How Can We Make Multifamily Housing More Energy Efficient?
Originally published June 22, 2015 on by Will Nissen

Fresh Energy (a nonprofit promoting smart energy policy) and Aeon (a nonprofit developer and manager of affordable apartment homes) together with the National Housing Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council launched the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network in 2014.  Working on behalf of Aeon, Rosemary has spent the past year as a convening partner organizing this effort. Read More

What Advocates for the Homeless Can Learn From a 30-Year-Old Design Model
Originally published March 15, 2015 on by Alexis Stephens

Amid these nationwide efforts, a decades-old Minneapolis-based design charrette aimed at helping the homeless has found renewed energy for tackling what can often seem like an inexorable problem… Since 1987, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and students have gathered for the annual weekend-long Search for Shelter Design Charrette, hosted by the Housing Advocacy Committee of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota. They offer pro bono design consultation to local and regional affordable housing and homelessness organizations ranging from women’s shelters to neighborhood associations to the Salvation Army. Read More 

Search for Shelter Design Charrette
Originally published by American Institute of Architects Minnesota

“In 2014, the Search for Shelter Design Charrette celebrated its 28th year helping local and regional affordable housing organizations envision beautiful, innovative design solutions for projects that previously existed only in written form. Nine Minnesotan nonprofit agencies were assisted during the 2014 Search for Shelter Design Charrette.” Read More


Creating the Built World We All Want
Submitted to the United Nations for the April 2, 2012 High Level Meeting “Happiness and Wellbeing: Defining a New Economic Paradigm”

“The fact that we, as humans, benefit from the security and comfort of our constructed landscape is without question.  I submit that our challenge, beginning today, is to ensure that both the natural environment and future generations also reap benefits from our self-motivated construction efforts. Ultimately, the design and construction of our built environment should create a net positive impact for today’s users, the natural planet, and future generations.” (photo credit: Dan Jones) Read More 

Right Aid - image

Right Aid
Originally published in the March/April 2012 Issue of Architecture MN

“Rebuilding It Right’s volunteer architects and designers assist North Minneapolis residents impacted by the May 2011 tornado. In the wake of the tornado that damaged more than 3,600 properties in North Minneapolis last spring, contractors flooded the ravaged neighborhoods. Repairs were urgently needed but would they be done in a way that maintained the character and value of the homes and neighborhoods? Read More 

Feb.2012 FFT 2012-0221 Flyer

Weaving Sustainable Design into Affordable Housing
Originally published February 22nd, 2012 by Finance and Commerce

“With oil prices climbing, it seems natural that affordable housing developers would work energy-saving sustainability into their designs. But it doesn’t work that way”, says consultant and architect Rosemary Dolata. Dolata, who also has worked as a nonprofit housing developer, spoke Tuesday during a “Food for Thought” presentation held by the American Institute Architects St. Paul chapter.” Read More 

Affordable Housing Design: Solid, But Could Be Better
Originally Published in the Star Tribune November 10, 2011

“A McKnight Foundation study urges more innovation in place of Minnesota’s ‘thoughtful-but-modest’ designs. Minnesota has long been known as a national leader in the development of affordable housing. But the political and financial tradeoffs that must be made to make new low-income housing happen sometimes can stifle innovative architectural designs that could make such housing more attractive to the communities they’re in and useful to the tenants who live there.” Read More

Addressing the barriers to sustainable design in the process of developing multifamily affordable housing in Minnesota
University of Minnesota M.S. Thesis. December 2011.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

“Sustainable design balances the economic, social, and environmental needs of today with those of the future. This is not an abstract concept. Examples of very sustainable developments exist today. If design professionals possess the skills to design sustainable projects, and the benefits of being sustainable are so clearly accessible, why do sustainably designed projects remain the exception rather than the norm? Focusing on affordable multifamily rental housing as a project type, this paper documents the specific barriers that deter the incorporation of sustainable design in the development process.”


Bungalow Court on Main Street
Originally Published in the Small Home Gazette, Spring 2009

“Ask a Minnesotan about bungalow courts, and you’ll get a puzzled look. Ask a Californian about bungalow courts, and you’ll get an immediate flash of recognition. For you Minnesotans with puzzled looks on your faces, a bungalow court is a group of small homes arranged around a central courtyard. Usually the homes are independent, but sometimes connected.” Read More

Search for Shelter

Designers Making a Difference: The Story of “Search for Shelter”
Originally Published in T/HERE:  Journal of Architecture & Landscape, vol. 2 – 2006

“As architects and designers, we are both blessed and burdened with the incredible responsibility of shaping the world around us. Homelessness and insufficient affordable housing are certainly economic, social and political issues. But at the end of the day, a home is a physical reality, a real structure with an actual address, not a policy printed on paper.”  (photo credit: AIA Minnesota) Read More