PAIR Grant

In summer 2018, Rural Studio, in collaboration with faculty from the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC) and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), received a 3-year $1.25 million grant from Auburn University’s Presidential Award for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR) program. This interdisciplinary team is developing the informational infrastructure for the Front Porch Initiative, a multi-faceted project to increase home availability and affordability in under-resourced rural communities.

Drawing on years of students’ research at the Studio, the Initiative aims to develop a scalable, sustainable, and resilient process for delivering homes to other under-resourced rural communities. To pursue this goal, the Initiative needs a suite of new informational materials — including a website, brochures, presentation materials — and, more importantly, the messaging and visual communications to convey the project to a wide range of audiences. The PAIR team, with its strengths in both verbal/textual and visual communication, is uniquely suited to the task. While producing the materials, the team is also researching several related issues, such as housing affordability, home ownership and wealth building, and healthy building practices. In addition, the team is archiving and analyzing the progress of this document development with the aim of producing research about the role of information products in organizational identity and development.



College of Architecture, Design and Construction

Andrew Freear
CADC/APLA | Wiatt Professor, Rural Studio Director

Rusty Smith
CADC/APLA | Associate Professor and Rural Studio Associate Director

Xavier Vendrell
CADC/APLA | Professor, Chair of Rural Studio’s Graduate Program

Margaret Fletcher
CADC/APLA | Associate Professor

Justin Miller
CADC/APLA | Associate Professor and Architecture Program Chair

David Hinson
CADC/APLA | Associate Professor

Emily McGlohn
CADC/APLA | Assistant Professor

Mackenzie Stagg
CADC/APLA | Assistant Research Professor

Natalie Butts-Ball
CADC/APLA | Rural Studio Communications Manager

Courtney Windham
CADC/SIGD | Associate Professor


College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Ed Youngblood
CLA/Communication and Journalism | Associate Professor, Director of the Lab for Usability, Communication Interaction, and Accessibility (LUCIA)

Dr. Michelle Sidler
CLA/Department of English | Associate Professor

Dr. Susan Youngblood
CLA/Department of English | Associate Professor

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