Catch Up With Chuck Episode 25 Attracting the Rural Creative Class with UNL Interior Design Students and Faculty


May 4, 2018

In this episode of Catch Up With Chuck, Stacy Spale, lecturer of interior design in the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and one of her students, Kenzie Klein, join Chuck to discuss a fascinating interior design project aimed at rural places.

Chuck helped Spale’s class with their studio projects which were focused on investing in a rural community and using design to attract the creative class in the rural areas of Nebraska and beyond. Her students examined rural Nebraska communities and created projects to develop underutilized spaces to promote creativity.

“I didn’t want the students relying on stereotypes or what they think they know about rural Nebraska, so we wanted them to create an informed point of view with their research groups.”

-Stacy Spale


RFI believes diverse and inclusive leadership is needed to propel communities forward, and this course was a great example of that. Spale’s class was made up of 26 diverse students from both urban and rural communities in Nebraska and beyond. Klein, a rural Nebraska native from Cozad, noted that the diversity of the students in the course brought a range of backgrounds, viewpoints and approaches to the project.

“I’d love to incorporate, after this project, that rural development side of interior design. It’s really sparked a lot of my interest.”

-Kenzie Klein


The Rural Future Institute’s goal is to achieve a “Thriving High-Touch, High-Tech Future for Nebraska and the Great Plains by 2040.” This goal requires creative thinking around the unique assets of a community and encouraging future-focused leaders to have the courage to act on their ideas. Spale’s class and their rural opportunities projects are great examples of using creativity to solve rural challenges in Nebraska and beyond.


Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.