Rural Design: Establishing the Research Foundation for a New Design Discipline
Summary: Rural areas in North America are undergoing profound demographic, economic, cultural, and environmental change, creating considerable challenges and stress for their residents and on the ecosystems upon which they depend for their livelihoods and quality of life. Critical global issues such as climate change, renewable energy, water resource protection, food security, and healthy human development will dominate international and local rural policy for years to come.
Research around these issues is by nature interdisciplinary and requires dialogue to be understood, and to respond with effective solutions. The research must recognize that human and natural systems are inextricably coupled and engaged in continuous cycles of mutual influence and response.
Dewey Thorbeck (FAIA, FAAR Adjunct Professor and Director, Center for Rural Design University of Minnesota), has written a clear and concise academic paper which explains rural design, outlines its research foundation, and defines a rural design process that connects environmental, cultural, and social issues with educational, technological, and organizational research to help create a healthy and prosperous rural future.