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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
Mies Van Der Rohe is believed to be one of the pioneers of architecture.
A director of the seminal school in modern architecture, Mies Van Der Rohe's views and opinions are very well known amongst architects. In one of his famous quotes, Mies Van Der Rohe describes a chair as a very difficult object and a skyscraper as a simpler one!
Commonly referred to as Mies, he created his own signature style. He also used many modern materials. He also made curious comments about his clients and how architects should talk to them about their children!
Out of his various quotes on different things, these are the quotes that received the most recognition.
“No design is possible until the materials with which you design are completely understood”
“It is better to be good than to be original.”
“And just as we acquaint ourselves with materials, just as we must understand functions, so we must become familiar with the psychological and spiritual factors of our day. No cultural activity is possible otherwise; for we are dependent on the spirit of our time.”
“We must remember that everything depends on how we use a material, not on the material itself… New materials are not necessarily superior. Each material is only what we make it.”
“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.”
"I especially remember that on All Souls Day, when so many people wanted new monuments for the graves, our whole family pitched in. I did the lettering on the stones, my brother did the carving, and my sisters put the finishing touches on them, the gold leaf and all that."
"Education must lead us from the irresponsible opinion to true responsible judgment. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to rational clarity and intellectual order. Therefore, let us guide our students over the road of discipline from materials, through function, to creative work."
Being from the architectural field, Van Der Rohe had some very insightful thoughts on the subject.
“Architecture is a language. When you are very good, you can be a poet”
“First you have to learn to do something, then you can go out and do it.”
“Each material is only what we make it.”
“Never talk to a client about architecture. Talk to him about his children. That is simply good politics. He will not understand what you have to say about architecture most of the time. An architect of ability should be able to tell a client what he wants. Most of the time a client never knows what he wants.”
“Architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms.”
“Architecture begins when you place two bricks carefully together.”
“I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.”
"The demands of the time for objectivity and functionality must be fulfilled. If that clearly happens, then the buildings of our day will convey the greatness of which the age is capable, and only a fool will maintain that they lack it."
“Let us guide our students over the road of discipline from materials, through function, to creative work. Let us lead them into the healthy world of primitive building methods, where there was meaning in every stroke of an ax, expression in every bite of the chisel.”
“Architecture is the real battleground of the spirit.”
“God dwells in the details.”
“Architecture has the power to create order out of unholy confusion.”
Here are some more quotes by Mies Van Der Rohe who was commonly referred to by his last name, and was a well-regarded modernist architect!
“Less is more.”
“Simply by not owning three medium-sized castles in Tuscany, I have saved enough money in the last forty years on insurance premiums alone to buy a medium-sized castle in Tuscany.”
“The individual is losing significance; his destiny is no longer what interests us.”
“But what if we are dealing with fools?”
"Form as a goal always ends in formalism. For this striving is directed not towards an inside, but towards an outside. But only a living inside has a living outside."
“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.”
"Architecture is always the will of the age conceived as space – nothing else. Until this simple truth is clearly recognized, the struggle over the foundation of a new architecture confident in its aims and powerful in its impact cannot be realized; until then, it is destined to remain a chaos of uncoordinated forces."
“If teaching has any purpose, it is to implant true insight and responsibility. Education must lead us from irresponsible opinion to true responsible judgment. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to rational clarity and intellectual order.”
“The long path from material through function to creative work has only one goal: to create order out of the desperate confusion of our time.”
“We must have order, allocating to each thing its proper place and giving to each thing is due according to its nature.”
"Reinforced concrete buildings are by nature skeletal buildings. No noodles nor armoured turrets. A construction of girders that carry the weight, and walls that carry no weight. That is to say, buildings consisting of skin and bones."
"Nature, too, shall live its own life. We must beware not to disrupt it with the color of our houses and interior fittings. yet we should not attempt to bring nature, houses, and human beings together into a higher unity."
"The problem of architecture has always been the same throughout time. Its authentic quality is reached through its proportions, and the proportions cost nothing. In fact, most of them are proportions among things, not the things themselves. Art is almost always a question of proportions."
Here are the remaining Mies Van Der Rohe quotes on his field, and about life.
“God is in the details.”
“True education is concerned not only with practical goals but also with values. Our aims assure us of our material life, our values make possible our spiritual life.”
“We must be as familiar with the functions of our building as with our materials. We must learn what a building can be, what it should be, and also what it must not be.”
“Architecture wrote the history of the epochs and gave them their names.”
“A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.”
"It is much better to have just one idea, and if the idea is clear, then you can fight for it. That is how you can get things done."
"When one looks at Nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it takes on a deeper significance than when one stands outside. More of Nature is thus expressed - it becomes part of a greater whole."
"We refuse to recognize problems of form, but only problems of building. Form is not the aim of our work, but only the result. Form, by itself, does not exist. Form as an aim is formalism; and that we reject."
"Our utilitarian structures will mature into architecture only when, through their fulfillment of function, they become carriers of the will of the age."
“Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the wooden buildings of the old. Where else can we find such unity of material, construction, and form? Here the wisdom of whole generations is stored. What feelings for material and what power of expression there is in these buildings! What warmth and beauty they have! They seem to be echoes of old songs.”
“Means must be subsidiary to ends and to our desire for dignity and value.”
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