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Citizen Architect | Mockbee and the Rural Studio

February 4, 2010

The makers of Citizen Architect, previously called Snakebit, about the life and work of Samuel Mockbee have just annouced its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Texas this March and its scheduled national broadcast on PBS (American public broadcasting) this summer. We can’t wait to see it!

The 60 minute documentary chronicles the life and work of late architect Samuel Mockbee and his radical educational design/build program known as the Rural Studio that he co-founded deep in poverty-stricken Hale County, Alabama.

“Sambo” Mockbee was an artist, builder and educator who instilled his passion and philosophy in those he believed will become a new generation of “citizen architects.” Citizen Architect explores the effort by Mockbee to infect architecture’s future practitioners with the knowledge and passion to improve their community’s quality of life by putting compassion and ethical responsibilities at the heart of their design.

The film also features interviews with Peter Eisenman, Michael Rotondi, Cameron Sinclair, Lori Ryker, Hank Louis, and Steve Badanes of Jersey Devil, capturing the ripple effect that the Rural Studio continues to have throughout the profession and immersing us in a dialogue about what it means to be both a successful professional and a responsible member of society—ultimately arguing that the latter is essential to the former.

From the creators:

“Jay and I have a very personal stake in this film, but what makes it even more personal for me is the fact that Mockbee’s middle daughter, Sarah Ann, is my wife.  We had met when Mockbee was still alive.  So, this is a family affair, and I believe between the three of us, we’ve made a film that proudly presents Mockbee’s legacy.”

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Director: Sam Wainwright Douglas
Producer: Jack “Jay” Sanders
Director of Photography: Dutch Rall
Producer: Sarah Ann Mockbee

Make sure to follow @CitizenArchFilm …and welcome them to Twitterland!

Photos and info from the Citizen Architect Film website.

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