August 1, 2006
Answers a few questions on architecture, inspiration, and process—using his thumbs.
Job description: Architect
Current project(s): We’re working on housing in Singapore,
Italy, Poland, Sacramento, Toronto, and the greater Cincinnati area; museums in Dresden, San Francisco, Denver, and Toronto; cultural and office buildings in Boston, Dublin, Hong Kong, and Milan; large commercial complexes in South Korea and Las Vegas; and competitions in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Torino. So a lot of things.
First step on a project: Meditation
Last step on a project: Celebration
How do you break a creative block? By drawing
Why do you do what you do? Because life doesn’t happen twice
Mentor: Piranesi, John Hejduk, Aldo Rossi
World-saving mission: The Arab-Israeli conflict
First act as ‘design czar’: I would introduce architecture
Dream team: My wife, my fantastic staff, and Michelangelo,
if I could get him
Office chair: I don’t have one; I stand.
Office sound track: Definitely John Cage. There’s a piece
of music that he has composed for the next 600 years. That’s
as close as I come to it.
Most useful tool: A 24-time-zone watch
Bookmarks: I still use the old-fashioned bookmarks, in books.
Best place to think: On an airplane
Current read: Everything ranging from Pinocchio to the Bible
Old standby: The Jewish tradition
Something new: For my birthday I just got a complete edition of the works of Edgar Allan Poe—15 volumes, from 1902.
Guilty pleasure: Drinking 1990 Dom Perignon
Favorite space: The sky of Denver and the streets of New York
Underrated: Old age
Learned the hard way: Answering the telephone
Command-Z (undo): The genocidal instincts of humanity
Dream job: The one I’m in