Many moons ago, I started dating the man who is now my husband; he happened to be an architect. Every time he took me on a date, he would also drive me around streets for a while and point out different buildings. He would tell me about the architecture and the history of these buildings. In those days, architecture was the most sophisticated profession, and I guess all the girls wanted to marry an architect. Later on, after our marriage, following my husband’s job as an architect working for the United Nations on different world bank projects, I traveled and lived in different parts of Africa and Europe. We were always surrounded by his architect friends and always discussing architecture. It was everybody’s favorite subject.
All things considered, it is not unusual – actually, it is quite predictable – that this past Christmas, I gave my husband a book of the work of the famed architect, Frank Gehry. While looking at the photographs and flipping through the pages of the book, we discussed how in the old times, architecture was only about functionality, and the designs were more or less standard. My husband and I discussed how this has changed drastically, and how the most important factor in Frank Gehry’s work was that his designs were very avant garde and always consistent. Gehry uses his work as an artist to express himself with shapes and forms, like how a sculptor would express himself through his sculptures. Nevertheless, Frank Gehry’s buildings are very user friendly and functional. I think the bold and daring approach of his designs creates an element of surprise and maybe even an element of shock that is very refreshing and very pleasing to the eyes. As I have been following his career, I know that later on he worked on designing furniture and jewelry as well. However, I don’t think he was really able to carry on the boldness and the creativity and the real magic that he showed in his building designs into his furniture or even into designing his jewelry.