Local Design Workshop

Past workshops
With support from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, CIRD design workshops bring together local residents and local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to a specific design challenge. Workshops are facilitated by CIRD’s experienced resource team members in partnership with and driven by local people who are deeply invested in their community.
Interactive workshop activities allow community members to vote on ideas in Millinocket, Maine. Photo courtesy Malorrie Ann Photography.

“We have been working a lot on improving our community engagement strategy and CIRD has reinforced our work in a positive way... a wider range of people were engaged--beyond the scope of what groups we were able to engage before. The CIRD process helped in understanding how to broach some of the harder topics and provide an avenue to talk about them.”

— Akwesasne Mohawk Territory team member

Where we work

To date, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design has convened more than 80 workshops in all regions of the country, bringing together local residents with teams of design, economic development, and creative placemaking professionals. Together, professionals and citizens leverage local and regional assets to guide the design of their communities.

The 2023-2024 multi-day design workshops, offered in both in-person and virtual forms, will focus on each community’s unique design challenge. Dates for each workshop and members of the resource team are forthcoming.

Selected workshops communities for 2023-2024 are:
Ada Adams leads a tour of important Black sites in Athens, OH during the workshop for Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Photo by Omar Hakeem.

Featured workshops

Local residents vote on streetscape concepts during a workshop in Valentine, NE. Photo by P&W Photography.

Engaging expert rural design leaders

Our program is led in partnership with respected architects, landscape architects, community planners, economic development experts, and transportation planners, many of whom live and work in rural places and are passionate about their work. CIRD strives to connect workshop communities with both national and local or regional expertise. If you are a designer interested in working with CIRD, contact cird@ruralhome.org.
Lizzie MacWillie from bcWORKSHOP leads a session in Millinocket, ME. Photo by Malorrie Ann Photography.

Workshop stories


Learn more about the application process