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Since its inception in 1965. the Endowment has provided 
a model for design advocacy. From its visionary support of 
The Railroad Revitalization Act of 1976, which led to the 
adaptive reuse of dozens of historic railroad stations and 
the reclamation of major down-town areas across the country, 
to the sponsorship of the design competition for the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Endowment has displayed 
its commitment to promoting the nation's well-heing 
and social consciousness through design. 



The Growing Role of Design in a Changing World 
The approaching turn of the millennium serves as 
an ideal time to recognize how profoundly the 
societal, economic, technological, and cultural shifts 
of recent decades have impacted the ways in 
which people live, work, and interact with each 
other and with their surroundings. 

Design possesses the power to connect 
spheres of economic activity; it enables individuals 
and communities to relate meaningfully to their 
surroundings; and it levels barriers to new ideas. 
Design acts as a bridge, facilitating the functioning 
of products, services, environments, and 
communications while delivering economy, 
efficiency, beauty, and clarity to everyday life. 

The Endowment's Role 

The National Endowment for the Arts significantly 
impacts the public realm through a series of 
initiatives and programs aimed at introducing 
the nation's wealth of design resources to 
governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, 
foundations, and businesses as they embark on 
projects that will affect the physical and visual 
environment. Whether through the development 
of public housing, the renovation of federal 
buildings, or the conservation of ecologically 
unique tracts of land, the Endowment provides a 
meeting ground for all those concerned with 
effecting positive change through design. 

The initiatives, though broad in scope, are 
unified in their demonstration of the power of 
design to work across social, political, geographic, 
and professional boundaries. Through these 
programs, the Endowment offers concrete — and 
widely felt — design solutions to the increasingly 
complex problems affecting our nation. 








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Your Town: 

Designing Its Future 

Preserving the Special Spirit 
of America's Rural Communities 


The communities of rural America 

are facing a range of critical problems-in some cases, heavy 
outmigration and a loss of jobs; in others, rapid growth from suburban 
sprawl, the location of a new facility or an influx of a retirement 
population. These problems affect the vitality of the community, 
its design and sense of place. Rural leaders often feel powerless to keep 
rural towns intact and to preserve community pride. 

Your Town: Designing Its 

workshops focus on an important aspect of community 
spirit and community integrity: the process of design. The 
workshops aim specifically to introduce rural technical 
assistance providers and rural decision makers to the role 
of design in community planning. 

Your Town is intended for those who 
provide rural technical assistance in 
economic development or land use 
and those who influence and make 
decisions about the way rural 
communities will look and work in 
the future: civic organization and 
business leaders, local elected 
officials, regional and county 
planning commissioners, board 
members of Certified Local 
Governments, rural electric 
cooperative board members and 
employees, recreation and tourism 
officials, and federal and state 
employees active in rural economic 

The workshops take place over a 
two-and-a-half day period. It is a 
participatory workshop, with an 
emphasis on the practical application 
of learned material through small- 
group exercises. The culmination of 
the workshop is a group problem- 
solving effort. A proposed bypass, a 
new subdivision, infill development 
on Main Street — these are some of 
the issues the groups must resolve 
and present their solutions 
graphically. The exercise is a dynamic 
learning process in which participants 
apply the key concepts of the 
workshop as they learn from, and 
teach, each other. 

The workshop course material 
addresses a range of issues in rural 
community planning. The curriculum 
focuses on the process by which rural 
communities construct a vision about 
their future, evaluate their natural 
and cultural assets, and implement 
decisions about how their community 
should look and function. The aim is 
not to promote specific answers to 
specific questions but, rather, 
a framework for problem solving. 
Materials are presented in a highly 
visual format, principally through 
slides and maps. 

Your Town workshops are produced 
by regional institutions that have 
been selected for the excellence of 
their faculties as well as their ability 
to provide on-going technical 
assistance to rural communities. 
Each workshop also brings in guest 
speakers who are design 
professionals or experienced 
practitioners in rural community 
issues. The workshops are 
coordinated by the director of the 
Rural Heritage Program at the 
National Trust for Historic 
Preservation and the chair of the 
Department of Landscape 
Architecture at SUNY Syracuse. 


Workshop in Unicoi Lodge, 

Northern Georgia 


Talbot Street Historic Area 

St Michaels. MD 

front cover 

Coon Valley, Wisconsin 


National Endowment 
for the Arts 

The Nancy Hanks Center 

1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506-0001 

Pageantry 100# White Smooth Cover 

generously donated by 

Champion International Corporation 

Brochure design by Tenazas Design 
San Francisco 

Printed by Expressions Lithography 
San Francisco 


The construction of our nation's great urban civic spaces — 

Central Park in Manhattan, Boston's Copley Square 

required designers, engineers, citizens and government 
representatives to come together in a common purpose. 
The same melding of talent must occur today to shape the 
nation's nascent virtual civic places on the Internet. 



Providence, Rl 

Forums Ga,,eries : Pr0,ec,s 



Daley Plaza in Chicago- 


The goal of Civiscape is to weave 
together the talents of the 
technology and design communities 
with other interested audiences to 
help shape the online civic landscape. 
Civiscape is a forum for 
interdisciplinary discussions of design 
and technology, and a laboratory 
where online technology is 
developed with constant input the 
design communities and other 
interested audiences. 

As a site on the World Wide Web, 
Civiscape provides a window into an 
online research laboratory, where 
designers from all disciplines can 
experience cutting edge software 
tools for shaping the online world. 
The site brings designers into the 
loop of research and development by 
giving them a chance to experience 
and critique emerging online 

As a place for community building 
among designers and other 
interested citizens, Civiscape provides 
interdisciplinary discussion forums 
and virtual galleries for communities 
and individuals to post design work 
and receive feedback on it. The 
program's education and outreach 
component also sponsors non-digital 
symposia and presentations for the 
design community and other 
interested audiences. 

You can explore Civiscape on the 
World Wide Web at the following 


©Alex Maclean /Photonica 

front cover 
© Rob Silvers 


National Endowment 
for the Arts 

The Nancy Hanks Center 

1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506-0001 

We would like to acknowledge the 
generous contribution of Rob Silvers 
for the use of the cover image, 
and Photonica for the use of the 
image by Alex Maclean 

Pageantry 100# White Smooth Cover 

generously donated by 

Champion International Corporation. 

Brochure design by Tenazas Design 
San Francisco 

Printed by Expressions Lithography 
San Francisco 





Federal Design 

Improvement Program 

Fostering Design Excellence in 
the Federal Government 


Design has been a concern of our nation 

since the federal government came into being. 
Washington, Jefferson and Madison's concern for 
the beauty and stature of the fledgling nation's capitol 
and executive buildings evidence an understanding 
of design's integral contribution to image, performance 
and quality of life. 

Design activity and political thought 

are indivisible. 

— Thomas Jefferson 




U.S. Capitol 

Washington, DC 


Computer image of redesigns 

of HUD plaza by Martha Schwartz 

Regard for good design in federal undertakings has both waned and 

soared throughout America's history. Today, with financial and material 

resources dwindling, federal officials must get the best results with 

fewer dollars. How can they do this? Through understanding the 

benefits of and investing in good design. 

To help federal agencies understand the benefits of good design and achieve design 
excellence in federal undertakings, the National Endowment for the Arts established 
the Federal Design Improvement Program (FDIP) in 1972. FDIP projects have ranged 
from the Federal Graphics Improvement Program, which helped more than 60 
federal agencies review and improve their visual communication standards, to the 
Federal Architecture Project, which updated the Guiding Principles of Federal 
Architecture, helped secure the passage of the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act 
and produced the Federal Presence: Architecture, Politics, and Symbols in United 
States Federal Building. Current activities include providing private sector peer 
review for the design of federal facilities, organizing design workshops, and 
implementing design awards programs. 


e Federal Design Improvement Program forms 
^■nerships with various agencies and assembles some 
of the country's top design professionals to participate 
n intensive workshops. The two- or three-day 
brainstorming sessions yield useful design guidelines 
for such diverse projects as: 

The development of housing on Indian 
reservations with the Department of 
Housing and Urhan Development 
(HUD); exploring how the social, 
spiritual and cultural values of Native 
Americans can he incorporated into 
low-cost housing. 

• The creation of an integrated identity 
and marketing scheme, including a 
logo, advertising campaign and all 
communications, for the Department 
of Education's newly launched Direct 
Student Loan Program, 

• The conservation of an ecologically 
unique 1,400 acre trad of forest and 
1. 1 1 in Li in I iii Maryland, and its 

conversion into a nature/education 
center for the Department of 
Agriculture [Natural Resources 
Conservation Service. 

The rehabilitation of historic buildings 

for various agencies, including the 
Department of Treasury's main 
building next to the \\ bite House, the 
1930s Department of Justice 

headquarters, and the DID building 

and plaza in Washington. DC, designed 

in 1963-65 bj Marcel Breuer. 

The participating design experts advise 

on such topics as adaptive reuse. 
energj conservation, urban 

reclamation, visual identity and 

historic presen ation. 


Frank G. Mar 

Community Housing Project 
Oakland, CA 

fop right 

Ellis Island Immigration Museum 

New York, NY 

front cover 

© Kazuya Shimizu/Photonica 


National Endowment 
for the Arts 

The Nancy Hanks Center 

1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506-0001 

Q Th 


The Federal Design Improvement Program promotes good 
design and provides models of design excellence by helping to 
organize national design awards programs for federal agencies 
such as the General Services Administration, Department of 
Transportation, and the Department of Defense. The Arts 
Endowment gives its own design awards, Federal Design 
Achievement Awards, every four years, in conjunction with its 
administration of the Presidential Design Awards. These awards 
recognize exemplary projects in architecture, engineering, 
landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, 
as well as product, interior, and graphic design. 
Past winners include: 

• A low-income housing development in 
Oakland, California, jointly 
undertaken by the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development 
(HUD), the city of Oakland, a local 
non-profit housing developer, 
neighborhood interest groups, and a 
architecture firm with expertise 
in affordable housing. 


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• The rehabditation of the historic 
225,000 square-foot main budding on 
Ellis Island into an immigration 
museum by the Department of the 
Interiors, the National Park Service 
and two architectural firms. 

• A visually compelling new atlas of fast- 
changing Eastern Europe, covering 
geography, demographics, economy 
and historical boundaries, executed 
by the Central Intelligence Agency and 
a cartography consultant firm. 

• A master plan for the reclamation of a 
waterfront site in Washington, DC, 
sponsored by the General Services 
Adminstration. The plan for Southeast 
Federal Center calls for 5.8 million 
square feet of new and adaptively 
reused office space, plus other mixed 
uses, and is aimed at reintegrating the 
area into the city's urban grid. 

We would like to acknowledge the 
generous contribution of Photonica for 
the use of the image by Kazuya Shimizu. 

Pageantry 100# White Smooth Cover 

generously donated by 

Champion International Corporation. 

Brochure design by Tenazas Design 
San Francisco 

Printed by Expressions Lithography 
San Francisco 

Improving the Design and 
Livability of America's Cities 


Cities are dynamic political and economic organisms 

that shape the very nature of our society and 
provide the physical anchor of our cultural identity. 
Cities are places where ideas are exchanged, 
where social trends are set in motion, where 
political movements are shaped, where artists find 
audiences and where authors are given voice. 

Mayors, as the chief proponents 

of their cities, 

can also be seen as their most influential urban designers. 

They are places of commerce, where 
business ventures are incubated, 
deals are struck, marketable skills are 
developed and refined and wealth 
is generated. Cities exercise powerful 
economic and environmental 
influences on entire regions and 
are home to an ever expanding 
percentage of the population. 
Cities are the very essence of our 

12th Mayor's Institute, 
University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, VA 


City Hall 
Escondido, CA 

The mayor's desk often is a 
checkpoint for every significant 
development regarding the form and 
fabric of the city. Consequently, 
decisions made by the mayor- 
matters of public works, 
transportation policy, redevelopment 
and new construction, zoning and 
community planning-manifest 
themselves in a physical form that 
will endure for generations. These 
decisions should be informed by a 
mayor's understanding of his or her 
role as caretaker of the city and 
advocate for the future. 

Not surprisingly, few mayors have 
received formal education in urban 
design, and this presents the Mayors 
Institute with an opportunity to 
expose mayors to the transforming 
power of design. The National 
Endowment for the Arts, 
in partnership with schools of 
architecture and urban design across 
the country, sponsor the Mayors' 
Institute on City Design as a forum in 
which mayors can engage in a 
mutually rewarding exchange of 
ideas with experts in architecture and 
urban planning, public housing and 
private real estate development, 
urban economic analysis, historic 
preservation, transportation 
planning, environmental 
conservation, and other facets of city 
building and design. 

In over forty sessions since its inception in 1986, the Mayors' 
Institute has hosted over 300 mayors from more than 250 cities. 
During each session, a team of high-caliber design professionals 
spends three days with a select group of elected officials, 
discussing ways in which the mayors can exercise their political 
leadership to make their cities more economically vibrant, 
more environmentally sustainable, more livable, more attractive 
and more secure — in short, how to improve function of their 
cities' many roles as home, workplace, centers of culture and 
recreation, and supreme symbols of human accomplishment. 

Participating mayors have gone on 
to become active defenders and 
conservators of their cities' public 
realm through their advocacy of 
intelligent development and support 
of home-grown efforts to improve 
the quality of the built environment. 
Their efforts have resulted in a 
number of national design awards. 
Design professionals who have 
participated are better able to 
understand the complex potential 
and limitations of the political 
process in city building. Together, 
alumni form a grassroots network of 
enlightened designers and public 
officials whose example echoes 
through their communities long after 
the institute has ended. 


Overtown Pedestrian Mall 

and Transit Access 

Miami, FL 

front cover 

© Peter Vanderwarker 


National Endowment 
for the Arts 

The Nancy Hanks Center 

1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506-0001 

We would like to acknowledge 
the generous contribution of 
Peter Vanderwarker for the use 
of the front cover image. 

Pageantry 100# White Smooth Cover 

generously donated by 

Champion International Corporation 

Brochure design by Tenazas Design 
San Francisco 

Printed by Expressions Lithography 
San Francisco 

is to foster ilir excellence, diversity, and 
vitality of tin- arts in the I nited States, 
and to broaden public appreciation of the 
arts. Through its leadership initiatives 
the Endowment supports and encourages 
exemplar) projects thai promote the 
social, artistic and economic welfare 
ol our nation. 


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