Welcome to Blueprint South Dakota

Welcome to Blueprint South Dakota, a blog created by architects in South Dakota to provide a forum for public conversations with citizens, city planners, developers, property owners, designers, public office holders and others. Through these conversations, we want to participate with the public and community leaders in the creation of vibrant, prosperous, beautiful and effective places to live, work and play in South Dakota. Please join us in conversing about design and planning issues in our state.


Going Metro – Call for Art Proposals

With funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts and South Dakota Community Foundation, the Sioux Falls Design Center (SFDC) is hosting Going Metro, a program series designed to facilitate creative conversations about transportation as the City of Sioux Falls seeks to innovate its transit system. The Sioux Falls Design Center is seeking art …

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Architects at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may look a bit different for us all this year. Some traditions may end up changing as we attempt to social distance even from family. One tradition I’ve loved is seeing the Parade of Lights in Downtown Sioux Falls. Unfortunately that won’t happen this year. However, another tradition I have, passed down from my …

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The Virtue of Hard Work in Design

My first job, at the tender age of 14, was working at Hy-Vee as a bagger. One of my (many, so many) bosses there loved to say “Work smarter, not harder.” I remember him reminding me of this once as I was attempting to move a display from one area of the store to another, …

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Saintly Architecture

I brought donuts to work this morning. I’m not supposed to because COVID, but that just means I’ll eat them all myself. I’m celebrating, because it is one of my favorite days, as someone who loves obscure and esoteric things. It the feast day of St. Bernward of Hildesheim, a more obscure patron of architects …

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The Power of Narrative in Design

Prevalent in several university architecture programs these days is an emphasis on the “narrative” in design. No, this doesn’t mean the technical narrative a mechanical engineer puts together (as enticing as engineering narratives might be). I’m talking about approaching design per the definition of a narrative, that is thinking of a building or project as …

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November Scavenger Hunt

Now for something completely different! We have some iconic buildings, be them good or bad, scattered throughout our State. To feature some of these buildings, I created a scavenger hunt with the assistance of some colleagues. The images below feature details/close-ups from some buildings with iconic or perhaps “unique” detailing or style. Take a look …

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Art of Construction Documents

Many designers are capable of truly artful approaches to their design work. Often times this is to gain buy-in from clients, to win competitions, and to inspire communities regarding future development in their neighborhoods. However, an artful approach can also be important regarding the more technical side of architecture – construction documents. In bygone eras …

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Architectural Design as Gesture Drawing

One of the things that has informed my design process over the last decade is the skill of gesture drawing I take from my art degree. It has helped me move a project from conceptual design to detail without losing site of the “big-picture” and overall story behind a building’s formal genesis and larger impact. …

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VOTE! November 3rd, 2020

Hello there. How are you? How are you really? How are you doing this year? This month? Today? It’s ok to not be ok. It’s only been 11 months, but somedays it feels like a lifetime since my post in January stating the US Presidential Candidates on AIA issues. We started this year hopeful and …

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Final thoughts from the Sioux Falls Arts Council

Over the last month we have had the privilege of sharing on the Blueprint South Dakota platform a variety of contributors from the local arts community. We hope to have sparked or fanned the flame for architects to incorporate the arts into their daily practice. We implore you to reach out next time you… …want …

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