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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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.


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. Applications to volunteer for the upcoming Henderson visit on October 6–9, 2022, are now open.

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 Silver Bay in ENTER.
Read more about MDT’s visit in 2018 to North Branch.
Read the great Initiative Foundation article on how AIA Minnesota’s Minnesota Design Team is helping shape the future of downtown Princeton in 2015.

Program Leadership

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