As an architect, Harley Cowan expects to spends his days in front of a computer screen.
But when the longtime photographer found he was spending almost as much time at night on a computer editing the digital images for his hobby, he knew it was time for a change. Read More
Harley Cowan (’96 Arch.), on a tour at Hanford’s B Reactor a number of years ago, first heard about the old wooden swivel chair set in front of archaic electronic panels from an original occupant. The tour docent, Dee McCullough, was one of 40 people who gathered in the control room on September 26, 1944, when the reactor first went critical. The former Hanford engineer told Cowan’s tour group that he had no idea what would happen next, nor even the reactor’s purpose… Read More
The APG is pleased to announce the acceptance of Harley Cowan into the Guild. His large format series taken in 2017 of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Washington is an important addition to the APG archives and documents the exterior and interior of B Reactor, the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor which produced plutonium for the nuclear bombs detonated in Trinity, New Mexico, and Nagasaki, Japan. Read More
So what is heritage documentation?
Following the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s New Deal created a number of make-work programs including the Works Progress Administration, the Farm Security Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Since 1933, the National Park Service has administered one such program, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), which documents and catalogues American architectural heritage through written histories, measured drawings, and photographs…
Continue reading: https://www.preservewa.org/cathedral-of-science/ Read More
Cowan’s photography is now a part of the SAH Archipedia web resource. Read More
I was recently asked to write about my experience winning the Access Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF). This allowed me to attend their 2018 conference in Alexandria, Virginia in May. Today, the article was published in the Vernacular Architecture Newsletter. Read More
Portland, Oregon photographer Harley Cowan reflects on his encounter with this larger than life portrait by Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra.
In 2012, my wife Carrie and I traveled to San Francisco. We visited the Museum of Modern Art and, after viewing the permanent collection, went to the top floor where there was a retrospective exhibit of Rineke Dijkstra’s photography. I was unfamiliar with the Dutch photographer but immediately taken by her larger than life portraits of adolescents on beaches. It affected me with a deep, undeniable fixation that I had felt once, nearly twenty years earlier, seeing a Da Vinci painting. At the beginning of the exhibit were perhaps eight such beach portraits, all of which I found compelling in their direct, frank connection to the subjects...
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I learned two weeks ago of the passing of Dave Scott, professor and director emeritus of the WSU School of Architecture. Dave Scott had a big impact on design and designers throughout the Pacific Northwest and at Washington State University. For decades, I have heard his friends, colleagues, and students sing his praises. Dave had stepped down as director but was still teaching thesis when I started in the program in 1991. In my third year, he retired and I never had the pleasure of attending his studio. But it wouldn’t be the last time I would cross paths with Dave’s legacy as a thoughtful architect and educator. Read More
I'm thrilled to have been interviewed by Mary Thomas of Blue Moon Camera... Read More