‘Hale County Animal Shelter’ (Alabama) by Rural Studio, 2006
(courtesy Timothy Hursley)
Auburn University’s Rural Studio is one of 16 projects representing the United States at the Venice Biennale’s 11th International Architecture Exhibition. The exhibition, titled Into the Open: Positioning Practice, explores the relationship between architecture and community.
Rural Studio is a highly acclaimed design/build program for Auburn architecture students. The program’s intention is to provide the rural poor with homes and community facilities that “aspire to the same set of architectural ideals and virtues as projects with substantial budgets and prosperous clientele.” Samuel Mockbee, the program’s legendary founder, is quoted as saying ““Everybody wants the same thing, rich or poor … not only a warm, dry room, but a shelter for the soul”. The best thing is that the students use local imagery for inspiration and local materials in construction. They also live in the community while they work on the project.
Beautiful, innovative, socially responsible planning and design combined with lessons on professionalism, volunteerism, and individual responsibility….right on, right on.
Rural Studio will also have an exhibit at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona this October. In March, Rural Studio won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture from La Cite de l’architecture et du patrimoine.
Rural Studio here: www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/rural%2Dstudio/
Mockbee here: www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/rural%2Dstudio/mockbee.htm
Venice Biennale here: www.labiennale.org/en/
US exhibit here: positioningpractice.us/