Rural areas worldwide are undergoing profound change creating considerable challenges and stress for its residents and on the ecosystems upon which they depend. Rural design brings design thinking and the problem-solving process of design to rural issues recognizing that human and natural systems are inextricably coupled and engaged in continuous cycles of mutual influence and response.
This book is the first step along the path for rural design to emerge as an important new design discipline. Rural Design: A New Design Discipline establishes the theoretical base for rural design and the importance of looking at connecting issues to create synergy and optimal solutions from a global, national, state, region, and local perspective. To be effective and relevant, this new discipline must be founded on solid research, and practice must be based on data-driven evidence that will result in transformational changes. These directions and others will enable rural design to:
- help rural communities make land use, architectural, and aesthetic decisions that enhance their quality of life and the environment
- connect social, artistic, cultural, technological, and environmental issues that create rural place
- promote sustainable economic development for rural communities and improve human, livestock, crop, and ecosystem health
- and integrate research and practice across the many disciplines involved in rural issues to meet rural needs, provide new data, and provoke new research questions.
Written by a world leading expert in rural design, who is director and founder of the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design, the book is oriented toward students, academics and design professionals involved with rural design at any level.
Thorbeck’s vision is no idealistic dream. His arguments are well developed through years of experience and thought. This book deserves serious attention from professionals, engaged citizens, and policy makers, as well as political leaders throughout the vast regions of the US that remain (and want to remain) rural.” -CHOICE, August 2012
“The first book ‘about the emerging field of rural design,’ as it’s described in the foreword, Rural Design goes beyond the design of buildings in rural areas to encompass the design of food systems, factory farms, landscapes and communities using evidence-based research. In other words, rural design ‘is about design thinking as a means to utilize research knowledge and translate that evidence through the rural design process to benefit rural society.'” – Camille LeFevre, MNArtists.org