I do not know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do.
Creativity is about playing and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It is crucial for an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it? I think I learned that from artists, from my grandmother, from all the creative people with whom I have spent my time.
The message that I hope to have sent is just the example of being yourself. I tell this to my students: it is not about copying myself or my logical systems. It’s about allowing yourself to be yourself.
Architecture is a small part of this human equation, but for those of us who practice it, we believe in its potential to make a difference, to enlighten and enrich the human experience, to penetrate the barriers of incomprehension and provide a beautiful context for the drama of life
The message that I hope to have sent is just the example of being yourself.
You can not ignore history; You can not escape, even if you want to. You may also know where it comes from, and you may also know that everything has been done in some form or form.
The present is full of remains, irony, chaos and disorder in all areas, political and sociological. I think we have to work in the present, even if it is uncomfortable, even if it is not necessarily good, even if we do not understand it ourselves. You only discover 10, maybe 20 years later, what was happening.
I found myself beginning architecture with a deep social, Jewish, liberal consciousness and the belief that architecture is for people. It was a good basis for good; I was born and I grew up that way. I was for blacks, whites, Italians, Poles, whatever.
I believe that you must accept that certain things are in process that you can not change, that you can not overwhelm. The chaos of our cities, the randomness of our lives, the unpredictability of where you will be in ten years from now, all these things weigh on us, and yet there is a certain flash of control. If you act in a certain way and speak in a certain way, you will attract certain forces towards you.
The idealism [in architecture]is in the formal arrangement, the relationship with the city, the use of the materials that are available to me. That’s where I say our powers are limited.
The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, that we all have something to put on the cake to improve it, and that collaborative interaction works.
You have to be optimistic. I still have doubts and conflicts, but the conclusion is, I believe in the future.
People ask me if I am an artist or an architect. But I think they are the same.
If you know where you’re going, it’s not worth doing.
For me, every day is something new.
Your best work is your expression of yourself. Now, you may not be the best at that, but when you do, you are the only expert.
Your best work is your expression of yourself.
Man, there is another freedom, it comes from another side, and that is the place that interests me.
In an ideal world, the pressure should come from below and from above.
The culture of France is unique because it is a culture that has a high priority in the arts, more than any other place in the world in our time since Greece. So, as a practicing artist, if you will, this is the home. They love us, then music, literature, art continues to be the center.
What I have learned about museum buildings is that buildings have to have iconic presentations. The position of the art museum in front of other civic buildings must be hierarchical in the community. It has to be equal to the library and the courthouse.
I think the biggest problem with ‘industrial’ architecture is that it has lost its sense of humanity. Minimalist things exhaust all humanity. That idea works very well for the money, but it does not work well for the feeling.
We live and work in boxes. People do not even realize that. Most of what surrounds us is banal. We live with that We accept it as inevitable. People say: “This is the world as it is and it does not bother me”.
Generally people are afraid. They pretend they are not; It is part of the denial. We are all part of that. However much we pretend otherwise, we want what is comfortable, and we are afraid of what is different. We fear change. It happened in Los Angeles, too, when the first models of Disney Hall were shown. You should have listened to the protests of the public, the critics and the press. It was called “broken crockery”, “extravagant” and blah, blah, blah. Of course, now the feeling is different.
Children’s play is nothing more than an expression of our individuality and preparation for human interaction. They are all artists. Unfortunately we do not treat them as such.
I do my best to choose carefully. If I do not feel that the collaboration is going to happen, I say no. Think about it. These projects can involve an association of five to seven years. If you do not feel comfortable with someone, you can not get rid of them. I walked away from a job for that reason. Each of these projects is an emotional investment, like falling in love. You have to believe in it and you should like the people you work with.
If you really want to be an architect, you must learn to take responsibility. It’s not fluff You have to do every detail in every bloody piece of the building. You have to know how engineering works. You have to know how the accessories go together. You have to master the mechanical, electrical, acoustic, everything.
Many people put a green button on their necks and it feels good, just as many people put an American flag on their lapel and feel patriotic. Is not sufficient. I’m not discarding it.
It is not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone. It can for children, for anyone. It still helps me.
You never build the perfect building. Only Allah is perfect. Life is such. You make decisions about the conclusions, then someone invents something else and the world changes. That is comforting. There is no single way to use museums, there is not one way to make art. That also means that there is no single way to build museums.
I have doubts about doing interviews these days. It seems that a lot of the world is out of the game, get with me. I guess they always go after people these days. It’s sport
The fact is that I hate the famous architect’s thing. I just do my job.
I hate the word starchitect. Things like that come from mean journalists without talent. It is degrading.
Ninety percent of the buildings we live in are not architecture. No, that’s not good, 98 percent.
We live and work in boxes. People do not even realize that.
Most of what surrounds us is banal. We live with that We accept it as inevitable.
People say: “This is the world as it is and it does not bother me”. Then, when someone does something different, the real architecture, the recoil is surprising. People resist it At first it is new and frightening.
However much we pretend otherwise, we want what is comfortable, and we are afraid of what is different. We fear change.
It is a metaphor of what they tell us: “Stay in the box, boy, do not disturb the water”. Parents tell their children. The teachers say it. Schools do it And then people become immune to equality.
In Tokyo, London or Los Angeles people go to McDonald’s and the restaurants are identical and people feel comfortable. It is not threatening
People are looking for something they do not have in their lives. There is an unmet need.
We do not see banality, but we accept banality. We accept it as inevitable, and it is not.
If the general public demanded something better, it would improve, because the market responds to the needs and desires of the public.
We have always created: music, literature, art, dance. The art that surrounds us, or the lack of it, can be a measure of how we are doing as individuals and as a civilization, so maybe we should be worried.
There is an impulse in us to express ourselves in some way or form. We collect all the available material. It is primitive. Children see sand on the beach, build something and show their parents: “Look what I did, mom.” It is necessary for us.
Some cultures tried to prevent people from expressing themselves. In Mao’s China, for example, the communists tried to stop individual expression. For them, the reward was a partnership of equality. The problem, of course, is that it did not work.
Ultimately, you can not repress individuality, although you can try.
It is not elitist to recognize that everyone has a unique signature and that each person is different.
We are physiologically wired differently.
Those who say that only artists and architects can create are those who are elitists.
We should celebrate variety instead of conformity and allow people to express themselves. That is not more of our denial.
We deny our nature to build and create and then we wonder why there is so much alienation and dissatisfaction.
Everyone has a desire, if not a need, to use their individual signatures. Every time people get together to talk about a project, even old stressed business people say they want to create something new.
Children’s play is nothing more than an expression of our individuality and preparation for human interaction.
People live and work in uninspiring environments, but look inside those rooms. Look at the painted walls and the decorations. People rebel even in the most controlled office environment where they are not allowed to do anything. You see the little bulletin board in front of a person’s desk with their photos, clippings, cartoons and everything else.
They are all artists. Unfortunately we do not treat them as such.
In general, people are more impressed with services and comfort problems than with design.
There are places that are designed so they are uninhabitable.
I do not micromanage the interiors. People ask me and I say no. I do not want to control everything.
I’m going to design the container and the interior spaces. You bring your own things and make them your own.
Art is about people. I think the discussion about whether architecture is art or not is lamebrain.
Artists dismiss me as an architect, so I’m not in their box, and the architects dismiss me as an artist, so I’m not in their box.
I do not know which box I’m in, and I really do not care.
In the Renaissance there was no distinction. Bernini was an artist and did architecture, and Michelangelo also made a great architecture.
The back of San Pedro is one of the best pieces of architecture I have seen in my life.
The architect Quattro Fontane de Borromini, a small church in Rome, is one of the most beautiful rooms in history.
You have to like the people you work with.
I am emotionally and intellectually pre-programmed not to go through blind alleys. I do not waste time. I automatically edit what is impractical.
The blow against me on the street is the opposite: I’m not practical, I’m more expensive, it’s too complicated and I run over, which is not true. None of that is true and there is a lot of documentation if someone needs it.
If the room is friendly with the relationship between the speaker and the audience, you feel it all: the tension, the appreciation. I think the audience also feels it.
When you were little, if you went to the Montreal Forum or to a hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens, which I did, I had a great feeling. The new stadiums do not have it. Why do not they have it? Building codes
The security requirements, which are necessary, distribute everything and push people further away from the stage and from each other.
One of my anonymous heroes is Erich Mendelsohn. I met him when he was a student and he was a bad-tempered and very unpleasant old man. But if you go to your Einstein Tower in Potsdam, Germany, you see a huge intellect working with a personal and new language. It has a sense of urban design and theater and procession that I had not seen before.
Erich Mendelsohn’s drawings are expressive and beautiful. If I had the computers that we have now, everything I’ve done would have done before me. I would have had to discover something else.
Everything – design, technology and materials – has changed since the World Trade Center was built. Much of this has to do with computers, which allows us to be much more efficient and structurally more solid.
Computers allow architects to remain as parents instead of being marginalized by contractors and managers.
With computers we can solve everything from the beginning.
If you really want to be an architect, you must learn to take responsibility.
You have to do every detail in every bloody piece of the building. You have to know how engineering works. You have to know how the accessories go together. You have to master the mechanical, electrical, acoustic, everything.
When I start my class, I ask students to write their signatures on sheets of paper and put them on a table. I ask you to look at them, and I tell them: “They are all different, is not it? It is you, that is you, that is you, that is you”.
That’s what you have to find in architecture. You have to find your signature. When you find him, you are the only expert on him. People can say they like it or do not like it. You can argue about it, but it’s yours.
That’s where you have to look for your inspiration. Do not separate the rest of your life, who you are, what you love, from your work.
I should start much earlier with arts education in the American school system, which is woefully lacking.
As a child I could do math and art, so I had left and right brain capabilities. But I have seen my children, who have more right brains, fighting. My son was told he would not get to college, but he persisted and he ended up being accepted by 10 of the top art schools after the high school counselor said, “Please do not sign up, you will be disappointed.” Child is an artist now.