Architecture for Good: Inspiration from Samuel Mockbee

Architecture for Good: Inspiration from Samuel Mockbee

Adrienne Breaux
Jul 14, 2010

Much of Apartment Therapy's subject matter deals with bettering the interior environments we live in. Part of the larger discussion of bettering life through design involves the exterior structure, too, and one recent documentary is raising a lot of important questions and continuing a great dialogue.

There will be a screening of the documentary Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio in Austin tonight. Samuel Mockbee was an architect who tried to improve the world through architecture by working on projects for folks in poor and rural parts of the country. His Rural Studio, which he founded with D. K. Ruth, is a "design-build architecture program run by Auburn University which aims to teach students about the social responsibilities of the profession of architecture while also providing safe, well-constructed and inspirational homes and buildings for poor communities in rural west Alabama." The Citizen Architect screening in Austin will take place Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.

The director of Citizen Architect, Sam Wainwright Douglas, and many of the other filmmakers are from Austin, Texas, and sought to create a film that would introduce the viewer to Mockbee's work and continue the dialogue about what it means to use architecture for good. The film doesn't try to present Mockbee's philosophies as the right way; in fact it features commentary by Peter Eisenman, Yale professor and architect, who has different views.

At Apartment Therapy, we're huge fans of socially responsible architecture, and have talked about some of the projects happening around Austin like the Alley Flat Initiative, Green Doors and even the work of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. We'd love to hear your opinion. Do architects have a responsibility to "do good" with their work?

AT mentions of Samuel Mockbee:
Chuck & Jessica's 196 Square Foot Green Shed
Designer (Builder) Profile: Dakota Witzenburg

(Photos: Taken from Citizen Architect's website.)

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