Long-time friend and artist Jack Sanders is also an architect, filmmaker, and baseball enthusiast. He is the founder of Design Build Adventure, a full-service “design, build, and adventure company” that focuses on collaboration.

I first met Jack when he was a student of Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee of the Rural Studio.  I sent him a box of t-shirts (which he never returned) in the hopes that I could convince Rural Studio to come up to Florence and build us a production facility. (It turns out that work outside of the Black Belt wasn’t possible.) But Jack (then known as “Jay”) and I remained friends.  Years later, he co-produced a feature-length documentary on Sambo, called Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio which won many accolades.

As you may remember, our MAKESHIFT initiative asks the questions: How do we define and transform the intersection of fashion, food, design, craft + DIY through innovation and collaboration for the better good? How can varied disciplines work together as one?

Design Build Adventure’s work and mission embodies the foundations of MAKESHIFT and explores how design and place are related, investigating the relationships between and among people, materials, music, food, climate, and region. Sanders participated in the global MAKESHIFT conversation by creating this tote for our Image Quilt. He also welded a custom steel hook for his bag. The tote is hand-dyed and features a print of Design Build Adventure’s “Tortilla Moon” design sewn onto the tote.

Jack is also a member of The Texas Playboys, a collective of architects, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and other creative individuals based in Austin, Texas, that visited The Shoals last year – challenging Alabama Chanin and Billy Reid to a (mostly) friendly baseball game.

View more submissions to the MAKESHIFT Image Quilt here.


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Click to read 4 comments
  1. Jack Sanders

    Thank you Natalie. My collaborator on this MAKESHIFT project was Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers.
    She hand dyed the bag with her homemade natural dyes, and sewed on the ‘moon’ …. which is a recurring theme in both of our work. Without Maura, we might have submitted only the hook! See her work at

  2. Michele G

    The Mockbee video was excellent and world-expanding. It motivated me to buy a couple of books about the Rural Studio. Thanks to Jack and Natalie for sharing all the creative goodness that’s happening down there in Alabama.

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