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Alabama

MASS Design Group’s Poignant Memorial for Victims of Lynching Opens to the Public in Alabama

14:00 - 8 May, 2018
MASS Design Group’s Poignant Memorial for Victims of Lynching Opens to the Public in Alabama, Corridor at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures
Corridor at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures

The "National Memorial for Peace and Justice," designed in collaboration with MASS Design Group, has opened in Montogomery Alabama. Commissioned by the Equal Justice Initiative, the scheme is America’s first memorial dedicated to “the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

The memorial's April 23rd opening coincided with the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum, addressing similar injustices.

Memorial Monuments at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Hank Willis Sculpture at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Exterior of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Kwame Akoto Bamfo Exhibit at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures + 9

Twenty Years Later, What Rural Studio Continues to Teach Us About Good Design

00:00 - 13 May, 2014
Twenty Years Later, What Rural Studio Continues to Teach Us About Good Design, Lions Park Scout Hut. Image © Rennie Jones
Lions Park Scout Hut. Image © Rennie Jones

Hale County, Alabama is a place full of architects, and often high profile ones. The likes of Todd Williams and Billie Tsien have ventured there, as have Peter Gluck and Xavier Vendrell, all to converge upon Auburn University’s Rural Studio. Despite the influx of designers, it is a place where an ensemble of all black will mark you as an outsider. I learned this during my year as an Outreach student there, and was reminded recently when I ventured south for the Studio’s 20th Anniversary celebration. While the most recent graduates took the stage, I watched the ceremony from the bed of a pick-up truck, indulging in corn-coated, deep-fried catfish, and reflected on what the organization represents to the architecture world.

Since its founding in 1993 by D.K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee, the Studio has built more than 150 projects and educated over 600 students. Those first years evoke images of stacked tires coated with concrete and car windshields pinned up like shingles over a modest chapel. In the past two decades, leadership has passed from Mockbee and Ruth to the current director, Andrew Freear, and the palette has evolved to feature more conventional materials, but the Studio remains faithful to its founding principal: all people deserve good design. Now that it is officially a twenty-something, what can Rural Studio teach us about good design?

Rural Studio Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Eight 20K Houses

00:00 - 1 September, 2013
"Joanne's House" by Rural Studio. Image Courtesy of Auburn University Rural Studio
"Joanne's House" by Rural Studio. Image Courtesy of Auburn University Rural Studio

Auburn University's Rural Studio, an undergraduate program that focuses on designing well-built, low-cost housing for the poor across three counties of Alabama, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this 2013-14 academic year. Since 1993, Rural Studio has been recycling, reusing, remaking and using local materials while maintaining the belief that both rich and poor deserve good design. In honor of 20 successful years of helping Alabama's rural poor, Rural Studio will, for the first time, design eight 20K Houses in one year- and they need your help.

Southern States Outlaw LEED Building Standards

00:00 - 30 August, 2013
Southern States Outlaw LEED Building Standards, 1315 Peachtree, in Atlanta, achieved LEED Platinum Certification. However, will newer buildings in Georgia be held to the same standards? . Image Courtesy of Perkins + Will
1315 Peachtree, in Atlanta, achieved LEED Platinum Certification. However, will newer buildings in Georgia be held to the same standards? . Image Courtesy of Perkins + Will

The US Green Building Council’s federally adopted LEED certification system has come under legislative siege with lobbyists from the timber, plastics and chemical industries crying out, “monopoly!” Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama have lead efforts to ban LEED, claiming the USGBC’s closed-door approach and narrow-minded material interests have shut out stakeholders in various industries that could otherwise aid in the sustainable construction of environmentally-sensitive buildings.

Most recently, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, slipped in a last minute amendment to both the Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation appropriation bills stating no tax money may be used to require implementation of any green building certification system other than a system that:

The "Open House": From House to Theater in 90 Minutes

01:00 - 21 August, 2013

"Open House" is artist Matthew Mazzotta's latest invention: a compact, faded pink house that unfolds into a ten-piece outdoor theater that seats nearly 100 people. Facing a raised earthen stage, it's a public space made from the remnants of a privately owned blighted property. Reversing the loss of public space that the city of York, Alabama has experienced, Open House has transformed a wasted ruin of a house into an outdoor theatre open to various community events.

A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo

00:00 - 23 July, 2013
A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo, © Tim Hursley
© Tim Hursley

Compelled by its utilitarian structure and its run in with a tornado, well-known photographer Tim Hursley came across a damaged grain silo while spending 16 years in Hale County, Alabama documenting the work of Mississippi architect Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio project. The structure quickly became more than just another object to see and photograph, so he eventually bought the silo after documenting it periodically over a span of three years. Hursley is currently thinking about moving it around - from one place to another - through means of digital media and technology. As he puts it, he simply, 'encountered and saw it,' and by moving it from one place to the next, he leaves discovery up to the observer. More images and a video after the break.

Mom's Retreat / Forrest Fulton Architecture

19:18 - 9 May, 2010

A few days ago, we shared Forrest Fulton‘s Lace Hill proposal for Armenia, and tonight we share the firm’s idea for a retreat that creates two distinct meditative spaces through its relationships to the landscape. A floating wooden deck and a small, dimly lit enclosure,which is sunken into the ground, intend to respond to one another as a way to “intensify a spiritual experience of the place.”

More about the retreat after the break.