by Samuel Mockbee
This 1998 essay by Sam Mockbee, the founder of Rural Studio, exhibits exactly why his spirit and ideas live on after his death.
Auburn's Rural Studio in western Alabama draws architectural students into the design and construction of homes and public spaces in some of the poorest counties. They're creating beautiful and economical structures that are not only unique but nurture sustainability of the natural world as of human dignity.
by Samuel Mockbee
SOF producers spent a week in Alabama talking to students, clients, and teachers about the Rural Studio. They journal their own observations about the work being done, and the issues being raised and addressed.
Rural Studio structures dot the landscape of four counties in Alabama. Get a sense of that space and place. Zoom in and click on the pincushions to see these selected buildings and learn a little bit more about them.
[audio slideshow, 2:45]
The iconographic structures of Mason's Bend have become synonymous with Sam Mockbee and the Rural Studio. We've put together a feast of images and voices from the people who live and work there.
The Rural Studio 20K House is in its fourth generation now. All have been single story and aluminum clad. This group of students are changing that, and face the challenges of creating a two-story loft.
The Rural Studio has completed their third generation of the 20K House — budgeting $10,000 in materials and the rest for future profit for a contractor. In a clever twist for a pair of brothers, they've combined the two in the form of a dogtrot. Take a look.
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A family enjoys the newly constructed ball fields at Lions Park in Greensboro, Alabama.
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Managing Producer: Kate Moos
Senior Producer: Mitch Hanley
Producer: Colleen Scheck
Associate Producer: Shiraz Janjua
Associate Producer: Rob McGinley Myers
Production Intern: Amara Hark-Weber
Online Editor/Web Producer: Trent Gilliss
Associate Web Producer: Andrew Dayton