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My design process


The birth of a project
Richard Meier Architect
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Every project. It’s not a project I can think of where, you know, I don’t go first and look at the place, you know and experience it. You know get some sense of, you know, what’s around it, what’s it feel like and smell like. And, you know, not that I get any flash by that but at least I know, have a sense, you know of the environs and that’s very important. And then usually, we make a little context model, you know, of everything around the site left empty and then I start, you know, yellow paper. People want to put it on the computer much too quickly, you know, that’s the way of the world but so, but the good thing is, you know, it doesn’t, once it’s on the computer it doesn’t mean it’s frozen. I mean, throw it away and start again just as easily.  But we begin by making sketches and making study models. The models, sort of, start like this, and they get bigger and bigger and the drawings start like this and they get bigger and bigger. There’s a kind of back and forth between models and drawings then it evolves. And then, you know, we test it with the client and sometimes that throws us one way or another.

The prominent American architect Richard Meier (b. 1934) is best known for the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, one of his many public projects which broke from his usual style of sleek, white buildings. In all his work – carried out with characteristic refined style – he refuses to bend to the trends of modern architecture. He has won many awards including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honour.

Listeners: Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli was born in Milan and studied architecture in Milan and Venice. He is the co-founder and President of Vignelli Associates and Chief Executive Officer of Vignelli Designs in New York. His work includes graphic and corporate identity programs, publication designs, architectural graphics, interiors, furniture, and consumer product designs. His work has been published and exhibited throughout the world and entered in the permanent collections of several museums. He has taught and lectured on design in the major cities and universities in the United States and abroad. Included among Massimo Vignelli's awards are the Gran Premio Triennale di Milano, 1964, the Compasso d'Oro, awarded by the Italian Association for Industrial Design (ADI), 1964 and 1998, the 1982 Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, the 1983 AIGA Gold Medal, the 1992 Interior Product Designers Fellowship of Excellence, The 1995 Brooklyn Museum Design Award for Lifetime Achievement and The 2001 Russel Wright Award for Design Excellence.

Duration: 1 minute, 27 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2007

Date story went live: 23 December 2008