Everything man is doing in architecture is to try to go against nature. Of course we have to understand nature to know how far we have to go against nature. The secret, I think, of the future is not doing too much. All architects have the tendency to do too much.
:: Frei Otto
A colleague used this quote in a lecture during Pratt's Technics course for first year architecture students. I was reviewing sketches in my notebook and found it scribbled on the edge of the page, without even an attribution. This means I was probably not listening as much has I should to the lecture and instead working through some design problem for the office. I am glad that this jumped out enough for me to take a break and do a little searching to find the original author of the quote. In the course of the searching I came across many such tid-bits of knowledge from Architect Frei Otto. A brilliant and very unique designer during the 20th century.
His work explores the performance and simplicity of nature, discovering novel methods for building with existing and new materials. The simplicity of his methods and rigor of testing and discovery remind me of the acronym, K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Stupid (or as I like to phrase is, Keep It Stupid Simple). I try to remind myself of this daily, as it is easy for projects to bloat and diverge on tangents.
I think I will head over to Amazon and pick up some resources on his work and career to beef up my own understanding, and get some elegant inspiration for the new year.
If you are interested in more of Frei Otto's quotes you can find many here.