Defending a vision of architecture: Frank Gehry in 1990, on

From the TED archives: Speaking at TED2 in 1990, the not-yet-legendary architect Frank Gehry takes a whistlestop tour of his work to date, from his Venice Beach house to the under-construction American Center in Paris. Over the course of this 45-minute slideshow (before TED’s 18-minute limit), Gehry explains the site-specific nature of his buildings — context he felt was lost in the discussions of his then-controversial work. In this candid and funny talk, he exposes his own messy creative process (“I take pieces and bits, and look at it, and struggle with it, and cut it away…”) and the way he struggles with problems (“This model on the left is pretty awful. I was ready to commit suicide when this was built … If any of you have ideas on it, please contact me. I don’t know what to do”). (Recorded March 1990 in Monterey, California. Duration: 44:32.)

Watch Frank Gehry’s talk on, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances, including Gehry’s conversation with Richard Saul Wurman from 2002.

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