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Go Above and Beyond

March 24, 2006

Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee

“The professional challenge, whether one is an architect in the rural American South or elsewhere in the world, is how to avoid being so stunned by the power of modern technology and economic affluence that one does not lose sight of the fact that people and place matter….

For me, these small (Rural Studio) projects have in them the architectural essence to enchant us, to inspire us, and ultimately, to elevate our profession. But more importantly, they remind us of what it means to have an American architecture without pretense. They remind us that we can be as awed by the simple as by the complex and that if we pay attention, this will offer us a glimpse into what is essential to the future of American Architecture: Its honesty. ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself.’

This is the most important thing because nothing else matters. In doing so, an architect will act on a foundation of decency which can be built upon. Go above and beyond the call of a ‘smoothly functioning conscience’; help those who aren’t likely to help you in return, and do so even if nobody is watching!’

Samuel Mockbee
Architectural Design: The Everyday and Architecture, 1998.



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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2006 1:44 pm

    Nice. Good to have positive role models in your profession.

  2. March 26, 2006 10:48 pm

    What are these “rural studio” projects? You’ve got us intrigued.

    Also, what does your house look like? I’ve often wondered what kinds of places Architects choose. For some reason in Philadelphia, I wsa friends with like 6 architects, and I was always happy to be invited over to their “showcase” homes.

  3. March 27, 2006 11:02 am

    The message I heard at church yesterday was all about the golden rule! The preacher posited that Luke 6:36 is the platinum rule! Compassion! Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    I think one day people will be quoting another architect we all know…

    I already do! 🙂

  4. March 28, 2006 2:35 pm

    Brad Pitt + Environmentally Friendly Architecture + PBS + June

    Just letting you know in case you hadn’t heard!

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