Design Learning Cohort

Cohort CurriculumCohort Members
The Design Learning Cohort brings together rural community leaders from across the country to connect with each other, share and learn how design can address their particular ommunity needs. Inaugurated in 2019, the program launched with a Rural Design Summit in Thomas and Elkins, West Virginia. Hosted virtually today, the cohort program includes a series of online peer engagement activities and interactive learning sessions that address a cohort community’s specific design challenge. Whether developing affordable housing, revitalizing Main Street, preserving historic buildings, or making a more walkable and welcoming streetscape, the Design Learning Cohort can help transform a community's vision to reality.
The inaugural Design Learning Cohort during a session at the Summit in Thomas, WV. Photo by Bella Green.

“I’ve always thought of design in literal terms, such as buildings designed by architects or machinery designed by engineers. Thanks to that...presentation, I was encouraged to think about the “experience” of design and to view it as a means of driving economic, physical, and social change in a community.”

— Jean Grigsby, 2019 cohort member from Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney, ME

What is a Design Learning Cohort?

The Design Learning Cohort program engages arts leaders, business owners, economic development teams, and elected officials from approximately 20 rural communities across the country. Through the cohort, these leaders meet their peers from other small towns and rural places to share ideas and learn how design, arts, and creative placemaking can address their current community design challenge and prepare them for future projects.
Manuel Ochoa leading a Main Street redevelopment session at the Design Learning Cohort Summit. Photo by Bella Green

Interested?

Learn more about the application process