Design Quotes – Part II

December 21, 2010 — 5 Comments



Every now and then you need something to pick you up, distract you from the blank page, and let you know that everything is okay and that you are awesome (not necessarily in that order). Here are 25  of my most favorite design related quotes that just might do the trick. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

“Pictures deface walls oftener than they decorate them.” Frank Lloyd Wright

“Society needs a good image of itself. That is the job of the architect.” Walter Gropius

“A house is a machine for living in.” Le Corbusier

“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” Eero Saarinen

“The details are details. They make the product. The connections. It will in the end be these details that give the product its life.” Charles Eames

“I call architecture ‘petrified music’.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Our architecture reflects truly as a mirror.” Louis Sullivan

“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.” Mies van der Rohe

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill

“Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man has a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“‘Think simple’ as my old master used to say – meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.” Frank Lloyd Wright

“Architecture is the work of nations” John Ruskin

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

“God, to me, it seems, is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper.” Richard Buckminster Fuller

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” Michelanglo Buonarroti

“A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.” Mies van der Rohe

“To be an architect is to possess an individual voice speaking a generally understood language of form.” Robert A.M. Stern

“I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.” Le Corbusier

“Man loves everything that satisfies his comfort. He hates everything that wants to draw him out of his acquired and secured position and that disturbs him. Thus, he loves the house and hates art.“ Adolf Loos

“In architecture the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume a visible form. Architecture is a sort of oratory of power by means of forms.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier

“All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.” Frank Lloyd Wright

“Ideas are cheap. Always be passionate about ideas and communicating those ideas and discoveries to others in the things you make.” Charles Eames

“Who ever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?” Charles Eames

“Architects are pretty much high-class whores. We can turn down projects the way they can turn down some clients, but we’ve both got to say yes to someone if we want to stay in business.” Philip Johnson


Here’s to having a great day and thank you for reading

Life of an Architect

I really do appreciate you.



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    Love the quotes Bob!! I always use one on my holiday cards! I also like your blog platform. Is it a custom one? Mine is ok but not as easy to change as I would like. Thanks!! ~~~cheryl

    • Anonymous

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for the kind words. I will send you a message on the other questions you had –


  • Please send some functional pleasure for my Christmas gift. I’ll wait.
    BTW, I love these quotes, but prefer the stuff you say. You’re all poo-fist and gorilla something and way awesomer (new word).
    I agree with David; if you are done posting for the year, I guess I’ll compliment you twice – your blog makes me laugh. Laughter keeps you young I am twelve. See my avatar.

    • Anonymous

      No – I am not done for the year. There will be at least 3 more and they will be so spectacular that it will blow your face off! and all you will be able to do is

      **Roundhouse back-flip pointy-fingers Karate chop!** to your FACE!!

      (which is quite a bit actually … maybe I should make them more awesomer?)

  • Bob,
    I don’t know if you’ll be posting much more this year so I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your blog and our emails. Also, thank you very much for your help with my book.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.