Frank O. Gehry & Eric Owen Moss: 5th Raimund Abraham Memorial Lecture (March 4, 2015)

Frank O. Gehry, the fifth Raimund Abraham Memorial Lecturer, discusses with Eric Owen Moss the title of this evening’s conversation – You can’t rehearse something you haven’t invented yet – a quote from jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and it’s relevance to the process of architecture.

In the course of their conversation, Gehry describes his curiosity about the work of very different designers, and characterizes his involvement in the development of design software as part of a larger ambition to take back control of more of the project for architects. Gehry agrees with Lucien Freud’s assertion, “All art is autobiographical,” adding that with architecture the autobiographical aspect is the personal signature brought to bear on the specific problem. He describes how early exposure to the study of the Talmud influenced him greatly—not in terms of theology or religion, but by authorizing a persistent asking of “Why?” Staying curious is the most important thing.

When Moss presents a score by John Cage, Gehry describes some musical memories: participating in a Gagaku orchestra, and watching Pierre Boulez generate passionate music with a few minimal and precise gestures.

Gehry describes the disinterest of the East Coast and Europe in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s as a positive thing that offered him freedom to experiment.

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