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.

1 comment:

Sioux said...

The resulting book must be seen to be believed. My hope is that others will understand this vanguard and repeat the meme elsewhere, with equal intyerest and sensitivity to the needs of certain communities in need.

I shared this book with a rich kid from Brazil. He couldn't fathom a personal interest in working to provide housing of any kind for the poor, (roughly 1/3) of the residents of Sao Paulo. But, it could be done there? I asked, picturing numerous manifestations...

Here, we merely call them 'temporary structures.'