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Iowa State University Extension

Design comes to the urban frontier

new ISU design outreach centers

An old boiler plant in a Sioux City back alley is now the Iowa State University Design West Studio. A renovated historical building in downtown Perry with decor made from old corncribs is the Town/Craft Center. With these new outreach centers ISU Extension is taking design to the urban frontier. No textbook example or experiment in a locked-up laboratory, rather, both centers allow Iowa State students to gain real-world design experience in partnership with Iowa communities.

The projects bring together local partners, College of Design student outreach and ISU Extension Community and Economic Development programming -- uniting state-of-the-art design, out-of-the-box thinking and a vision for Iowa’s future. ISU Design West is an outreach center for urban design, historic preservation and community development. Town/Craft focuses on generating and testing new ideas and concepts for small town and neighborhood development and economic renewal.

To learn more about ISU Design West, contact Susan Fey, For more information about Town/Craft, contact Alan Vandehaar,

This article appeared in August 2007 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter