With Independence Day in America having just passed, I was feeling nostalgic when considering what I wanted to share with our audience this month. I decided to go back to my academic roots. Being from the South, I recalled how nearby Auburn University’s Rural Studio, and in particular its visionary co-founder, Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee, were so inspirational to me during my architecture studies way back when.
Together with D.K. Ruth, Mockbee founded the Rural Studio in Hale County, Alabama. The Studio is a community-based program that teaches architecture students the tenets of socially responsible design while providing cutting-edge architecture for some of the state’s poorest communities. The educational design/build program is guided by a simple tenet – ‘everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul.’
Rural Studio’s aesthetic is oftentimes described as contemporary Modernism grounded in Southern culture. In the documentary below, you can see how each of the Studio’s projects are very much rooted in the spirit of the place they serve.
If you’d like to delve further into the Rural Studio’s mission, check out ‘Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio.’