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“If you are not learning, then you are not creative.”
Meet iconic British architect Norman Foster, who shares his conviction that you must understand the past to shape the future. Read more …
“I think somebody observed that at some point between the period in which I grew up when the future was always brighter. And I have to say, I still believe in that – passionately. But at some point, I’m aware that for many people, the future is filled with a degree of foreboding.”
“I just urge that there are many commentators who have analysed factually the progress of civilisation, the conquering of disease, the spread of education, the decline in violence, notwithstanding what we read in the newspapers, notwithstanding some of the horrors of poverty, of malnutrition, of war and violence, but the big trends, the big trends are positive.”
“It’s important to learn from the past. The lessons of history are important. I would like to be responsible for the quote that if you want to look far ahead, first look far back. And then be aware that you are designing for the present. But you are also designing for a future which is unknown.”
Norman Robert Foster (b. 1935) is an English architect and designer considered one of his generation’s most prolific architects. He is the founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners (1967), the global studio for architecture, urbanism and design responsible for renowned buildings such as the Great Court British Museum and Millennium Bridge (London), Reichstag (Berlin), Millau Viaduct (France), Hearst Tower (New York), Hong Kong International Airport (Beijing), Capital International Airport and Apple Park (California). Foster has received numerous awards, such as the Pritzker-prize in 1999 (often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture), the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the AIA Gold Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize in 1998, 2004 and 2017, as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. He was knighted in 1990, and in 1999 he was created a life peer as Lord Foster of Thames Bank. He is president of the Norman Foster Foundation, based in Madrid, with a global reach, promoting interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations of architects, designers and urbanists anticipate the future.
Norman Foster was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner on the occasion of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition (The Biennale Architettura 2023) in Venice, Italy. The interview took place in May 2023.
Camera: Simon Weyhe
Editing: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling. This film is supported by Dreyersfond and Fritz Hansen.
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