"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Location: Alabama


Our primary mission is to advocate for the collaboration of the design arts and their importance in creating and enhancing place in Alabama.

Who is DesignAlabama?

DesignAlabama is a nonprofit, citizen-led organization that seeks to raise the bar for design in our great state through education of the applied arts, promoting designers who live and work in Alabama and supporting sound design thinking to sustain our communities. Our board of directors is made up of design professionals, community development officials and business professionals who champion design.

What does DesignAlabama do?

DesignAlabama was founded in 1987 under the wing of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The organization has since developed initiatives to bring awareness to design professions that help shape how we live and the environment around us. The design arts supported include a range of interconnected fields including architecture, engineering, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture and urban design.
Some of our most impactful initiatives have been our Mayor’s Design Summits. In these daylong workshops civic leaders work with designers and planners to excavate ideas that will help make their communities desirable, profitable and more livable. We even tackle important design problem solving such as rebuilding after a natural disaster.

DesignAlabama also creates educational content to inform civic leaders and the general public of design processes and why design is a critical factor in using resources effectively. We share case studies from Alabama designers to highlight examples of successful creative work being done across our state.

Professionals associated with DesignAlabama visit communities selected to participate in the DesignPlace Program to provide design, planning and community identity assistance. Included are design professionals with experience in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, graphic design, interior design and planning, showing the underlying success of community development when design arts are used. During intensive visits of one to four days, DesignPlace professionals survey the community, review issues to be addressed, meet with community groups and leaders, develop recommendations, and outline strategies for implementation.

How are communities selected for DesignPlace?

Communities who have been represented at the DesignAlabama Mayors Design Summit can apply to participate in DesignPlace. Please download the application, complete and submit to DesignAlabama for consideration. A committee of design professionals charged with directing the program will make final selections.

What are the benefits of DesignPlace?

Perhaps the greatest benefit is the stimulation and mobilization of the general public. Citizen participation is absolutely critical to the success of DesignPlace or any local design and planning initiative. A DesignPlace visit is not an end in itself; rather, a new beginning. DesignPlace is invaluable for illustrating the value of community design and planning in Alabama. It stimulates awareness of design issues and dramatizes the impact design can have upon a community’s vitality and the quality of life within its boundaries.

What are the costs associated with DesignPlace?

The DesignAlabama design professionals offer their time and expertise at no cost to the community. The community, however, is expected to commit to the following:
• Reimbursement of travel and other out-of-pocket expenses for team members
• Provide lodging, meals, equipment, supplies and a workspace for team
• Defray cost of publication and distribution of team’s findings and recommendations
• A financial commitment by the community to implement recommendations