The Best Frank Gehry quotes

Frank Gehry quotes thumbnail

Frank Gehry is a prolific architect, designer and artist who has contributed to modern architecture with his groundbreaking designs. Born in Toronto, Canada in 1928, he moved to Los Angeles when he was a teenager. His father had been an immigrant from Poland and his mother from Russia – both were professional musicians and encouraged Frank’s musical interests. He went on to study music at the University of Southern California before transferring into USC’s School of Architecture where he graduated in 1954. After graduation, Gehy worked as a draftsman for Victor Gruen Associates until 1957 when he opened up his own practice and began designing homes around Los Angeles which led him to start experimenting with abstract forms that would eventually become the foundation of his career as an architect.

Here are the strongest phrases from Frank Gehry.

Discover the most interesting Work, Material, Architecture, Artists, Building, Stuff quotes from Frank Gehry, and much more.


Test your habit in 4-mins


stop digital addiction course
This Course Breaks Your Digital Habits

About Frank Gehry

birth of the author

February 28, 1929

country of the author

Canadian, American

college of the author

Alma Mater:
University Of Southern California

occupation of the author


website of the author



You’ve got to like the people you work with. — Frank Gehry

The thing is, I hate the celebrity architect thing. I just do my work. — Frank Gehry

I can’t just decide myself what’s being built. Someone decides what they want, then I work for them. — Frank Gehry

Not every person has the same kinds of talents, so you discover what yours are and work with them. — Frank Gehry

you ve got to like the people you work with Frank Gehry quote

Your best work is your expression of yourself. — Frank Gehry

I refuse to work unless I get paid, so I don’t get a lot of work sometimes. — Frank Gehry

Bilbao opened in 1997. It was only ten years later that I was asked to do another museum. A lot of other people got work because of Bilbao. — Frank Gehry


Test your habit in 4-mins

Some people may say my curved panels look like sails. Well, I am a sailor, so I guess I probably do use that metaphor in my work–though not consciously. — Frank Gehry

Your work may be great and not make its way into the big picture… like Van Gogh… so who’s to say what’s good and bad? — Frank Gehry

the thing is i hate the celebrity architect thing i just do my work Frank Gehry quote

With computers we can work everything out from the beginning. — Frank Gehry

We live and work in boxes. People don’t even notice that. — Frank Gehry

Your best work is your expression of yourself. Now, you may not be the greatest at it, but when you do it, you’re the only expert. — Frank Gehry

The whole can be greater than the sum of it’s parts, that we all have something to put in the pie to make it better, and that the collaborative interaction works. — Frank Gehry

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. — Frank Gehry

your best work is your expression of yourself Frank Gehry quote

Architecture has always been a very idealistic profession. It’s about making the world a better place and it works over the generations because people go on vacation and they look for it. — Frank Gehry

That’s where you have to look for your inspiration. Don’t separate the rest of your life–who you are, what you love–from your work. — Frank Gehry

The fact is I’m an opportunist. I’ll take materials around me, materials on my table, and work with them as I’m searching for an idea that works. — Frank Gehry

Well, I’ve always just–I’ve never really gone out looking for work. I always waited for it to sort of hit me on the head. — Frank Gehry


My buildings are all on budget. — Frank Gehry

my buildings are all on budget Frank Gehry quote

Ninety percent of the buildings we live in and around aren’t architecture. No, that’s not right–98 percent. — Frank Gehry

Just because you are an architect and make decent buildings does not mean that you can suddenly become a set designer for one of the best avant–garde dancers in the world. — Frank Gehry

There are people who design buildings that are not technically and financially good, and there are those who do. Two categories–simple. — Frank Gehry

I would like to make a building as intellectually driven as it is sculptural and as positive as it would be acceptable to hope. — Frank Gehry

I don’t think all buildings have to be iconic, but the history of the world has shown us that cultures build iconic buildings for their major public buildings. — Frank Gehry

I never said I was opposed to the LEED program or to green building–I’m not. — Frank Gehry

Anybody I talk to agrees that maybe 2 percent of the building environment since the war, we could call architecture. — Frank Gehry

China is building cities for a 20 to 40 percent increase in population. India is quickly growing. The carbon footprints of that and other development around the world are overwhelming. — Frank Gehry

There is a backlash against me and everyone who has done buildings that have movement and feeling. — Frank Gehry

When you were a kid, if you went to the Montreal Forum or a hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens, which I did, there was a great feeling. The new stadiums don’t have it. Why don’t they have it? Building codes. — Frank Gehry

I think my best skill as an architect is the achievement of hand–to–eye coordination. I am able to transfer a sketch into a model into the building. — Frank Gehry

You have freedom, so you have to make choices–and at the point when I make a choice, the building starts to look like a Frank Gehry building. It’s a signature. — Frank Gehry

In Tokyo, London or Los Angeles people go into McDonald’s and the restaurants are identical and people are comfortable. It’s unthreatening. — Frank Gehry


That’s why you go into architecture–at least I did–to do things for people. I think most of us are idealists. You start out that way, anyway. — Frank Gehry

I don’t want to do architecture that’s dry and dull. — Frank Gehry

i don t want to do architecture that s dry and dull Frank Gehry quote

Art is about people. I think the discussion about whether architecture is art or not is lamebrain. — Frank Gehry

There are a great many things about architecture that are hidden from the untrained eye. — Frank Gehry

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness. — Frank Gehry

It’s not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. — Frank Gehry

Redundant Thematics

In Frank Gehry Statements


Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone. It can for children–for anyone. It still does for me. — Frank Gehry

there are a great many things about architecture that are hidden from the untrained eye Frank Gehry quote

It’s not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone. It can for children–for anyone. It still does for me. — Frank Gehry

The back of Saint Peter’s is one of the finest pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen. — Frank Gehry

Chicago’s one of the rare places where architecture is more visible. — Frank Gehry

Look, architecture has a lot of places to hide behind, a lot of excuses. ‘The client made me do this.’ ‘The city made me do this.’ ‘Oh, the budget.’ I don’t believe that anymore. — Frank Gehry

There are a lot of questions about whether architecture is art. The people who ask that think pretty tract houses are architecture. But that doesn’t hold up. — Frank Gehry

architecture should speak of its time and place but yearn for timelessness Frank Gehry quote

Architecture is a service business. An architect is given a program, budget, place, and schedule. Sometimes the end product rises to art–or at least people call it that. — Frank Gehry


Those who say only artists and architects can create are the ones who are elitist. — Frank Gehry

People ask me if I’m an artist or an architect. But I think they’re the same. — Frank Gehry

In the Renaissance there wasn’t a distinction. Bernini was an artist and he made architecture, and Michelangelo also did some great architecture. — Frank Gehry

The best advice I’ve received is to be yourself. The best artists do that. — Frank Gehry

those who say only artists and architects can create are the ones who are elitist Frank Gehry quote

Artists dismiss me as an architect, so I’m not in their box, and architects dismiss me as an artist, so I’m not in their box. — Frank Gehry

One of my greatest influences is the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. — Frank Gehry

Everybody’s an artist. Unfortunately we don’t treat them as such. — Frank Gehry

Childhood play is nothing more than an expression of our individuality and preparation for human interaction. Everybody’s an artist. Unfortunately we don’t treat them as such. — Frank Gehry

Most of our cities built since the war are bland. They’re modernist, they’re cold, and now architects want to go back to that. — Frank Gehry

people ask me if i m an artist or an architect but i think they re the same Frank Gehry quote


I hate the word starchitect. Stuff like that comes from mean–spirited, untalented journalists. It’s demeaning. — Frank Gehry

There is stuff I would have liked to have done. But there are no sour grapes. — Frank Gehry

This neo–minimalism super cold stuff is weird to me. I need a place where I can come home and take my shoes off. — Frank Gehry

I’m inspired by a lot of stuff. I always was interested in sculpture and painting and music and literature and all those things. There’s no one thing. — Frank Gehry

I’m going to design the container and interior spaces. You bring your own stuff to it and make it your own. — Frank Gehry

there is stuff i would have liked to have done but there are no sour grapes Frank Gehry quote

You see a lot of so–called architecture that part of the ego trip overpowers the functionality and the budget and all that stuff. — Frank Gehry

Each project, I suffer like I’m starting over again in life. There’s a lot of healthy insecurity that fuels this stuff. — Frank Gehry

My father probably–he had flashes of creativity–he used to do store windows for fruit stores that he worked in and stuff. — Frank Gehry


Cardboard is another material that’s ubiquitous and everybody hates, yet when I made furniture with it everybody loved it. — Frank Gehry

I found the material that people hated the most and used the most. So, I was going and try and see if I could play with it sculpturally. — Frank Gehry

Here we are surrounded by material that’s being manufactured in unimaginable quantities worldwide and is used everywhere. I don’t like it, no one likes it, and yet it’s pervasive. We don’t even see it. — Frank Gehry

The idealism [in architecture] is in the formal arrangement, the relationship to the city, the use of materials that are available to me. That’s where I say our powers are limited. — Frank Gehry

In the art world Robert Rauschenberg had been combining common materials that people thought was art and beautiful, and it was. If he could do that, I could emulate him. — Frank Gehry

Everything–design and technology and materials–has changed since the World Trade Center was built. A lot of it has to do with computers, which allow us to be far more efficient as well as structurally sound. — Frank Gehry

Wasting Life?


Test your habit in 4-mins