Team Building Architecture

Cottage staircase, LA Showhouse

The man who founded the esteemed Harrison Design brand shares his thoughts on the value of teamwork.

When Bill Harrison of Harrison Design was 12, he had several different career dreams. “I wanted to be a ballet dancer, nuclear physicist, brain surgeon or architect,” he says.

His dad, who had experience in building and construction, encouraged architecture. “I looked under A in the Yellow Pages,” recalls Harrison, “and by my third phone call, I got hired.” He worked summers and Saturdays as a draftsperson.

Since founding what grew into this close-knit power firm, Harrison has never lost sight of the value of listening to someone’s opinion, sharing advice and working together. “It’s a team effort,” he states. “There are no star architects. It’s kind of like, ‘A high tide floats all boats.’ And architecture is not about style. Architecture is about substance. It has to work, it has to have beauty and utility, and it has to be sustainable.”

“You learn from the past and you borrow from the past, and that allows you to create for the future,” he notes. What about going green? “If you really go back in history, to the times of the Greeks and Romans, they did it right. Their buildings were comfortable, made from local materials and did not use electricity. Now, we can ship stone all over the world because we like the color of it, but is that a good thing to do? We should really have a common-sense movement.”

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