On Tuesday Autodesk launched the global Autodesk Foundation. The initiative looks to invest and support non-profit organizations using design to tackle pressing world issues like climate change, access to water, and healthcare. “We want to support and accelerate the design-led revolution currently underway, by investing in design-driven entities that are pursuing scalable solutions with measurable impact,” said foundation CEO and Autodesk Senior Director of Sustainability, Lynelle Cameron. Through their Impact Design Program, the foundation selected four pilot grantees currently engaged in such ventures. —Kenya-based KickStart International designs simple agricultural irrigation tools that help local farmers. —MASS Design Group builds healthcare facilities for parts of the world where they are needed most. —D-REV creates products like prosthetic limbs meant to aid the well-being of those living on less than $4 a day. —Samuel Mockbee's Rural Studio at Auburn University was the final recipient of an inaugural grant for their 20K Project, to a campaign create affordable energy-efficient housing in Alabama.
Posts tagged with "Rural Studio":
Dan Rockhill is best-known in New York as the design father of Studio 804 at the University of Kansas, where he teaches. The studio is among the most successful in the country at actually creating high-quality, sustainable, and LEED-certified buildings produced and built by students. Not only has the studio won many “green” awards for their design-build structures, but they are notable for their high design standards—unusual in sustainability studios. New Yorkers will get a glimpse of the studio’s pathbreaking work on Wednesday, November 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., when Rockhill delivers a lecture at the Dom showroom at 66 Crosby Street. In addition to showing the work from Studio 804, Rockhill will present his own work that is, as he says, “tightly bound to the natural milieu and culture of the Kansas region.” This means, I suppose, that the work does not have the architectural flamboyance of Rural Studio, but, befitting the context of its Midwest roots, is more spartan. Rockhill is an architect who works at the highest design level, but always within the local vernacular of substantiality. He rarely speaks in New York, so don’t miss this special night in Soho—you can RSVP here. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will follow the lecture, which starts at 7:00 p.m. and is co-sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper and the Center for Architecture.
AN has a first look at MoMA’s upcoming architecture exhibition, Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures for Social Engagement, which will include eleven projects from four continents. The show examines how architects working on small budgets can “bring a positive impact to social conditions,” according to curator Andres Lepik. All the included projects are exemplary for their level of community engagement, which often includes developing the skills of local people. For Lepik, this level of community engagement sets these projects apart from what he calls “charity architecture” or “parachute architecture.” While the American architects are fairly familiar, among them Michael Maltzan, the Rural Studio, and the Estudio Teddy Cruz, many of the international examples will be new to the MoMA audience. Lepik was also quick to stress that the projects are also beautifully designed, keeping it in line with the Modern's history. "Many of these architects are tired of architectural utopias. They're not interested in politics particularly, rather they are interested in addressing specific problems," he said. "Even with a very low budget, you can achieve a very high aesthetic standard." Small Scale, Big Change opens on October 3, 2010.
Architectural documentaries are all the rage these days, from Louis Kahn to Frank Gehry and, most recently and sadly, Julius Shulman. Now comes another, Snakebit about Rural Studio and its inimitable founder Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee, that, like its predecessors, seems unexpectedly moving, even for architecture buffs. The Alabama-based architecture school is well known for the phenomenal, important work it does for a market rarely, or at least not often enough, visited by "serious" architects. It's affecting rhetoric and work all right, but to see the immense impact good architecture can have on the depredations of poverty on the big screen--or even on YouTube--puts Rural Studio's work into a whole other context. Mockbee died in 2001, but the filmmakers dug up archival interviews, in addition to talking to such like-minded luminaries as Cameron Sinclair and Peter Eisenman as well as current instructor and students, making it feel as though Mockbee were still alive, especially as building after building his unique approach inspired rise before the viewers' eyes. The film has not yet received wide distribution, but check out the official site as broadcast dates are expected soon enough.