Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated is honored to be the presenting sponsor of the film "Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
." Great Southern founder Jimmy Rane knows the Mockbee story well – how he established the design-build Rural Studio program at Auburn University which gives architecture students the opportunity to build homes for some of Alabama's neediest residents; and how Mockbee helped alter the direction of architecture throughout the country with his work and philosophy that we all deserve "shelters for the soul."
Rane and Mockbee, in fact, were friends for many years. They met as students at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama. Rane was in high school at the time and Mockbee was at the junior college, and they forged a friendship that would reconnect them in a common cause many years later.
In 1992, after Mockbee had joined the Auburn University School of Architecture, he and an Auburn colleague, D.K. Ruth, conceived of and founded the Rural Studio – not in the Auburn classrooms but in the struggling community of Hale County, Alabama. As a friend and Auburn man himself, as well as the founder of a thriving treated lumber company, Rane was on board from the beginning. And Great Southern Wood has provided the wood supplies for its many worthy projects ever since.
When Great Southern Wood learned that a documentary on Mockbee, who died in 2001, was in development, we knew it was a story that deserved a larger audience. That's why we've helped fund the work that went into the production, including the documentary that will air on PBS and the complementary websites. We hope you'll take the time to learn more about Samuel Mockbee, his work, and the continuing efforts of the Rural Studio. At Great Southern Wood, it was a privilege for us to lend a helping hand.