Skip to Main Content

Louis I. Kahn (June 6, 1972)56:47

This event did not take place at SCI-Arc. It probably took place at the 1972 International Design Conference of Aspen (IDCA).

Louis I. Kahn defines architecture in terms of beauty, wonder, and expression. He characterizes material as a manifestation of spent light. He argues that there is no such thing as architecture, but only the spirit of architecture which can not be broken into categories for the marketplace.

Kahn talks about knowing order. He uses the example of the brick wanting to be an arch to demonstrate the brick's inherent nature and order. He relates an allegorical narrative reflecting on art and science, and he explains his efforts to discover the nature around which design is possible.

Kahn discusses his work on the Salk Institute and his collaboration with Jonas Salk and Luis Barragán. He talks about various alternative designs and he poetically describes all process and program. He concludes by remarking that desire is the real motivating force for living and expressing.