Beauty scale

Auburn University’s Rural Studio Wins Prestigious National Design Award for Work in Alabama’s Blackbelt

Auburn University’s Rural Studio, an off-campus design-build program, has been shortlisted to receive the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in the architecture and interior design category.

This is the first time that a university program has won a Cooper Hewitt award in this category. The program – part of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the College of Architecture, Design and Construction – provides students with hands-on educational experience while helping an underprivileged population in the Beltway region. black from western Alabama. Its primary mission is “the education of our students, coupled with research into sustainable and healthy rural living through both housing and the life systems we foster to ensure the prosperity of our communities.”

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Awards program honors innovation and impact and recognizes the power of design to change the world. Launched in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the awards have nine categories and aim to raise national awareness of the impact of design through educational initiatives.

Founded in 1993, Rural Studio has built over 200 projects, including this fire station in Newbern, and trained over 1,200 students in Alabama’s Black Belt. (Tim Hurley)

A multidisciplinary jury of practitioners, educators, and leaders from a wide range of design fields selects each year’s winners.

“We are very proud of the students, faculty and staff of Rural Studio for this well-deserved design award,” said Karen Rogers, Acting Dean of CADC. “For 29 years now, their efforts have produced magical buildings, projects and places that cohesively and skillfully integrate beauty, utility and sound construction.”

The Architecture and Interior Design category award recognizes an individual or company for the design of public, commercial and residential interior and exterior spaces. Past winners in this category are Ross Barney Architects, Brooks + Scarpa, Thomas Mayne and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

“We are thrilled with this recognition as it acknowledges the quality of our design work, and we are honored to be honored alongside the roll call of extraordinary architects and designers,” said Studio Director Andrew Freear. rural and Professor Wiatt. “I hope this award sends the message that everyone, no matter where they live, deserves the benefit of beautiful, dignified and equitable design.”

Current focal points of Rural Studio’s research are innovative practices in housing access and affordability, effective and efficient use of wood, small-scale agriculture, and access to resources such as drinking water. (Tim Hurley)

Freear and other Rural Studio and CADC representatives will travel to New York for the official awards presentation on September 21. .

Founded in 1993, Rural Studio has built over 200 projects and trained over 1,200 students in Alabama’s Black Belt. About four dozen students are invited each year to participate in a context-based service-learning program, where students live and work alongside their neighbors and collaborate to find solutions to problems in the region.

Current focal points of Rural Studio’s research are innovative practices in housing access and affordability, effective and efficient use of wood, small-scale agriculture, and access to resources such as drinking water. To combat housing affordability, Rural Studio goes beyond reducing upfront costs for potential homeowners, including design that maximizes energy efficiency, resilience, and healthy living while providing dignified design that reinforces fairness.

This story originally appeared on the Auburn University website.