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Monday, April 28th, 2008

Sambo in my ‘hood

Becky

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I’ve been meaning to tell you about this great book my Mom brought me as a hostess gift about a year ago. It’s a monograph of the work of Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee, appropriately titled Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency. I kept putting it off, because frankly, scanning stuff is a boring chore, plus, it’s really hard to pick just a few projects from this book. I doubt I can summarize it better than the book jacket:

For almost ten years, Samuel Mockbee, a recent MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, and his architecture students at Auburn University have been designing and building striking houses and community buildings for impoverished residents of Alabama’s Hale County. Using salvaged lumber and bricks, discarded tires, hay and waste cardboard bales, concrete rubble, colored bottles, and old license plates, they create inexpensive buildings in a style Mockbee describes as ‘contemporary modernism grounded in Southern culture.'”

This is the first project from Sambo I remember seeing back in architecture school. It’s The Cardboard Pod and is made from baled sheets of corrugated wax-impregnated boards:

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This is the incredible Yancey Chapel, built around an existing rusted trough and constructed from 1000 dirt-filled used tires:

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This property near The Yancey Chapel is called The Goat House, a former shed for animals that Rural Studio originally planned as part of an artists’ colony. The colony never, um, colonized, and the building is now a residence. You see the Chapel aesthetic influence on the structure: Read the rest of this entry »

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Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Earth Hour – Don’t Forget!

Becky

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earth-hour.jpgIt’s getting close! Tonight, don’t forget about Earth Hour, created by the WWF. No, not Junk Yard Dog and The Iron Sheik (OK, my WWF references are from circa 1984, when I actually attended some matches – scary that Hulk Hogan is STILL around and I saw him when I was in the 8th grade), the original WWF, the World Wildlife Foundation. From 8-9 tonight, turn the lights out and power down! Remember that unplugging coffee makers, cell phone chargers etc. saves a lot of energy every day. To sign up and for more information and tips, click here. If you are upset because 8-9 on Saturday night interrupts your Monk marathon, either get out some candles and read a book or go out and get a life!

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Friday, March 21st, 2008

Bruce Weber’s New Orleans in W Magazine

Becky

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I am almost as obsessed with fashion magazines as I am with home magazines (it used to be the other way around). The delivery of the huge W every month is always exciting and this month it is incredible. I am so glad to see that some people are working hard to make sure the rest of us do not forget that New Orleans is still in dire straits. The April issue of W has an amazing 60-page spread of New Orleans shot by Bruce Weber. Since shotgun houses have been on my mind this week (and I’ll be sharing some more about some other shotgun houses next week), I thought I’d share this image with you today. So many houses like this one were lost in Katrina. Let’s make sure they are not erased.

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To learn more about how to help rebuild the 9th Ward, check out The Make It Right Foundation. This is a really cool project that deserves its own blog post, so I’ll tell you a little more about it next week. Explore the site – the pink project (the color is so very Christo) and the tour of the affordable housing is very cool and inspiring.

Also, on a disaster-related note, for those of you in the Atlanta area who would like to help out with the tornado recovery in Cabbagetown this weekend, click here for more information.

photos by Bruce Weber for W magazine

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Cabbagetown

Becky

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A few weeks ago I was in a bad car accident in Cabbagetown. After I pulled over and was starting to sob, a couple of guys came running up to make sure everyone was alright. They had heard the wreck from a park about three blocks away. It calmed me down immediately and made me feel so much better.  These are the kind of folks that live in Cabbagetown.  In fact, one of them, Ziggy, was quoted in the paper talking about the neighborhood yesterday – I had been thinking of him this week, because this weekend, his neighborhood was ravaged by a tornado. It’s been wonderful to see how this tight-knit community is pulling together to help each other.

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cab3-mike-toppo-cnn.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday, July 27th, 2007

Guerrilla Gardening

Becky

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Alright, with long waiting lists for spots in community gardens, yet lots of yuck all over our cities, there is an alternative. Guerrilla Gardens are launching a coup on all neglected and abandoned open spaces across the world.

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This week I received an issue of GOOD magazine in the mail for no reason. I love it when that happens. Somehow this relatively new magazine’s first four issues flew right under my radar. It’s a pretty cool magazine – it’s bi-monthly, it’s printed on recycled paper, and the $20 subscription fee goes to the charity of the subscriber’s choice. If you need to overdose on goody-goody-ness, click here. It’s pretty inspiring.

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My favorite feature is a blurb called “Horticultural Jamming.” It’s about a “cadre of illicit Read the rest of this entry »

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