Environmental Design Lab

Reimagining how community coexists in built spaces

Apprentices in the Environmental Design Lab design for public spaces, engage in architectural theory and practice, and lead community engagement and research. Projects have activated street corners, turned bike racks into unique works of public art, and re-imagined a number of public space projects with input from community members. 

JXTA has given me a space to make art…having to work a lot in order to go to school while also going to school makes it very hard to make time to make art. It’s a place where I have time to consistently create, while also working and getting paid.

Justice Jones

Environmental Design Apprentice

Environmental Design Lab

Reimagining how community coexists in built spaces.

Under the guidance of a licensed architect, Environmental Design apprentices make 3D objects to activate the urban environment. They’re trained to conceptualize designs, produce hands-on 3D and digitally-rendered mock-ups, and install projects of all scopes and scales. 

The Lab uses art and design to create unique and expressive public sculptures and other permanent street furniture, including JXTA’s very own skateable art plaza. Apprentices leave the Environmental Design Lab with a professional design portfolio that would be the envy of college design students.

Lab Leads

Niko Kubota-Armin
Finance Director
M.Arch // UMN Twin Cities
BA Sociology // Bowdoin College
National Organization of Minority Architects // American Institute of Architects // National Council of Architecture Registration Boards
Started at JXTA in 2017
Robbie Seltzer
Environmental Design Lab Lead
BA // Middlebury College, Vermont
M.S. in Urban Planning // University of Minnesota
Co-Founder of Yeah Maybe art gallery // Minneapolis, MN
Started at JXTA in 2018


JXTALabs apprenticeships are available young people ages 14-21 who have successfully completed VALT.