Rapid City, SD (2021)

In this third summer of the Friends & Citizens summer studio, the student interns explored a new mixed-use concept for Downtown Rapid City. The Fairburn Building could be a gem.

Friends & Citizens is a summer-long design studio that integrates the academic and professional worlds of architecture for a group of interns. Each summer, CO-OP oversees a handful of students from various disciplines, offering them the tools and guidance required to complete a theoretical design project in addition to some practical daily work. On the theoretical side, the students interact with various entities – including local governments and business owners, design professionals, and the general public – as they design a conceptual solution to a real-world problem in a local community. The students develop their design skills, take part in public policy discussions, learn smart and sustainable land use and urban planning strategies, and most importantly, help build vibrant communities. At the end of the summer, they present their research and design publicly with the hopes of bringing the project to life down the road.

Four design students – Becca Woytassek, Nate Krueger, Elsie McGuigan, and Kenzie Trujillo – spent the summer of 2021 conceptualizing a ground-up, multi-use building in Downtown Rapid City. In addition to the architectural and interior design work, the students researched the socioeconomic benefits of developing the project. They also collaborated with a talented team of marketing interns at Fresh Produce to develop a brand identity for the building that would unite advertising, wayfinding, signage and other marketing elements under one common language. The Fairburn Building was named after the state gemstone, the Fairburn Agate, which can be found in the area of the site. The varied layering of the Fairburn Agate is reflected across the building’s design.

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