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Meeting Le Corbusier


My contemporaries at Cornell
Richard Meier Architect
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They had very good visiting... Cornell had a very good visiting professorship and people came, you know, for 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks at a time and that really was the most interesting part of the curriculum because well, Rudolph came at that time. People came from the West Coast, the Bay Area, people came from South America and it was a very interesting group of visiting professors.

[Q] Who was the dean?

The dean was a man named Mackesey. Terrible, he was a city planner.

[Q] So, who was the...

There was no, there was no main... it was more the environment and the sort of the students who were there that, you know, sort of, gave it its flavour rather than the faculty.

[Q] Peter Eisenman, too?

Peter was a student. He was one year behind me at Cornell. He began in Liberal Arts and changed to Architecture. And he was a... he spent a lot of time as a cheerleader.

[Q] You are related?

Yes, Peter is a distant cousin. Peter Eisenman is a distant cousin who... we became friends at Cornell and continued to see one another ever since. And Peter was instrumental actually at the conference... in creating the conference that existed at the Museum of Modern Art that then resulted in the [New York] Five Architects book.

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.

Tags: Five Architects, Cornell University, Peter Eisenman, Dean Mackesey

Duration: 1 minute, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2007

Date story went live: 23 December 2008