Grits, Glass & Steel: Frank Harmon To Address Alabama, Tennessee AIA Conventions

 June 11, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect in Raleigh, NC, and an adjunct professor in architecture in N.C. State University’s College of Design, will discuss the evolution of Modern architecture in the South when he presents his popular “Grits, Glass & Steel” lecture during the upcoming Alabama and Tennessee conventions of the American Institute of Architects in June and July, respectively.

Using his own work as examples, Harmon’s address examines the elements and themes that inform contemporary Southern architecture — landscape; materials and construction (the “sticks and stones” of a place); weather and climate; roof forms that shelter or collect; and clients.

Through his address, which he has presented to many AIA chapters, he also illustrates the importance of “place” in the process of creating innovative, appropriate and sustainable contemporary design.

Frank Harmon is widely recognized as a leader in sustainable architecture. He was recently a guest on Dick Gordon’s “The Story” and the featured architect in Dwell magazine’s “Conversation” section (Dec/Jan ’08). In both, he discussed how he has come to design innovative, sustainable and Modern structures by studying old Southern barns and farmhouses and realizing just how sustainable, or “green,” they really are.

“I am not interested in vernacular to be sentimental,” he told Dwell. “I am interested in what it can teach us. All vernacular architecture is sustainable. It is always inherently related to the region. But let me emphasize that regionalism should not be confused with parochialism any more than you would call Faulkner a local Southern writer.”

The Alabama Council/AIA 2008 Convention will be held from June 20-22 at The Battle House in Mobile. Harmon will address attendees on June 21. The Middle Tennessee component of the AIA will hold its annual Meeting & Exhibition in downtown Nashville July 16-19 with Frank Harmon’s address taking place on July 18.

For more information visit and For more information on Frank Harmon, his work and previous speaking engagements, visit ###

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