Programs

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.

Designplace

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 three 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?

An opportunity to engage community stakeholders in the planning and design process

  • An introduction to and networking with Alabama professionals who can help carry the ideas created during DesignPlace moving forward
  • Creation of ideas which can begin to rally a community together for future community development
  • An introduction to DesignAlabama and its resources/partnerships
  • A deliverable to the community will be an extensive and detailed report created by our team of design professionals along with step for implementation
  • A community identity and branding piece/Brandstorming
  • A broad look at community planning and design issues

What are the costs associated with DesignPlace?

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

  • Provide lodging, meals, equipment, maps and a workspace for team
  • A financial commitment by the community to implement recommendations
  • An administrative fee of $7,500

Two DesignPlace programs take place each year and communities are selected through an application process. There are two application deadlines for DesignPlace, March 1st and August 1st.

DESIGNVISION

DesignVision is a community visioning workshop held in partnership with Auburn University’s Urban Studio. These workshops are two-day, community-oriented visioning charrettes that fit into the fall curriculum of the Urban Studio.

This process involves approximately 20-25 pre-identified community stakeholders (students, Main Street Board Members, city officials, etc.), a design team of students and a design professional who serves as facilitator. During the first day of each workshop, the community 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 facilitator leads the community participants and students in the design conversation through a look at local history, community stories and small group activities. Ideas generated from the first day of the workshop are then fine-tuned by the team of students and facilitator the second day of DesignVision into drawings, renderings and other ideas, which are presented to the community at the end of the second day in draft form. Students then take these draft materials and spend a few weeks fine tuning and further developing their ideas under the direction of their professors and the DesignVision facilitator. This process is meant to help architecture and planning students learn the ins and outs of working with community members, while fine tuning their design skills.

What are the benefits of DesignVision?

  • An opportunity to engage community stakeholders in the planning and design process
  • An introduction to and networking with Alabama design students and professionals who can help carry the ideas created during DesignVision moving forward
  • Creation of an idea which can begin to rally a community together for future community development
  • An introduction to DesignAlabama and its resources/partnerships
  • A deliverable to the community will be a detailed report created by Urban Studio planning and design students

What are the costs associated with a Visioning Workshop?

  • Provide lodging, meals, equipment, supplies for design team if necessary
  • A commitment by the community to implement recommendations
  • An administrative fee of $2,500 to DesignAlabama, an administrative fee of $2,500 to the Auburn University Urban Studio and $1,000 Facilitator Fee, for a total of $6,000
 

One DesignVision Workshop will take place in the fall of each year and communities will be selected through an application process. The application deadline will be June 1st of each year.

DesignDash

DesignDash is a single day blitz of design interaction between community members and a group of design professionals.

During this one-day event, a facilitator will lead discussions between community members and design professionals focusing on a site-specific design and planning issue. Those discussions will include a SWOT analysis, community walking tour and facilitated group discussions during a morning work session. Following the morning session, the afternoon will be spent by the team of design professionals alone working to create fresh ideas, renderings and other images based on their time in the community related to the site-specific design and planning issue.

What are the benefits of DesignDash?

  • An opportunity to engage community stakeholders in the planning and design process
  • An introduction to and networking with Alabama design professionals who can help carry the ideas created during DesignDash forward
  • An idea which can begin to rally a community together for future community development
  • An introduction to DesignAlabama and its resources/partnerships
  • A deliverable to the community that will be a brief report including notes from the community workshop and the images produced only during the DesignDash day, no additional work is done by the design professionals once they leave the community.

What are the costs associated with DesignDash?

  • $3,500 Administrative Fee to DesignAlabama
  • Additional costs to the community that may include food costs, or a rental space fee

THE

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.

ConnectLivity?

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!

ConnectLivity:

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