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Rural Communities Design Initiative a community | university collaboration

The Rural Communities Design Initiative (RCDI) is a collaborative effort between WSU design disciplines at the School of Design + Construction, including WSU faculty in history, business, sociology, anthropology & communications, WSU Extension, and rural community partners throughout the Pacific Northwest. The RCDI aims to enhance the social, cultural, economic, and natural capital of unique rural places through design interventions in the physical environment.

RCDI is an action-oriented program of research focusing on the revitalization of small rural, under-resourced communities. Finding new ways to restore, preserve, and revitalize such communities can entice investors, encourage the young to stay, and provide opportunity for those who have left to return.

The RCDI promotes economic prosperity in small, rural communities through community engagement and participatory design in a Rural Community Studio (RCS). The RCS pairs the creative resources of design students and faculty with the goals of rural communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. The design interventions aim to transform the built environment through:
        Community visioning through participatory design
        Capacity building through community build projects

Mission Statement
The mission of the Rural Communities Design Initiative (RCDI) is to promote economic prosperity in small rural communities through a participatory process engaging a university and private sector collaboration with community members. The RCDI employs the physical environment to contextualize community capacity for innovation and provides technical support in the development of each communities unique plan of action for developing and sustaining economic vitality.

RCDI is a collaboration of academia and the private sector engaging small rural communities and dedicated to building community prosperity, thus transforming how communities identify themselves and the economic opportunities inherent in their community.

RCDI Co-Directors

Kathleen Ryan

Robert Krikac

School of Design + Construction
100 Dairy Road
Carpenter Hall 520
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2220

The Rural Communities Design Initiative [RCDI] operates through the School of Design and Construction at Washington State University. RCDI provides a written and visual summary of the community’s vision, in preparation for the next step of engaging qualified design, planning and construction firms for bringing a community vision to reality. Documents provided by RCDI are for conceptual purposes only. The documents and drawings are intended to facilitate discussion, not for use in construction.

RCDI Interns: Krisandrah Crall, Kelli Young, Collin Schweikl, Kiyaira Momford