Richard Meier is one of the foremost contemporary American architects. In 1984 at the age of 49, Meier was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel of architecture. He was the youngest architect to receive the profession's highest accolade. Meier is known for resisting trend-based designs, instead developing his own design philosophy rooted in rationalism and noted for its use of the color white. His designs can be seen as Neo-Corbusian, referencing the famous French architect's early phase in particular. Meier has also named Frank Lloyd Wright as another major influence. Perhaps his most famous design is The Getty Center, a Los Angeles art museum funded by the J. Paul Getty trust. Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey, and educated at Cornell University.
Question: What is your counsel?
Richard Meier: Probably the most important way of resolving issues is a face-to-face confrontation . . . is a personal interaction. And far too often, things are left to others to sort of . . . others to try to solve when the principles should be solving . . . these issues by direct interaction. Oh I’m sure we’re doing lots of things right. You know one of the problems is, you know, we dwell on the things that aren’t right. Those are the things that we wanna change. Those are the things that we wanna correct, but there’s an awful lot that’s being done right. And I think in the last seven years in New York City, there’s a whole different attitude about living in this city; about working in this city; about how you interact with the people that you don’t know. And that has to do with just a change of how things are done from the public perspective as well as from a private perspective. As an architect, I can’t say there’s been a great deal of good architecture that’s arisen in this city; but there’s a different attitude about architecture in the city that not ever existed before . . . that has to do with the feeling, “This is our place. It should be great.” And I think that never existed before. You know, “How do we cope?” Now we’re beyond that.
Recorded on: 9/17/07