CE Podcasts

Andrew Freear of the Rural Studio at Auburn University

Sponsored by Vitro Architectural Glass
Presented by Andrew Freear

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain how the Rural Studio design-build program works.
  2. Discuss how students at the Rural Studio engage with the local residents and contractors.
  3. List some reasons Freear thinks architects can benefit from working in rural communities.
  4. Describe what Freear means when he says “architecture is a political act.”


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
As an IACET Accredited Provider, BNP Media offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

Andrew Freear, discusses the Rural Studio, an off-campus design-build program of Auburn University’s architecture program. Freear explains how students get a hands-on educational experience through immersive team projects that are intricately linked to an under-served rural population in West Alabama. The program gives students the skills to negotiate projects outside of architectural academia, including with subcontractors and the local community. Freear describes how this type of education and experience gives architecture students a chance to develop imagination around rural design as well as empowers them to be agents of change and solution-makers with the ability to impact society for the better.

rural studio

Photo courtesy The Rural Studio

The late probate judge of Hale County approached Rural Studio in mid 2005 asking to provide the design and labor for an animal shelter. The county had a legal obligation to provide an animal shelter, but insufficient resources to build one. Four students designed and built the animal shelter, as well as compiling information about its administration for the county. The roof structure is a lamella system that uses off-the-shelf dimensional lumber to construct a large span.


Aaron Prinz is the host of the Design:ED Podcast and holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He was born and raised in the rural Northern California town of Red Bluff, just two hours south of the Oregon border. After one year of college, Prinz relocated to San Francisco to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. At age 26, he began studying architecture at Portland State University while interning at Studio Petretti Architecture led by Amanda Petretti. His professional contributions while at Studio Petretti were focused on a portion of the new Multnomah County Courthouse which is a prominent addition to the Portland skyline. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Roxanne where he continues to work as a designer.


Vitro Architectural Glass Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass), North America’s largest glass producer, is dedicated to glass innovation and fueled by the same people, plants and products that made PPG Glass one of the industry’s most respected and reliable commercial glass manufacturers.


Originally published in May 2023