ISU Design West Studio wins national economic development award

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University's Design West Studio won the University Economic Development Association's (UEDA) 2010 Award of Excellence in Partnership Development at the UEDA Annual Summit in Reno, Nev., Nov. 9.

Located in Sioux City, the studio is a satellite program of the ISU College of Design in partnership with Iowa State University Extension, the city of Sioux City and a number of community groups.

The award recognizes a UEDA member for developing strong or unique partnerships between organizations and academic institutions, and using this partnership to achieve a shared goal. Winners receive a certificate, plaque and engraved glass award.

"This is a great honor for ISU Design West and the region because it showcases the amazing partnership we have forged to benefit students on the Iowa State campus, students in Siouxland and the community at large," said Susan Fey, ISU Design West program coordinator.

"Not only is Design West an urban incubator for designers, it has been a force within the Siouxland region to inspire community and economic development," she said.

Fey and Maggie Dougherty, an Iowa State third-year architecture student from Sioux City, presented the project in a juried competition with two other finalists - Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., and East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. - at the UEDA summit. Awards were announced at the closing banquet.

Since 2007, nearly 200 Iowa State students and more than a dozen faculty members have been involved in 12 studio outreach projects in Sioux City through ISU Design West, an investment of more than 15,000 hours of design work on community issues.

Student showing his work at 2010 Summer Design Workshop.

The studio has hosted three summer design workshops for local high school students, and a similar workshop for middle school students is planned for 2011. And, it has offered public programming on a range of topics, including green design and historic preservation.

ISU Design West recently won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to provide its educational programming at low or no cost, thus allowing a greater number of people to access these programs.

"ISU Design West is an urban experiment station linking students, faculty, extension specialists and the Sioux City community into a continuous, evolving and catalytic force for positive change," said Tim Borich, associate dean for outreach in the College of Design and director of ISU Extension Community and Economic Development. "While partnerships are never easy, this award is a testament to how Iowa State University, and its College of Design and Extension system, continues to work with the Sioux City area to the mutual benefit of all."

More information on ISU Design West is available at

The University Economic Development Association is a national organization of higher education, business and economic development professionals. For more information on UEDA, see