Design is inherently communal. By the iterative and shared nature of their work, designers have an outsized impact on their communities and the lives of people within them. From creating an interactive game to help Fargo, North Dakota residents reduce their carbon emissions, to working with South Minneapolis community members on an exhibition about the 35W freeway's division and destruction of Black communities, our faculty and students are co-designing with communities across the nation.

An illustration of the interior of a school building.
"eFargo" Turns Reducing Energy Use into Interactive Game

A project years in the making, eFargo is an interactive game that teaches users about carbon emissions and helps them reduce energy use in the real world. Developed by a team of faculty and students from the College of Design and North Dakota State University (NDSU), the project was initially created and has subsequently been led by Associate Professor Malini Srivastava (Architecture). The project has won numerous awards, including the highly competitive 2022 R+D Award from Architect Magazine.

HUMAN TOLL: A Public History of 35W
Open now through December 31 at the Hennepin History Museum, "Human Toll: A Public History of 35W" explores community resistance and resilience, and illustrates how freeway construction destroyed and divided Black communities across the United States, amplifying the effects of systemic racism that are still felt today.
 
This exhibit was developed in part by students and alumni of the Heritage Studies and Public History program. It was researched and developed over two years by a diverse team of South Minneapolis community members and advisors working in collaboration with student and faculty.
 
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society. Image depicts the construction of 35W in the 1960s.
Construction of 35W