NATIVE PLACES: THE NEWSLETTER
A collection of thoughts and hand-drawn sketches that illustrate the value of looking closely at buildings and places.
A simple pleasure I enjoy each day is drinking coffee from a hand-made cup. I know the potter who made the cup, and touching its shape I indirectly touch her hands. It’s also possible to imagine the creek bottom where her husband dug the clay, and the geology that millions of years ago laid down the earthy sediment that I now hold in my fingers. In this way, however small, I feel a connection to the world.
I believe that one of the primary goals of architecture is to make it possible for people to feel at home in the world. If we sense that a building is rooted in the earth and warmed by the sun, that fresh air flows through its windows and its materials are friendly to the touch, then we may feel that the building belongs to its place, and so do we.
I am not certain that architecture, whether a house or town, can always have the friendly familiarity of a hand-thrown clay cup. But I am certain there is virtue in trying.
Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See: A book by Frank Harmon. To learn more click here.
Frank Harmon is an architect, educator, and writer who is well known for designing buildings that cultivate the “native wisdom” of their place.
He sketches often, finding that the practice enriches his connection to the world. In his recently released book, Frank offers an invitation: drawing as a way to inspire curiosity, presence, and everyday joy.