Research Award-Winning Faculty

Creative Research and Scholarship Award, Rusty Smith

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Rusty Smith is the associate director of the Auburn University Rural Studio and has taught at Auburn for 21 years. He is recognized for his leadership and involvement in this internationally recognized design-build architecture program, focused on providing affordable housing to underserved individuals in underdeveloped areas. Smith was educated first at Auburn University and then at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a nationally recognized teacher and scholar who prescribes to the philosophy that the best way to learn how to do something is to actually do it. He says that the opportunity to contribute to the work of Rural Studio is truly humbling. Through context-intensive work, students come to understand that design has profound social consequences. Development of know-how (the embodiment of knowledge through the act of making and building) becomes the unique characteristic that enables graduates to be socially engaged, active and impactful professionals. Smith’s research interests include practice-based teaching and learning and housing affordability.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.