2020 Design in the Hills Shifts Perspective to Your Eyes | Black Hills Travel Blog

2020 Design in the Hills Shifts Perspective to Your Eyes

  • 2020 Design in the Hills Shifts Perspective to Your Eyes
    2020 Design in the Hills Shifts Perspective to Your Eyes
Thursday, July 16, 2020
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Each July over the past decade, architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers and artists have gathered in South Dakota’s picturesque Black Hills for Design in the Hills, an interactive and mobile “unconference” that celebrates well-known and obscure built-environment gems across the region.

A New Contest

With COVID-19 pushing back all Design in the Hills events to 2021, Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association has partnered with the American Institute of Architects South Dakota (AIA SD) to open this year’s virtual event to the public through the Design in the Hills 2020 Photo Contest. One final $150 gift card to Downtown Rapid City will be provided by AIA South Dakota to the winning photo.

The Rules

The competition follows all current Fan Photo Friday rules with one exception: Photo subjects should be a built environment or part of a built environment within the Black Hills. This includes current or historic Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, bridges, public art, sculptures, etc., but does not include sites of exclusive natural beauty such as Roughlock Falls or the Cathedral Spires. For reference, all photos included in this blog provide examples of photography from local architecture firms in the Black Hills to set the stage of the beautiful built environment in the region.

As the Black Hills region offers a unique palette of natural building materials and historic context for built environments, this leaves a nearly endless list of structures and projects for all to capture and share with the world. We are excited to see the variety of Black Hills design you submit, and we encourage you open our eyes to some of the area’s overlooked jewels and popular sites viewed from uncommon perspectives.

About Design in the Hills

AIA SD’s annual Design in the Hills, which rotates each summer between various Black Hills communities, showcases fascinating design projects in the Black Hills. Attendees tour projects and places narrated with stories of design, construction and renovation. Although the two-day event offers an abundance of continuing education opportunities, very little content is provided in a traditional classroom setting and participants have the opportunity to network and socialize with fellow design professionals. Each Design in the Hills culminates with a design charrette, with attendees splitting up into multi-discipline teams to exercise their collective design muscles in search of built-environment solutions.

From AIA South Dakota

Architects and design professionals from across the state love traveling to the Black Hills for this elite event. AIA SD thanks the Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association for partnering with our organization to create this fun challenge to celebrate the region’s wealth of built-environment beauties with a worldwide audience.


AIA SD will highlight each of the past Design in the Hills events in upcoming July Blueprint South Dakota blog posts. Here is a sampling of sites we have visited to help get you thinking about built environments:

  • Main Street Square (Rapid City);
  • Prairie Berry Winery (Hill City);
  • Dick Termes’ Termespheres gallery (Spearfish);
  • Art Alley (Rapid City);
  • Mount Moriah cemetery (Deadwood);
  • Rapid City Regional Airport Green Roof (Rapid City);
  • PowerHouse Park (Deadwood);
  • Spearfish Sawmill (Spearfish);
  • Dignity Sculpture while under construction (visit sculpture off I-90 exit at Chamberlain rest stop);
  • The Garage (Rapid City);
  • Homestake Mine-Sanford Lab Visitors Center (Lead);
  • Deadwood Mountain Grand: former Homestake Mining Slime Plant (Deadwood);
  • The Abode (Custer); Black Hills Energy headquarters (Rapid City);
  • Harley-Davidson Plaza Rally Point (Sturgis);
  • Custer Regional Health Clinic and Healing Garden (Custer).

Grab your camera and show us what you’ve got! Enter your photo here. 

All photos provided in this blog are courtesty of local Black Hills design firms.

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