Rob Harrison has 30 years of experience as a design professional, including 23 years as principal of his own firm, Harrison Architects
. He grew up in a small town in northeastern Ohio and studied architecture at the University of Toronto. From the outset, his school work centered on sustainable design. His thesis (with Alberto Perez-Gomez as advisor) was inspired by his summer in Seattle in 1978. A landscape art project for High Park in Toronto titled "The Return of the Seasons,” it explored ways of connecting architecture with the cycle of the seasons, an interest that remains to this day. After graduation from University of Toronto in 1979 he moved to New York City and for the first five years there pursued parallel careers in architecture and music. He worked as a draftsperson for Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi, for residential architect Alfredo DeVido, and for Cooper, Eckstut and Associates on Battery Park City, while recording and performing music with Christian Marclay, Glenn Branca, Sussan Deyhim and Philip Beesley. In 1984 he opened his own design office in New York City. He returned to Seattle in 1990 to pursue work in line with his values. In 1992 he opened his own office again, dedicated exclusively to green architecture.
A co-founder of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
in 1992, Rob was executive editor of the Guild's journal EcoBuilding Times from 1993 through 1999. He was a board member of the Pike Market Child Care Center from 1992 through 1996. He has facilitated workshops on green design at Building with Value '93 and '96, Celebration of Community, and for permit reviewers at King County DDES. He has given talks for University of Washington students and a City of Seattle rainwater conference as well as for members of American Society of Interior Designers, American Institute of Architects, Master Builder Association of King and Snohomish Counties, Voluntary Simplicity Association, Seattle Tilth, King County Master Recyclers and Northwest EcoBuilding Guild chapters in Seattle, Portland and Olympia. His office has been a participant in AIA Seattle's "What Makes It GREEN?" program since its inception, and Rob served as a panelist in 2004. In 2009 he became one of approximately 100 certified Passive House consultants in the United States. In 2010 he joined the board of Worldchanging.