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Our work to create equitable communities which includes safe, healthy, affordable, zero energy housing with Thunder Valley CDC will be at SXSWECO! Read more

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Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Plan to be Featured in Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Exhibition in NYC May 5th 2016 PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, May 3rd, 2016 –– The groundbreaking collaborative community design project, the Thunder Valley Regenerative Plan, has been selected as one of the 60 design projects to be featured in the By the People: Designing a Better America Exhibition this fall at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The exhibition will run September 30th, 2016 through February 26th, 2017. THE PROJECT & DESIGN TEAM Years in the making, the Regenerative Plan is a visionary design collaboration between local Read more

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Our Design Director, Rob Pyatt, will present a lecture titled "People, Place, Craft, and Community: Designing for Sustainability and Social Impact” on Thursday, May 12th, at Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology located in the famous historical and cultural city of Xian, China. Rob’s talk will focus on how design can act as a catalyst for positive change within communities to address their social, economic, and environmental challenges. Rob Pyatt has been appointed a Visiting Research Scholar in the College of Architecture at Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology in China. This special appointment supports ongoing research with faculty and Read more

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Welcome our new sustainable tribal housing research assistant Elsa Hoover! Elsa is a rising senior at Columbia University studying architecture with a focus on design for indigenous peoples. She is Anishinaabe First Nations, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. At Columbia, she is an active member of the Native American Council and Columbia Mentoring Initiative as well as the coordinator of Manhattan House residence for indigenous students. This summer, when not on Pine Ridge, she will be conducting research for a senior project on systems that maintain inadequate housing on the Blackfeet Reservation and visiting all her favorite rez dogs Read more

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We are pleased to announce that Pyatt Studio Architecture + Planning has been selected by Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) to join their Technical Assistance Provider Team! Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) convenes, guides, and supports a diversity of partners working to improve conditions of home and community. Building on decades of experience, we strengthen development capacity and promote policies that expand opportunity, especially for people at the lowest income levels. With our partners, we transform aspirations into action. Read more

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We’re excited to announce that Molly McCabe has joined the Development team at Pyatt Studio and NASHI. As Development Director, Molly will expand our efforts, connecting donors, partners, and communities with our public interest design and development projects. She comes to us from North Carolina, with a strong background in nonprofit management, fundraising and communications. Molly says, “I am so happy to join this amazing team working to expand resources to improve housing conditions in underserved rural and tribal communities.” Welcome Molly!   Read more

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Meet our newest team member Steve Harrop, AIA! Steve was born and raised in a small town in Wyoming, where he gained a deep respect for the power of community. He graduated with his Master of Architecture from Montana State University's School of Architecture. In addition, Steve is an alum of the award winning Artemis Institute's Remote Studio, where he has also participated as a guest instructor teaching in the design-build program. Steve joins Pyatt Studio as our operations director and architect. Welcome Steve!   Read more

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We've relocated our studio to this 1890's brick building on the Pearl street mall in historic downtown Boulder Colorado! Come visit us and say hello! Read more

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Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative. has been selected as a Special Mention in the Architizer A+ Awards for Architecture +Humanitarianism.  This award celebrates those projects and architects that use their skills and passions to bring vital hope to communities in need. Read more

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We’re an A+Awards finalist - and you can help us become a winner! Vote for our project The Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative in the Plus Categories | Concepts: Architecture +Self Initiated Projects here The online public chooses theArchitizer A+ Popular Choice Award and public voting is open from Marc 15th to April 1st. Read more

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Pyatt Studio selected by the Stronghold Society to design the Pine Ridge Skatepark Public Pavilion and Outdoor Classroom. To learn more about the Stronghold Scociety's work on Pine Ridge, watch their new video documentary "Skateboarding on Pine Ridge" produced by Levis presented here: [embed]https://vimeo.com/142320599[/embed]   Read more

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Rob Pyatt has been appointed a Visiting Research Scholar in the College of Architecture at Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology in China. This special appointment will support ongoing research with faculty and students on high-performance rammed earth housing design and construction in rural China. Read more

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Intern Architect Janna Ferguson accepted into the Certificate in Public Interest Design Program at Portland State University Congratulations to Pyatt Studio Intern Architect Janna Ferguson for her acceptance into the Certificate in Public Interest Design Program at Portland State University as part of her graduate studies in Architecture! "The Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design has been created as a means to prepare future leaders in architecture, urban planning, sustainability, community development and other fields to aid currently underserved populations through sustainable, human-centered design methods." The Certificate will provide an educational foundation for entry into the emerging field of Public Read more

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Pyatt Studio featured on Impact Design Hub! The interdisciplinary design firm, Pyatt Studio, bridges engineering, architecture and sustainable community planning to build place-based solutions for communities. Working In collaboration with the Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Pyatt Studio created the Net-Zero Energy Ready home. Each house is designed to maximize passive and solar access as well as connect each common area with exterior porches. Pyatt Studio is also supporting the Rose Fellowship opportunity at Thunder Valley with Enterprise Community Partners in 2016! Read more

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Putting the Local in Global Education Our invited chapter, Pedagogy into Practice: Teaching Environmental Design through the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative, has been published in a new book titled: Putting the Local in Global Education: Models for Transformative Learning Through Domestic Off-Campus Programs. The position taken in this volume is that domestic off-campus study can be just as powerful a transformative learning experience as study overseas, and that domestic programs can equally expand students’ horizons, their knowledge of global issues and processes, their familiarity and experience with cultural diversity, their intercultural skills, and sense of citizenship. Read more

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The Casa Sanitas Project Published in Rammed Earth Construction: Cutting-Edge Research on Traditional and Modern Rammed Earth. Rammed Earth Construction: Cutting-Edge Research on Traditional and Modern Rammed Earth is a collection of peer-reviewed papers presented at the First International Conference on Rammed Earth Construction (ICREC2015, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, 10-13 February 2015) by academics, engineers and rammed earth practitioners from around the world. The topics discussed in the book include: Construction procedures Durability assessment Material characterisation Seismic design Soil suitability Structural and thermal performance Traditional and stabilised rammed earth structures Rammed Earth Construction: Cutting-Edge Research on Traditional Read more

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A High Performance Rammed Earth Wall System for Cold Climates   The Casa Sanitas project has been featured in the February issue of the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences (JNIBS).   Buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of global energy used, and as much as one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. As the cost of energy rises, and rapid urbanization increases, it has become imperative to take advantage of low-cost passive strategies to reduce the energy demand of buildings, improve the resiliency of local communities and contribute to a positive energy future. Conceived as a Read more

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Pyatt Studio will present the Casa Sanitas project at The First International Conference on Rammed Earth Construction. The conference is hosted by The University of Western Australia and will bring together researchers, engineers and practitioners in order to communicate the latest developments in the design and analysis of rammed earth structures. A two day workshop will be held at Trinity College at The University of Western Australia (UWA), aimed at communicating advances in the design and construction of rammed earth structures to engineers and practitioners. Following the workshop, a two-day conference will be held in Margaret River, aimed at disseminating Read more

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Secretary Castro Visits Straw-Bale Demonstration House on Pine Ridge Reservation This past October, HUD Secretary Julián Castro visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as part of his “listening tour,” when many of his first 100 days in office were spent learning about the needs of HUD’s constituents. The housing conditions he encountered at Pine Ridge revealed both hardship and promise. Secretary Castro visited a 2-bedroom home shared by 13 people, but also toured a demonstration house developed by the University of Colorado Boulder Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI), in cooperation with the Thunder Valley Community Development Read more

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Rob Pyatt to Serve on National Endowment for the Arts Grant Panel Rob Pyatt will serve the National Endowment for the Arts ART WORKS program as a grant panelist along with other artists and designers from across the country. Read more

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Rob Pyatt featured in Architect Magazine A Colorado professor and his students are partnering with Native Americans to bring well-designed, affordable housing to tribal lands. by David Hill It’s mid-afternoon on the rolling grasslands of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in the remote southwest corner of South Dakota. In a field just off Highway 27, as dark clouds are gathering to the west on this hot summer day, three students from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU)—Evan Palmer, Aaron Wirth, and Seth Lopez—are applying a brownish stain to the wood roof overhang of a straw-bale house. It’s quiet but Read more

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Rob Pyatt receives Campus Compact of the Mountain West Scholarship in Action Award Rob was notified by Stephanie Schooley, Executive Director of the Campus Compact of the Mountain West and she stated, "The Scholarship in Action Award recognizes a faculty member at a CCMW member institution whose employment of service learning pedagogy concretely impacted students’ comprehension of course material, enhanced students’ awareness and understanding of current social issues, and addressed a pressing community identified need. The committee unanimously agreed that Mr. Pyatt’s Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI) not only meets, but exceeds these criteria. We believe that NASHI exemplifies Read more

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Rob Pyatt and NASHI Receive HUD Research Grant A University of Colorado Boulder (CU) service-learning program, funded by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), is bringing stakeholders and students together to offer the Oglala Lakota Nation viable models of sustainable, energy-efficient housing. The Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota face some daunting odds. Located in the second poorest per capita county in the United States, the Pine Ridge reservation is also one of the largest reservations at 2.1 million acres. Recently, the executive director of the Oglala Sioux Housing Authority observed that the Read more

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Rob Pyatt and NASHI Win the National ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award Congratulations to Rob Pyatt and the Native American housing Initiative for winning the 2013-2014 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award, Excellence in Housing Education Course or Activity for Designing for People & Place: Sustainable & Affordable Housing for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This award recognizes the importance of good education in housing design to produce architects ready for practice in a wide range of areas and able to be capable leaders and contributors to their communities. Each year, ACSA honors architectural educators for exemplary work in areas such Read more

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NASHI featured on Impact Design Hub! The team that designed and built Thunder Valley’s first net-zero energy home with South Dakota’s Oglala Sioux community was recently featured in High Country News. Following up on the project’s spectacular video (which also made it to our top 10 public interest design videos list,) writer Nate Seltenrich shares the upcoming plans to build 18 additional high-efficiency passive-solar homes, which are due to be ready in May, along with data about the cost savings for construction and utility usage. Along with NASHI’s tribal housing initiative, there is a list of four additional sustainable housing Read more

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Pyatt Studio Featured in High Country News Magazine Building Better Homes in Indian Country by Nate Seltenrich There's no other house like it on the Oglala Sioux's 2 million-acre Pine Ridge Reservation: Its walls are insulated by 18-inch strawbales rather than plastic sheeting, and its radiant-floor heating is much cheaper than the typical propane or electric. A frost-protected shallow foundation inhibits mold and is more energy-efficient than the damp basements common here. Surrounded by South Dakota's open prairie, the rectangular home with its red-metal roof is one of four prototypes the local nonprofit Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is building Read more

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Our Video Designing for People & Place Makes GOOD Magazine's Best of 2013: The Top 10 Public Interest Design Videos by Katie Crepeau Here are ten videos—in chronological order—that captured our attention at Public Interest Design over the past year and represent the range of initiatives shaping the dialogue around design education, practice, and performance. From North Carolina to Rwanda to Bangladesh, the stories shared below are sure to make you reflect on the outstanding accomplishments made in 2013, along with inspiring you for what lies ahead in 2014. Read more

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Rob Pyatt Contributes to Article in Community Investments Magazine  Building Green and Respecting Native American Identity: Housing, Culture, and Sustainability in Native American Communities Author(s): Mike Blanford, HUD Office of Policy Development and Research; Brian Gillen, HUD Office of Public and Indian Housing; Lynda Lantz, First Pic, Inc.; Robert Pyatt, University of Colorado Boulder; and Jamie Blosser, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative Native American tribes have long faced challenges in providing safe, decent, and affordable housing for tribal members. Recognizing the extreme housing conditions and needs in many Native communities, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is Read more

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Pyatt Studio Selected as Architect for the Thunder Valley Youth Shelter On Pine Ridge Reservation.   Read more

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Rob Pyatt, will receive the 27th annual faculty Excellence and Equity Award from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at the University of Colorado Boulder tomorrow night! This award is designed to recognize faculty who have successfully and effectively worked to promote the principles of inclusive excellence in teaching and learning, higher education program management or leadership development. Read more

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Secretary Castro Visits Straw-Bale Demonstration House on Pine Ridge Reservation

This past October, HUD Secretary Julián Castro visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as part of his “listening tour,” when many of his first 100 days in office were spent learning about the needs of HUD’s constituents. The housing conditions he encountered at Pine Ridge revealed both hardship and promise.
Secretary Castro visited a 2-bedroom home shared by 13 people, but also toured a demonstration house developed by the University of Colorado Boulder Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI), in cooperation with the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC). Like other Sustainable Construction in Indian Country efforts you’ve read about here, NASHI is funded by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). The project also benefitted from the construction engineering and sustainable design expertise of PD&R staff.