Freedom by Design Grant Recipient

Project Location: Ames, Iowa

Project Team: Madison Cardenas, Sarah Cobb, Samuel Contreras, Ben Hansen, Rob Murrow, Sirina Reed, Heather Schulte, Nolan Sullivan, Lauren Stokes 


Design Build

Community Service


Mustard Seed Community Farm is a farm located north of Ames, IA. Their beliefs include community service, land stewardship, hospitality, nonviolence, and sustainability. Our Freedom by Design team was lucky enough to create a relationship with the farm team through volunteering and receive a project from them to complete during the spring semester of 2019. 

The project included creating a space in their newly constructed barn as a place to store and display their goods produced on the farm, including handmade rugs, pottery, candles, and seasonal vegetables and crops.

Constucion Progress
Construction Document Diagram

After multiple iterations and meetings with the farm team, we were able to decide on a five-cabinet moveable display to support the farm's mission. Few have specific functions, such as a the rug pull-out drawer and loom supplies shelving, but many would be interchanglable to meet the needs of the season.

A diagram of the design is shown to the right. The farm team was impressed by our ability to iterate and represent their needs and were excited to see the project advance. The farm team wanted a display that used natural and sustainable materials, had visibility to the products, and would keep dust and dirt off specific products, such as candles and rugs.

Upon receiving a grant from the national FBD organization, as well as wood donations from MSF, the five cabinets were able to be fabricated fully in the College of Design Model Shop by our team members. Two have acrylic faces and tilted top displays, one hosts quilts and rugs with a single swinging drawer and acrylic top, one with full wooden doors, and a small corner unit to hold materials for a loom.

Installation took place in early May 2019 and a post occupancy evaluation was completed in October 2019.


More information about Mustard Seed Community Farm can be found here.

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