This chapter describes the importance of place attachment to community development and endemic design. Reevaluating projects from my firm's practice, I consider the power of deep bonds with places in dozens of neighborhoods, cities, parks, and wildlife habitats. In each project, a secular sacred structure produced idiosyncratic design outcomes expressing strongly held values people had regarding community places. Reviewing the process to uncover the sacred structure in Manteo, North Carolina, I explain the steps that helped the community legitimize their subconscious attachments to places and inspired a revitalization that grew from the place. I extract lessons that might be useful for other designers.
Enduring affection for certain places influences, even determines, my design approach. Recent projects in Taiwan and North Carolina offer insights about a form of habitation, endemic design that could only evolve in a certain place. Cropping land with Shorty Lawson and Negro Removal fifty years ago are juxtaposed with my ongoing work on Black Wall Street Garden and the Shorty Lawson Museum of the Black Tenant Farmer. These projects emerge like endemic species, designs that are particular, possibly peculiar and confined, to that people and landscape, in that moment in time.