Auburn University

Rural Studio Honored with 2015 AIA Award

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The acclaimed design/build program Rural Studio has been awarded the 2015 Whitney M. Young Jr. Prize by the AIA. Founded in 1993 by D.K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee, the Auburn University-based architecture studio has committed to build homes and community buildings for residents in western Alabama for over 20 years. Along with the diverse portfolio of projects, their work has contributed to the rise in impact design. “The commitment to designing for those who need it most—which Rural Studio has inspired in a full generation of architects—is the force-multiplier for this small group that echoes beyond Hale County.”

Established in 1972, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award has honored architects and organizations that embody the profession’s proactive social mandate through a range of commitments, including affordable housing, inclusiveness, and universal access. The award is named after the civil rights–era head of the Urban League who confronted—head-on—the AIA’s absence of socially progressive advocacy at the 1968 AIA National Convention.

Click here to read the full press release on 2015 Whitney M. Young Jr. award winners Rural Studio, online at AIA.org.

Book: ‘Rural Studio at Twenty’ Released

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Auburn University’s esteemed Rural Studio has released a third book today commemorating the program’s 20th anniversary. Written by Andrew Freear, Elena Barthel, Andrea Oppenheimer Dean, and Timothy Hursley, Rural Studio at Twenty documents the portfolio of projects implemented by the design-build studio in Hale County, Alabama, since legendary Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee first started the program. The 288-page book is available on Amazon and Princeton Architectural Press.

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. Rural Studio at Twenty chronicles the evolution of the legendary program, founded by (MacArthur Genius Grant and 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.

Click here to purchase Rural Studio at Twenty, online at Amazon.com.

Book: 'Rural Studio at Twenty' Released

ruralstudio20

Auburn University’s esteemed Rural Studio has released a third book today commemorating the program’s 20th anniversary. Written by Andrew Freear, Elena Barthel, Andrea Oppenheimer Dean, and Timothy Hursley, Rural Studio at Twenty documents the portfolio of projects implemented by the design-build studio in Hale County, Alabama, since legendary Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee first started the program. The 288-page book is available on Amazon and Princeton Architectural Press.

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. Rural Studio at Twenty chronicles the evolution of the legendary program, founded by (MacArthur Genius Grant and 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.

Click here to purchase Rural Studio at Twenty, online at Amazon.com.

‘CAD Meets HCD’ With The Autodesk Foundation

ruralstudio

“There I sat, surrounded by dozens of classmates, staring up at a hulking computer monitor, pecking away at a beige keyboard. We were buried in our “Introduction to AutoCAD” final project…” began our own John Cary‘s recent GOOD article “Computer-Aided Design Meets Human-Centered Design.” Now as the Autodesk Foundation’s Impact Program Curator, Cary traverses through his professional journey that has come full circle to Autodesk, along with citing the work of MASS Design Group and numerous university design programs who are teaching valuable hard and soft skills for future ‘impact designers.’

When this year’s graduates are plotting their future, I hope they better understand the potential marriage of technology and human-centered design than I did all those years ago. They can start by joining Autodesk and the Autodesk Foundation in using design to tackle epic challenges. Our communities, countries, and countless others around the world need measurable, impactful, human-centered solutions more than ever. So, let’s get to work.

Click here to read “Computer-Aided Design Meets Human-Centered Design,” online at GOOD.is.

'CAD Meets HCD' With The Autodesk Foundation

ruralstudio

“There I sat, surrounded by dozens of classmates, staring up at a hulking computer monitor, pecking away at a beige keyboard. We were buried in our “Introduction to AutoCAD” final project…” began our own John Cary‘s recent GOOD article “Computer-Aided Design Meets Human-Centered Design.” Now as the Autodesk Foundation’s Impact Program Curator, Cary traverses through his professional journey that has come full circle to Autodesk, along with citing the work of MASS Design Group and numerous university design programs who are teaching valuable hard and soft skills for future ‘impact designers.’

When this year’s graduates are plotting their future, I hope they better understand the potential marriage of technology and human-centered design than I did all those years ago. They can start by joining Autodesk and the Autodesk Foundation in using design to tackle epic challenges. Our communities, countries, and countless others around the world need measurable, impactful, human-centered solutions more than ever. So, let’s get to work.

Click here to read “Computer-Aided Design Meets Human-Centered Design,” online at GOOD.is.

Rural Studio 20th Anniversary Campaign Launched

ruralstudio20

Co-founded in 1993 by the late, great architects Samuel Mockbee and D.K. Ruth, Auburn University‘s Rural Studio is ringing in its 20th anniversary this year. Auburn is wisely giving all of us admirers a chance to pitch in, sponsoring everything down to a 2×4 and all the way up to (and beyond) a six-figure gift.

While Auburn University covers the administration costs for Rural Studio, we rely on grant funds and philanthropic gifts from donors like you to build projects while also providing support for students and faculty. Your donation of any amount through the Auburn University Foundation is a tremendous gift and helps build a home for a family today and educate the citizen architects of tomorrow.

Click here to learn more the Rural Studio’s 20th Anniversary campaign, online at RuralStudio.org.

NYTimes Slide Show: “Good, by Design”

Accompanying the “Dignifying Design” op-ed that appeared in the print edition of The New York TimesSunday Review section is an online slide show of related projects. Several of the projects appear in the new Autodesk Gallery exhibition, such as the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda by MASS Design Group (featured prominently in the article) as well as the Embrace Nest infant warmer and the ReMotion Knee by D-Rev: Design Revolution.

We are especially happy to introduce a few non-exhibition projects, including the gorgeous Windsor Farmers Market by the Studio H high school design/build program of Project H Design in North Carolina, the amazing Lions Park Playscape by Auburn University‘s Rural Studio students in Greensboro, Ala., and the stunning Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Va., by Virginia Tech‘s design/buildLAB.

Click here to view the “Good, by Design” slideshow, online at NYTimes.com.

NYTimes Slide Show: "Good, by Design"

Accompanying the “Dignifying Design” op-ed that appeared in the print edition of The New York TimesSunday Review section is an online slide show of related projects. Several of the projects appear in the new Autodesk Gallery exhibition, such as the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda by MASS Design Group (featured prominently in the article) as well as the Embrace Nest infant warmer and the ReMotion Knee by D-Rev: Design Revolution.

We are especially happy to introduce a few non-exhibition projects, including the gorgeous Windsor Farmers Market by the Studio H high school design/build program of Project H Design in North Carolina, the amazing Lions Park Playscape by Auburn University‘s Rural Studio students in Greensboro, Ala., and the stunning Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Va., by Virginia Tech‘s design/buildLAB.

Click here to view the “Good, by Design” slideshow, online at NYTimes.com.

New Book: Designed for Habitat

When architects talk about design work for the public good, we’d wager that more times than not people’s next question has something to do with Habitat for Humanity. Yet, for much of its storied history, successful and known collaborations between Habitat and architects have been few and far between. Designed for Habitat: Collaborations with Habitat for Humanity (Routledge, 2012), a new book by David Hinson and Justin Miller of Auburn University, effectively changes that. Here’s what our own John Cary had to say about the book in his back cover endorsement:

Designed for Habitat presents potent evidence of the link between design and dignity, particularly in the context of low-income housing. It captures a crucial trifecta of perspectives–Habitat for Humanity leaders, homeowners, and designers. Their powerful, sometimes explosive stories aren’t sugarcoated by Hinson and Miller; the pair makes clear that these collaborations present huge challenges for often-opposing cultures, but can yield unprecedented payoffs. With America’s housing in a perpetual state of crisis, such partnerships are more important than ever. This highly-instructive, landmark book is an unmatched guide for future collaborations. It communicates so clearly and so convincingly to Habitat and its homeowners that they too deserve good design; indeed, we all do.

Click here to learn more about and order Designed for Habitat: Collaborations with Habitat for Humanity, online at Routledge.com.

ArchRecord: Univ. Humanitarian Design Programs

There are estimated to be over 100 community design programs in universities across the country, a great many of which maintain active design/build components or full-blown community design centers. The fourth of seven sections of “The Good List,” published by Architectural Record, profiles a few standout programs. Each is recognized nationally and distinguished for their commitment to good design and unique models of community engagement.

University-based programs profiled include the Portland State University / University of Texas at Austin Building Sustainable Communities (BaSiC) Initiative, The Building Project at Yale University, The Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit-Mercy, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) also at Mississippi State University, The Rural Studio at Auburn University, Studio 804 at the University of Kansas, the Tulane City Center at Tulane University, and the University of Arkansas Community Design Center.

Click here to read “The Good List” in its entirety. Caption: Photo of the Lion’s Park Playscape, a Rural Studio thesis project, in Greensboro, Ala., featured here in this month’s Architectural Record.