Teacher Developed Activity, T-DA!
Activity Name: Spatial Planning and Design Concepts
Seminar: Building America: Minnesota Iron Range
Grade Ban: 9-12
For use with lessons about: Design Careers/Spatial Planning
Time Needed: 2 lesson – 45 minutes
Copy of Minntac DVD
Laurentian Vision Partnership conceptual drawings and other materials
This lesson offers a real world application of the importance of the design process
through the development of land use. It offers an expanded view of “design” and the
“spatial planning” of an area though its restoration and utilization of value added
qualities. Students will be exposed to the “charette” method of design, a powerful tool for
establishing a shared vision in a public venue. Drawings will be used to explore solutions
and resolve conflicts of stakeholders for a win/win solution.
Essential question: How can design concepts be used in a broader context by the
spatial planning of a land use area for future development?
Students will understand the diverse history and present interests of a specific
geographical area; the Minnesota Iron Range
Students will use critical thinking stills to take the role of a current stakeholder of
a community group and collaborate with others groups
Students will understand the “charette” method of design
Students will use design and drawings to achieve a shared vision and create
collaborative solutions to a problem.
1. Discussion is built around “How is the design process used in problem
solving”? Look at examples of „design” in furniture making, city planning,
landscaping, etc. Design is a plan and solves problems for creative and
2. Students will view materials on the history of taconite mining and land use of
the Mesabe Iron Range of Northern Minnesota for context. They will also
Minnesota Humanities Center 1
have a brief overview of the diverse population that has attributed to the
3. Students will critically view a Minntac promotional DVD, taking note of
issues that address the surrounding community and the stakeholders that might
4. Students will take on the role of a current resident in the area and brainstorm
concerns and needs for future development noting historic conservation,
economic development, and environmental concerns.
5. Each group shares their concerns and what they would like to see happen in
the area for development. Once sharing is complete, they return to their
groups and prepare a drawing that represents their ideas for public viewing.
The group shares their ideas once again to the entire class with their visual
6. Student view and discuss Laurentian Vision Partnership materials and the
charrette model of community planning and design to see the results of the
Partnership‟s design team planning.
Who We Are
Large Scale Projects Map
Innovation Grant Program (.doc)
Possible extension to this lesson-
Explore the development of the student‟s local community. What is the community at
large planning for city development or land-use? What is their design process?
Minnesota Humanities Center 2
Handout: Public Design Workshop (Charrette)
You will be divided into groups using the list below. Circle the group you are
assigned to :
Mining companies Property owners (local and distant)
Neighboring communities National and local designers
Define individual goals for your constituencies.
What would you like to see happen?
What are your concerns?
What ideas can you incorporate to further develop this area? Make a drawing to illustrate
your ideas for presentation to the group at large.
Minnesota Humanities Center 3
Spatial Planning and Shared Vision Rubric
CATEGORY Needs Improvement Satisfactory Excellent
Note taking from Student doe not list Students find two or Student lists six
Minntac Promotional more than one three stakeholders possible stockholders
DVD Video stakeholder or possible and/or possible issues and/or issues that
issue from the DVD from viewing the DCD might be important
from viewing the
Group work Student does not Student participates Student takes a
participate with group somewhat in t=group leadership role in the
activity. No ideas are activity. Some ideas group activity.
offered. are shared. Brainstorming ideas is
Minnesota Humanities Center 4
http://nrhp.mnhs.org/iron_range.html Minnesota Historical Society
http://www.taconite.org/ Minnesota Iron Mining
www.LVPMN.org Laurentian Vision Partnership Coordinator
This site is the basis of the lesson plan using the drawing and the conceptual ideas from
the designer‟s plan. It also gives websites for the different companies involved. Under
“Design Workshops” the different drawings are highlighted as PDF files.
www.VoyageursRetreat.com Voyageurs Retreat
This site highlights the design of a land development project for housing. The site has a
photo gallery of the building homesites
www.giantsridge.com Giants Ridge
This site has additional proposed drawings of Giant‟s Ridge land development called
Mountain Top Village and Base Resort Village
www.IronRangeResources.org Iron Range Resources
The site‟s purpose is economic development in the Iron Range area.
http://www.clui.org/ The Center for Landuse Interpretation
The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a research organization involved in exploring,
examining, and understanding land and landscape issues.
http://www.charretteinstitute.org/charrette.html National Charrette Institute
The NCI Charrette System is a design-based, accelerated, collaborative project
management system for all aspects of community planning including sustainable
community plans, regional/comprehensive plans, transportation/infrastructure plans,
and development plans.
http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/links/public-art/index.shtml Iowa Arts Council Public
This is a great site for a comprehensive link to many websites that incorporate land use,
public art and design.
Giant Ridge Master Development PlanResort Times 2020: Vision for the Future Summer
Brochure explaining the Giant Ridge plan for land development.
Laurentian Vision Partnership: Transforming pits and piles into lakes and landscapes
Laurentian Vision Partnership
Brochure explaining the rational and ideas behind the project.
Minnesota Humanities Center 5