Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Mockbee Legacy: Rural Studio
Few people embody community service the same way as Auburn University architecture professor and visionary Samuel Mockbee. Mockbee, who started the Rural Studio program at Auburn in 1993, five years after James graduated from Auburn's architecture program, believed that good design and affordability were possible goals in building homes in rural Alabama. With an army of architecure students, architecture was no abstract concept. Instead, students applied their knowledge to the hands-on task of building homes for those in need. Many of the structures, created out of hay bales, recycled materials, and industrial materials, stretched the students' creative process. In establishing the Rural Studio, Mockbee, who died in 2001 from leukemia, not only taught the next generation of architects about design, but about social responsibility.