It’s no mystery that you don´t need to graduate from architecture school at university to become an architect – just ask Le Corbusier, Mies or Frank Lloyd Wright.
Clearly Brad Pitt didn´t go to school either, but trust me that I wouldn´t be too surprised to see him receiving an architect award or the honorary title from a renowned US university. Who´s more “architect”? The one that went to school and never built, o the one who didn´t went to school and builds?
Despite the fact that he states that “whilst acting is my career, architecture is my passion”, not only he has more work that most of the architects i know. As if announcing a 800 room sustainable hotel in Dubai wasn´t enough, he spent his visit to Washington DC meeting senators and congressmen -such as Nancy Pelosi, as pictured above- to gather support for this project/foundation Make It Right, aiming to develop housing prototypes for the reconstruction of New Orleans.
This project works with practices such as MVRDV, Shigeru Ban and Morphosis, who developed 13 prototypes for the first stage to consolidate a 150-house neighborhood, having 90 financed so far thanks to donations to his foundation.
On previous news about Brad Pitt and his passion for architecture, several people commented that this was just an actor´s caprice… I would take this more seriously. The fact of studying at an architecture school or not seems very irrelevant to me, compared to the smart way on using his fame and exposition to develop and finance architectural projects, such as his house, a multi million dollar hotel, restaurants and interiors with Frank Ghery or a foundation to rebuild New Orleans, getting goverment´s attention and raising dozens of millions of dollars, something that lots of architects would really like to.
I´ve heard of very succesful architects coming from totallly unrelated backgrounds, such as finances… it seems that Hollywood and architecture don´t work bad either.
But beyond the anecdotal aspect, I think that what´s remarkable on this is how an “outsider” to the architecture world is able to give us a good teaching on how to origin, develop and finance an interesting project such as MIR making a good use of his available resources, such as public image and influence on this case.