Crawfish Boil 2015
We have been busy around here, hence the lag in Journal Posts. We have some catching up to do and we want to share what has been happening with us. We will start with a fun event we hosted in the spring.
A toast and a high five. A kiss to a baby’s forehead. Hugging an old friend, laughing with a new friend. This is the power that a new cabinet shop and the entire community of JAS can create. On May 29th the newly re-purposed cabinet shop was made into a JAS design-build community event for the 10th Annual Crawfish Boil.
(L to R: Dave Miller, Jake LaBarre, Ron Rochon, Joe Schneider) Kim Clements, one of our creative directors, greeted everyone at the door with her apron on and cooking tongs in hand. The crawfish tubs neatly lined the sidewalk and soon the entire shop was full of life.
Lemon meringue, hummingbird, cheesecake – the impressive assortment of homemade cakes relfected the impressive assortment of attendees. Old time JAS clients, buff construction workers, and peers in the industry all gathered around converted saw table tops. Everyone came together to share food, fun, and of course to soak up the wisdom from the special guest speaker – Andrew Freear.
With the lights dimmed Andrew began his presentation. His first image displayed a rustic red barn, flanked by a small mercantile and an even smaller post office, in an impoverished town of less than 300 people called Newbern, Alabama; perhaps the last place you would expect to find a world-class school of architecture. This is the home of the Auburn University Rural Studio – a design-build thesis program where Andrew Freear has been a director for the past fourteen years. As both a designer and a teacher, Andrew takes his work seriously without taking himself too seriously; a quality that is as refreshing as it is rare for people in such high positions.
It is here, in the Auburn University Rural Studio, that his students design and build homes and community buildings for clients who could not otherwise afford them. His students’ projects explore the potential of re-purposed and local materials; including a chapel made of tires, a house made of carpet tiles, and a playground made of shipping barrels. (See February 10th, 2014 Journal post for more). Andrew’s thorough and passionate presentation of the work was an inspiration, and even though these projects take place across the country, their can-do design-build spirit is something that feels very close to home to everyone here at JAS In October of this year a group of JAS’ers are going down to Alabama to help build a Rural Studio $20K house. We promise to write a Journal Post on this exciting project once it is complete.
With hearts full of awe and stomachs full of crawdads, the lines between architect, project manager, designer, and carpenter soon blurred. This culture of community makes JAS a place that cherishes old friends, welcomes new guests, and can’t say no to a slice of cake.