designs such as buildings, cities, or consumer products, which fit best under Meadow’s item #10 “Stock and Flow Structures-Physical Systems and their nodes of intersection.” But as Meadows writes, “Physical structure is crucial in a system, but is rarely a leverage point because changing it is rarely quick or simple. The leverage point is in proper design in the first place.” This highlights one of the challenges for designers trying to create systemic change. So many of our cities and buildings are already built and incremental changes in new construction don’t allow innovation at the pace of the environmental, humanitarian, and climate problems we face. Furthermore, design innovation is constrained by all the other leverage points (eg. codes, zoning, economic frameworks.) This drives some frustrated designers to move into higher leverage areas such as policy making, or developing environmental guidelines, or becoming client-owners themselves to help influence the constraints and goals of the system. There is important design work to be done at each of these

Paradigms: A Place for High-Leverage Design At Meadow’s higher leverage points is the power of paradigm. She describes how all the other leverage points flow out of shared, and often unspoken societal beliefs, saying “Paradigms are the sources of systems.” In some ways paradigms seem easy to change since they are neither material nor mandated in policy. But because they underpin culture and all its components, Meadows (2008) notes that they can be very resistant to change. The tension between paradigms in transition is illustrated by our current climate predicament as we shift from a fossil fuel, endless-growth paradigm to one of renewable energy sources and limits to our expansion. A paradigm shift can have far-reaching implications with resistance from deep and embedded vested interests in the status quo. But revolutions in science, values, ethics, and economic theories have occurred over time, so there’s no reason that our human-nature paradigms can’t change too— and as noted earlier, they have changed over time. Meadows suggests that the way to work at paradigm change is to get perspective on the system as

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a whole, then point to the flaws and inconsistencies in old paradigms, while promoting new ones. Designers inadvertently contribute to the inertia in paradigms via their creations which reflect current ways of seeing that last into the future through products, buildings, and cities with planned layouts of trees, roads, parks, and transit. The products of design embody the material culture that future archeologists will use to interpret the paradigms of our time. But they also shape us today. Environmental education leader David Orr (2012) says our built environments have a ‘hidden curriculum’ that teach us about values, whether on purpose or by default. Designers creations are not inert. They either support or challenge existing paradigms. Despite the inertia around products of design, designers are well positioned to innovate our human-nature paradigms due to their creativity and ability to integrate multiple perspectives and issues toward new solutions. PART III: An Example: Infrastructure as a Secret Architecture of Interdependence My own frustration with working for systemic change at Meadow’s lower leverage points spurred me move further upstream to engage the medium of paradigms through art and interdisciplinary work. Of particular interest in my work is the paradigm-shaping and paradigm-reflecting role of infrastructure that supports the built environment such as piped running water and sewers, ductwork, electrical transmission, wiring, and natural gas lines. By concealing and downplaying these parts of the environment that are physical evidence of our interdependence, we enable the false paradigm of our independence from nature. Relegating infrastructure connections to the backs and undersides of buildings reinforces that these connections are not central to the meaning of our places, but instead are unfortunate, industrial consequences of comfort and convenience. The concealment has consequences. As Howard Fromm (1996), a writer of ecocriticism notes, “... it


becomes apparent that man has failed to see that now, as in the past, the roots of his being are in the earth; and he has failed to see this because Nature, whose effects on man were formerly immediate, is now mediated by technology so that it appears that technology and not Nature is actually responsible for everything.” But of course, we actually are dependent on nature for air, water, light, food, and climate. In fact, our interdependence with natural systems is a theme that runs throughout sustainability literature as a common paradigm understood as a necessary premise for sustainable development (Edwards, 2005). Then perhaps infrastructure is an area ripe for redesign if we want our built environment to support sustainable ways of being in the world. If water is the source of life, why does it enter our buildings in such a trivial and hidden way? We have come far from scooping water from a stream, but despite all the convenience of modern plumbing it also deprives us of a direct understanding of how our potable water is connected to nature, and thus how we are connected to nature in our everyday lives. However, even if we had the desire to remake all our infrastructure to express a more connected and honored place for the natural elements in our lives, the task seems unapproachable. Design is slow to change due to inertia in the design profession and client attitudes, and the expansive scale of the existing built environment makes for a seemingly unsurmountable design task. The bulk of our built environment appears stuck in old paradigms, resistant to changing form. But what about changing the paradigm itself? Could we design a way to perceive our interdependence despite our physical environment that tries to conceal the evidence? Can designers intervene between form and its perception? Sarah Williams Goldhagen (2017), in her book, Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives, draws from psychology, embodied cognition, and other research to explore the role of the built environment on humans. She notes that it

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is not just physical comfort and functional layout of space that impacts us, but that the quality of the built environment actually shapes our perceptions of the world and our wellbeing profoundly. The built environment is not completely determinant in this effect however, and nor is our physiology. Each person comes into a built environment with different experiences and associations – a kind of paradigm filter that affects their perception of their environment. This filter is fertile ground for design.

Earth Systems Journey: Remapping Paradigm Filters Since 2010 I’ve been designing what could be called a “paradigm-filter” for human-environment relationships (Brigham, 2012). “Earth Systems Journey,” is an art-led curriculum model for placebased, experiential environmental education. The model takes learners on a journey to reveal the infrastructure that forms the physical interconnections between their built learning environment, along infrastructure distribution (such as

Figure 2. Earth Systems Journey Diagram (© Full Spring Studio, LLC).

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pipes or power lines) through human-engineered technologies for processing resources, to the natural systems from which and to which they connect, both upstream and downstream. The work aims to foster an embodied experience of the paradigm of our interdependence, —or more so our integration —with the natural world. The model has been implemented from Pre-K through college level to reveal interconnections of drinking water, storm water, and electric power systems. The mission of Earth Systems Journey is to help participants connect and contribute to the world around them. My intention is that their idea of the “world around them” gets expanded, as they experience their infrastructure which physically demonstrates their interdependence. As described in its web page, Earth Systems Journey (ESJ) is a curriculum framework for art-led, experiential, place-based environmental education about environmental flows, (such as water, air, energy or material) through the school building and grounds. ESJ is an approach that teaches ecological and environmental content, principles, analysis and decision skills in way that shows how human-engineered systems are integrated with natural systems. At its core, the design of an Earth Systems Journey is to make a special journey starting from a place of personal experience, following a flow of interest to its source and destination, as far as you can, so that when you return to where you started, your view of that place and its flows is transformed by knowing the larger story that runs through it and the places, and people and natural elements that live in relation to it. What makes the journey “special” is its composition as a transformative experience paying attention to props, interactive and expressive activities, participatory storytelling, and time to reflect and integrate the experience into a personal story. By using the natural learning form of story, complex systems can be made both engaging, and comprehensible. (Brigham, 2014)


The concept is a designed experience based on the narrative form Joseph Campbell (1949/2008) describes as a “Hero’s Journey,” as shown in Figure 2. In this adaptation of the form, the heroes are the participants, their starting point (home place) is their learning environment focusing on a particular point within it such as a drinking fountain or light switch (flow node). Their call to adventure is to find out where the water (or other resource) comes from, where it goes, and what happens along the way, as well as any other quests that are developed by a collaborative teaching team. There are five key design features of the journey (Brigham, 2012). First, is engaging with infrastructure, introduced above. The design of the journey follows the authentic path along infrastructure upstream and downstream of the flow node. For example, it is not enough to visit any water treatment plant, the actual water treatment plant that connects to the drinking fountain of focus is visited, and it is visited in order, starting further upstream at the river where water is sourced, along underground pipes, through the treatment plant, a water tower, water meter, and finally to the drinking fountain itself, where the participants have a sip. Drawing from the tradition of pilgrimages, participants have an embodied experience, retracing the path of flow, and engaging with it by scooping water at the river and drinking from the fountain. Here, instead of following the footsteps of a religious or cultural figure, participants are following the path of water, and in so doing, honoring it as worthy of following and knowing. The second main design element is place-based experience which overlaps with the prior description. As with place-based education, working in the immediate environment of the participants fosters a sense of personal relevance with the content. It also creates a reference in their environment that can hold the memory of this experience every time they encounter the places that were part of their journey. For example, once a participant goes on a water journey, the drinking foun-

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tain is layered with new meanings and stories each time they encounter it. It is not just that they have spent time with that particular place, they’ve had an experience that reveals the interconnection between places, and their dependence on the flows that pass through those places. The goal of this goes beyond ‘place attachment’ to a conception of ‘self/place unity’ (Brigham, 2016). This connection to place is informed by traditions of space sacralization, which is also supported by the third major design element. The third design element is Narrative-Aesthetic Experience. This is a term I coined to capture some of the qualities of ceremonial or ritualistic activity while avoiding the religious associations with those terms. Narrative-aesthetic experience is designed sensory experience to support a story or narrative. For example, in a project called Power Systems Journey, undergraduate students posed for photos with a chosen skull specimen at a natural history museum in an activity described as “receiving light from the grid.” This activity, of posing with a chosen specimen after learning about the lighting system that makes viewing the specimen possible, reinforces a three-way relationship between the participant, the skull, and the light that falls on the skull and reflects into the eye of the student. The light, at first effectively invisible, is now invoked as a new character in the journey through the electric grid and the narrative. The fourth and fifth features are Story Telling and Service. These complete the final leg of the hero’s journey, after the story of water (or power or other resource) has been followed. This represents the return from adventure back to community. Participants create GIS story maps to share the story of their travels and what they learned with their parents and the public. The story maps also serve a purpose to visually symbolize the connections they have discovered. The entirety of the connected landscapes cannot be conceived at once in person, so the maps stand in to represent the collected experiences over space and time. The ser-

vice project is an outlet to express the growing stewardship mindset that comes from learning about the flow of water or other resource. This can take the form of restorative planting in a wetland or a digital communications piece that promotes environmentally responsible behavior, or other contributing action to protect the resource. PART IV: Roles of the Designer in Changing Human-Nature Paradigms The prior example is largely about re-interpreting the paradigms in the built world in order to question them and offer alternatives, revealing infrastructure as a secret architecture of interdependence between humans and the rest of nature. Designers are often engaged in interpretive work as part of their practice, translating client cultures into form, and conveying meanings of a designed work to the public or audience. The next sections will walk through how designers can impact human-nature paradigms by playing a number of roles: interpreter, evaluator, author, maker, and systems collaborator. Designer as Interpreter: Remapping the World One way designers can affect paradigms as interpreters is through educational work like the previous example. In addition to teaching, designers can integrate education with the built environment through interpretive signage, and storytelling. For example, as southern plantation museums increasingly include slave perspectives, the perception of place and associations with its forms will change as will the understanding of multiple relationships between humans and the land. Designers who work in historic preservation support a paradigm of value in history, whichever threads of history they bring forth. Designers have a role to help interpret which histories get told about places, as the meanings of places and their forms evolve. Every time a designer communicates about their own or others’ work, they are

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conveying paradigms—both by what they say, and what they don’t. Even in drawings, the extent of the drawing and what is shown belies a human-nature paradigm. On one end of the spectrum is the drawing of a project where the world ends at the property line and what little nature might be shown is a decorative afterthought or hedge to comply with ordinances. At the other end of the spectrum could be examples rooted in the Ian McHarg (1969/1992) tradition of examining the many natural functions of a place, and letting project proposals emerge from the interconnected complexity. This is not to say that an owner or architect has control beyond a property line, or that required interactions were not considered, but the rendering of the project conveys a story about the meaning of a place and its relative independence or interdependence with natural surroundings. Designer as Evaluator: Applying Paradigms of Responsibility Designers can also create or use “green” rubrics for evaluating the proposals or products of design that shape the way design is perceived and valued. Green building labeling and recognition programs are one way designers have shifted paradigms of design. The design of ‘green labels’ tells a story of building design, and fosters a paradigm filter for the perception of a place or product. For example, buildings earning recognition in the LEED rating system often lease out faster than otherwise comparable buildings. While some green building guidelines seem to focus on details and not paradigms, most are rooted in paradigm shifts about the role of the designer and built environment. For example, by including criteria about how a material was sourced—such as recycled content, or locally produced materials—the timeline of concern for a designer is effectively lengthened far before the contract period. Similarly, guidelines that encourage land fill diversion, or design for scenarios to reuse a building for dif-


ferent functions expand the timeline of concern far into the future. Green building guidelines can also expand the scope of concern, for example by including criteria for using minority-owned businesses or favoring sites that minimize demand for new transportation or expanded infrastructure (Kulman & Schurke, 2001). All of these strategies change the paradigm of buildings from discrete commodities commissioned for a client, to recognizing them as interventions in larger societal and ecological systems, with responsibilities beyond building codes and immediate surroundings. Initially green building guidelines were responses to problems, caused by unhealthy and inaccurate human-nature paradigms that did not consider the impact of design on larger human and natural systems. They were valuable responses to symptoms that expanded the idea of the designer’s role. Some later green building guidelines go further, challenging the division of human-engineered and natural systems and modeling design after circular patterns in nature, in place of unsustainable linear, extractive processes. Green guideline approaches like Living Building Institute (Living Building Challenge 4.0, 2019), Cradle to Cradle (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, 2020), or Regenerative Design (Nugent et al., 2016), don’t just target particular problematic supply or waste streams, but start with whole systems paradigms of closed loops recognizing design as an intervention in larger earth systems. Designer as Author: Naming New Stories Design philosophers and authors can have strong influence on human-nature paradigms of design through writing whether it is intended for other designers, the public, or both. In Gentle Architecture, Malcom Wells (1981) critiqued the consume-waste cycle of the building industry and proposed new visions and ideas about an architecture that could live in harmony with nature rather than dominate and consume it. His conceptual score card for Wilderness Values, proposed grad-

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ing building projects compared to wilderness for how well they behaved like a living system or not. Contemporary approaches like the Living Building Challenge mentioned above have roots that trace back to thinking like this. William McDonough’s book Cradle to Cradle (2002), had wide popular appeal to those interested in environmentalism as well as influencing architects. Paradigms like “waste equals food” were compelling and understandable concepts as part of a vision for a circular economy based on principles of nature. Biomimicry (Benyus, 1997/2002) shows how designers can learn from and be inspired by ways that other species and natural systems have solved functional problems, such as how to make materials or grow food. Daniel Christian Wahl in Designing Regenerative Cultures (2016) draws from many sources to explore how we can go beyond design for or with or from nature, but design as nature – a paradigm that goes beyond interdependence to integration where humans are within an ecological whole with the rest of nature. He defines the design task: “How does life create conditions conducive to life?” While many of these books suggest practical steps for designers to take, they also do upstream paradigm work to help reimagine the story of the human-nature relationship. Designer as Maker: Building New Geographies As designers shift their own paradigms about human-nature relationships they can express these paradigms in form to support new ways of inhabiting and perceiving space. Where do humans belong in nature? Where does nature belong in human environments? Revisiting the urban pigeon, we find its story is a mirror of our minds, reflecting ideas about human-nature relationships in land use and how humans and nature occupy space. Colin Jerolmack (2008), Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at New York University, conducted a study of human perception of pigeons over time, examining 155 years of New York Times articles for clues about chang-

ing human attitudes toward the pigeon. Drawing from literature of human-nature paradigm scholars, he argues that part of why we problematize animals like the pigeon, is that they violate the “imaginative geographies” we have constructed about where humans belong and where nature belongs. Pigeons happily invade “our” space, our sidewalks, and our building ledges. But over time, as we invite more nature into our cities, the perceived boundary of human and natural spaces is becoming blurred and the pigeon is finding more acceptance (Soniak, 2016). Like the pigeon, infrastructure seems to violate our imagined geographic distinctions of human and natural environments. Just where does the natural water in the river, turn into the tap water in the sink? When does solar energy embodied in the buried carbon of past life forms – as coal or oil – transform to the electromagnetic energy transmitting from a lamp? The interconnections are gray areas, and so we bury them or hide them in mechanical rooms to sustain the illusion of our separate human geography. Designers can plan the built environment in a way that conveys an integrated geography where our buildings and cities are perceived as continuous with the larger natural systems to which they belong. For example, designers blur the boundaries between human and natural systems when they integrate green infrastructure into public places, or open up piped streams to re-naturalize stormwater drainage paths. Sculptural solar arrays can integrate natural energy from the sun with community identity. Designers can help us see that we make our homes within nature (albeit altered) not just using its resources. Designer as Systems Collaborator: Transcending Boundaries and Paradigms Another opportunity for designers to work with paradigms is to venture beyond the boundaries of design disciplines and work with other disciplines and sectors. Designers can be valuable members

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of interdisciplinary innovation teams, reinventing land development, agriculture, and health care to better meet society’s goals. These other fields have already expressed interest in collaborating with designers to integrate design thinking into their approaches. But, if designers only export their design thinking skills without a critical eye for paradigms they may only succeed in maintaining unsustainable systems in innovative ways.

designers are more likely to encounter the flaws or limits in their own views stemming from disciplinary isolation as well as enjoy the spacious possibilities in exploring new paradigms. Expansive collaborations across disciplines, sectors, cultures, and continents can hone designers’ metacognition about their own paradigms and make them more effective at using paradigms in designing for systemic change.

By collaborating on teams outside their own sector, designers have a chance to enlarge their impact, to go big on the grand challenges of our time, and bring their unique skills of design thinking to participate in systemic change. In his book, Designing Our Way to a Better World, Tom Fisher (2016), leading architectural thinker and author, and Director of the Minnesota Design Center (where I work), articulates many societal systems where designers can contribute. Expanding on the earlier philosophy of Lewis Mumford, he makes a call for designers to act as public intellectuals, bringing skills and insights to education, infrastructure, public health, politics, economics, and even our belief systems. In a time where complete transformation is needed in so many sectors, it is “all hands on deck,” and designers should be among the first to sign up. Similarly, Richard Farson (2008), a psychologist and Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, calls for the expansion of the designer’s role to practice “metadesign” that transforms the world and serves the needs of people.

PART V: Toward a Different World

By transcending disciplinary boundaries, designers can also increase their own capacity for systems change. Donella Meadows includes another place to intervene in systems that has even higher influence than paradigms, and that is the ability to transcend paradigms. This guards against getting stuck in stale ways of seeing and opens doors to explore multiple viewpoints that serve emerging values and ideas. Design practices supporting this highest leverage point include interdisciplinary collaboration, cultivating humility, and engagement with diverse groups. With these approaches,


Designers can work with human-nature paradigms as interpreters, evaluators, authors, makers, and system collaborators toward a different world that is more sustainable and equitable. They can notice and question the paradigms that have led us to our current crises. They can listen to different perspectives and together, tell new stories about the design process and the products of design, re-writing the “hidden curriculum” of the world around us. And, they can design new or regenerated processes, products, and environments with fresh paradigms for a new era. This can enrich the work of design, engage them with new collaborators, and increase the relevance and value of designers’ work to society. Productive collaboration can even extend to other species as we learn about and from the rest of nature. For sport and in times of war, rock doves were bred as homing pigeons to carry messages across distant geographies. Based on their unhesitant boundary-crossing behavior, we might assume that the pigeon imagines a different world than we do – one that is continuous rather than divided. If we apprentice ourselves to our fellow creatures, perhaps we can also imagine integrated geographies where plants, people, pavement, and pigeons share the planet and all belong together.

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Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (pp. 30–39). University of Georgia Press.

Benyus, J. M. (1997/2002). Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Perennial. Berry, T. (2000). The Great Work: Our Way into the Future (Reprint edition). Broadway Books. Brigham, J. K. (2012). Downstream/Upstream: A Systems Journey for Experiential Education and Placemaking. University of Minnesota. Brigham, J. K. (2014). About. Earth Systems Journey. Brigham, J. K. (2016). River Journey: Art-led, Placebased, Experiential Environmental Education. Journal of Sustainability Education, 11. Brigham, J. K. (2017). From domination to a caring ecology: Healing paradigms and creative practices for the Apprenticene. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 4(3). https://doi. org/10.24926/ijps.v4i3.170 Campbell, J. (1949/2008). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New World Library. Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. (2020). Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Edwards, A. R. (2005). The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. New Society Publishers. Farson, R. E. (2008). The power of design: A force for transforming everything.

Goldhagen, S. W. (2017). Welcome to your world: How the built environment shapes our lives (First edition). Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. Grohs, J. R., Kirk, G. R., Soledad, M. M., & Knight, D. B. (2018). Assessing systems thinking: A tool to measure complex reasoning through ill-structured problems. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 28, 110–130. Jerolmack, C. (2008). How Pigeons Became Rats: The Cultural-Spatial Logic of Problem Animals. Social Problems, 55(1), 72–94. https://doi. org/10.1525/sp.2008.55.1.72 Kaufman, K. (2014, November 13). Rock Pigeon. Audubon. bird/rock-pigeon Kimmerer, R. W. (2014). Braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Milkweed Editions. Kulman, J., & Schurke, J. (2001). Sustainable Design. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards]. Living Building Challenge 4.0. (2019). International Living Future Institute. lbc4/, Marx, L. (1964/2000). The machine in the garden: Technology and the pastoral ideal in America. Oxford University Press.

Fisher, T. (2016). Designing our way to a better world. University of Minnesota Press.

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make things (1st ed). North Point Press.

Fromm, H. (1996). From Transcendence to Obsolescence. In C. Glotfelty & H. Fromm (Eds.), The

McHarg, I. L. (1969/1992). Design with nature (25th anniversary ed). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Meadows, D. H., & Wright, D. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea Green Pub. Nugent, S., Packard, A., Brabon, E., & Vierra, S. (2016, August 5). Living, Regenerative, and Adaptive Buildings | WBDG—Whole Building Design Guide. WBDG—Whole Building Design Guide. living-regenerative-and-adaptive-buildings

------------------Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to: Jonee Kulman Brigham,

Nye, D. E. (2003). America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings. MIT Press. Orr, D. W. (2004). Earth in Mind. Island Press. Peacock, T. D., & Wisuri, M. (2002). Ojibwe waasa inaabidaa = we look in all directions. Minnesota Historical Society Press. Philippon, D. J. (2004). Conserving Words: How American Nature Writers Shaped the Environmental Movement. University of Georgia Press. Senge, P. M. (1990). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Doubleday/Currency. Soniak, M. (2016, November 14). The Origins of Our Misguided Hatred for Pigeons. Audubon. the-origins-our-misguided-hatred-pigeons Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S. E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E. M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S. R., Vries, W. de, Wit, C. A. de, Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G. M., Persson, L. M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B., & Sörlin, S. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223), 1259855. Wahl, D. C. (2016). Designing regenerative cultures. Triarchy Press. Wells, M. (1981). Gentle Architecture. McGraw-Hill.


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Section VII

Design Practice / Community of Practice in Product Design Studios


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Barry Kudrowitz, Monica Rush, & Krystianna Johnson Community of Practice in Product Design Studios

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Community of Practice in Product Design Studios Barry Kudrowitz, Monica Rush, & Krystianna Johnson Author Biographies Barry Kudrowitz is an associate professor and director of product design at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying humor, creativity, and idea generation. Kudrowitz co-designed a Nerf toy, an elevator simulator that is in operation at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., and a ketchup-dispensing robot that was featured on the Martha Stewart Show. More information can be found at www. Monica Rush, SM Engineering Systems : Technology & Policy from MIT, is Director of Responsible Design & Strategy at Target Corporation, where her work has supported brands from concept through product launch across consumer electronics, home goods and furniture. She has been involved in Product Design Studios at both MIT and UMN as a lecturer, lab instructor and mentor As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Krystianna Johnson crafted an individualized degree emphasizing in three disciplines of personal interest - product design, education, and psychology. During this time she also completed a research project studying creativity and play and presented this research at two conferences. Since 2012, she has worked with classes in the product design program at the university. Throughout her career with the College of Design she has held a variety of titles including teaching specialist, lab instructor, mentor program manager, engagement coordinator, and she currently serves as a board member and president elect for the Design Student and Alumni Board. Along


with a group of mentor colleagues from the product design Community of Practice, Johnson is a founding member of Yes, Let’s! - a creative collective of designers, engineers, and artists who collaborate to create public art installation projects. Their work has been featured multiple years at one of the Twin Cities’ largest interactive art festivals, Northern Spark. Abstract: A Community of Practice (CoP) is a term used to describe a group of people “who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015). Learning can be the primary goal of the CoP or it can simply be an incidental outcome. For something to be a CoP, it must have 1) members with a shared domain of interest with varying levels of expertise, 2) an environment in which everyone learns from each other, and 3) the members must actually be practicing the domain as opposed to simply discussing it. This learning model has a natural synergy with traditional design studio education in which industry representatives, students, and academics come together regularly around a common design interest to learn from each other and to produce real design work. Prior research shows that CoP is beneficial for efficient and effective learning of tacit knowledge (such as design skills) as well as building social capital. This chapter will discuss methods in which community of practice is embraced in our product design program to enhance the learning experience of the students and to create a self-sustaining education model that benefits the students, the academic institute, and industry.

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Keywords: Community of Practice, design education, design studio, codesign, project-based learning, active learning INtroduction As design educators, studio classes are a common learning model in how we introduce students to our respective fields (architecture, landscape architecture, interior, graphic, apparel, and product design). This “so-called ‘traditional’ teaching method in art and design, has relied very heavily on a one-on-one tutorial that generally takes place between the [instructor] and the student as a discussion about the particular project on which the student is working (Swann, 2002)”. This model can be designed to mirror industry or introduce practices not yet present in industry. It is a means of teaching tacit skills. It allows students to learn in parallel with peers to develop their individual styles, the physical skills required of the discipline, and the necessary social skills of giving and receiving critique. The theory of Community of Practice in educational research has a natural synergy with traditional design studio education (Williams, 2017; Shreeve, 2007; Drew, 2004). A Community of Practice (CoP) is a term used to describe a group of people “who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015). The design studio model is almost a CoP in that it involves industry representatives, students, and academics coming together regularly around a common design interest to learn from each other and to produce design work based on real needs/problems/challenges. Swann illustrates several common concerns about the studio model with a set of questions: “Can we really go on relying so heavily on this system which takes up so much time and is undeniably

uneconomic? (2002)” This chapter will discuss the theory of Community of Practice as it relates to design education, and illustrate specific examples of how it is celebrated in the Product Design Program at the University of Minnesota to enhance the learning experience of the students and to create a self-sustaining education model that benefits the students, the academic institute, and industry. By mapping the CoP framework to the design studio model, we can illuminate latent opportunities for innovation in design education. Background on Community of Practice Wenger’s Communities of Practice are based on the idea that much of learning happens in a social context. Communities of Practice were first posited by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger in their 1991 book Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation and then expanded on in Wenger’s follow-up book Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity (1998). Together these books establish a social theory of learning. They are seminal works in the field of education theory, referenced by thousands and applied in fields as varied as primary school education to large-scale organizational management. Prior research shows that CoP is beneficial for efficient and effective learning of tacit knowledge (such as design skills) as well as building social capital (Garrety, Robertson, and Badham, 2004). Three interrelated dimensions define Wenger’s communities of practice: mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and a shared repertoire. Mutual engagement means that the members of community of practice have a direct relationship with one another: “people are engaged in actions whose meanings they negotiate with one another” (Wenger 1998). Wenger stresses that membership in a “community of practice” is not “just a matter of social category, declaring allegiance, belonging to an organization, having a title, or having personal relations with some people.” Instead, it has an element of dependence on one another, where

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the functional relationships complement each other and members are working to complete or perform some “shared practice.” In a CoP, being a member requires more than just applying, attending meetings, and listening. A CoP requires active participation and collaboration from all parties. Although the world is getting more digitally connected and new technologies allow for virtual meetings, a CoP requires being physically present to physically interact and physically create things together. In short, the members of the CoP must all be actively practicing the domain together as opposed to simply discussing it or passively learning about topics. The second element, joint enterprise, is the result of mutual engagement between the members of the “community of practice.” This element is the common purpose that unites the members. The purpose is as much defined by the end product of the engagement as by the process itself. Learning could be the primary goal of the CoP, but it can also simply be an incidental outcome. Similar to what makes an activity play, the CoP is engaged primarily to experience the processes involved and is not driven primarily by the end result. Through this process of negotiation and engagement, members of the community attain a sense of mutual accountability that is important in strengthening the community itself. In this process, the group creates its own identity. In the CoP environment, everyone learns from each other and people hold each other accountable. The final element, shared repertoire, is a library of “routines, words, tools, ways of doing things, stories, gestures, symbols, genres, actions, or concepts that the community has produced or adopted in the course of its existence and which have become part of its practice” (Wenger 1998). These are all the little things that make the collective unique (like inside jokes shared amongst friends or the vernacular of an industry). The CoP develops its own processes, methods, tools, jargon, rituals, and events, of which the members embrace and take


part in developing and evolving. This repertoire of stuff is always under continual development and is a direct result of the joint enterprise. Although it is encouraged to have varying levels of expertise and diversity in membership, all members are united by the joint enterprise and the resulting shared repertoire. According to Lave and Wenger these “communities of practice,” are present in many aspects of life, however we cannot assume that individuals working together will automatically form a community of practice and “communities of practice cannot be forced or imposed from above (Morton, 2012)”. There are a variety of areas in which communities of practice can form within the higher education system: within a research laboratory, in the relationships between Master’s students, doctoral students, post-docs and professors; in departments, between senior and junior faculty; between peer groups of students working towards different degree levels; or in classes where students are oriented and working together towards a common goal. Community of Practice can form in courses that require students to work in teams in which team members have different levels of expertise. The academic design studio is an ideal place to find a CoP. Drew is perhaps the first to make the connection between design studio models and the concept of CoP. She identified five qualitatively different modes of design teaching of which two of them “demonstrate a community of practice dimension as a focus for the context of teaching (Drew, 2004). A more recent study compares the Architecture studio model to a Community of Practice and concluded that there are “opportunities to advance design studio culture by broadening participation in the [CoP]” (Williams, 2017). The studio is an environment where people are physically interacting and physically creating things together (mutual engagement), the purpose is often to teach process and learn from each other through critique (joint enterprise), and collectively with instructors, peers and out-

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

side reviewers they share a collection of methods, tools, jargon, and expectations (shared repertoire). Communities of Practice in the Product Design Program The elements of the select studios in the Product Design Program at the University of Minnesota that fold directly in the theory of Community of Practice are as follows: •  First, a focus on teams as opposed to individual work •  Second, the teams are multidisciplinary and diverse in experience •  Third, there is a flat(ish) hierarchy between the members of the community regardless of experience •  Fourth, projects are industry-identified and sponsored with a significant investment of time and money driving deliverables •  Fifth, cultural and themed experience heightening the club/fraternity participation element of the program overall. This section expands these prompts into discussions of what these mean within this framework. 2.1 Teams vs. Individual Work The studio format involves project-based learning in which the students are generally self-directed and meet for several hours at a time in a common space where faculty can facilitate group critiques and discussion and roam the room for individual consultation with students at their dedicated workstations. A studio is closer to an apprenticeship than a traditional academic lecture-based or discussion-based course class. Studios are the “traditional ‘atelier’ method derived from the master artist/craftsman showing an apprentice how

to do it (Swann, 2002).” The learning is tacit and hands-on; the students learn design methods and process by physically practicing it as opposed to simply hearing about a topic or discussing it. This is the start of mutual engagement: everyone actively participating in practicing the content. However, members of these studio communities are often doing their work individually in the same room and are working on their own designs. A study of architecture studios exploring the connection to CoP found that “students were essentially not engaged in the same design activity(Morton, 2012).” In cultivating a strong CoP within specific studios in the product design program, an intentional decision was made for a significant portion of the design work to be done in teams. There are many reasons for this, including that it replicates how product design work happens in industry, but a byproduct of this is that it amplifies mutual engagement and joint enterprise. The collaborative part of the community can happen throughout the entire design process (ideation, prototyping, testing) as opposed to only during critique sessions. 2.2 Diverse and Multidisciplinary Teams In most upper level courses in academic environments (e.g. a capstone engineering class) there is a shared repertoire of skills and common vocabulary as all students in a given course likely have similar prerequisites and foundations. However, in most academic classes and studios it is generally not a diverse group of people from different education backgrounds and different levels of expertise coming together to form this shared repertoire. In the upper-level product design studio, the class is cross-listed as both graduate and undergraduate sections. In this arrangement, PhD students have been on the same team as a freshman student. Students often return to the CoP after graduating to be team mentors year after year. Mentors may be recently graduated students or senior industry

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representatives. Given the small cross-functional team size, there is essentially one volunteer mentor for every 2 or 3 students. There is no room to not be a participating member in the design process ensuring everyone is mutually engaged. The class also has no prerequisites and so the teams are composed of students from different colleges across the university. For example, a team may be composed of students majoring in mechanical engineering, graphic design, finance, art, economics, and product design and their mentors may be a professional electrical engineer and a professional industrial designer. The team of students and mentors is multi-disciplinary and so they will bring different skills to the table but they are united by a shared interest in product development process: the joint enterprise. 2.3 A Flat(ish) Hierarchy In a traditional education context, the role of the instructor/professor/lecturer is strongly divided from the role of the student. The instructor is on one side of the room and the students are on the other. The instructor is standing. The students are sitting. The students are expected to address the instructor with a title of authority/superiority, while the instructor can address the students by their first name. The learning is in one direction from the instructor to the students (however there can be feedback returning to the instructor at the end of the course). Although a design studio is closer to a CoP than a traditional lecture class, it is still not exactly an example of joint enterprise. In traditional design studio, the instructor remains in an advisor position and they are not necessarily mutually learning from the students. “The largest amount of the [instructor’s] time during an average teaching day is spent moving from one student to another giving over-the-shoulder advice to individuals (Swann, 2002).” Although this studio model allows the opportunity for mutual learning, instructors tend to speak more than students and it doesn’t ensure that teachers will use the oppor-


tunity to be student-focused (Trigwell, 2002). A study of Architecture studios found that although there were some elements of CoP present, “patterns of interaction between the instructor and the students were typically hierarchical (Morton, 2012).” In these CoP product design studios, each team of students has two volunteer industry professionals physically on the team. They act as mentors and occasionally lead discussions, but they are also contributing members of the team often working in the shop alongside the students. The students learn from these mentors just as the mentors learn from the students. In this model, “students become active partners in their learning” and “they are more likely to develop a meaningful understanding of the intentions of their tutors and the purpose of the activities associated with learning (Shreeve, 2007).” Mentors look at the underclassmen as creative new energy with wild ideas/new talent/new skillset. Underclassmen look to the mentors as guides or “facilitators (Shreeve, 2007).” The energy of the students builds off the energy of the mentors involved in the program and visa versa. They are all on the same level both metaphorically and physically. The mentors and students are all sitting together at the same large round table. They call each other by first name. They are all on the same team email list. Both mentors and students are held to the same attendance policy. Since the mentors are present every week during their weekly 3-hour studio component and involved in all online discussions they quickly become connected to the students. Mentors choose to be a part of this community for their own development as well as to help the students - often referencing the opportunity to practice their divergent thinking and concept refinement skills alongside students as well as accessing the network of individuals outside of their professional workplace. The mentor’s intrinsic motivation is important: it is not a job and they are not paid. Payment implies that the benefit to the students is greater than the benefit to the mentors

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

and there would then be a hierarchy and less of a joint enterprise between all parties. Solving Real Problems In some design studios, projects are provided by real clients or firms. This is not always the case as sometimes studios are designed to teach fundamentals and content is easier to learn/teach with a fabricated challenge. Relying on real clients and real needs also involves much preparation work on the part of the instructor to arrange prior to, during, and after the normal course calendar. This could include items related to securing funding, intellectual property, framing a problem to meet both the client’s needs and the needs of the curriculum, matching industry timeline with academic timeline, etc. Real clients (like in the real world) also come with potential for unexpected changes (changing direction, unavailability, changes in funds, etc). Industry representatives may be involved for critiques several times to review student work. This outside involvement is intended to be an expert one-way feedback session; however, industry may also come away with new insights. Industry representatives “appear for two or three short periods to set a special (usually simulated professional) project at a ‘briefing session’ and then the group ‘crit’ somewhere between the start and finish…this method has the merit of all students in the group benefiting from the comments made by the visiting [professional] (Swann, 2002)”. Any amount of outside involvement, however, is better than most fields of study in which feedback is provided solely by the professor or teaching assistant. The class is framed as a real design practice like a start-up or design consultancy. The teams are then working on industry-framed projects provided by a sponsoring client providing budget to the teams. With the regular involvement of industry as both mentors and sponsors, the students are no longer part of a school project, they are part of something bigger. The students are motivated by more

than grades, they are driven to develop the best product concept that they can as they are mutually engaged in the joint enterprise. This is also a non-trivial investment of time and money for the industry sponsor: sponsorships cost as much or more than an entry-level employee would be paid, and thus the output of work by the class must be more valuable that directly hiring an individual to solve the project at hand. Industry sponsors are expected to attend multiple lectures and reviews, having extended feedback sessions with the instructors and students to ensure that projects continue to develop as needed. Themed Experience Design studios around the world all tend to have similar features. Students work at large tables with wooden tops. There are pin up spaces around the room to post work. Tools and design work cover tables. Trash bins are full of paper and models. Students have late nights of working. Like in reality television, when you put a group of people in a small space for extended periods of time and give them challenges with short timelines and little sleep, there will be drama, creativity, bonding, inside jokes, etc. A marker of a CoP is that it evolves its own shared repertoire over time (processes, activities, jargon, etc). All studios are an immersive learning experience for those involved. In the Product Design CoP studios, there is an effort to bolster this shared repertoire through specifically branded elements that make every participant feel as though they are part of something bigger almost immediately when entering the studio for the first time. As an example, in the upperlevel product design studio, members involved in the class wear lab coats with a class logo. All text related to the class uses the same typeface (review sheets, door signage, name tags, team bins, emails, slides, etc). Teams are always named after specific and less common color names (e.g. chartreuse, periwinkle, pewter). Students are not allowed to enter the room until all materials are set, seats are

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


arranged, the room is cleaned, a playlist of songs begins to play related to the class topic, and the doors open welcoming the class into the room like one might see in a theatrical performance. Upon ending of lecture or lab, the music plays again as students exit. Teaching assistants are always in themed lab coats while doing anything related to class, similar to how characters in a Disney park are forbidden from exiting character while on duty. The website is updated three times a week with a set of new photos taken in class every day that feature the students working thus documenting the entire process of the class. As this is a joint enterprise, the team of mentors collectively makes changes and improvements to the methods and processes (repertoire) at weekly staff meetings prior to class time. Beyond the Product Design Program Within a single class, each team can be viewed as a CoP and the entire studio of 12-16 teams can also be viewed as an overarching CoP. In this macro CoP of the studio, the mentors review other teams, teams critique other teams, and the mentors separately meet weekly to provide feedback, advice, and suggestions to better improve individual projects as well as the overall class experience. The mentors are developing their teaching and facilitation skills in addition to developing their product development skills. We can further view the entire product design program as a larger enveloping CoP in which the mentors from one studio are often involved as mentors in the other studio. Seniors and graduate students that are participating as students in the upper level CoP might be also be mentors in the freshmen-level CoP. The use of CoP in our program enhances the learning experience of the students and creates a self-sustaining education model which benefits the students, the academic institute and industry. The CoP studio is a self-perpetuating advertising and promotion machine for the program as well as a self-perpetuating learning and network-


ing machine for students and industry. “By viewing learning activities as a community of practice, where more experienced practitioner tutors enable students to participate, they are more likely to develop an identity of belonging, with an associated sense of the meaning of activities within the community of practice in education” (Shreeve, 2007). As most students have a positive experience, they are interested in continuing to participate in the CoP after graduating. Requests from prior students to be mentors are greater than what is required for the class size. Somewhat like a fraternity, a review process is used to determine which mentors are invited to participate in the next year’s courses. Additional volunteer mentors become floating advisors that roam between teams and cover for mentors when they are unable to attend. With the constant networking of students and industry, the class is a natural place for finding internships and full-time positions. Industry mentors who have been involved for years, bring in colleagues as well as companies to sponsor the course. Sponsors enjoy the access to a wealth of new ideas and talent, while the CoP enjoys the benefit of reducing the costs involved in such a course as well as the motivation to work towards something that could become a real product. Every designer works across disciplines and when practicing in industry, it is likely they will need to collaborate with others from other areas of expertise in some manner (civil engineering, marketing, programming, manufacturing). This framework offers the ability to practice these collaborative skills prior entering industry. The CoP model should not be part of all design studios as design students need opportunities to develop their own personal style and skillset and to have portfolio items which clearly showcase their own individual abilities. In our program only 2 of 9 studio-based courses involve CoP, but that is enough to provide meaningful community around the program. Given that these two classes sandwich a student’s experience within the program the benefits of the

The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

CoP are present throughout the program, even as a student matriculates and joins industry. It is easy to test and refine the intentional addition of CoP strengthening activities within one class in a program to evaluate its value in a new context. The elements covered here are meant to serve as thought-starters/inspiration for redesigning a design studio or project-based classes outside of traditional design fields such as an engineering capstone.

Trigwell, K. (2002). Approaches to teaching design subjects: a quantitative analysis. Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, 1: 69-80. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Williams, J. (2017). Design Studio: A Community of Practitioners? Charrette. 4(1), pp. 88-100.

References Drew, L. (2004). The Experience of Teaching Creative Practices: Conceptions and Approaches to Teaching in the Community of Practice Dimension. In: 2nd CLTAD International Conference, Enhancing Curricula: The Scholarship Of Learning And Teaching In Art And Design, April 2004, Barcelona. Garrety, K., Robertson, P., and Badham, R. (2004). Integrating communities of practice in technology development projects. International Journal of Project Management. 22(5),Pages 351-358. Lave, J. and E. Wenger (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Morton, J. (2012). Communities of practice in higher education: A challenge from the discipline of architecture. Linguistics and Education. Volume 23(1), Pages 100–111. Shreeve, A. (2007). Learning development and study support – an embedded approach through communities of practice. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education. 6. (1), 11–25. Swann, C. (2002). ‘Nellie is Dead’. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education. 1(1), Page 50.

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Section VIII

Contributing Authors


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

William J. Angell Professor Emeritus of Housing Studies and Extension Housing Specialist, University of Minnesota Abimbola O. Asojo PhD, Associate Dean for Research, Creative Scholarship and Engagement; Professor of Interior Design at the College of Design, University of Minnesota, William O. Beeman, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology teaching Business Anthropology at the Carlson School of Management and the College of Design at the University of Minnesota Jonee Kulman Brigham AIA, LEED AP O+M, Senior Research Fellow at the Minnesota Design Center, Fellow at the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota James Boyd Brent MFA, Professor of Graphic Design at the College of Design, University of Minnesota. Created the cover graphic Blaine Brownell FAIA LEED AP, Director of the School of Architecture University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Formerly professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and interim head of the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. Elizabeth (Missy) Bye PhD, Professor of Apparel Design, Former Department Head, Design, Housing, and Apparel (2011-2020), College of Design, University of Minnesota. Mike Christenson AIA, NCARB, licensed architect; professor of Architecture at the Universitiy of Minnesota.

Marilyn Revell DeLong PhD, Professor of Apparel Studies/Apparel Design in the College of Design, University of Minnesota. Formerly Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Dean in the College of Design and the College of Human Ecology. Lucy Dunne PhD, Professor of Apparel Studies, Director of the Apparel Design Program, founder and co-director of the Wearable Technology Lab, Department of Design, Housing and Apparel, College of Design, University of Minnsota. Genell Wells Ebbini MDS, NCIDQ, LEED-AP ID+C, BD+C, IIDA, ASID, IDEC, Formerly an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at the University of Minnesota; Now Assistant Professor in the Department of Built Environment at Indiana State University Karl Engebretson MFA, Instuctor of Graphic Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota Joseph R Favour MLA, ALSA, Head of the Landscape Architecture Department, and Associate Professor in Practice, College of Design, University of Minnesota Thomas Fisher Assoc. AIA, Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota; Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design; Director, Minnesota Design Center, College of Design, University of Minnesota; Formerly Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


Priscilla A. Gibson PhD, Professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Timothy Griffin FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Research Fellow at the Minnesota Design Center. Architect and City Planner; Leader, Saint Paul Design Center Tasoulla Hadjiyanni PhD, MS, BArch, Northrop Professor of Interior Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota Jane King Hession MArch (University of Minnesota); Minneapolis-based architectural historian specializing in modernism Brad Hokanson PhD, Professor of Graphic Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota Brad Holschuh PhD, Assistant Professor of Apparel Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota; Co-Director of the University’s Wearable Technology Lab (WTL); Director of the UMN Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) Program

ing and Apparel, College of Design, University of Minnesota. John A. Koepke RLA, Former Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota. Barry Kudrowitz PhD, is an associate professor and director of Product Design at the University of Minnesota. Jacob Mans MDES, MArch, BFA, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Design Center Associate; registered architect and founding partner of the Decentralized Design Lab. Kristine F. Miller PhD, Professor of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota Lin Nelson-Mayson MFA, BFA, Fomer director, Goldstein Museum of Design. Former Director, Graduate Studies for Museum Studies, University of Minnesota

Krystianna Johnson BS, has been a teaching specialist and engagement coordinator in the College of Design for nine years assisting with courses in the Product Design program, specifically PDES 2701 Creative Design Methods and PDES 3711 Toy Product Design/ Product Innovation Lab.

Thomas Oliphant MFA, Adjunct Instructor, Interdisciplinary Design Program, Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, College of Design, University of Minnesota; and Indtructor, Graduate Program, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Designer and manufacturer of contemporary furnishings

Lauren Kim PhD, Assistant Professor of Retail Merchandising, Department of Design Hous-

David G. Pitt PhD, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota


The College of Design Anniversary Compendium

Julia Williams Robinson PhD, FAIA, Professor of Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota; registered architect. Recognized Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects Bryan Runck MS, PhD, Eco-informatics Scientist, GEMS Agroinformatics Initiative, University of Minnesota Monica Rush SM Engineering Systems : Technology & Policy from MIT. Director of Responsible Design & Strategy at Target Corporation Amanda B. Smoot PhD, Department Administrator, Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota Catherine Squires PhD, Professor of Communication Studies, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Austin, Watanabe MArch, Architectural Associate at Alchemy Architects and Founding Member of the utopic spatial practice Interesting Tactics Juanjuan Wu PhD, Associate Professor of Retail Merchandising Deparment of Design Housing and Apparel, and Program Director for the Interdisciplinary Design Minor, College of Design, University of Minnesota Becky Love Yust PhD, Professor of Housing Studies and Interior Design and Housing Studies Program Coordinator, College of Design, University of Minnesota, . Formerly Department Head of Design Housing and Apparel and Interim Dean of the College of Design Stephanie Watson Zollinger EdD, Professor in the Interior Design program Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, College of Design, University of Minnesota

Carol Strohecker PhD, Dean, College of Design, University of Minnesota Dewey Thorbeck FAIA, FAAR, Emeritus Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Architecture; Founder and Director, Center for Rural Design;Research Fellow, Minnesota Design Center,College of Design, University of Minnesota Hoa Vo MFA, PhD student, Graduate Instructor, Research Assistant in Interior Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota; Student-member of Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)

Design: Thinking and Making at a Community-Engaged University


The Editorial Committee wishes to thank Bonnie Jean MacKay for her diligent efforts in laying out and editing the book, working with the authors, and vastly expanding her Adobe InDesign skills and knowledge during the summer of 2021, specifically to produce this 15th Anniversary Compendium.

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