Educating Citizen Architects

Students sitting with the owner of a Rural Studio home

Front Porch Initiative

We are working to develop a scalable, sustainable, agile, and resilient delivery process for beautiful, well-designed, high performance affordable homes that can be titled as real property while also supporting an industry of home building in underserved rural communities.

Our Work

To date, Rural Studio has built more than 200 projects and educated more than 1,200 students in the Black Belt. Around four dozen students are invited to attend each year to participate in this context-based service-learning curriculum, where students live and work alongside our neighbors, finding solutions together. Our design-build program challenges students to consider not what can be built but rather what should be built.
Sketch of the red barn


We give architecture students a hands-on educational experience while working hand-in-hand with an under resourced population in West Alabama’s Black Belt region. The program establishes student project teams so that faculty can help them form their own communal and individual design processes. Students learn in a supportive culture that promotes problem solving, the value of listening, and the ownership of ideas.

News From the Field

Rural Studio Receives 2022 National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt
Two-day celebration of West Alabama: Pig Roast, Alumni Lectures, & 3 Project Openings
Front Porch Initiative and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity Partner in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana

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