Philip Johnson quotes

  • Architecture is the art of how to waste space.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Badass #Bad Ass

  • I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Beach #Hate #Vacation

  • All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Badass #Bad Ass #Space

  • Anybody can build a building, putting some doors into it, but how many times have you been in a building that moves you to tears the way Beethoven's 'Eighth' does?
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Moving #Doors #Tears

  • Doing a house is so much harder than doing a skyscraper.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #House #Skyscraper #Harder

  • Don't build a glass house if you're worried about saving money on heating.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Glasses #House #Saving

  • The future of architecture is culture.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Culture #Architecture

  • All architects want to live beyond their deaths.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Death #Want #Architect

  • Architects are pretty much high-class whores. We can turn down projects the way they can turn down some clients, but we've both got to say yes to someone if we want to stay in business.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Class #Want #Way

  • In our greatest universities, naturalism - the doctrine that nature is all there is - is the virtually unquestioned assumption that underlies not only natural science but intellectual work of all kinds.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Scary #Intellectual #Doctrine

  • [Evolution] doesn't mean God-guided, gradual creation. It means unguided, purposeless change. The Darwinian theory doesn't say that God created slowly. It says that naturalistic evolution is the creator, and so God had nothing to do with it.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Mean #Scary #Evolution

  • From the very fact the universe is on the whole orderly, in a manner comprehensible to our intellect, is evidence that we and it were fashioned by a common intelligence.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Scary #Facts #Common

  • Naturalism and materialism mean essentially the same thing.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Mean #Scary #Materialism

  • Scientific naturalism is a story that reduces reality to physical particles and impersonal laws, [and] portrays life as a meaningless competition among organisms that exist only to survive and reproduce.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Reality #Law #Scary

  • In our universal experience unintelligent material processes do not create life
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Scary #Process #Materials

  • I wouldn't build a building if it wasn't of interest to me as a potential work of art. Why should I?
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Building #Should

  • If architects weren't arrogant, they wouldn't be architects. I don't know a modest good architect.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Arrogant #Architect #Modest

  • I guess I want to make money just like other people, perhaps more than most people.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #People #Want #Making Money

  • The people with money to build today are corporations - they are our popes and Medicis. The sense of pride is why they build.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Pride #People #Corporations

  • I'm a chameleon, so changeable. I see myself as a gadfly and a questioner.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Gadflies #Chameleon

  • I get between nine and ten hours of sleep. Go to bed at 8:30 and get up at 6:00 or 6:30 if I oversleep.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Sleep #Nine #Bed

  • Houston is undoubtedly my showcase city. I saved all my best buildings for Houston.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Cities #Houston #Building

  • I guess I can't be a great architect. Great architects have a recognizable style. But if every building I did were the same, it would be pretty boring.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Style #Would Be #Boring

  • I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs - at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Looks #Thrill #Earth

  • There's no worse feeling than seeing my buildings and realizing the mistakes.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Mistake #Feelings #Realizing

  • So now the floodgates are open to the delight of pure form, whatever its origin. Anything goes.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Delight #Anything Goes #Form

  • I think the collectors have made an enormous contribution, not only to the market but to painters themselves... These people that buy, that set standards, make everyone else itch to emulate.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Thinking #People #Made

  • The automobile is the greatest catastrophe in the entire history of City architecture.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Cities #Architecture #Automobile

  • You're going to change the world? Well, go ahead and try. You'll give it up at a certain point and change yourself instead.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Giving #Trying #World

  • I got everything from someone. Nobody can be original.
    -- Philip Johnson

  • Glibness will get your anywhere.
    -- Philip Johnson

  • I wish someone would ask me to design a cathedral.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Design #Wish #Cathedrals

  • Pick very few objects and place them exactly.
    -- Philip Johnson

  • I call myself a traditionalist, although I have fought against tradition all my life.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Tradition

  • Early unsuccessess shouldn't bother anybody because it happens to absolutely everybody.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Bother

  • We all see the world differently. And thank God for that. Otherwise, what a boring world this would be.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Positive #Thank God #World

  • To me, the drive for monumentality is as inbred as the desire for food and sex, regardless of how we denigrate it. Monuments differ in different periods. Each age has its own.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Sex #Age #Desire

  • Processionalism is primary - how you get from one place to another, the relationships and effects of spaces as you move about in them. That's worked out awfully well in the State Theater. I'm a 'straight-in' man myself; I'm too nervous, I like to know where I am. I also like to know where I'm going.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Moving #Men #Space

  • Maybe, just maybe, we shall at last come to care for the most important, most challenging, surely the most satisfying of all architectural creations: building cities for people to live in.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Cities #People #Challenges

  • In my own work, I'd say I'm a classicist, but I look everywhere for my solutions. I don't study the toilet-living habits of my clients, although that's a popular approach. First, I think of every building in history that has been similar in purpose. Then I think of the functional program - that's a major part of the study.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Thinking #Looks #Purpose

  • How does an artist know when the line that he just painted is good or not good? That's the catch. De Kooning was the greatest of my contemporaries in art, and he knew when he'd done a good line. When he didn't, he threw it away. I wish I'd thrown away some of mine.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Wish #Doe

  • I haven't any wisdom - just a child like everybody else. I'm not as great as Frank Lloyd Wright.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Children #Frank

  • The practice of architecture is the most delightful of all pursuits. Also, next to agriculture, it is the most necessary to man. One must eat, one must have shelter. Next to religious worship itself, it is the spiritual handmaiden of our deepest convictions.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Spiritual #Religious #Inspiration

  • When a building is as good as that one, f#*@ the art.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Architecture #Building

  • The first complete sentence out of my mouth was probably that line about consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Consistency #Mind #Lines

  • We do pretty much whatever we want to.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Want

  • Concrete you can mold, you can press it into - after all, you haven't any straight lines in your body. Why should we have straight lines in our architecture? You'd be surprised when you go into a room that has no straight line - how marvelous it is that you can feel the walls talking back to you, as it were.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Wall #Talking #Body

  • I like to be buttoned onto tradition. The thing is to improve it, twist it and mold it; to make something new of it; not to deny it. The riches of history can be plucked at any point.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Mold #Riches #Twists

  • Faith? Haven't any. I'm not a nihilist or a relativist. I don't believe in anything but change. I'm a Heraclitean - you can't step in the same river twice.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Believe #Rivers #Steps

  • Architecture is basically the design of interiors, the art of organizing interior space.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Space #Design

  • Architecture is art, nothing else.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Art #Architecture

  • It is wonderful to be in the country in a glass house, because no matter what happens out there, you're nice and safe, you know, cuddled in your little bed, and there it is, raging storms, snowing - wonderful.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Country #Nice #Glasses

  • There's no such thing as old age. I'm no different now than I was 50 years ago. I'm just having more fun.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Fun #Years #Age

  • I used to think that each phase of life was the end. But now that my view on life is more or less fixed, I believe that change is a great thing. In fact, it's the only real absolute in the world.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Real #Believe #Thinking

  • Purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Beautiful #Purpose #Building

  • American megalomania is largely responsible for the growth of the Skyscraper School.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #School #Growth #Responsible

  • Some of the opera houses in Italy had to be burnt down because people could neither see nor hear. They gave up seeing years ago, but they did enjoy the music.
    -- Philip Johnson

    #Years #People #House