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The NEW Rural Studio book, Rural Studio at Twenty, is Now Available

Rural Studio at Twenty book now available

Rural Studio Director Andrew Freear and Professor Elena Barthel, with Andrea Oppenheimer Dean and photography by Timothy Hursley, together published Rural Studio at Twenty by Princeton Architectural Press.

Rural Studio at Twenty chronicles the evolution of the legendary program, co-founded by visionary Samuel Mockbee and his friend and colleague D.K. Ruth, and now directed by their equally dedicated and forward-thinking successor Andrew Freear. In addition to showcasing an impressive portfolio of projects, stunningly captured by photographer Timothy Hursley, this book provides an in-depth look at how Rural Studio has thrived through challenges and triumphs, missteps and lessons learned. Significantly, it looks to the future as the studio takes on some of its most ambitious projects yet–from the Rural Studio Farm, a model for sustainable living, to the 20K House program, aimed at creating an affordable home for everyone. The volume is anchored by a collection of essays from advisors, consultants, community partners, clients, and alumni, whose support has been critical to the Studio’s continued success.

Former Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Record, Robery Ivy says, “Rural Studio at Twenty updates the late Samuel Mockbee’s poetic vision with Andrew Freear’s sustained, shining accomplishments. Today, when the student ethos has shifted from theoretical and abstract concerns to public interest architecture, Auburn University’s Rural Studio serves as a beacon internationally. In this excellent book, we see the place, hear the voices, witness the evolution.”

Princeton Architectural Press states, “Our critically acclaimed bestseller Rural Studio (2002) showed how salvaged lumber, bricks, discarded tires, hay and waste cardboard bales, concrete rubble, colored bottles, carpet tiles, and old license plates have been transformed into inexpensive buildings that are also models of sustainable architecture. 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.”

Alice Waters says, “I am inspired by the beautiful, ethical work Rural Studio has been engaged in for the past twenty years, and the radical way in which it has woven together architecture, social responsibility, and sustainability. Rural Studio instills an unwavering commitment to the community in its students, teaching them to become ‘citizen architects’: stewards of the land, deeply creative thinkers, and powerful agents of environmental and social change. The program should be a model for the rest of the country!”

Principal of Olsen Kundig Architects, Tom Kundig added, “The work of Rural Studio is the spiritual soul of architecture’s possibilities. Shelter, home, community–against tough odds students, clients, and communities come together to make magic and enrich us all through their efforts and their legacy.”

Andrew Freear is the Wiatt Professor at Auburn University and director of Rural Studio.

Elena Barthel is assistant professor and third-year instructor at Rural Studio.

Andrea Oppenheimer Dean, former executive editor of Architecture magazine and a contributor to several design magazines, is the author of two earlier books on Rural Studio.

Timothy Hursley is an architectural photographer who has followed Rural Studio for twenty years.


A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Auburn University's Rural Studio when bought through Books A Million at the link below.