Why were you specifically interested in Louis Kahn?
Well, I wanted to do an internship and there were only a couple of figures that l respected both as architects and thinkers, and one of the mwas Louis Kahn. I have always believed that each project should have an idea which is driving the design. Kahn’s projects were paradigmatic in this respect: the incredible project for the Hurva Synagogue consists of candle niches that are monumentalized, as a symbol of the intensity of the Jewish religiosity synthesized in the candle ceremony. The idea for Exeter Library is embodied in the movement from the darkness to the light as with the book and the search for knowledge. It was not his stylel was looking for, but the intellectual clarity, simplicity and for thrightness which the other figures,the leading figures of that moment, Venturi and the Five, were rejecting. When l was given Complexity and Contradiction in 1967 by my Professor in the University, l thought: l am going to do exactly the opposite!
What did you do after your plans to work for Louis Kahn failed?
l interned in San Francisco，working for two years in various offices；most notably for Lawrence Halprin, the landscape architect. After this,l went to London to follow graduate studies at the Architectural Association. The A.A. at that time was the place of a fantastic hyperactive intellectual debate organized by Alvin Boyarski. People like Peter Cook, Charles Jencks, Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Leon Krier were all present. You can imagine what an amazing experience it was; a very energetic moment of formation. Then l came back to San Francisco and worked in William Stout’s Bookstore, a fantastic place directed by an obsessive figure. My brother is a sculptor here in New York, and l decided to come to visit him as an excursion. l still have the return portion of the round-trip ticket. l never planned to stay here, but l was caught by the intense intellectual debate in this city. I continue to wonder whether my place is Seattle where l was born, San Francisco which l love, or New York. The fact that l have not a single project in New York makes me wonder. Tomorrow l am flying to San Francisco to a potential commission, I have a project in Seattle, one in Helsinki, one in Japan and one in Korea…but nothing currently in New York.