The Harbor Commons

Featured in the November 2017 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis Yes, Gig Harbor, there could be such a place! Would it look exactly like this flexible community space called the Harbor Commons? Maybe….maybe not. These studio projects open our minds to what the future of our built urban environment could […]

Your Welcome Plaza at Skansie Brothers Park

Posted on May 21, 2017 in before-n-after, community, Gig Harbor, local materials

Featured in the May 2017 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis If you are wondering about what is going on at Skansie Park, here is your chance for an intimate perspective before the plaza makes its debut at the end of this month. Skansie Brothers Park, the hub of downtown to […]

Imagine a Community…Intentionally

Featured in the December 2016 Issue Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis We connect through story. In fact, we create our collective identities through the telling and retelling of stories. They are so critical that human civilizations thrive and organize, or diminish and fail, by how we frame these narratives. Take a moment. […]

Local Makers: Families Crafting Relationships Through Wood

Featured in the November 2016 Issue Of Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis Chop it, cut it and plane it. Dry it. Form it into slabs, boards and veneer. Design it. Build it. Enjoy it. Meet three family-owned businesses doing just that—locally. Fallen trees become the wood that our local makers employ while […]

Eat Like a Locavore

Featured in the October 2016 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local Health + food security in our communities. By Brett Marlo DeSantis Whether you prefer to shop at by visiting your local farm or visiting farmers markets or you food garden at home, you are already contributing to the local food movement. Perhaps you choose […]

Shelter; Survival, Sense of Place + Social Status (Part 1)

By Brett Marlo DeSantis All living things on this planet need shelter. In fact, most would consider shelter one of the few basic needs to survive. A fairly simple concept—shelter—something that forms a place of protection. Yet the subject is far from simple. First and foremost, we need the built environment for refuge. What that […]

An Intentional Way of Life

February 2016 Issue GHLL By Brett Marlo DeSantis Ravish natural resources, manufacture toxic things, produce more and more stuff with a less skilled workforce, developing a world of waste requiring rules and regulations to protect us from the stuff we have brought into being. Was this the intention of the Industrial Revolution? Industrialists were eager […]

Hemp as Building Material, Part 2

Posted on Nov 27, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Hemp as Building Material Part 2 From doubting to touting By Brett Marlo DeSantis It is environmentally friendly, easy to use and long lasting. How does hemp become a real building material? In 1938, Popular Mechanics Magazine reported: From the farmer’s point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from […]

Cultivate culture by salvaging structures. Part two.

Posted on Aug 29, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

“Protect the past. Shape the future.”-DAH&P By Brett Marlo DeSantis If every building has its own story to tell….what would yours say? Would you save the structure if you could? Would it have historic integrity? What are the qualities of a certified historic structure? What are the benefits of historic preservation?  There are the seven qualities to assess when considering […]

Cultivate culture by salvaging structures. Part one.

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

“Protect the past. Shape the future.”-DAH&P By Brett Marlo DeSantis   Why would we want to preserve buildings? Well, frankly it’s a good thing; good for you, your community, your pocketbook, our nation and our environment. Whether it’s a house, barn, theater, notable fishing site, garden, sculpture or commercial building, we quite literally shape the […]