Cover art for podcast American Building

American Building

60 EpisodesProduced by Michael GravesWebsite

American Building, hosted by Atif Z. Qadir, Sponsored by Michael Graves & REDIST, shares how iconic buildings came to be from the perspective of their developers, investors, and designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level what they faced over the course of the entire building proc… read more


40. Building Quality Schools | Edwin Harris of EVOKE Studio Architecture

I am joined by Edwin Harris, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA, Co-Founder and Design Principal at EVOKE Studio Architecture and design firm based in Durham, North Carolina. Today we will discuss the new elementary school that his firm has been focusing on designing for Durham public schools. EVOKE Studio Architecture was selected to design this elementary school, with plans to explore the interwoven relationship between the natural and built environment. 

As our needs begin changing, so do the buildings we occupy. With COVID and the pandemic, the outdoors has become a lot more important in terms of providing that flexibility and people feeling safer outdoors in terms of air quality. Edwin explains how his firm has been responding to the rapidly evolving needs of the country, including the extreme challenges in getting quality schools built and operating.

In today’s episode, Edwin shares how his personal life of growing up with his grandfather has informed the way he continues to design and build resilient buildings. Join us as we discuss these topics and much more, including how he plans to help build a school that is diverse, unique, inclusive and responsive to the needs of Americans.

About the Guest:

Edwin Harris, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA, is the Co-Founder and Design Principal at EVOKE Studio Architecture and design firm based in Durham, North Carolina.  He is also a professor of architecture at NC State University. In the past decade, he has worked with several design firms, including Perkins+Will, The Freelon Group, Inc., and DudaPain Architects. He is also a role model for future designers and encourages them through design dialogues and lectures at NC State University. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • Designing a new elementary school for Durham Public Schools
  • The role of mentors in shaping one’s career and education
  • The extreme challenges in getting quality schools built and operating.
  • How a building is an investment of resources as well as an investment in people.
  • Interwoven relationship between the natural and built environment 

About Your Host

Atif Qadir is the Founder & CEO of REDIST, a technology company making it easy for commercial real estate professionals to find and use the $100B of real estate incentives given out every year in the US.

Resources and Links

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