Final Presentations: May 11

The four Design Connect teams that have been working hard this semester will present their work to the campus community on May 11, beginning at 4:30 in Milstein Hall.  Come see the designs for Watkins Glen Waste Water Treatment Plant reuse; Seneca Army Depot reuse; Hanover Square alley development in Horseheads, and Geneva City lot redesign.  Conversation (and dinner!) will follow the presentations.  Join us!

Geneva Comprehensive Plan includes Design Connect report!

Cornell Design Connect was invited to investigate pedestrian conditions in the Town of Geneva beginning in January 2015. The team, a group of 9 undergraduate and graduate students, conducted research and outreach over the next 4 months, which culminated in a presentation to members of the Town of Geneva’s Comprehensive Plan Committee in May 2015, and a report, issued in July 2015.  The report has been included in the Town of Geneva’s newly released comprehensive plan as Appendix 3: Pedestrian Infrastructure and NonAutomotive Transportation Analysis!  The full comprehensive plan is available from the Town of Geneva’s website.  Way to go, Design Connect team!

Communities & Organizations — Fall 2016 Request for Proposals!

Design Connect is requesting applications for project partnerships with municipal governments, neighborhood organizations, and other community development organizations for its Fall 2016 semester. Design Connect is a student run community design and planning organization at Cornell University. We are committed to partnering with communities to address significant planning and design issues through a participatory and multidisciplinary process. This process requires a meaningful commitment of time and resources from both the community and Design Connect Teams.

Full RFP (Request for Proposals) available here (also available as .docx)

Application available here (also available as .docx)

Email completed applications to by April 26, 2016.

Students — apply for Design Connect Fall 2016!

Design Connect empowers students and citizens by advancing collaborative, democratic, and sustainable design and planning projects in local communities.

Apply to be a Project Manager next semester by filling out an application (also available as .docx).  Submit applications via email to by APRIL 18.

Interested in participating without being a project manager?  Sign up for CRP 3348/ 5348 for 1-4 credits (1 credit is approximately equal to 3 hours of work each week) and join one of the project teams during our early fall meeting.

Geneva Community Meeting

One of our Design Connect teams is working on a redesign for a former gas station site in Geneva.  Tonight will be a community input meeting — check out the coverage from the Finger Lakes Times!


Mid-Semester Review

On Friday October 30,  Design Connect held their first ever mid-semester review! It was helpful for our teams to hear feedback from professors at this critical stage in our projects- all the teams did a great job, and it was a good opportunity to see each other’s work and learn from the breadth of projects we are working on this semester.

Special thanks for Professors Suzanne Charles, Jeff Chusid, George Franz, Dan Krall, Peter Trowbridge, and, as always, our advisor Michael Tomlan, for their feedback!

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Team Lodi Presenting                                                     The rapt audience

Town/Gown Resource Fair

Megan and Alice, our Community Liason officers, had a great time at Greenstar Coop’s The Space getting to know community members from across Tompkins County’s towns, villages, government and community organizations!

Thanks to Cornell’s Community Relations team for organizing this great event!


DesignConnect wins three awards in 2015!

Executive Team Photo

We are proud to announce that DesignConnect has officially received three awards in 2015!

In March 2015, DesignConnect won the APA 2015 Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award, which is a national award that recognizes the exceptional work of planning student groups.

Next, DesignConnect received the Portman Family Award at CRP graduation a couple weeks ago. The Portman Family Award is made annually to the graduate student or graduate student teams whose work “emphasizes the significance of the physical aspects of planning.”  The CRP faculty felt DesignConnect had made an important difference in several Upstate communities over the course of the last academic year.

Finally, DesignConnect has recently won the Clarence S. Stein Award, from the Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies. The Clarence S. Stein Institute makes awards of up to $20,000 in each of three categories — research, teaching, and community service — for proposals related to the ideas and works of Clarence S. Stein, particularly as expressed in his book, Toward New Towns in America. These include the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban history, historic preservation, and city and regional planning; and both urban and suburban development.

Design Connect Officially Accepts the 2015 Outstanding PSO Award at APA Conference!

A number of Design Connect veterans accepted the 2015 Outstanding Planning Student Organization (PSO) Award this morning at the American Planning Association (APA) Conference in Seattle.

Design Connect receiving APA Outstanding PSO Award Receipt

These students have been Executive Board Members, Project Managers or valuable Design Connect team members in the past and have a deep understanding of the time and effort involved in Design Connect’s work. We are incredibly honored to be recognized on a National level and enthused to continue our efforts in the upstate New York communities. Thank you so much to all students and community partners who have been or are currently involved with Design Connect – the value of our student organization depends entirely on your hard work.

We welcome all interested parties to attend the Design Connect Final Presentations on  Friday, May 8th at 5:30pm in Milstein Hall, Cornell University.  RSVP to, since there will be a dinner following the presentations.

Join us tonight for the ELR Community Engagement Showcase!

Join us tonight for the ELR Community Engagement Showcase! It is in Duffield Hall from 5 to 7 pm and will showcase Design Connect and other organizations that are involved in community engagement work! This is a great opportunity to check out all of the resources at your fingertips – see you tonight!

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