Mies van der Rohe had a gift for pithy aphorisms which capture his philosophy on design and architecture. Several have become manifestos for designers and architects everywhere.

“Less is more.”

“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.”

“God is in the details.”

“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.”

“I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.”

“A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.”

“Simply by not owning three medium-sized castles in Tuscany I have saved enough money in the last forty years on insurance premiums alone to buy a medium-sized castle in Tuscany.”

About Mies

“The ‘International Style’…is totalitarianism [Wright announced]. These Bauhaus architects ran from political totalitarianism in Germany to what is now made by specious promotion to seem their own totalitarianism in art here in America…Why do I mistrust and defy such ‘internationalism’ as I do Communism? Because both must by their nature do this very levelling in the name of civilization…[The promoters of the International Style] are not a wholesome people…”

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo: Chicago History Museum: HB-18506-D4, Hedrich Blessing (detail)



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