Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reading Sitings of public art, it was interesting to see the contrast between the top-down model of public art and the more inclusive and sensitive way of going about public art. It is a contrast that we have seen all through the semester, but one aspect of this that we haven't talked about is the idea of listening.

I had always been told to listen to people when doing socially-based or community projects, but I don't think I really got it until seeing the work people were doing in Greensboro Alabama. Greensboro is the place Rural Studio started. Much of the work Rural studio does is about listening. The students live in tents at the site of the house they are building, and the houses are tailored specifically to the needs of the people who will be living in them. I saw a lot of the houses built by early rural studio students, and there are definitely problems with the structure of the houses, but the aspect of Rural Studio that is really important and has lasted is the idea of listening to people and designing around that.

So many organizations have come from this idea of listening in design and while Rural Studio did not start this, they did put it into an institutional context really well and this has been the lasting effect of it.

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