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Arthur Erickson Quotes


An internationally celebrated Canadian architect and urban planner.
(1924 - 2009)

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After 1980, you never heard reference to space again. Surface, the most convincing evidence of the descent into materialism, became the focus of design. Space disappeared.
 

Ancient Rome was as confident of the immutability of its world and the continual expansion and improvement of the human lot as we are today.
 

Architecture doesn't come from theory. You don't think your way through a building.
 

Bankers cannot afford to be concerned with only the economic aspects of projects. There may be serious implications on the natural environment, the urban environment, on human culture.
 

Builders eventually took advantage of the look of modernism to build cheaply and carelessly.
 

Compared to industry in Europe or Japan, where industry was based on a craft tradition, we are sadly behind.
 

Does an architecture to assuage the spirit have a place?
 

God's designs may be frequent justification for our actions, but it is we, the self-made men, who take the credit.
 

Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.
 

I plead for conservation of human culture, which is much more fragile than nature herself. We needn't destroy other cultures with the force of our own.
 

Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within.
 

In those countries with centuries of a craft tradition behind their building methods, techniques are tightly coordinated under the direction of the architect.
 

Inspiration in Science may have to do with ideas, but not in Art. In art it is in the senses that are instinctively responsive to the medium of expression.
 

It is the mystery of the creative act that something other than our conscious self takes over.
 

Life is rich, always changing, always challenging, and we architects have the task of transmitting into wood, concrete, glass and steel, of transforming human aspirations into habitable and meaningful space.
 

Materialism has never been so ominous as now in North America, as management takes over.
 

Modernism released us from the constraints of everything that had gone before with a euphoric sense of freedom.
 

Nearly all of the advances in structural and aesthetic innovation is coming from abroad.
 

No amount of thought can ever reveal what comes unexpectedly.
 

No phenomenon can be isolated, but has repercussions through every aspect of our lives. We are learning that we are a fundamental part of nature's ecosystems.
 


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