Rural Studio at Twenty: Designing and Building in Hale County, Alabama (Samuel Mockbee)

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AIA Gold Medal | Samuel Mockbee, 2004

Whitney M. Young Jr. Award | Auburn University Rural Studio, 2015


For two decades the students of Auburn University's Rural Studio have designed and built remarkable houses and community buildings for impoverished residents of Alabama's Hale County, one of the poorest in the nation. The critically acclaimed 2002 bestseller Rural Studio showed how salvaged lumber, bricks, discarded tires, hay-and-waste cardboard bales, concrete rubble, colored bottles, carpet tiles, and old license plates were transformed into inexpensive buildings that were also models of sustainable architecture.

Rural Studio at Twenty chronicles the evolution of the legendary program, founded by AIA Gold Medal winner Samuel Mockbee, and showcases an impressive portfolio of projects. Part monograph, part handbook, and part manifesto, Rural Studio at Twenty is a must-read for any architect, community advocate, professor, or student as a model for engaging place through design.

By Andrew Freear, Elena Barthel & Andrea Oppenheimer Dean
Princeton Architectural Press, 2014
Paperback, 288 pages
8.2 x 1 x 10 inches

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