New York State of Mind

Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect of

Frank Harmon, FAIARaleigh, recently served on the 2024 Design Jury for the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NY).

This honor is nothing new for Harmon. Throughout his 50-year career, he has chaired and/or served as a jurist for a host of AIA-sanctioned design awards programs across the United States.

AIA New York’s annual Design Awards program “recognizes outstanding architectural design by AIA New York members, New York City-based architects in any location, and work in New York City by architects around the globe.”

The winners were announced January 8 at the AIA NY Center for Architecture in New York City’s West Village. Among the winners was Thomas Phifer & Partners, the New York firm that designed the NC Museum of Art’s celebrated West Building. (To see all the 2024 winners, click here.)

Frank Harmon architect, author

Distinguished Speaker: Clemson’s Spring Lecture Series Includes Frank Harmon

Frank Harmon architect, author

Frank Harmon, FAIA  |  Photo by Will Harmon

When Clemson University’s School of Architecture announced its 2024 Spring Lecture Series recently, Raleigh-based architect, author, and educator Frank Harmon, FAIA, appeared as one of the distinguished speakers. He will address participants in the Clemson Design Center, which is located in the Cigar Factory on East Bay in  Charleston, SC, on April 3 at 12:30 p.m.

The Series’ theme is “The Third Place,” referring to spaces for socialization separate from the usual environments of home and work, such as churches, community centers, neighborhood bars, and coffee shops. It will examine how the disruption of social, political, and economic structure is reframing society’s relationships with traditional third places.

The series will also discuss the intersection of identity, cultural expression, and social interaction, along with the impact gentrification, displacement, and creative production have on communities.

Frank Harmon has been a professor of architecture at the NC State University College of Design for three decades. He has also taught at the Architectural Association in London and served as a visiting critic at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and Auburn University’s Rural Studio.

Clemson’s School of Architecture Spring Lecture Series will be streamed on Zoom. The lectures are free and open to the public. For details, including how to attend via Zoom, CLICK HERE.

 

Want To See Inside One of Frank Harmon’s Intriguing Sketchbooks? Now you can…

Horse & Buggy Press in Durham Presents

“Sketchbook / Artist’s Book Shop” Exhibition

Frank Harmon sketching

Frank sketching outside during one of his many visits to Auburn University’s Rural Studio in Alabama.

“In 1963, at the age of 22, I traveled to Italy on my Triumph motorcycle for the summer and took my sketchbook with me,” Frank Harmon writes in the introduction to his book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See. “I’ve had a sketchbook in my pocket ever since.”

Frank has filled a lot of sketchbooks over the past 58 years. Today, the general public has a chance to look inside one of them, thanks to Doug Wofford of Horse & Buggy Press in Durham. Now through November 6, Wofford is hosting a special exhibition entitled “Sketchbook / Artist’s Book Show” on display in PS 118 Gallery and Event Space, located at 118 West Parish Street, Durham.

“I discovered that if I took a photograph of a place, I would probably forget it. But if I sketched it, I remembered that place forever.” ~ F. Harmon in Native Places

The exhibition includes sketchbooks from seven artists — Phil Blank, Catherine Edgerton, Ripley Whiteside, Bethany Bash, Stephanie Witchger, and Stephen Gibson — and one architect: Frank Harmon.

Wofford explained his reason for the “Sketchbooks” show: “I’ve long enjoyed seeing the energy and vitality of sketchbooks kept by artists. When [artist Catherine Edgerton] showed me her amazing books, which are true works of art in themselves and very sculptural, I realized it would be fun to curate a group sketchbook show.”

Wofford is also offering high-quality digital prints from any favorite page or spread in any of the books (up to 12-inches x 18-inches) “so people can take favorite moments home to grace their walls,” he said.

Another bonus:  Copies of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See are available for purchase in the gallery.

Free to the public, “Sketchbook / Artist’s Book Show” is open to walk-in visitors each Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and other days by appointment only (contact dave@horseandbuggypress.com). An artists’ reception is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 25, from 4-6 p.m.

Click here for more information on the exhibition, the gallery, and Horse & Buggy Press.

For more information on Frank Harmon and Native Places, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

Online Now: “A South Forty” in Venice — Exhibition Board & Essay

Frank Harmon Architect, Venice Biennale

Screengrab from the digital exhibition

All of the architects featured in the Venice Biennale’s tribute to contemporary architecture in the American South received an Exhibition Board for displaying photographs of select projects. The Boards also feature essays, written by the architects, that they feel capture the essence of their design sensibilities.

Digital versions of the Exhibition Boards are available online. To see Frank Harmon’s Board and read his essay — which includes a quote from a lecture by his mentor, Harwell Hamilton Harris —  click HERE 

Essay teaser:  “A simple pleasure I enjoy each day is drinking tea from a hand-made bowl…”

 

 

 

Frank Harmon, his buildings and principles, are on display now in the exhibition “A SOUTH FORTY: Contemporary Architecture and Design in the American South” in Venice, Italy

architecture exhibit

“Across the architectural profession, Frank Harmon, FAIA, is the face of North Carolina architecture…[He] has brought to a national audience a glimpse of the unique character and architectural culture of his home state.”

Architect Jeffrey Lee, FAIA, wrote that assessment in his letter to nominate Frank for the 2013 NCAIA Gold Medal. This year, Frank and the work he produced in his former firm Frank Harmon Architect (he is now retired) are included in a special exhibition coinciding with the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale entitled “A SOUTH FORTY: Contemporary Architecture and Design in the American South.” The exhibition is installed in the Great Hall at Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy.

The Venice Biennale, Italian Società di Cultura la Biennale di Venezia, is an international art exhibition featuring architecture, visual arts, cinema, dance, music, and theater. It is held in the Castello district of Venice every two years during the summer. On the preview days, 25,000 artists, collectors, curators, museum directors, and journalists attend, followed by 600,000 visitors in the months after.

The Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design at the University of Arkansas, along with the literary journal Oxford American and modus studio in Fayetteville, AR, organized A SOUTH FORTY “to provide an overview of the current vitality of contemporary architecture and design in the American South…” by looking at the work and principles of architects who practice in the region.”

The criteria for a regional architect’s work to be included in the exhibition reads like a brief narrative of Frank’s projects and the principles that guided him: “…place-based design, attentive to the necessities of climate, materials, labor, and purpose, but also attentive to overlooked or undervalued typologies, constituencies, and locales.”

Awakening

Frank credits his friend and mentor, the late Harwell Hamilton Harris, with his professional osmosis from a modernist architect to a modern regionalist architect who embraces the environmentally sustainable principle of designing houses and buildings based on the context, customs, climate, geology, geography, and topography in a particular region. Regionally appropriate structures use regionally practical materials and feature elements specific to climatic needs.

Harris moved to Raleigh from California in 1962 to teach at NC State University’s School of Design (now College of Design). According to Frank, Harwell taught his students that the most important assets of a region are “its free minds, its imagination, its stake in the future, its energy, and, last of all, its climate, its topography, and the particular kind of sticks and stones it has to build with.”

Frank, in turn, has shared this wisdom with his own architecture students at NC State (some are included in the Venice exhibition), with interns and staff in his former firm, and with fellow practitioners through multiple seminars at state, regional, and national AIA conventions.

sketches by Frank Harmon

From his book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See — Frank’s sketch of an old barn in Deltaville, VA.

Along with Harwell Harris’s influence, Frank credits his study of vernacular architecture, especially old barns and farmhouses throughout the rural South, with his dedication to sustainable, regionally appropriate design. “I’ve learned more about architecture from studying old barns than I ever did in a classroom,” he tells his audiences.

A prime example of his regionally appropriate methodology is the multi-award-winning  Iron Studio that Frank designed for the Penland School of Arts & Crafts in the North Carolina mountains in 2000. That project was featured in Architectural Record in 2014 and is showcased in A SOUTH FORTY.

The Venice Biennale runs through November 21. For more information, click here.

To see a full gallery of Frank’s work, visit www.frankharmon.com.

Frank Harmon residence Raleigh NC

AIA Indiana Welcomes Frank Harmon for CE Webinar “Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See”

Frank Harmon residence Raleigh NC

Frank Harmon residence, Raleigh, NC

From his home in Raleigh, NC celebrated architect Frank Harmon will join members and friends of the Indiana chapter of the American Institute of Architects (Indiana AIA) to discuss drawing, writing, and the making of architecture via a live, illustrated Zoom presentation on Thursday, May 13th, from 4-5 pm.

“My goal is to inspire other architects by offering a sense of hope and possibility in the closely observed world outside our windows,” Frank says as he continues engaging virtual audiences and fans of his book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, across the U.S. Most recently, he shared his book, work, and thoughts with over 90 participants when his own NCAIA section — AIA Triangle — kicked off Frank’s spring events on April 22.

Following his 45-minute program, Frank will lead what has proven to be a lively Q&A session for participants.

The May 13th webinar is approved for 1 AIA LU. Attendance is free but registration is required. Click here to go to the Eventbrite page to do so.

Comprised of four sections across the state, AIA Indiana is based in Indianapolis. For more information, visit aiaindiana.org.

 

Native Places

AIA Triangle Hosts Frank Harmon Lecture

Native Places

Frank Harmon (Photo by William Morgan)

April 22, 2021

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

1 LU credit

Celebrated architect and author, Frank Harmon, FAIA, wants to change the way we see. That’s why he started his online journal NativePlaces.org six years ago and more recently created his book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See. In this program hosted by AIA Triangle, Frank talks about drawing, writing, and the making of architecture.  “The goal is to inspire architects by offering a sense of hope and possibility in the closely observed world outside our windows,” according to AIA Triangle’s announcement.
Frank will present this illustrated lecture via Zoom from his home and garden in Raleigh, followed by a lively discussion and Q&A session.

Upon completion, participants will

  • Explain how drawing can truly change our perception and memory of space;
  • Identify techniques in which writing can help clarify our design ideas;
  • Identify new ways of communicating effectively with clients and public officials; and
  • Explain the concept that writing and drawing will help us discover and express the intangibles that produce good design.

  • Online program – registration required for CE credit
  • Deadline to register is 10:00 am on April 22, 2021. Click here to register.
  • Zoom meeting link will be emailed to registrants the morning of the program
Frank Harmon at Miami Dade College

‘Native Places’ Goes to College — Miami Dade College

Frank Harmon at Miami Dade College

 

Frank recently shared Native Places with a virtual classroom of design students (pictured here) in Miami Dade College’s School of Architecture & Interior Design. To hear the talk that inspired those students to truly see the world around them by sketching it, CLICK HERE.

 

office building Jacobs firm, Arlington, Va

“A Conversation with Esteemed Architect and Special Guest Frank Harmon, FAIA”

office building Jacobs firm, Arlington, Va

Jacobs in Arlington, Virginia

Jacobs, a global professional services firm, will present “A conversation with Esteemed Architect and Special Guest Frank Harmon, FAIA,” on Thursday, August 6, from 1-2 pm, for its Global Federal Architecture Team.

During this virtual event, Frank will share his book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See with  Jacobs team members across the United States and as far away as Kaiserslautern, Germany; Krakow, Poland; and Seoul, South Korea.

Frank’s talk is part of the firm’s Thursday afternoon Architecture Series that Stephen Wakeman, AIA, Division Vice President and National Design Principal, organizes and conducts from his office in Jacobs’ Arlington, VA, location.

“Frank Harmon has had a long, distinguished career as an award-winning architect, author, illustrator, teacher, public speaker and mentor,” Wakeman writes in his invitation to the international team. “His resume speaks volumes about his remarkable body of work. But when you join us on August 6, you will get an intimate look into who he is.”

Wakeman notes that the Raleigh-based architect and author “is a keen observer of nature and the built environment. His beautiful book is a treasure trove of watercolor sketches and meditations on the places he visits. Frank’s enthusiasm for how humans react with nature through architecture is boundless, and his joy for conveying what he sees and learns is contagious.”

He also calls Frank “a masterful storyteller in a world in need of a good story” and suggests that he “will inspire you to dust off your art supplies and get outside to start sketching, recording, and reconnecting with the world around you.”

Since COVID-19 halted in-person events, Frank Harmon has been in demand for the webinar version of his popular lecture on learning to truly see the world — architecture, landscape, everyday objects, and nature — through sketching. He shares excerpts from his book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See (ORO Editions, publisher) and answers questions from those in attendance afterward.

For more information on Frank Harmon’s virtual lectures and how to schedule one for your firm or organization, contact his publicist, Kim Weiss: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

Frank Harmon Native Places

Book Talks in the Time of Coronavirus: Frank Harmon Goes Virtual

Frank Harmon Native Places

FRANK HARMON, FAIA (photo by William Morgan)

On Thursday, May 21, from 5-6 p.m., Frank Harmon, FAIA, will discuss his book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, and his intent to change the way we observe the world around us, via an interactive webinar sponsored by American Institute of Architect’s Washington, DC. chapter.

Architects will receive LU credits by attending.

The virtual event is open to the public but registration is required. To register, click here then click on the red “Attend” button. Attendance fees range from  $10 to $25. How to attend Frank’s talk will be in the confirmation email following registration.

During his talk, Frank will read excerpts from Native Places. He’ll also discuss how sketching influenced his architectural work and taught him to truly “see” and appreciate th vernacular, no matter how ordinary.

The AIA | DC event is part of Frank’s year-long book tour. After traveling to book stores and other venues up and down the east coast and as far west as Tucson, Frank’s tour seemed to stop when the pandemic struck — until AIA | DC proposed a virtual version.

Frank will answer questions from attendees following his talk. He can’t sign books after that, but the AIA |DC  host will direct everyone to the “Buy Now” button on the book’s website: nativeplacesthebook.com

For all the details on the event, including the Learning Objectives, go to AIA | DC’s calendar.