For me the meaning of my work is much more fluid.
Descriptions of my work depress me. They make me feel pinned down. Thom M
But I absolutely believe that architecture is a social activity that has to do with some sort of communication or places of interaction, and that to change the environment is to change behaviour.
My buildings don't speak in words but by means of their own spaciousness.
I enjoy working with people. I understand that as a necessity. And clearly that's something that develops as you get older. And I've grown into that.
I'm often called an old-fashioned modernist. But the modernists had the absurd idea that architecture could heal the world. That's impossible. And today nobody expects architects to have these grand visions any more.
So we can't go backwards, we can only go where the evolutionary trajectory is taking us and attune our ideas about ourselves and our existence to that course.
So I am totally aware that when I defend the autonomy of art I'm going counter to my own development. It's more an instinctive reaction, meant to protect the private aspect of the work, the part I am most interested in and which nowadays is at risk in our culture.
New York is this cacophony - a collection of radical differences, an agreement of non sequiturs. The diversity and intensity are startling.
Art in progress. MAK has occupied a unique and valuable space as international host for discourse between the arts and architecture.
In architecture, you arrive so late. I look at doctors, lawyers I know, and they're all buying boats and bailing out at 62. My career is just getting started.
I think my clients would tell you I'm a problem solver. I'm not there to agree with people. I'm there to articulate a point of view. Am I insistent and tenacious? Absolutely. I could not get this work done if I was not.
Architecture is a negotiated art, and it's highly political, and if you want to make buildings, there is diplomacy required.
Somehow, architecture alters the way we think about the world and the way we behave. Any serious architecture, as a litmus test, has to be that.
It's too simplistic to advance the notion of the autonomy of art as a reason for turning away from the public. You can have autonomy and simultaneously have connections with the social and political world.
I'm a private person by nature. I live in my brain half the time, not the world, and I'm not a natural negotiator. But I've learned to negotiate.
Look around at day-to-day life for ideas, and it finds its way into your work.
Scientific reality is the modern human condition, and you can see that in the symbolic nature of my work.
I have a preference for rough architecture, real, inexpensive, unfinished.
We only exist in terms of how we think we exist. Meaning every cultural development is fabricated and can be fabricated.
I'm not a tabula rasa type. In some ways, the more constraints I have, the work is more interesting to me.
There is no modern prototype for a campus. You have to have a completely different model which has to do with transparency and exposing social connectivity and breaking down the Balkanization that happens departmentally.
The multiplicity of ideas is what I'm interested in. Thom M
Who I am as an architect and the history of my work - that's clear to anybody who hires me. But I come in literally with nothing in my brain about what the building will look like.
For me the meaning of my work is much more fluid. Thom Mayn
Large-scale public projects require the agreement of large numbers of people. Thom M
Architecture is a discipline that takes time and patience. If one spends enough years writing complex novels one might be able, someday, to construct a respectable haiku.
Large-scale public projects require the agreement of large numbers of people.
I have a preference for rough architecture, real, inexpensive, unfinished. Thom M
Look around at day-to-day life for ideas, and it finds its way into your work. Thom Mayn