Joe Cianciotto looks to Norman Foster as a major influence along with Frank Lloyd Wright and Ieoh Ming Pei. Today, he will discuss some of the renowned British architect’s design philosophies that also prove to be influential in his own view about design and architecture, as well as his own view about creativity.
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Let us look briefly at the life of Norman Foster’s. He was born in 1935 in Manchester, as the only child of a working class family. His interest in architecture started when he was a teenager, influenced by Le Corbusier, one of the fathers of modern architecture. Although he had to leave school at 16, he still pursued architecture by enrolling in Manchester University School of Architecture at the age of 21. He found success and eventually found Foster+Partners at the age of 32.
Joe Cianciotto considers Norman Foster’s pioneering efforts with structural expressionism and ecological design as evidence of his design philosophy, which involves integration, regeneration, adaptability, flexibility, technology, and ecology. He once described architecture as “a balancing act of integrating and somehow responding to all the needs of a project,” in which he meant the “...material and measurable; as well as the spiritual and intangible,…” He also believes that a good architect should have “an open mind, energy, an appetite for hard work, a willingness to explore new solutions and push boundaries.”
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Norman Foster’s most famous philosophy is best expressed through his project with the Reichstage in Berlin, says Joe Cianciotto. The good thing about this philosophy is how architecture was able to communicate a city’s past and present character. Symbolism, if need be, is responsible to bring a design idea into a sketch of how a concept might be achieved. The iconic glass dome of the Reichstag represents that moment when the German people found their reunification as well as their place in parliament, as depicted by Norman Foster.