From Residential Architect magazine: “Publish or Perish”

Residential Architect magazine is one of the best professional journals covering architecture today. It its November-December 2011 edition, editor Claire Conroy hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head in an editorial that applies not just to architects, but to all professions, businesses, and non-profits: It is no longer enough to “hang your shingle” and take out a Yellow Page ad. Without good, consistent marketing and/or public relations efforts, you will drown in the sea of competition. She begins by addressing the reasons behind the magazine’s choices for its first ever “RA 50: a short list of architects we love.” What she says after that applies to anyone who wants to rise to the top of his or her field and stay there. — Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

publish or perish

…find your own way to let the world know how great you are.

By:  S. Claire Conroy

Welcome to our first-ever ra50—the short list of architects whose work we admire. We know and

Claire Conroy, editor, Residential Architect

appreciate a great number of other residential architects, but this collection comprises the ones whose names keep rising to the top—of our design awards programs, of our case studies waiting for a place in the magazine, and of our roster of cover profile subjects.

There are some practitioners here who’ve come to our attention through sheer talent and dedication alone—well, maybe just one: Glenn Murcutt. The rest have combined undeniable talent with hard work, and, yes, self-promotion. That self-promotion may only take the form of entering—and winning—design competitions, but that effort wins our attention.

Good marketing is an imperative these days. Architects can no longer get by with just a listing in the Yellow Pages, as one well-known practitioner once told me he did. Come to think of it, his practice has largely evaporated.  Read more…

Frank Harmon Makes National “Short List of Architects We Love”

Residential Architect releases its first-ever “RA 50”

Frank Harmon, FAIA © f8 Photo Studios

December 30, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) –  For the first time in its history, Residential Architect magazine has published its “RA 50: A Short List of Architects We Love.” And Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, NC, is among them.

According to editor Claire Conroy, “This collection comprises [firms] whose names keep rising to the top.” Along with Harmon’s firm, the list includes such illustrious names as Glenn Murcutt, Brooks-Scarpa Architects, Lake/Flato, and Michelle Kaufman.

Senior editors Nigel Maynard, Cheryl Weber, Meghan Drueding, and Bruce Snider say the RA 50 represents “a broad collection of people who simply – day in and day out – do very good, interesting work.”

Frank Harmon Architect PA is no stranger to Residential Architect’s pages. In 2003, the Taylor Vacation House the firm designed for a couple in the Bahamas was named RA’s House of the Year. In 2005, the firm received the magazine’s Top Firm of the Year accolade.

Since then, founder and principal Frank Harmon, FAIA, has been featured in a number of the magazine’s articles on sustainable, regionally appropriate residential design and construction, and he has been a speaker at RA’s annual “Reinvention” design symposium.

The RA 50 list first appeared in the magazine’s November-December digital version at then in print. Harmon’s firm appears on page 30 beside Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, Hon. FAIA. Expanded versions of each architect’s profile will soon be featured on the website

“One of the most exciting things about this is that my firm is featured on the same page as Glenn Murcutt, the most important contemporary architect working today, and a designer from whom I have learned so much,” said Harmon. “I’m also honored simply to be included in the pages of Residential Architect. RA is truly the finest publication on residential design and construction in the nation.”

Residential Architect is an award-winning national magazine focusing exclusively on the residential architecture profession.

“We put this short list together as an end-of-year tribute to this admirable profession,” the editors state.

For more information, visit

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative, modern, and regionally inspired “green” architecture. The year the firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine, an annual rating that emphasizes ecological commitment and design quality as much as profitability. Recent projects include Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Arch Daily, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to

When Objects Become Art: N.C. Architect Turns To Artists To Get The Job Done

January 11, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – “We talk about a concept and the artists take it from there,” Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, told Residential Architect magazine in a recent article on the benefits of working with artists, rather than contractors, when a design detail needs a creative and often handmade solution. “Working with craftspeople is the most efficient way to get things done.”

Harmon was one of seven architects interviewed by author Cheryl Weber for the article, entitled “Supplied by Architect: working with fabricators to blur the boundaries between objects and art.” (RA, September-October 2007). He and the others regularly work with artists and craftspeople on their projects.

Harmon was specifically singled out for his award-winning work on a residence in Charleston, SC, that features 10 pivoting, perforated-metal panels which span, protect and shade the west-facing side of the house. Fabricated by Christian Karkow, a local metalsmith, the panels received an award in Residential Architect’s 2006 design competition in the “details” category.

“I knew that if I made a detailed drawing and gave it to the contractor, he would have charged $200,000,” Harmon told Weber. By working with a Karkow, “I got it done for a fraction of that.”

However, Harmon and the others stressed that saving money is certainly not the primary reason for bringing artists and craftsmen to the table. Their hands-on ingenuity is often invaluable.

“You don’t design it for them; then they become the worker,” he said. “You make a sketch and enroll them in the concept. They take it from there and usually make it better… We just leave it off the contractor’s drawing and say “supplied by architect.’”

The entire article can be read at by entering a search on the site for “supplied by architect.”

Frank Harmon’s work, which ranges from small sheds to 70,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, has received more AIA/NC awards than any other firm in the state and has been published in international, national and regional periodicals and books, including Architectural Record, Dwell and Waterfront Homes & Design. His work has become synonymous with sustainable, or “green,” architecture, and his firm was named Top Firm Of The Year by Residential Architect magazine in 2005. For more information, visit