Minnesota Design Team (MDT) is an AIA Minnesota program comprised of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, and other experts in design and community development. Founded in 1983, its multidisciplinary volunteers teams have worked with more than 130 rural communities helping them to develop shared visions for improving their physical and environmental designs

MDT assists communities in planning and designing a viable, appropriate future. It works not only with design issues such as main street improvements, but also with the fundamental planning process that allows residents to take the initiative in continuing to plan a future that reflects the dreams and interests of the community.

MDT believes a community’s future depends on the physical, social, environmental, and economic values its citizens embrace. The work of MDT involves translating these values into sustainable design ideas the community can implement.

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Sign up for the Hanover visit in September 14–17

Please consider joining us for the Minnesota Design Team visit to Hanover!

Located 14 miles west of Maple Grove and just minutes south of St. Michael and Albertville is the uniquely positioned City of Hanover with a population of 3,610. Located within both Hennepin and Wright Counties on the western edge of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, Hanover does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council as a majority of the city lies in Wright County.

Primary Topics for the Visit:

— The community has seen significant residential growth in the past two years (15-20%) and will continue to see major growth for the foreseeable future. As a bedroom community, one of Hanover’s challenges is connecting new residents with existing residents and developing a shared community vision.
— Building on a successful restaurant industry, the community seeks to bring in additional commercial business and encourage revitalization of the City’s downtown commercial district. 
— There is a major road project planned for the artery through their community in 2024. The community seeks assistance in ensuring connectedness of their Main Street corridor as well as connectivity to the North Crow River (design of a future trailhead) which flows right through its Downtown River District. The Community has several commercial properties in need of development, providing Hanover with a unique opportunity.

If you are interested in joining us for the visit, please complete the application found here.

Questions: Please contact either Katie Kangas, AIA, or Richard Baker.


Interested in having an MDT visit? Start with this information sheet to for an introduction to MDT and the visit process. Next, learn more in depth on the “Community Information” page or download the Community Workbook. Sign up for our mailing list for occasional updates and reminders of application deadlines.


Make a difference in rural Minnesota communities by volunteering your time and expertise.

For those wishing to volunteer for MDT, learn more at the “Events/Programs” page.

AIA Continuing Education Units are available for team visits. Join us at our committee meetings each month if you are seeking good fellowship, fun, and an opportunity to do something that makes a difference.

In the News

Read more about MDT’s visit in 2022 to Henderson (Henderson Independent)
Read more about MDT’s visit in 2022 to Silver Bay (ENTER)
Read about how Minnesota Design Team helped Nisswa (1999 visit) and Crosby (2010 visit) in this article from 2019 (Brainerd Dispatch)
Read more about MDT’s visit in 2018 to North Branch (Isanti-Chisago Star)
Read more about MDT’s visit in 2016 to Crosslake (Pine and Lakes Echo Journal)
Read how AIA Minnesota’s Minnesota Design Team helped shape the future of downtown Princeton in 2015 (Initiative Foundation)

Program Leadership

Co-chairs: Hans Muessig, Allied AIA MN and Beth Evanson Makhoul, AIA
Co-chair elect:
Richard Baker
Staff Liaison:
 Ann Mayhew
Committee meeting date: 3rd Wednesday of the month, 4:30–5:30 pm
Read the committee charter.