Architecture is the art of how to waste space.

— Philip Johnson

The most informative Philip Johnson quotes that are free to learn and impress others

I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?

46

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.

42

I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs - at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral.

29

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.

27

It is wonderful to be in the country in a glass house, because no matter what happens out there, you're nice and safe, you know, cuddled in your little bed, and there it is, raging storms, snowing - wonderful.

27

Doing a house is so much harder than doing a skyscraper.

24

Don't build a glass house if you're worried about saving money on heating.

18

The automobile is the greatest catastrophe in the entire history of City architecture.

16

Faith? Haven't any. I'm not a nihilist or a relativist. I don't believe in anything but change. I'm a Heraclitean - you can't step in the same river twice.

16

We all see the world differently. And thank God for that. Otherwise, what a boring world this would be.

13

Scientific naturalism is a story that reduces reality to physical particles and impersonal laws, [and] portrays life as a meaningless competition among organisms that exist only to survive and reproduce.

11

I used to think that each phase of life was the end.

But now that my view on life is more or less fixed, I believe that change is a great thing. In fact, it's the only real absolute in the world.

10

About Philip Johnson

Quotes 55 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Architect
Birthday July 8, 1906

I'm a chameleon, so changeable. I see myself as a gadfly and a questioner.

9

You're going to change the world? Well, go ahead and try.

You'll give it up at a certain point and change yourself instead.

7

We do pretty much whatever we want to.

4

Concrete you can mold, you can press it into - after all, you haven't any straight lines in your body. Why should we have straight lines in our architecture? You'd be surprised when you go into a room that has no straight line - how marvelous it is that you can feel the walls talking back to you, as it were.

4

All architects want to live beyond their deaths.

4

ARCHITECTURE, n: The art of how to waste space.

3

Houston is undoubtedly my showcase city. I saved all my best buildings for Houston.

3

Architecture is basically the design of interiors, the art of organizing interior space.

3

Architecture is art, nothing else.

0

I get between nine and ten hours of sleep.

Go to bed at 8:30 and get up at 6:00 or 6:30 if I oversleep.

0

I hate the celebrity architect thing.

I just do my work. The press comes up with this stuff and it sticks. I hate the word starchitect. Stuff like that comes from mean-spirited, untalented journalists. It's demeaning.

0

In our greatest universities, naturalism - the doctrine that nature is all there is - is the virtually unquestioned assumption that underlies not only natural science but intellectual work of all kinds.

0

I wish someone would ask me to design a cathedral.

0

I got everything from someone. Nobody can be original.

0

When a building is as good as that one, f#*@ the art.

0

[Evolution] doesn't mean God-guided, gradual creation.

It means unguided, purposeless change. The Darwinian theory doesn't say that God created slowly. It says that naturalistic evolution is the creator, and so God had nothing to do with it.

0

Pick very few objects and place them exactly.

0

Early unsuccessess shouldn't bother anybody because it happens to absolutely everybody.

0

The best thing to do with water is to use a lot of it.

0

I call myself a traditionalist, although I have fought against tradition all my life.

0

There's no worse feeling than seeing my buildings and realizing the mistakes.

0

So now the floodgates are open to the delight of pure form, whatever its origin. Anything goes.

0

I guess I want to make money just like other people, perhaps more than most people.

0

Naturalism and materialism mean essentially the same thing.

0

Purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful.

0

The future of architecture is culture.

0

I wouldn't build a building if it wasn't of interest to me as a potential work of art. Why should I?

0

To sum up the state of architecture in America: ninety percent of the buildings we live in and around aren't architecture. No, that's not right - 98 percent.

0

If architects weren't arrogant, they wouldn't be architects. I don't know a modest good architect.

0

Ninety-eight percent are boxes, which tells me that a lot of people are in denial. We live and work in boxes. People don't even notice that. Most of what's around us is banal. We live with it. We accept it as inevitable. People say, "This is the world the way it is, and don't bother me." Then when somebody does something different, real architecture, the push-back is amazing. People resist it. At first it's new and scary.

0

I think the collectors have made an enormous contribution, not only to the market but to painters themselves... These people that buy, that set standards, make everyone else itch to emulate.

0

In our universal experience unintelligent material processes do not create life

0

The first complete sentence out of my mouth was probably that line about consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds.

0

American megalomania is largely responsible for the growth of the Skyscraper School.

0

I'm about four skyscrapers behind.

0

Some of the opera houses in Italy had to be burnt down because people could neither see nor hear. They gave up seeing years ago, but they did enjoy the music.

0

There's no such thing as old age. I'm no different now than I was 50 years ago. I'm just having more fun.

0
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