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PBS to air documentary featuring Auburn's Rural Studio

Auburn University's Rural Studio and its founder the late Samuel Mockbee are featured in a documentary to air on PBS at 10 p.m. August 23.

The name of the film by producer and director Sam Wainwright Douglas is "Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio."

In 1993, Mockbee and Auburn architecture professor D.K. Ruth founded the Rural Studio design-build education program at Auburn University which Mockbee directed until his death in 2001. Mockbee developed the studio into a teaching laboratory with a strategy to improve the living conditions in rural Alabama while imparting practical experience to architecture students.

The studio and Mockbee received international acclaim. Dan Bennett, dean of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, said the film "poignantly demonstrates the role that architecture can play in the lifting the spirits of some of the most economically disadvantaged citizens and how the lives of the students are equally transformed."

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