NATIVE PLACES: THE NEWSLETTER
A collection of thoughts and hand-drawn sketches that illustrate the value of looking closely at buildings and places.
Will we choose fresh air or air freshener?
The news is full of woe: children at the border, riots in Hong Kong, a hurricane in the Bahamas. And just today the Environmental Protection Agency (sic) announced that it will cease restricting methane, a major pollutant in the earth’s atmosphere.
What can we do?
The psychologist Erich Fromm told his depressed patients to go to the zoo. Another psychologist recommended reading the I Ching.
For me, I like going to a botanical garden.
When I’m pained by the thuggishness of others, or sick, or simply lonely, noticing the diversity of life in a greenhouse can have a wonderfully restorative effect on me. Consider these desert plants at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden: how many colors and shapes there are, how no plant is ugly.
“The sight of that association of plants,” the landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx said, “gives us the impression of a covenant for living together.”
I’m not sure methane would work out so well for me, or for the animals in the zoo, let alone children at the border, but as we all know, life started in a garden.
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.