New kids in Hale (Get to know the 3rd-year class!)
The fall semester 3rd-year students have landed themselves in Hale! They’ve been through the classic “Neckdown” Week experience and are settling into the daily routine of life in Newbern with a busy schedule. Here to introduce themselves and their “hot takes,” please meet:
Elizabeth Helms is from Dothan, Alabama. Hot take: Milk is better with ice in it.
Hannah Wieland is from Fairhope, Alabama. Hot take: Environmental mistreatment is not a consumer problem.
Tanner Wallace is from Birmingham, Alabama. Hot take: Auburn will beat Bama this year.
Caitlin Ranheim is from Brooklyn, New York. Hot take: Taylor Swift made Kanye famous.
Casey Dillard is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Hot take: Crocs are a must-have shoe.
Jack Felder is from Savannah, Georgia. Hot take: Morgan Wallen stinks.
McAllister Tucker is from Fairfax, Virginia. Hot take: The movie The Wolf of Wall Street is bad.
Kati Warner is from Huntsville, Alabama. Hot take: The live-action Cat in the Hat is the greatest movie in the world.
Bailey Kennedy is from Memphis, Tennessee. Hot take: Dasani tastes good. Spring water is the real criminal.
Kylie Kennedy is from Birmingham, Alabama. Hot take: Architecture is hard-core arts and crafts.
Luke Bradberry is from Suwanee, Georgia. Hot take: We aren’t actually in school right now.
Emma Johnson is from Birmingham, Alabama. Hot take: Pancakes are better with peanut butter on them.
Emma Avery is from Enterprise, Alabama. Hot take: Pineapple is the best pizza topping.
Shannon Brennan is from Newburyport, Massachusetts. Hot take: Cruise ships are a scam.
Cayden Davis is from Coleman, Alabama. Hot take: Auburn will go 10 and 2.
Model Homes or Pod Life?
The 3rd-year class is split up in living spaces this year! While you may be familiar with Rural Studio’s typical “pod life,” the rest of the crew is down the road testing out the Model Homes. Not only did we get to take the annual 20K House tour and make trading cards for each home, but some of us get to live in Joanne’s, Mac’s, and Dave’s Model Homes. When asked how she liked living in Mac’s Model Home, 3rd-year McAllister Tucker answered that she enjoyed, “getting to share a bathroom with only two people and having an in-house kitchen.” She also said an upside is, “having donkeys as neighbors, but the downside is you can smell them.”
Bailey Kennedy, living in the Cardboard Pod at Morrisette House, said that she likes how the pods are on the main campus, “it’s an awesome spot for Enos [hammocks], and it feels like you are a part of the tradition of Rural Studio.” The Model Homes may have donkeys, but the Pod residents are visited every night by Booty, a wandering dog who was first seen scooting across the lawn nearby!
Outside of shared meals and class, Auburn football is what brings these two groups together. The Model Home kids came to the pods to watch the Auburn-California game on the projector one Saturday. No matter where they live, each 3rd-year student is enjoying their time among their friends at their home in Hale.
This semester, the 3rd-year class of Fall 2023 is charged with the task of completing Rosie’s Home. This has been an ongoing project since Fall of 2021. We started with creating a digital 3D model in Rhinoceros of what has been built so far. Not only did we learn which details still needed designing, but we figured out stick-frame construction in the span of a week and got to know the ins and outs of this project. During pin-ups at the site, we were able to meet our clients, Rosie and Frankie.
In this project, we are exploring possibilities with healthy building alternatives, specifically with insulation and interior finish materials. We started with a tour of all the 20K Homes Rural Studio has built in the last 18 years. To understand these precedents, we made a set of trading cards of all the houses. The cards included the materials used in wall construction, as well as what principles they embodied according to “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building” by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
To begin the design process, we broke into teams based on particular interests for the semester. The selections are as follows:
Millwork and Framing Team: Shannon Brennan, Elizabeth Helms, Caitlin Renheim
Enclosures Team: Bailey Kennedy, McAllister Tucker, Kati Warner, and Hannah Wieland
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Team: Luke Bradberry, Cayden Davis, Casey Dillard, and Jack Felder
Interiors Team: Emma Avery, Emma Johnson, Kylie Kendall, and Tanner Wallace
Then, we split up and discussed the design focuses and procedures we would have to work through as a group of fifteen and in site teams. After, we were assigned to do interior perspectives of the living space so we could all decide together the big picture questions of designing the inside of the house. Once we make these decisions as a class, we can begin the last phase of construction—the interior space!
Woodshop, What’s Up?
In the Woodshop this semester, the 3rd-years are going to build renowned chairs! We are split up into five groups of three. Each group is going to tackle a different chair designed by a famous architect and complete it by the end of the semester. The instructor for Woodshop class is Steve Long, and he has started by giving interactive tutorials on processing wood and using the equipment.
Before starting the chair, we have been making detailed drawings and storyboards of the production process. In order to get us more familiar with woodworking, our first mini project is designing and making a cutting board.
Dick Hudgens’ first class in Seminar of Aspects of Design was a dye workshop with Aaron Sanders Head. He taught the class how to make dyes naturally from plants so we could make our own watercolor palettes. Our first field trip in the class was a visit to Glencairn! Glencairn is a house built in the 1830s which has been preserved for visitors. The class toured the house and drew the ground floor plan along with a front elevation.
Life in Hale…
At Rural Studio, we like to stay busy whether we’re building houses, making watercolors from plants, or constructing chairs from scratch. We carry our creative enthusiasm into after-hours. In our downtime, we love to venture around Hale County. We make our way to Greensboro every Thursday night for trivia or bingo at The Stable, or some nights we head to Nick’s Crispy Chicken on Highway 14 where you can find the best catfish po’ boy this side of the Mississippi River. Another great spot is the Newbern Mercantile, known to us regulars as “The Merc,” right in the heart of Newbern. On the weekends, we love to seek out antique shops and visit local markets.
We’ve probably spent more time outside in the last few weeks, than all the years of childhood recess added up. Just the other morning, some students visited a previous 5th-year project, the Birding Tower in Perry Lakes Park. Here they climbed five flights of stairs just to watch the sunrise. We heard it was well worth it. The country has its perks even if it’s just driving around to watch the sunset over the catfish ponds.
Check back soon to see us hit the ground running on site at Rosie’s Home! The final construction push has begun and we can’t wait to show you what’s happening!