Citizen Architect: Samuel mockbee and the spirit of the rural studio

Washington, D.C. Premiere Samuel Mockbee, the late architect and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, started the Rural Studio in 1993 as a design/build education program at Auburn University, enabling students to create striking architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama. With frank, passionate interviews with Mockbee, the film shows how a group of students use their creativity, ingenuity and compassion to craft a home for their charismatic client, Jimmie Lee Matthews, known to locals as Music Man because of his zeal for old R&B and Soul records. The film shows that the Rural Studio is about more than architecture and building. Mockbee’s program provides students with an experience that forever inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. Interviews with Mockbee’s peers and scenes with those he’s influenced infuse the film with a larger discussion of architecture’s role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship. Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas. Produced by Sam Wainwright Douglas, Jack “Jay” Sanders and Sarah Ann Mockbee.

Introduced by Elizabeth Wilkie, Associate Public Programs Coordinator, National Building Museum. Discussion with filmmaker Sam Wainwright Douglas follows screening.

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