Rural Studio, was conceived by two Auburn University architecture professors, Dennis K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee, as a method to improve the living conditions in rural Alabama while giving hands-on experience to architectural students, and continues today because of strong leadership and the relevance and worthy purpose of the project.
Even If I had never attended Auburn University as I happily did, I would still love this wonderful project that’s going on in Alabama. That being said, regardless of the school and location, this effort has to be one of the most thoughtful and creative Architectural design and construction efforts highlighting alternative materials and methods, in the whole USA.
The plan to uplift this community while exploring the practical side of small town architectural design and construction possibilities, has been life changing for the people of this community. Community members who may never have realized the luxury of having safe, clean, comfortable and affordable home ownership, are now able to experience such. And yes, if you’ve been too busy to notice, that is a luxury for more and more people in our own neighborhoods, and should not be taken for granted.
I can easily imagine how much the students and community have been positively affected by this new growth. The students involved must be receiving a unique reward themselves as they witness first hand, people going from hopeful, to joyful upon the completion and realization of a new dream home or community building. The locals must find themselves in a state of amazement wondering “what will they do next to make me even prouder of where I’m from?” I’m wondering if these spaces created from the minds and hearts of the young people intent on a better understanding and knowledge of architecture, might be better classifies as “a first hand group experience in the power of Healing a community with Architecture? At the very least, the positive changes that are coming from Rural Studio, are a beautiful thing.
If you can make the time, please look through the website and watch the documentary videos that show the miraculous transformation this community as been going through since 1993, as the Architecture Students continue to discover the secrets to economical and beautiful construction for ALL.
If you love a good success story where everybody benefits, it will be time well spent I promise. Afterwards, if you’re inclined to donate towards the cost of materials for new structures so that these hard-working students can continue their work of discovering viable new alternative building possibilities, please do. This Hale County, Alabama community effort is a model and testament to what group focused practical creativity can achieve with strong leadership, commitment, a budget and perseverance.
Well done Auburn School of Architecture! Congratulations to you for your efforts applying vast amounts of individual and group creativity, to real life needs and making it work so well. It will be interesting to check back with you periodically , to see what’s new from the Rural Studio gang.
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All the best,