Design in the Hills


Design in the Hills 2019

July 18-19, 2019
Rapid City, SD


Greetings from Jenn Johnson, the 2019 AIA SD Design in the Hills Committee chair. The committee extends a big "Thank you" to Kris Bjerke, who has served as committee chair and has led the planning of the conference since it started in 2011!

Design in the Hills is a unique gathering of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers and artists from across the state, along with members of the community to celebrate and elevate the standard of design work in the Black Hills. Each year, we focus on projects and places of interest in the Black Hills communities, rotating the event between the various cities in the region. This conference is unique in the design world; while there are sponsors and continuing education credits, very little of it is provided in a traditional classroom setting.

The conference is interactive and mobile. A full day of tours and presentations is followed by a half day primarily filled by a multi-disciplinary design charrette that tackles an interesting project from that year's community of focus. Read more about Design in the Hills on the AIA SD blog Blueprint South Dakota (


Schedule for Design in the Hills 2019 -- Innovation RC

Thursday, July 18

7:30 a.m.-7:45 a.m.

Meet in the parking lot of Black Hills State University (University Center), 4300 Cheyenne Boulevard, Rapid City.

Bus sponsored by West Plains Engineering.

Morning refreshments sponsored by Nebraska Dakotas chapter of ASLA.

8 a.m.

Facility tour: Black Hills Energy (1 LU/HSW) — Tanya Olson, PLA ASLA, Tallgrass Landscape Architecture, Rod Hubbard, Black Hills Energy, Jenn Johnson, AIA, Black Hills Energy 

9:15 a.m.

Regional Health Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital (1 LU/HSW) — Jenn Johnson, AIA

10:30 a.m.

Green Roofs for Sustainable Solutions (1 LU/HSW) — Rapid City Regional Airport Green Roof Tour — Jason Phillips

12:30 p.m

Sky Factory Lunch & Learn The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space (1 LU/HSW) - Geof Northridge

2 p.m.

Strang: Virtual Reality as a Design Tool (1 LU) — Drew Martin, AIA, NCARB and Peter Tan, AIA, LEED AP

3:15 p.m.

Strang: Creating Spaces for Innovation — Peter Tan, AIA, LEED AP and Drew Martin, AIA, NCARB

4:30 p.m.

Evening mixer and VR demonstration - Zymurcracy Beer Co.

Food and beverage sponsored by Hebron Brick Supply.


Friday, July 19 - Black Hills State University (University Center), 4300 Cheyenne Blvd.

7:30-8 a.m

Sign in, coffee, exhibitor setup - Atrium

8 a.m.

Dakotas Aging in Place (1 LU/HSW) — Leacey Brown, M.S., SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist - Room 120

9:15-9:45 a.m.

Visit sponsor exhibits - Atrium

9:45-11:45 a.m.

Dakotas Aging in Place Design Charrette (2 LU/HSW) — Room 120


SD AIA Summer Membership Meeting - Room 120

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Thanks to Gage Brothers, Hebron Brick Supply, Syverson Tile & Stone, West Plains Engineering, Journey Group, Bridger Steel and Tallgrass Landscape Architecture for sponsoring Design in the Hills.

Design in the Hills is open to all design professionals, including architects, interior designers, landscape architects, planners, interns and students.

Design in the Hills program

Click on the image below to view the full program.