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: Why are there so few women architects?
Richard Meier: If you go to the architecture schools, it’s at least 50 percent women . . . sometimes more in any architectural class. It’s a tough profession in terms of the hours that you have to put into it; in terms of the dedication and commitment. And I’m sure that there’s many women – maybe men as well –who feel that it just takes too much time away from their personal life and their family life. And ultimately the family becomes more important than architecture.
Recorded on: 9/17/07