[Un]Building the Rural: The Strategic Subtraction of Sidney, Nebraska

Caitlin Tangeman

ARCH 614 /Fall 2016 & Spring 2017

This thesis addresses the issue of rural decline through research that acknowledges the changing rural condition, focusing on the community of Sidney, Nebraska, after the projected loss of Cabela’s. The question is not how to “save” declining communities, but how to appropriately design for the unique condition of decline in the rural environment. This thesis explores the strategic unbuilding of Sidney, Nebraska, as a mechanism to transition the community back to the natural landscape. New hybrid programs, related to the history and culture of Sidney and Cabela’s, are integrated into the community as it shrinks to ease the transition and take advantage of opportunities that arise through depopulation.

This project was also a 2017 Cunningham Finalist.