Rusty Smith

Associate Director, Rural Studio

Rusty Smith

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture

205 Dudley Hall Phone: (334) 844-4516


Master of Fine Arts, Studio, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Bachelor of Interior Design, Auburn University

Rusty Smith is the Associate Director of Rural Studio, Auburn University’s internationally recognized design-build architecture program. Established in 1993 Rural Studio gives architecture students a hands-on educational experience while assisting the underserved communities of Alabama’s rural Black Belt region. Over the past decade Rural Studio has expanded the scope and complexity of its projects to include the design and construction of community-oriented infrastructure, the development of more broadly-attainable small home affordability solutions, and a comprehensive approach to addressing insecurity issues relative to income, energy, food, health, and education resources.

Educated first at Auburn University and then at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rusty is a nationally recognized teacher and scholar. His honors related to teaching excellence include the receipt of both the American Institute of Architects National Teaching Honor Award and the American Institute of Architecture Students National Teaching Honor Award. Collectively, Rural Studio has garnered numerous recognitions for both teaching and design, including The American Institute of Architects Presidential Citation, The Whitney M. Young Jr. Award for Social Responsibility, and the UNESCO Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.

Interest areas in research and practice:
Project-Based Teaching Learning
Housing Affordability