Ames, IA 2015

This two-day course was presented on March 6-7, 2015 by Design CorpsSEED NetworkIowa State University College of DesignIowa State University Community Design Lab, Iowa Women in Architecture, and AIA Iowa. The Institute provides design and planning professionals with in-depth study on methods of how design can address the critical issues faced by communities. Training in public interest design is a way of enhancing an existing design practice and learning skills to become pro-actively engaged in community-based design. The curriculum is formed around the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) metric, a set of standards that outline the process and principles of this growing approach to design. This process provides a step-by-step aid for those who want to undertake public interest design. Certification in the SEED process is given.

Institute Recap – Evaluation Results

How well did we meet your expectations and provide value to you?

Please evaluate how successfully the Public Interest Design Training met your expectations for each of the following.

“5” is highly successfully? “3” is successfully? “1” is unsuccessfully

Average ScoreLearning Objective
3.8Pro-actively finding new clients and public interest design projects
4.2Learning about new fee sources and structures
4.0Using a step-by-step process of working with a community as a design partner
4.0Leveraging other partners and assets to address project challenges
4.1Maximizing a project’s positive impact on a community
4.3Moving beyond LEED to measure the social, economic, and environmental impact on communities
4.5Understanding public interest design and how is it re-shaping the design professions


Bryan Bell: is the Academic Leader of each session, the founder of Design Corps, founder of the Public Interest Design Institute, and a co-founder of SEED. Bell has supervised the Structures for Inclusion lecture series for ten years which presents best practices in community-based design. He has published two collections of essays on the topic. Bell has lectured and taught at numerous schools including the Rural Studio with Samuel Mockbee. He has received an AIA National Honor Award in Collaborative Practice. His work has been exhibited in the Venice Biennale and the Cooper Hewitt Museum Triennial. He was a Harvard Loeb Fellow in 2010-11 and a co-recipient of the 2011 AIA Latrobe Prize which is focused on public interest design.

Zachary Mannheimer: is the Executive Director of Des Moines Social Club, an arts and educational non-profit focused on the retention and recruitment of young people through unprecedented community engagement. Since its opening in 2009, DMSC has hosted over 1000 art-related events and seen over 200,000 patrons. Zachary has taught at Central College and Wagner College and has articles and essays published in: The New York Theater Review and American Theater Magazine. His theatrical work and DMSC have been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, and The New York Times to name a few. Zachary also co-owns and operates Proof Restaurant in downtown’s Gateway District. He holds a dual BA in Theater Arts and Philosophy from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

Bernard J. Canniffe: is Graphic Design Chair at Iowa State University College of Design. He co-founded PIECE STUDIO in 2008 – a collaborative and multidisciplinary social design studio, and is an advisor to the international social collaborative group Project M. He has made presentations at international medical, design, and academic conferences. He is the recipient of the Graphis: Inspiring Designers Award, the Baltimore Step 10 Influential Designers Award, and The Joseph Binder Award. Canniffe holds a BA Honors in Graphic Design from Newport College of Art & Design, University of Wales, and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Susan Rogers: is the Founder and Director of the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and an Assistant Professor. She is an educator and practicing community designer and planner. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on design as a strategy for community change, exploring the seams between design, equity, and the public interest. The CDRC, founded in 2005, has partnered with dozens of local community-based and non-profit organizations as a means to develop collaborative and pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing the city.

Katherine Darnstadt, AIA, LEED AP bd+c, NCARB: is Founder and Principal of Latent Design, a collaborative of individuals whose projects focus on social, economic, and environmental impact. Katherine is an architect and educator who uses design to make the invisible forces impacting a project at local and global levels visible through architecture. Her firm pro-actively engages in community-based participatory design as an advocate against the inverse relationship between design and economy. Her passion for public interest design through participatory strategies has allowed her to collaborate with change agents in design, science, arts, and philosophy. She received a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Nadia Anderson: is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Iowa State University where she teaches interdisciplinary outreach studios and seminars on design activism and urbanism.  She leads the Bridge Studio, winner of the 2009 NCARB Prize, and co-directs the ISU Community Design Lab. Her work investigates the theory and practice of public interest design as a force for justice in the built environment. Prior to joining ISU in 2005, Nadia practiced architecture in Chicago, Warsaw, and Vienna. She received her Master of Architecture degree in 1994 from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988 from Yale University.

Osamu Okamura: is an Architect, Program Director of reSITE international festival and conference on more livable cities, and editorial supervisor of professional architecture magazine ERA21. He is also a lecturer at ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague). Osamu lectured in Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Japan, and Thailand, and he’s an Expert Advisor of Metropolitan Sounding Board of Prague City Council in the issues of urban development. Osamu graduated from the Faculty of Architecture CTU Prague and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He studied at ENSA Nantes, France.

Ursula Hartig – 2015 SEED Award winner: is a Research Fellow at the Department of Architecture, TU Berlin, and Founder of CoCoon, a sector for intercultural and interdisciplinary teaching, research and practice in the field of the built environment. She holds a Master in Architecture (Diplom Ingenieur) from the TU Berlin. Since 2000 she has been a project manager and director of TU Berlin‘s DesignBuild Studios including planning, realization and documentation of buildings and environments in Mexico and Afghanistan. She worked as collaborator and project manager in different Architecture offices in Berlin. She initiated and directs the research-consortium European DesignBuild Knowledge Network in cooperation with the Habitat Unit.

Carl Rogers: is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. He is also a Co-director of the ISU Community Design Lab. Since 2009, Rogers has been working with communities to develop environmentally-sustainable design strategies for the built and physical environment. A core component of his work is developing practice-based research methods through community and professional partnerships to address complex issues of ecological restoration, sustainable storm water management, and conservation of open space networks. He received his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kansas State University.


Design on Main
Downtown Ames extension of the ISU College of Design
203-205 Main Street
Ames, IA


• Super Early Bird (ends 1/22/2015): $225
• Early Bird (ends 2/5/2015): $250
• Regular: $275

• Super Early Bird (ends 1/22/2015): $175
• Early Bird (ends 2/5/2015): $200
• Regular: $225

Student: $150


Friday March 6th

8:00 to 9:00
9:00 to 9:15
9:15 to 10:15
10:15 to 10:30
10:30 to 12:00
12:00 to 1:15
1:15 to 2:45
2:45 to 3:00
3:00 to 4:30
4:30 to 5:00
Registration + coffee
Welcome by Dean/Chair
Bryan Bell – Context of Public Interest Design
Case Study 1: Zach Mannheimer
Lunch (on your own)
Case Study 2: Bernard Canniffe
Case Study 3: Susan Rogers
General Discussion

Saturday March 7th

8:30 to 9:00
9:00 to 10:00
10:00 to 11:15
11:15 to 12:30
12:30 to 1:45
1:45 to 3:00
3:00 to 4:00
4:00 to 5:00
Bryan Bell  Intro to SEED
Case Study 4: Katherine Darnstadt
Case Study 5: Osamu Okamura
Lunch (on your own)
Case Study 6: Nadia Anderson + Carl Rogers
Case Study 7: Bryan Bell  Migrant Housing
Evaluation + SEED Certification Review + Exam

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