University of Kansas Welcomes Frank Harmon as Distinguished Guest, Keynote Speaker

For Studio 804’s 20th anniversary celebration in March 2015.

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

North Carolina-based architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, will be the distinguished guest and keynote speaker when the University of Kansas’s School of Architecture, Design & Planning holds its celebration of Studio 804’s 20th anniversary on March 27-28, 2015.

The celebration will include speakers of international stature who will support the theme “[Re] Engaged Architecture” as they present work and processes that reflect this topic. Those speakers are: Andrew Freear, Brigette Shim, Ted Flato, Brian MacKay-Lyons, and Marlon Blackwell.

Studio 804 is a not-for-profit organization within KU’s School of Architecture, Design & Planning that is committed to the continued research and development of sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. Under Distinguished Professor Dan Rockhill’s leadership, Studio 804 educates students through the experience of all aspects of design/build, a delivery model that is gaining widespread popularity in the architectural profession.

A Professor in Practice at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, Frank Harmon is a recognized leader in Modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. He is well known for bringing an appreciation for simple, vernacular architecture and its implied environmental stewardship to every project that his firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, designs. Harmon’s work has been described as “buildings rooted in the earth, warmed by the sun, with fresh air flowing through the windows and made of materials friendly to the touch.”

“Studio 804 is one of the most successful design-build education programs in the world,” Harmon said. “Students learn by doing and in the process create memorable architecture. Studio 804 is a leader in socially responsible design and practice.”

For more information on Studio 804 and the event, go to www.studio804.com.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit www.frankharmon.com.

About Frank Harmon, FAIA:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, a Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, and the 2013 winner of AIA North Carolina’s F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor presented by the Chapter to an AIA NC member to recognize a distinguished career and extraordinary accomplishments as an architect. In 2010 Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s inaugural “RA 50: The Short List of Architects We Love.” In 2013, his firm was ranked 21st among the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect Magazine. Frank Harmon is also the author and illustrator for “Native Places,” a website where he uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. For more information: www.frankharmon.com. Contact information: frank@frankharmon.com; 919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.

Expanding Broadband Could Be Tourist Boon For Rural Regions

nathistcultmap-copyMay 4, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) – The new economic Stimulus Package’s proposed spending on broadband Internet access could prove to be a huge boon for recreational tourism and economic development in rural regions that could greatly benefit from tourists’ dollars, according to recreation planner Edwin Gardner of Heritage Strategy Group in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a recent article posted to his blog “Heritage Strategies” (heritagestrategy.wordpress.com) Gardner applauds the fact that expanding the base of broadband into rural areas is a priority in the President’s package.

“The Internet is by far the most cost-effective way to reach the traveling public,” he writes, “and it allows a location’s message to reach a target audience far more effectively than the traditional shotgun approach of printed brochures, tourism guides, and other print media.”

That’s especially significant for undiscovered rural locations that are rich in natural, historic or culture opportunities the general public simply doesn’t know about.

“Once these regions figure out how to use the Internet effectively, they will be found by a growing visitor market,” Gardner writes. “If a desire to stay closer to home and save gas returns as a prime motivator, scenic rural counties within two hours of a big city will be more and more in demand.”

Assuming that could happen, Gardner warns that decision-makers in rural areas must learn “the principles and practices of sustainable tourism and quality growth planning before they get flooded with visitors. Otherwise, as in so many other ‘discovered’ areas, they end up killing the goose.”

To read Edwin Gardner’s complete article on broadband and rural economic development, visit heritagestrategy.wordpress.com.

Heritage Strategy Group is a planning initiative to develop recreational areas and scenic byways in a manner that allows local businesses and other stakeholders to enjoy growth and prosperity while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the effected areas are preserved and enhanced.

“A heritage planner’s central mission is to enable local businesses to prosper,” Gardner says. “A strong entrepreneurial focus yields the best justifications for conservation and preservation of a place’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. And a good heritage planner never gets between a people and their heritage.”

Heritage Strategy Group is a subsidiary of Studio A, Inc., a full-service architecture firm based in Charleston, SC. For more information visit www.studioa-architecture.com.

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Recreation Planners Use Technology To Get Public Participation

April 9, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) — “A 21st century way to engage the public directly in recreation and conservation decisions” – that’s how planner Edwin S. Gardner of Heritage Strategy Group describes the approach he and his team are taking to make sure the public is keenly involved in the 2010-2020 Tennessee State Recreation Plan.

“Using the new website SurveyMonkey.com, we’re now able to reach the public in ways that were impossible five years ago,” Gardner said, “and it isn’t costing the State a dime to do it.”

Heritage Strategy Group, a subsidiary of the architectural firm Studio A, Inc., in Charleston, South Carolina, recently received the contract for the state of Tennessee’s new Recreation Plan that will identify needs and issues and guide recreation and conservation policies in Tennessee for the next decade.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is holding a series of public meetings this month to get input into the plan that will guide the State’s recreation and conservation policies for the next 10 years.

To bring 21st century technology into the process, Gardner and Dr. Mark Fly, director of the University of Tennessee Human Dimensions Lab, are posting the same public-opinion survey online that meeting attendees will receive.

The survey will be available soon on the Tennessee Department of Conservation and Environment website (www.tennessee.gov/environment/recreation/plan) “so we can hear from people all over the state, not just those who make it to one of the meetings,” Gardner said. “This should generate a far greater response than we’ve ever had before.”

Making the survey available online is “a big first for Tennessee,” noted Gardner, who served as conservation and preservation planner for that state’s 2003 Recreation Plan, which the National Park Service cited as one of the nation’s best and “a model for other states to follow.”

Using technology to reach more people “is part of our firm’s intention to use every available method to generate as much public participation in this planning process as possible,” Gardner said. “We’re certain that the more Tennesseans we get involved in the decision-making process, the more accurate, responsive, and effective the eventual plan is going to be.”

The new Recreation Plan will include the state’s 2020 Land and Water “Vision Plan” as well as the five-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The SCORP is a federally mandated program that makes states eligible to receive federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grants through the National Park Service for acquiring, developing, and renovating outdoor recreation facilities.

Gardner and his team intend to publicize the survey throughout the state, to ask meeting attendees to send the link to their friends, and to ask recreation-related organizations to send the link to their members. They hope to get over 5000 responses.

Consultants on the Tennessee State Recreation Plan include Barge Waggoner of Sumner & Cannon in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Human Dimensions Research Lab at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

The public meetings are being held in Farragut, Chattanooga, Jackson, and Murfreesboro. The new Recreation Plan should be completed by August 2009, Gardner said. The National Park Service’s approval is expected by the end of the year.

Edwin Gardner recently created a blog — http://heritagestrategy.wordpress.com — as an addendum to Studio A’s website (www.studioa-architecture) to more fully describe the work of a heritage planner and the impact such planning has on all forms of conservation.

The 2003-2008 plan is currently available at www.tennessee.gov/environment/recreation/plan. The survey for the 2010-2020 plan will be available at that site soon.

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Tennessee Selects Studio A, Inc., For Long-Range Rec Plan

March 25, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) — Heritage Strategy Group, a subsidiary of Studio A., Inc. an architectural firm in Charleston, has inked a contract from the State of Tennessee to prepare that state’s 2010-2020 Tennessee State Recreation Plan.

The contract includes the state’s 2020 Land and Water Vision Plan as well as the five-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), a federally mandated program that allows states to be eligible to receive Land and Water Conservation Fund grants through the National Park Service for the acquisition, development, and renovation of outdoor recreation facilities.

Heritage Strategy Group became the official planning arm of Studio A, Inc., earlier this month. Headed by Edwin Gardner, Heritage develops recreational areas and scenic byways in a manner that allows local businesses and other stakeholders to enjoy growth and prosperity while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the affected areas are preserved and enhanced.

“Conservation of natural, cultural, and historic resources is an imperative in our practice,” said Studio A principal Whitney Powers, AIA, a LEED-certified practitioner widely recognized for her work in green, or sustainable, architecture and historic preservation. “We are honored to receive this contract and to continue our work with Tennessee.

Edwin Gardner has worked with the state of Tennessee on similar projects over recent years. In a recent post to his blog – http://heritagestrategy.wordpress.com — he includes a map from the recently released USDA 2007 Farm Census showing clusters of red dots that highlight places where “deep cultural traditions of connectedness to the land may be most threatened.” These areas “are losing wildlife habitat, scenic rural landscapes, and potential recreation lands.” Dense clusters of dots fill Tennessee, which “tells you at a glance why I do so much heritage planning work in Tennessee.”

Gardner created the blog as an addendum to Studio A’s website (www.studioa-architecture) to more fully describe the work of a heritage planner – a relatively new focus area in the industry – and because “many interdisciplinary crossovers in these planning niches could make a site like this very useful to planners as well as their clients,” he said.

Consultants on the Tennessee State Recreation Plan include Barge Waggoner of Sumner and Cannon in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Human Dimensions Research Lab at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

For more information on Studio A, Inc., visit www.studioa-architecture.com. Studio A is also available on Facebook.

For more information on the Heritage Strategy Group, go to http://heritagestrategy.wordpress.com.

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Charleston’s Studio A, Heritage Strategy Group Join Forces

Whitney Powers, AIA, Studio A, Inc.
Whitney Powers, AIA, Studio A, Inc.

March 9, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) – Studio A, Inc., an award-winning architecture firm in Charleston, SC, has joined forces with Heritage Strategy Group to bring a specialized planning component to the firm’s offerings.

Heritage Strategy Group is a planning initiative, headed by Edwin Gardner, to develop recreational areas and scenic byways in a manner that allows local businesses and other stakeholders to enjoy growth and prosperity while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the effected areas are preserved and enhanced.

“A heritage planner’s central mission is to enable local businesses to prosper,” Gardner said. “A strong entrepreneurial focus yields the best justifications for conservation and preservation of a place’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. And a good heritage planner never gets between a people and their heritage.”

Among other planning projects, Gardner helped to prepare the Tennessee State Recreation Plan and Cumberland Plateau Heritage Corridor Feasibility Study. He also prepared two comprehensive inventories of natural and recreational resources — The Tennessee Recreation Atlas and the Tennessee Recreation Lands and Waters wall map — that are widely considered state-of-the-art models of resource inventory and graphical presentation of data.

“The Heritage Strategy Group’s work is largely focused on conservation,” said Studio A’s principle, architect Whitney Powers, AIA. “This is an ideal ‘fit’ for our firm since conservation of natural, cultural and historic resources is an imperative in our practice.”

Powers is well known for her work in green, or sustainable, architecture and historic preservation/adaptive re-use.

For more information on the Heritage Strategy Group, visit http://heritagestrategy.wordpress.com. For more information on Studio A, Inc., visit www.studioa-architecture.com. Studio A is also available on Facebook.

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