twenty years ago, rebecca and i and a small handful of friends went to rural studio for a long weekend to help build a bathhouse. little did we know the amazing world we were stepping into, but, without a doubt, that weekend changed my life. we spent hours and hours working alongside the late co-founder of rural studio, samuel mockbee, and his young students as they constructed one of the first outbuildings on the grounds of their home base, the morrissette house. that weekend, we drove bobcats, mixed concrete, and laid brick and block over the course of three days, and had long, thought-provoking conversations all the while.
now, 20 years later, i recently completed my 5th visit to rural studio to check in and see the changes and transitions they have been through and brought to the surrounding area of hale county, alabama. the grounds of the morrissette house still house the bathhouse and ‘pods’ for students, but also an almost-complete greenhouse, a small farm, all sorts of outdoor gathering spaces, a kitchen, and other experimental structures.