Rural Studio | Week 3 Workshops Storytelling + Observing
Rural Studio | Week 3 | September 2-6, 2019 Workshop .o1 Graphics + Documentation | Danny Wicke, Tom Harris Workshop .o2 Drawing + Observing | Frank Harmon AIA, Dan Wheeler AIA
The month of September is loaded with Workshops. I’d be doing a major disservice without a prelude to the building in which these workshops are held. The structure is named Red Barn, and possibly has more similarities with an old patchwork quilt than anything I would consider habitable. In all its shanty-ness Red Barn is our studio, it’s the hub where all drops of sweat are equal; students, professors, and even visiting lecturers.
The first couple days we were treated by the humor and resourcefulness of Danny Wicke and Tom Harris. Two incredibly driven individuals who’s ages happen to sandwich mine. This made all discussions more relatable and reminded me of how much I fucked off in my twenties (ha!). Danny is a former student, turned 20k professor, now architect of sorts living with his family outside of Jackson WY (where he can fly fish and ski on the way home from work. Sold!) Danny’s spirit is infectious and embodies all that Rural Studio is.
Tom Harris is equally as charming. One of the younger spotlighted up-and-coming architectural photographers who has an eye for light and opportunity. Tom spoke about the triumphs and challenges of branching off and starting his own business. He currently shoots around 100 buildings annually all over the globe and managed to squeeze us in. Knowing these two humans exist brings me hope. “Thanks again pals. See ya out there.” - tom
When Frank Harmon is near expect to be elevated to a meditative state; he is perhaps the most present person I have ever encountered. Our two day workshop of drawing and observing was filled with moments of utter joy, silence and appreciation. Frank knows every species of tree, and firmly believes each blade of grass is just as significant as the collapsing buildings they blanket. Besides this, he genuinely saw beauty in every drawing and celebrated imperfections. Contrary to all his stillness, Frank likes to speed draw, no more than 5 minutes an image he’d suggest. Quick draw Frank was here to teach us how to see.
Im not sure if another person compliments Frank better than Dan Wheeler. A man of patience, empathy, and talent. Dan is the founding principal at Wheeler Kearns in Chicago and teaches architecture at the University of Illinois. His insight to drawing was invaluable. Dan might also be the only practicing architect who still draws by hand. Let me repeat that. Dan draws everything by hand- even construction drawings. Alas, I am in the right place.
It was a great week and solidified all lingering thoughts of why I’m here.