Tuesday, December 19, 2006

where do ideas come from?

From an interview with Italian architect Renzo Piano (of Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou fame, which he designed with Richard Rogers), in Metropolis magazine:

When you visit buildings by other architects, what do you look for?
Haha! First, I enjoy them very much. Second, I steal everything. Stealing is maybe too hard a word. There’s an Italian word, you say “rubarro,” which means a nice robber, without a mask.

What did T.S. Elliot say, “Good poets borrow, great poets steal”?
It’s really about that. But art is about that. Music is about taking and giving back. In a way I spend my entire life stealing from everything—from the past, from cities I love, from where I grew up—grabbing things, taking not only from architecture but from Italy, art, writing, poetry, music. And you know what, I put all my robberies in a little piece of paper that I have with me and fill almost a whole sketch pad. Even when I don’t like a building, I still find something to take. This is probably because I was never a good school boy, so I grew up with the idea that I was not the first in class and I was a problem all the time. When you grow up with that idea, you spend your life taking from others.

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