AIA Austin Welcomes Architect/Author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and His New Book “Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See”

Frank Harmon, Native Places
Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)

Frank Harmon, FAIA, (right) a multi-award-winning architect from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the author of the critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, will be in Austin Tuesday, November 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a lecture and book-signing event hosted by the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Austin).

As the architect of the modern, thoroughly sustainable AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design building in Raleigh, he will also address AIA Austin’s plans for a similar structure.

Frank Harmon’s appearance is part of AIA Austin’s “Design Talks” Luncheon Series held in the Lake | Flato-designed Austin Central Library.

“AIA Austin is thrilled to welcome an architecture and drawing master like Frank to Austin,” said Ingrid Spencer, Executive Director of AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture. “Because Frank designed the only ground-up Center for Architecture in the country, and we’re striving to create such a place in Austin, we are extra excited for his visit.”

After a brief AIA Austin Annual Meeting, architect and professor Lawrence Speck will introduce Harmon, who will then discuss and read excerpts from Native Places and share his reasons for writing it. One of those reasons is his lifelong belief that drawing offers the opportunity “to transform the way we see” the world around us.

“Sketching allows us to see what we might not have noticed,” Harmon says. “It allows us to be present.”

Frank Harmon book

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, nature, everyday objects, and ordinary places. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org.

The sketches in Native Places, some of which are 30 years old, convey the delight the architect finds in these places and things. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Seattle architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, calls Harmon’s book “a masterful legacy on all levels.” Architect Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, offers this:

Native Places provides a reflective pause in my busy day to consider the humanity of buildings and places. I find my sense of hope and possibility renewed in these simple, evocative drawings and the wisdom that accompanies them.”

BookPeople, the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970, will make copies of Native Places available for purchase so attendees can get them signed by the author.

Advance tickets for the November 12 “Design Talks” event are $30 for AIA and Allied AIA members, $15 for Associate members and students, and $40 for non-members. Tickets purchased at the door November 12 will be $40 for AIA and Allied AIA members and $20 for Associate members and students. To register and secure advanced tickets click here.

Austin Central Library is located at 710 West Cesar Chevez Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512-452-4332). For more information on the November 12 event and AIA Austin, visit aiaaustin.org.

For more information on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

 

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