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'I'm going to be an architect'


The state of architecture today
Richard Meier Architect
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There are so many good architects today, really doing good work, I mean and you know, I could mention all my friends, you know, as people who I think are doing good work but there are a lot of people I don’t know. About four years ago, I remember or longer, I had to go to Chile. I was asked by the United States government to look at a site for the embassy in Chile and I went down there. I looked at the site and everything.

[Q] In Santiago?

Yeah, in Santiago and I met young Chilean architects who, you know, were adamant that New York, Washington was not a place that was well thought about among the people. They felt abandoned by the United States but I met some really good young Chilean architects doing terrific work.

[Q] That's a big surprise - yeah exactly...

Under, you know, under this...

[Q] Nobody knows about this Chilean architecture. Santiago is a fabulous city.

Yeah, wonderful, I wouldn't have know about it otherwise and you know, they’re so, there are people doing really interesting work.

[Q] Out of the curcuit. The circuit is really the circuit you know. Its the London, Milan, New York kind of... 

Yeah but yesterday, two young women from New Zealand came to talk to me, I don't know why they came but they came and so I talked with them for awhile and... and I said to them, you know, I have no idea what’s happening in architecture in New Zealand. And they said, you know, there’s an enormous influence and an enormous respect for my work. They’re really plugged in but we don’t know what they’re doing. I mean they, they get, you know, the information.

[Q] Yes, it's amazing. It certainly happens... we go to places that we hardly know about on the map, in a sense. And they know everything about you.

Exactly, right, exactly. I felt embarrassed, you know, that, I mean, they knew more about me than you do.

[Q] That's amazing.

So, I think that’s very encouraging, myself, I think it’s extremely encouraging that all of this is going on at this moment because it was... it didn't used to be that way.

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: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2007

Date story went live: 23 December 2008