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
John Carmody
John Carmody, Senior Research Fellow
John served as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. He has deep knowledge of sustainable building practices and has focused more recently on sustainable-community, design-guideline development.

phone: 612.251.1630
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,
Graduate Research Assistant
Gabrielle is a housing studies PHD student. She desires equitable communities for the poor, the needy, and the hurting to find refuge and strength. Her research works toward this goal.

phone: 612.626.7097
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

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
Martha McDonell
Martha McDonell, Administrator
Martha brings experience in community organizing and in academic administration to address the human resource, project management, and budgetary management needs of the center, while ensuring the smooth operation of the office.

phone: 612.625.9000


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

Javkhlan Nyamjav
Javkhlan Nyamjav


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

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

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

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