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Proceed and Be Bold: Rural Studio After Samuel Mockbeeby Andrea Oppenhe Dean
Synopses & Reviews
"Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul."Samuel Mockbee
Based on this simple premise, in 1992 Samuel Mockbee launched the Rural Studio to create homes and community buildings for the poor while offering hands-on architecture training for coming generations. Choosing impoverished Hale County, Alabama, for his bold experiment, Mockbee and his Auburn University students peppered this left-behind corner of the rural South with striking buildings ofexceptional design. Most use recycled and curious materials: hay bales, surplus tires, leftover carpet tiles, even discarded 1980 Chevy Caprice windshields. The publication of Rural Studio brought this innovative work to the public, andfive printings latercontinues to affect the way people view architecture.
Since Mockbee's death in 2001, the Rural Studio has continued to thrive, a tribute to its founder's vision. In 2004, the American Institute of Architects posthumously awarded Mockbee its highest honor, the Gold Medal for Architecture. Under Mockbee's successor, Andrew Freear, the studio has seeded southwest Alabama with an additional seventeen architectural landmarks, and all are shown here. With thoughtful text from Andrea Oppenheimer Dean and stunning photographs by Timothy Hursley, thisnew book explains the changes the studio has undergone during the last four years and its continuing ability to "proceed and be bold," as Mockbee counseled.
"The first title documenting Samuel Mockbee's architectural practice, Rural Studio (2002), has been through five printings; it is beginning to have an impact similar to that of Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language 30 years ago on the ways architects and designers conceive of what they do, how they might go about doing it — and for whom. Mockbee, who died in 2001, believed that great architecture could be made from simple materials (as well as unorthodox and recycled: tires, windshields, hay), for people who were often living in far from ideal conditions; he put his ideas into practice via his studio in out-of-the-way southwestern Alabama. This book documents the studio's work under Andrew Freear in the years since Mockbee's death, including the gorgeously simple Antioch Baptist Church in Perry Co., Ala., which rose like a phoenix from within its century-old predecessor, and a totally heterodox, perfectly calibrated house for a man called Music Man." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
In 1992, architect Samuel Mockbee and his students at Auburn U. began designing innovative houses and community buildings for impoverished residents of Alabama's Hale County. With text by Dean (former executive editor of Architecture Magazine) and photographs by architectural photographer Hursley, this work profiles the Rural Studio in the period following its founder's death. Seventeen recent buildings are described and pictured, and the evolution of the project in the past four years is described.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Since Samuel Mockbee's death in 2001, the Rural Studio has continued to thrive, a tribute to its founder's vision. Under Mockbee's successor, Andrew Freear, the studio has seeded southwest Alabama with an additional seventeen architectural landmarks, and all are shown here. Andrea Oppenheimer Dean is author of several books on architecture including Rural Studio and editor for journals including Architecture, Architectural Record, Preservation, and Landscape.
In 1992, Samuel Mockbee launched the Rural Studio to create homes and community buildings for the poor while offering hands-on architecture training for coming generations. This new book explains the changes the studio has undergone since his death.176 pp.
About the Author
Andrea Oppenheimer Dean is author of several books on architecture including Rural Studio and editor for journals including Architecture, Architectural Record, Preservation, and Landscape. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Timothy Hursley is an award-winning photographer who established his own office in 1982. His books include Rural Studio and Brothels of Nevada. Hursley lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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