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Cool Idea: Rural Studio's Student-Built Homes

Cool Idea: Rural Studio's Student-Built Homes

If you're searching for examples of modern, affordable, green architecture, look no further. The Rural Studio project of Alabama's Auburn University College of Architecture does just that. Through this program, architecture students are provided with the opportunity to design and build homes and other projects that benefit rural, impoverished Alabama communities and families. Started by architect and professor Samuel Mockbee in 1991, the program has been a positive force in Alabama since that time, creating homes for people who would otherwise be unable to afford them.


The program requires that architecture students spend some of their semesters in rural Hale County, Alabama, to design and build a charity home or community project for members of that community. The homes are built in a modern style using inexpensive and innovative materials, and the project has built a number of homes for $20,000, using green and locally sourced materials.

The architecture school notes that, "To most, the measure of success of the Rural Studio is in its built projects; in reality, its success is measured by its effect upon the lives of the faculty, students, families, and communities it touches. It is not only the buildings that make the Rural Studio what it is, but also the education the students receive about architecture and about society."

To check out some of the homes designed and built through the Rural Studio, check out the gallery.


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Don14933531 Don14933531 4 years
Great reinvention of local vernacular!
NatashaAlexis NatashaAlexis 8 years
On one hand it seems like a great idea, low cost and gets people new to a career some great experience, all while creating a place those in need to call home. On the other hand I think this leaves a lot of room for error. This reminds of that show While You Were Out, when they hired a student decorator. The poor people featured came home to a bathroom covered in fake flowers, or a bedroom painted black! Now, imagine what kind of damage student architecture could do, hope they’re watching those students carefully!
katyharper katyharper 8 years
Mellybean - my alma mater (and hometown!) too! War Eagle!
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
I love the whole idea behind these & the execution. What I love even more is good press about my home state! Lots of people think that Alabama is full of inbred hicks who spend our time farming & riding around in pickup trucks. It's actually a beautiful state full of friendly people, with mountains and beaches and everything in between. Yes, there is a poverty problem in certain areas of the state but it's really a good place to be. (Not that I'm living there now. I'm in Chicago these days.)
mellybean mellybean 8 years
my alma mater! these spaces are amazing...
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Impressive!
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