This fall, I’ll be heading back to my Alma Mater to impart 40 years of architectural experience and equine design know-how to a new generation of architects. Go, Tigers!
Beginning this August, graduate students and upper level undergraduates in the Clemson University School of Architecture will enjoy a unique opportunity for an immersive and interdisciplinary design course. “Studio Appalachia”-the John Blackburn Fall fluid studio- will focus on two projects selected to invoke a critical examination of contemporary design in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. This blended studio will partner architecture and landscape architecture students in careful master planning and design exercises for Camp Hope in Canton, NC and for the Clemson Equine Center in Clemson, SC. The latter project will also incorporate Equine Business students as special consultants, and will draw heavily from the expert oversight of John Blackburn, who has dedicated much of his professional career to the art and science of equestrian architecture and planning.
Students on both projects will begin with a carefully orchestrated series of site visits and case studies designed for exposure to the broader ecological and cultural forces that impact design and operation in the sorts of complex settings under consideration. This will be followed by careful site analyses and master plan studies. The projects will conclude with detailed landscape and building designs, targeting elements of need as identified by the master plans. The design proposals will necessarily make reference to the evolving formal and material contexts of Southern Appalachia. ~ Dustin Albright Assoc AIA, LEED BD+C, Assistant Professor, Clemson School of Architecture