Guide Proceed and Be Bold: Rural Studio After Samuel Mockbee

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Refer to eBay Return policy for more details. You are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee if you receive an item that is not as described in the listing. Payment details. But I mean, what an amazing concept. I mean, talk about sustainability, which is now a catchword for everyone. And the truth of the matter is, is not just that the sort of the huge sort of upfront costs of things like that.

But the fact of the matter is that I am better off making sure that if I put in a septic system, that the local people can fix it if it fails. But you have to choose your moments with those things, I think. I mean, if all of the discussion about how the forms and things of the Rural Studio are strange and look very different to contemporary life, at the Rural Studio, we very rarely actually have a conversation about the sort of the stylistic nature of the architecture.

So somehow, the form and the shape and the, kind of the grain of the material can actually begin to generate the form of the building.

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And it, very rarely do we say, well, you know, I want to do a tower, because it looks cool. Because if you give somebody a public building ….

Samuel Mockbee, "The Rural Studio and his work", 1996-11-25

And I think that the students spent their entire first term educating the client as to what they needed to do to offer the citizens of Hale County an animal shelter in terms of liability, in terms of insurance, in terms of collecting money to make sure that this thing worked. I mean, we, before Sambo died, we used to talk about the education of a citizen-architect. I mean, they just, the people are just being blown away by the energy and commitment and enthusiasm that students bring to these projects. So they graduate on May the 5th, and then they spend an extra year building and finishing off their projects just because they want to.

FREEAR: … walk off into the world having shown that they can make that kind of commitment to the world and to society? We were in their homecoming parade last year. They all come by and wave to us. They know who we are. And I think the word itself has become problematic.

Proceed and Be Bold

How do you, you know, is that a line you walk? How do you think about this? Yes, we will work with you. We want to listen to you. We want you to be very critical about what we do. We educate them to understand drawings, to engage in a conversation about spaces, to engage in, you know, the question of, what do you want? When people have never been asked what they want. We make lots of models. We make lots of perspectives, so people can begin, or at least try to begin, to imagine themselves in that place, because they have never been asked to do that before.

Is that right? How do you think about that? What words would you put to what the worth of this is, why it matters? And in west Alabama, what you really appreciate is small victories, very incremental interventions. But what you do is just sort of one, little piece at a time. And there was an area of asphalt, and I always say the word asphalt wrong.

Asphalt, asphalt, asphalt. The, we wanted to take automobiles out of the park, and our inclination was to tear up that piece of asphalt. You know, that represented a substantial public investment and, for us. And what that forced us to do was to begin to make creative interventions into that piece of asphalt that was a parking lot and is no longer a parking lot. And our students have begun to imagine ways of dealing with that surface and putting planting in that surface that softens it, that stops it taking in so much heat, makes it more beautiful.

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And he challenged us. And our students have been provoked into this situation of making a surface that will be unlike any surface anywhere in the world. And, you know …. And I enjoy that sort of, or I delight in the sort of the beginning to sort of fix the fabric, you know, sew together in very, very small ways, both architecturally, but also sort of community-wise and …. You know, maybe if we have a good public park in west Alabama, kids will stay in west Alabama. And his, he has nothing to gain from this other than he wants to make Greensboro a really good place to live.

He just wants it to be a good place with a good education and good public parks. He comes to public meetings. And they committed staying here until this project was completely done. They could be using their degree making money in the real world, but they opt to commit to getting this part of the project done, and which they did. This whole park is still a, you know …. And the reason, you know, that the projects are so successful and they get a lot of the acclaim that they do as pieces of architecture, I think, really just grows from that.