In all but the most optimistic architect's career, there will be moments you come across doubts and insecurities about our profession. It is in these moments where the wisdom of the greats who have come before us can help provoke the inspiration needed to face the challenges proposed by architecture and urbanism.
Needing an architectural pick-me-up? Check out some advice from Alejandro Aravena, Álvaro Siza, César Pelli, Francis Kére, Jeanne Gang, Norman Foster and Paulo Mendes da Rocha after the break.
"Find something you believe in." - Norman Foster [+]
"Beauty is the peak of functionality! If something is beautiful, it is functional. I don’t separate beauty and functionality. Beauty is the key functionality for architects… I wonder how I could say that beauty was not of interest to me... Perhaps someone provoked me by saying that I am an aestheticist. I am not that. But a search for beauty should be the number one preoccupation of any architect." - Álvaro Siza [+]
"The challenge with architecture is to move from the specificity of the problem to the ambiguity of the question." - Alejandro Aravena [+]
"For me, architecture is about changing the way people are interconnected. That’s the most exciting part of architecture. I think of architecture as a system; how you set up various opportunities for people to relate to one another, and to be empowered. What are the opportunities for people to interact? How can buildings spark new relationships? This could be through spaces or materials, both old and new, low or high technologies, I pull from everything to find what works best." - Jeanne Gang [+]
"We must build spaces that do not create barriers." - Francis Kéré [+]
"Architects have to be part of society, but we are outsiders." - César Pelli [+]
"I used to teach the final year of the design studio. I would not try to influence the students too much because they were almost professional architects themselves. Of course, they think they know everything, but the reality is that no one knows anything. But a good teacher has to act like he knows. Confidence is very important, not only knowledge. Every problem requires thinking, not readymade solutions. You know that you don’t know, but there is an urgency to do something. You have to discover the knowledge – that’s the whole point." - Paulo Mendes da Rocha [+]