Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture

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9780931394522: Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture

The architect and teacher Samuel Mockbee, founder of Auburn University's Rural Studio, was an idealist who put into action one of the boldest programs in contemporary architecture. Mockbee led his students in the design and construction of homes, community centers and other essential structures in Hale County, Alabama--one of the poorest counties in the United States. Mockbee believed that architecture could play a determining role in combating the brutalities of poverty. He inspired students to create vanguard designs and utilize an array of innovative, cost-effective building materials that included scraps of carpet baled into rectangular building blocks. This combination of ingenuity and enterprise informed the unique character of Mockbee's undertaking. Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio appraises Mockbee's unique contribution, assessing how he believed that architecture, practiced as a community-oriented undertaking, could transform the social environment.

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About the Author:

David Moos is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art and a contributing editor to Art & Text and Art Papers.

Samual Mockbee was awarded a ""genius"" grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 2000, one of several signs that his project was gaining national and international recognition. Mockbee recently mounted exhibitions of the work he accomplished with the Rural Studio at the Max Protetch Gallery, New York, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and he was included posthumously in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

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Published by Birmingham Museum of Art (2003)
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David Moos (Editor), Gail Trechsel (Contributor), Samuel Mockbee (Contributor)
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