Design in the Hills


Design in the Hills 2018

Thanks to our sponsors and attendees for another great Design in the Hills, New Ruralism: Custer, which was held July 19-20 in Custer.

This year's program included a tour of Star Academy, which is being reimagined as a sustainable light-industrial campus, a charrette on potential repurposing of an abandoned feldspar plant, a tour of the Custer Regional Hospital Healing Garden and the Custer Community Center.

Check out the schedule and program below to learn more about 2018's event.


Save the date for 2019

Design in the Hills 2019 is planned for July 18-19, 2019, in Rapid City.


Recap of Design in the Hills 2018 - New Ruralism: Custer

Thursday, July 19

7:45 a.m.

Meet in the parking lot of Rapid City High School, 601 Columbus St.

9:10 a.m.

Facility tour: SLIC-e Campus (1 LU/HSW) – What's next for STAR Academy?: SLIC-e (Sustainable Light Industrial Campus & eco-ecological economics), from Gene Fennell, AIA, Fennel Design Inc.; Tanya Olson, PLA, ASLA, Tallgrass Landscape Architecture and Jared Carson, SLIC-e CEO and former Custer mayor

10:10-10:45 a.m.

RAW Student Design - Build Courses (1 LU/HSW) – Paul Neseth, AIA, Locus Architecture

paulsm.jpgNESETH BIO: Although Paul Neseth intended to be an architect since the age of ten he spent many years working and studying in areas peripheral to architecture.  From pouring concrete for grain-bins on Southern Minnesota farms to teaching woodworking to native Bajans in Barbados to cutting mortise and tenon joints in China, Paul has merged his talents in design and construction with his desire for travel, learning and diversity.  Paul brings that passion for creative, new architectural ideas to the firm through investigations into alternative construction methods and materials.  Outside of architecture, Paul has designed items as diverse as furniture, lighting fixtures, remote control switches, automobile brakes and children’s toys. He has been a member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and is currently a mayoral appointee for the Committee on Urban Environment in Minneapolis.

11 a.m.

RAW Dakota 2011 - The Hearth (1 LU/HSW) – campsite and overlook – Paul Neseth

Noon-12:45 p.m

Catered outdoor lunch at campsite - Provided by Ro-Batta Asian Cowboy Grill

1 p.m.

Rural Renewal: Pacer Spar Plant Industrial Site Revitilization tour (1 LU/HSW)

2 p.m.

Facilty tour - Custer Community Center, old elementary school (1 LU/HSW) – Gene Fennell, AIA, Fennel Design Inc.

2:45 p.m.

Regional Health Custer Hospital and Clinic Healing Garden (1 LU/HSW) – Tanya Olson, PLA ASLA, Tallgrass Landscape Architecture

3:30 p.m.

Mount Rushmore presentation - Mount Rushmore Society Executive Director Diana Nielsen Saathoff / Cheryl Schreier, Mount Rushmore Superintendent, Room 120

4:30-5:30 p.m

Evening mixer - Mt. Rushmore Brewing Company, Custer (Food and beverage sponsored by Hebron Brick Supply)

6:30 p.m.

Return to Rapid City High School

Friday, July 20 - Black Hills State University (University Center), 4300 Cheyenne Blvd.

7:30-8 a.m

Sign in, coffee, exhibitor setup - Atrium

8 a.m.

Burning Beetle presentation – Hank Fridell, Burning Beetle committee leader

9:15-9:45 a.m.

Visit sponsor exhibits - Atrium

9:45-11:45 a.m.

Rural Renewal: Pacer Spar Plaint Industrial Site Revilalization 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 the 2018 event.

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

Design in the Hills 2017, “Adaptations,” focused on the expansion of downtown Rapid City “Past Fifth,” from downtown to the School of Mines campus. It included tours of several adaptive re-use projects, a charrette on “Supported Housing” with a special Duluth Housing Model presentation and a bus tour to the Bridger Steel facility near Blackhawk.

Design in the Hills program

Click on the image below to view the full program.