• Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio

    Birmingham Museum of Art

    Students in Auburn University’s Rural Studio program, founded in 1993 by architect Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee (1944–2001), confront the problem of building for the residents of the Alabama counties known as the “Black Belt,” one of the poorest areas in the United States. The students act not as caseworkers but as architects seeking to understand the needs and desires of their clients, and the resulting structures, developed in stages by successive groups of students, have taken the form of private residences, cafés, meeting halls, and churches. All are constructed at the lowest possible cost from

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