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ruralstudio

In rural Alabama, student architects jump-start a neglected park | MNN - Mother Nature Network
"A shift from architectural showstoppers to “in-between areas”
In 2012, Rural Studio’s citizen architects doubled up again for two distinct Lions Park projects.

The first, Lions Park Scout Hut, is just that — a handsome new home for the local Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops that have long served as environmental stewards of the park. The log cabin-inspired facility is equipped with restrooms, storage areas, woodstove and a kitchen that’s sizable enough to handle the Scout’s annual catfish fry fundraiser. As noted by Architectural Record, “the hut's dimensions were determined largely by the space required to house two travel trailers and the imperative to accommodate an elevated track for the Pinewood Derby — the legendary Cub Scouts model car race. Pack 13 wanted the longest one they could have: 48 feet.”

In tandem with the Scout Hut, the second thesis team — Alex Henderson along with Jessica Cain, Mary Melissa Yohn and Benjamin Johnson – embarked on the Lions Park Landscape project. Although this project did not yield razzle-dazzle restrooms, crowd-drawing concrete half-pipes or a Tom Kundig-esque atelier, it served as a vital — and much needed – step in the transformation of Lions Park: it visually ties everything together.

As explained by Henderson, Lions Park’s turnaround has progressed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion. Certain areas were lavished with a fair amount of attention while other areas — the “in-between areas” as Henderson calls them — were left largely untouched. The balance was off-kilter. Lions Parks, home to several new eye-catching structures that had attracted the attention of the global architecture community, was still rough around the edges.

“The goal was to give all of the park’s empty spaces a name and character,” says Henderson. “We were trying to give all of the park attention.”

To beautify the areas around the new sports facilities and make the park a more appealing place to simply relax and unwind, Henderson and his peers planted a large number (about 170) and a wide variety of trees — white oak, eastern redbud, bald cypress, red maple, flowering dogwood and others. The team also created a quartet of rain gardens to better manage stormwater runoff while tackling assorted landscaping odd-and-ends that tie disparate sections of the park together into a cohesive whole. Additionally, the team devised a long-term maintenance plan, not just for the park’s landscaped elements but for infrastructure as well.

The maintenance conversation is still an on-going one that centers around the central question: how can a city, a city that’s modest in both size and affluence like Greensboro, successfully use limited resources to maintain a park for the long-haul?

As Henderson points out, “you don’t want to build something that can’t be taken care of.”

One solution now underway is the transition from a joint-ownership model towards a single ownership scenario in which the city of Greensboro would main control over the park. A first-ever parks and recreation board consisting of a council of appointees would be formed to direct management and oversee a small annual budget.

For now, Lions Park, along with a few pocket parks scattered around town, are maintained by the city road crew — the same folks responsible for fixing potholes, picking up litter and mowing the lawn in front of the county courthouse. It’s a big job for these city employees, whom Henderson refers to as the “unsung community heroes.” In the future, a small maintenance team would be assembled to exclusively attend to Greensboro parks to ensure that they receive the attention they need."
ruralstudio  alabama  greensboro  architecture  design  auburn  matthickman  2015  parks  revitalization  sammockbee  andrewfreear 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Uncommon Ground: Change Observer: Design Observer
"Is it really community-minded to present your building as a sort of secular white temple in the middle of a gray city?"

"I hope it is clear that I have no issue with most of the work on view in “Small Scale, Big Change.” (Though I do have an issue with the glossy, tone-deaf film starring a white rabbit that accompanies Michael Maltzan Architecture’s Inner-City Arts complex, as well as the Iwan Baan photo used to show it. Is it really community-minded to present your building as a sort of secular white temple in the middle of a gray city?) I also have no issue with the idea of MoMA embracing social change. The problem is this exhibition fails to engage with real-world questions of scalability, accountability and popularity in a forward-thinking way. The museum is playing catch-up on a decade of design that fell under their radar, and it shows."
socialengagement  diebedofranciskere  2010  alejandroaravena  losangeles  iquique  quintamonroy  andreslepik  mimizeiger  ruedibaur  ruralstudio  elemental  change  scale  photography  iwanbaan  michaelmaltzan  moma  criticism  design  architecture  alexandralange 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Spatial Agency
"…a project that presents a new way of looking at how buildings & space can be produced. Moving away from architecture's traditional focus on the look and making of buildings, Spatial Agency proposes a much more expansive field of opportunities in which architects and non-architects can operate. It suggests other ways of doing architecture.

In the spirit of Cedric Price the project started with the belief that a building is not necessarily the best solution to a spatial problem. The project attempts to uncover a second history of architecture, one that moves sharply away from the figure of the architect as individual hero, & replaces it with a much more collaborative approach in which agents act with, & on behalf of, others.

In all the examples on this website, there is a transformative intent to make the status quo better, but the means are very varied, from activism to pedagogy, publications to networking, making stuff to making policy - all done in the name of empowering others…"
centerforurbanpedagogy  mockbee  santiagocirugeda  coophimmelblau  freeuniversity  hackitectura  teamzoo  yalebuildingproject  wuzhiqiao  wholeearthcatalog  colinward  urbanfarming  supertanker  self-organization  selforganization  raumlabor  victorpapanek  eziomazini  jaimelerner  iwb  cohousing  mikedavis  doorsofperception  johnthackara  teddycruz  buckminsterfuller  centerforlanduseinterpretation  atelierbow-wow  elemental  antfarm  ruralstudio  amo  collaborativeproduction  collaboration  networking  policy  holisticapproach  systemsthinking  systemsdesign  activism  spacialagency  jeremytill  tatjanaschneider  nishantawan  matterofconcern  brunolatour  transformativeintent  openstudioproject  lcproject  empowerment  via:cityofsound  cedricprice  resource  designthinking  database  urbanism  space  uk  design  research  architecture  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Rural Design Architects - Isle of Skye and the Highlands and Islands
Award Winning Contemporary Architecture for the Rural Landscape based in the Isle of Skye and working throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Specialising in Timber construction and sustainable design.
architecture  ruralstudio  rural  studio  house  home  inspiration 
july 2012 by jimmy.kl
SNAKEBIT_ BIG BEARD FILMS
"A documantary film on renown architect Samuel Mockbee and the spirit of the Rural Studio"

[Now redirects to: http://www.citizenarchitectfilm.com/ ]
mockbee  architecture  design  ruralstudio  documentary  alabama  auburn  film  sustainability  green  education  activism  universities  collaboration  altgdp 
july 2009 by robertogreco
the rural studio – architecture students learn by designing and building in rural alabama
"the rural studio is different from other university architecture programs. instead of sitting in a classroom, students gain first hand experience by designing and constructing buildings in rural alabama. these buildings are the result of collaborating with the clients and community directly. students in the rural studio actually live in the same community they are working with, understanding the context first hand. the mission of the rural studio is to ‘enable each participating student to cross the threshold of misconceived opinions by putting their educational values to work as citizens of a community’. their belief is that architecture should be created from within, not from outside."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Studio AND http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/rural-studio/
ruralstudio  alabama  learning  lcproject  learningbydoing  mockbee 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Rural Studio Road Trip | Consumed | Sustainability Coverage From American Public Media
"The Speaking of Faith crew travels to rural Hale County in Alabama to document first-hand one of the latest projects of the Rural Studio project"
ruralstudio  alabama  mockbee  rural  design  architecture  community  service  poverty  sustainability  recycling 
november 2007 by robertogreco
rural studio
"The mission of the Rural Studio is to enable each participating student to cross the threshold of misconceived opinions to create/design/build and to allow students to put their educational values to work as citizens of a community. The Rural Studio seek
architecture  ruralstudio  schools  education  universities  auburn  mockbee  design  gallery  alternative  activism  apprenticeships  community  context  practice 
july 2007 by robertogreco

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