Programs Beta

DesignAlabama Programs

DesignAlabama programs create engagement between civic leaders, citizens and design professionals. DesignPlace and the Mayors Design Summit are annual events hosted by DesignAlabama. We also conduct special programs and events such as ConnnectLivity.


Professionals associated with DesignAlabama visit communities selected to participate in the DesignPlace Program to provide design, planning and community identity assistance. Included are design professionals with experience in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, graphic design, interior design and planning, showing the underlying success of community development when design arts are used. During intensive visits of one to four days, DesignPlace professionals survey the community, review issues to be addressed, meet with community groups and leaders, develop recommendations, and outline strategies for implementation.

How are communities selected for DesignPlace?
Communities who have been represented at the DesignAlabama Mayors Design Summit can apply to participate in DesignPlace. Please download the application, complete and submit to DesignAlabama for consideration. A committee of design professionals charged with directing the program will make final selections.

What are the benefits of DesignPlace?
Perhaps the greatest benefit is the stimulation and mobilization of the general public. Citizen participation is absolutely critical to the success of DesignPlace or any local design and planning initiative. A DesignPlace visit is not an end in itself; rather, a new beginning. DesignPlace is invaluable for illustrating the value of community design and planning in Alabama. It stimulates awareness of design issues and dramatizes the impact design can have upon a community’s vitality and the quality of life within its boundaries.

What are the costs associated with DesignPlace?

The DesignAlabama design professionals offer their time and expertise at no cost to the community. The community, however, is expected to commit to the following:

Reimbursement of travel and other out-of-pocket expenses for team members

Provide lodging, meals, equipment, supplies and a workspace for team

Defray cost of publication and distribution of team’s findings and recommendations

A financial commitment by the community to implement recommendations


alabama mayors
design summit

Through this initiative we hope to instill a sense of design excellence in Alabama’s mayors that will allow them to be advocates of good design and leaders in the design and economic development process in their individual communities.

DesignAlabama, in partnership with a number of statewide organizations and design professionals, annually hosts the DesignAlabama Mayors Design Summit. The Design Summit will takes place over two days and brings together five mayors from a region of the state to address a design issue in their community.

Mayors chosen to attend the conference will find that there will be no cost to them except their individual travel expenses. In return for being selected, each mayor will be asked to make a ten-minute presentation at the conference on their city and design issue and come prepared with any maps, photographs, renderings, etc., they already have addressing their design issue.

It will be necessary for each mayor to have these items because after each presentation, the group consisting of five mayors and six design professionals will work together in a roundtable environment to find solutions to each of the mayor’s design issues. During this charrette, or brainstorming time, ideas are generated that can then be taken back to communities across Alabama to begin to build place.


Administrative Fee is $3,000 along with some additional community costs

DesignAlabama’s Community Visioning Workshops are one-day, community-oriented visioning charrettes. This process involves approximately 20-25 pre-identified community stakeholders (students, Main Street Board Members, city officials, etc.), a design team and a facilitator. During each workshop, the participants take part in a physical walk of the focus area(s) site and nearby areas to help understand context and connectivity of the site. The group then meets in a common area where our team facilitates the design conversation through a look at local history, community stories and small group activities. Ideas generated from the workshop are fine-tuned by our design team members and are then folded into a brief report to be presented to the community for their respective uses.


Alabama has amazing small towns, cultural and historic assets, beautiful and scenic natural/recreational locales and distinctive makers. Our goal is to make it easy to find and visit those people and places that make Alabama special.

DesignAlabama partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to explore a set of highly-curated itineraries that will expand the potential for Alabama’s small towns and communities to COLLECTIVELY become destinations worth a trip!


Itineraries to help locals and tourists discover Alabama’s great people and places

Build the potential for local and entrepreneurial businesses to thrive by connecting to a larger and broader audience

Leverage this increased activity for investments in quality-of-life assets within those local communities along an itinerary