After my schooling, I was not thrilled by the idea of treading the usual doctor-engineer line. I wanted to pursue something artistic, and I was good at drawing. The options before me were architecture, fashion, and interior designing.
If you look at the architecture of Washington, D.C., it is not by mistake that the dome over the Capitol is the very center of the federal city. The White House and the Supreme Court are set about us, satellites to the supreme power of the people expressed in the legislative authority of Congress.
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?'
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.
By the late Nineties, we had become a more visual nation. Big-money taste moved to global standards - new architecture, design and show-off contemporary art. The Sloane domestic aesthetic - symmetry, class symbolism and brown furniture - became as unfashionable as it had been hot in the early Eighties.
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.
To me, the fashion and architecture I like are very closely linked. Both should be clean and simple and without embellishment.
As a student, I hadn't really been interested in architecture at all, but when I started teaching, it grew into me - rather than me growing into it.
I never studied sculpture, engineering or architecture. In fact, after college I applied to seven art schools and was rejected by all seven.
Although we're architects, we believe we do culture; architecture is culture, and the topics we tackle will always arise a broader debate.
I see architecture not as Gropius did, as a moral venture, as truth, but as invention, in the same way that poetry or music or painting is invention.
If a dictator takes up my ideas, the resulting town will survive the political system that commissioned it and stand as a social good. Besides, modernism rather than classicism has dominated the architecture of totalitarian regimes of both the left and right.
I truly believe that the great heroes that create the history of architecture are people who take risks and write to tell about it.
Newport Center has become a Mediterranean town. The climate here is the same as the Mediterranean's, and so is the architecture. This center exudes a radiance, an energy. It will become a special way of life for everyone.
In 2008, when Russia attacked Georgia, Western countries took it as an isolated incident, but probably this was the start of the push against our underlying international security architecture. And this push then started a landslide which in 2014 resulted in Crimean occupation.
Considering my specialization in architecture, I'm not surprised that the first graphic novel to thoroughly engage, not to say captivate, me is Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor's 'Batman: Death by Design.'
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Walland the lifting of the iron curtain, troublespots abound: the Middle East and parts of Africa lack a stable regional security architecture; in east Asia, nationalist tendencies and competing ambitions are threatening peace and stability in the region and beyond.
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