Urbanized: Architects’ Perspective on Design

Oscar Niemeyer on problem solving

“But the problem is so beautiful, it is so rich, it allows so many ideas.”

Oscar Niemeyer

Edgar Pieterse on meaning and innovation

“Fundamentaly as a species we need things that can power our imaginations, that can get our passions going, that can give us a sense of meaning. And that is not a brick, it is not a pipe, it is an idea.”

“What we know from history is that you really need a small group of innovators; a small group of people that can demonstrate how to do things diferently. And once that gets mainstreamed the change happens really really quickly.”

Edgar Pieterse

Alejandro Aravena on participatory design

“We asked families what is more important: water heater or the bathtub. There was not enough money for both. Decision makers or politicians or professionals, they normally tend to answer the water heater. And in 100% of the cases, when we asked this the families, they preferred the bathtub over the water heater. You have to understand that they are coming from no water, no sewage. A shower meant to have a can with water in the coridor, so they’re going to have privacy.”

Alejandro Aravena

Jan Gehl on quality and ergonomics

“I think a good city is like a good party. If you ask a guy: ‘Was it a good party on Friday?’ and he says: ‘O my dear, I only was home by 5:30 in the morning.’ If people get involved in social activities they will forget place and time and just enjoy. That’s why I would say do not look how many people are walking in the city, but look how many people have stopped walking to stay and enjoy what is there.”

“Knowing about homo sapiens and a kind of creature he is, has been a very important key to understanding why some places work and some places don’t. Much of it is bound to our senses; how long you can see, how long you can hear, how your eye is horizontal. […] We are really talking about the urban habitat of homosapiens. It’s the same homosapiens all over the world. Cultural circumstances differ, economic circumstances differ, climatic circumstances differ, but basically we are the same little walking animal.”

Jan Gehl

James Corner on design applicability

“As a landscape architect, a question I always ask is what is what will design actually mess up? What through design will you anesthetize? Will you destroy? Because a lot of these sites have a sort of charm to them that really I’m always looking to try to capture and actually amplify.”

James Corner

Bruce Katz on user experience

“At the end of the day cities are competing for people, they’re competing for investment. And so how they develop, whether they’re livable, whether they’re sustainable, whether they’re economically focused, whether they’re an easy place to do business in; will affect their prosperity. Now and over time.”

Bruce Katz

Sir Norman Foster on optimism

“Maybe out of these extreme energy pressures the positive aspects of human nature, the quest for innovation, for inquiry, will lead to something which is more exciting and more sustainable. As an architect if you are not an optimist you are not going to be able to survive professionally. So you have a belief in the future.”

Sir Norman Foster

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