Paul Bauknight
Paul Bauknight, Affiliate Practitioner
Paul is the owner of the Urban Design Lab and Director of Urban Placemaking at Urban Homeworks, both in Minneapolis. He brings to the MDC great experience working with urban communities to help them create safe, healthy, and vital places in which to live and work.

phone: 612.808.6506

Jonee Kulman Brigham
Jonee Kulman Brigham,
Senior Research Fellow
An environmental architect and artist, Jonee has worked in sustainability consulting, design practice, and interdisciplinary research. Her current work in Green Schools and Environmental Education includes designing green school guidelines and researching STEAM education using her model for art-led environmental education.

phone: 651.895.7834

Fernando Burga
Fernando Burga, Affiliate Faculty Member
Fernando is an Assistant Professor in the Urban and Regional Planning program in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on equity in urban planning, especially in relation to immigrant communities.

phone: 612.625.9000
Bob Close
Bruce Chamberlain, Affiliate Practitioner
Bruce Chamberlain is a Principal with Stantec Consulting and leads the Midwest Planning and Design Studio. He is a nationally prominent urban designer with 30 years of private, public and non-profit experience conducting transformational work with a focus on ecological systems and urban design.

Bob Close
Bob Close, Senior Research Fellow
Bob has over 40 years of experience as a landscape architect. He is the owner of Bob Close Studio, which provides landscape architecture, urban design, place-making, and master planning services for the public and private sectors. He has taught numerous sourses in the College of Design.

phone: 651.600.9538
Gabrielle Clowdus
Gabrielle Clowdus,
Research Fellow
Gabrielle is a Ph.D. candidate in housing who leads Settled, a collective working to bring about a Community First response to homelessness through sustainable housing, productive work, and supportive community. She desires equitable communities for the poor, the needy, and the hurting to find refuge and strength.
phone: 612.626.7097
Catherine Malmberg Dannenbring
Gabriel Cuellar, Affiliate Faculty Member
Gabriel is an assistant professor-in-practice at the UM School of Architecture. The practice he directs with Athar Mufreh, Cadaster, focuses on territorial formations and the role of architectural knowledge in struggles for spatial justice.


Catherine Malmberg Dannenbring
Catherine Malmberg Dannenbring,
Affiliate Practitioner
Catherine leads a real estate development practice with a focus on a triple bottom line investment approach that incorporates environmental, social and economic goals. Her research interests include citizen participation in the built environment, project prototyping as a market catalyst and the intersection of urbanism, behavioral economics and health.


Remi Douah
Remi Douah, Affiliate Researcher
Remi has advanced degrees in both design and public health and he previously held the position of Director of Caribbean & Latin America Initiatives at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He also has informatics and project management experience.

phone: 612.716.0100
Tom Fisher
Tom Fisher, Director
Tom served for 19 years as a Dean at the University of Minnesota and became the Director of the Minnesota Design Center in 2015. His research has focused on sustainable architecture, design ethics, and community based service design.

phone: 612.624.1013

Tom Fisher's Bio

Tim Griffin
Tim Griffin, Senior Research Fellow
Tim led the Design Center at the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation for 15 years.  An architect and urban designer, Tim has led countless community engagement efforts and participatory urban design workshops in Saint Paul and beyond.  He also teaches in the College of Design.

phone: 612.860.8857

Joseph Hang
Joseph Hang, Design and Research Fellow
Educated as both an architect and landscape architect, Joseph oversees the day-to-day design, drawing, and model-building work in the office and helps manage the community engagement workshop that we do out of the office. He also teaches in the college.

phone: 612.747.3768

Bruce Jacobson
Bruce Jacobson, Senior Research Fellow
A landscape architect with many years of experience in private practice, Bruce has led a number of the major urban design projects here. He brings to the center project management and design skills, along with his on-going teaching contributions in the college.

phone: 612.244.7702

Ursula Lang
Ursula Lang, Affiliate Researcher
Ursula is a social and cultural geographer who studies environmental planning and design. She has degrees in geography and architecture. 2020 projects include studying green infrastructure and housing politics in Scotland, and intersections of climate resilience and social differences along the Mississippi River.
Jacob Mans
Jacob Mans, Affiliate Faculty Member
Jacob is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on the influence of large-scaled environmental systems on small-scaled building performance, looking at how building systems can spur local economic development.

phone: 608.469.7343
Kathryn Milun
Kathryn Milun, Affiliate Faculty Member
Kathryn is a legal anthropologist working on equitable governance and community ownership of "commons." As Founder and Director of the Solar Commons Project, she leads a research team prototyping community trust ownership of solar energy that gathers the commonwealth of sunlight and distributes it as an economic empowerment tool for low-income community benefit. She is also Associate Professor of Anthropology at UMD.


Kjersti Monson
Kjersti Monson, Affiliate Practitioner
The former Director of Long-Range Planning for the City of Minneapolis, Kjersti Monson brings extensive experience in landscape architecture and urban design to the center, while participating in several urban revitalization and development efforts in the city.

phone: 612.625.9000

Athar Mufreh
Athar Mufreh, Affiliate Faculty Member
Athar is a lecturer at the UM School of Architecture and partner in the architectural practice, Cadaster. Her work and research engages with the forces and infrastructures that shape environmental and spatial conflict.


Aaron Parker
Aaron Parker, Affiliate Practitioner
An architect by education, Aaron Parker leads Metropeligo, which provides urban design services in the Twin Cities and other parts of the U.S. and he brings a strategic focus on the urban design and housing opportunities in diverse communities.

phone: 612.327.1729

Jess Roberts
Jess Roberts, Affiliate Researcher
Jess Roberts, educated as an architect, leads the Culture of Health By Design initiative that offers expertise, guidance, applied learning and on going support to health organizations, government agencies, non-profits and communities looking to build and embed a competency and structure for design thinking.

phone: 651.503.4584

Emily Stover
Emily Stover, Affiliate Researcher
With degrees in architecture and landscape architecture, Emily combines a practice in public art with work in the center on design thinking related to public-sector service delivery, while teaching design thinking to students across the university.

phone: 651.665.9319

Mary Vogel
Mary Vogel, Senior Research Fellow
The former Director of the Center for Changing Landscape and the Rural Sustainable Development Partnership, Mary Vogel has focused on using design thinking and community engagement to envision a future for rural communities.

phone: 612.626.7417

Dewey Thorbeck
Dewey Thorbeck, Research Fellow
An architect and former Director of the Center for Rural Design, Dewey has become internationally known as a leader in the development of rural design as a discipline, an expertise that he brings to the center's rural work.

phone: 612.624.7866

William E. Walsh, MD
William E. Walsh, MD, Affiliate Researcher
Dr. Walsh is a practicing facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He works to promote health equity by helping members of the homeless community lead research and design solutions to address health inequities. He also has an undergraduate degree in design and is a board-certified medical illustrator.