Democracy, obviously, is something we don't want to give up, but it does create chaos. It means the guy next door can do what he wants, and it creates a collision of thinking. In cities, that means people build whatever they want.
I think my desire to imagine a future for this site came out of trying to come to terms with the emotions that day aroused.
People in Shanghai make a lot more money than the farmers in the rice paddies. The rice-paddy farmers are not buying Louis Vuitton bags, but the upwardly mobile ones in Shanghai, who are all working in Wall Street-type firms, are infinitely better-dressed than people in the West. Their women take this fashion thing seriously.
Nothing is ever guaranteed, and all that came before doesn't predicate what you might do next.
I got into architecture via fine arts, and I was a sculptor myself, and I have always involved artists in my projects. When I say 'involved,' I mean I always bring artists in at the beginning projects before they're built and say, 'Will you do a room? Will you do a sculpture floating in mid-air? Will you make a chimney? Will you do something?'
Like our attitude to love, truth and goodness, we seem to be confident about knowing what beauty is - certain, even dogmatic - until we think hard about the idea, whereupon all confidence flies away.
Buildings in modern cities have lost their metaphoric aspect. Much contemporary architecture is very fragmented and busy on the outside. It's like a skin or a skull, but you don't know what's inside.
If you are not able to transmit what you're trying to achieve to your collaborators, you will only have minions - or morons.
A city, far from being a cluster of buildings, is actually a sequence of spaces enclosed and defined by buildings.
I don't believe in the ownership of work.
Pick up a sunflower and count the florets running into its centre, or count the spiral scales of a pine cone or a pineapple, running from its bottom up its sides to the top, and you will find an extraordinary truth: recurring numbers, ratios and proportions.
There are good books and there are bad books, period, that's the distinction.
The Achilles Heel of the Americas was the lack of cultural confidence typical of new settlers.
Look, architecture has a lot of places to hide behind, a lot of excuses. 'The client made me do this.' 'The city made me do this.' 'Oh, the budget.' I don't believe that anymore.
We live in a complicated, oppressive world with enormous cities and vast populations, and I try to contribute by making it more light and open and calm.
If you think about it, the printing press allowed everyone to print books - it democratised the printing of information. For the first time, we could all print.
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