100+ Inspirational Design and Architecture Quotes

I have made a list of some of my favourite Architecture and Design Quotes. Some of these are all time classics and canonical, and some are much less well known. I have tried to organize them so the list has its own flow for example one of the most famous Architecture quotes ever is ‘Less is more’ by Mies Van Der Rohe.

I have added a few quotes below that which are replies to it like Robert Venturi’s ‘Less is a bore’ which is a direct repudiation of Mies’s quote and an example of his and Denise Scott Brown’s writing which as much as their buildings made them famous. It appears if you look hard enough even Ed Sheeran has an opinion about Architecture too!

Less is more. – Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

Less is a bore. – Robert Venturi

Less is only more where more is no good. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Yes is more. – Bjarke Ingels

Sometimes less is more than enough. – Unknown

If less is more, maybe nothing is everything – Rem Koolhaas

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness. – Frank Gehry

Architecture is the art of how to waste space. – Philip johnson

Architecture is the learned game correct and magnificent of forms assembled in the light. – Le Corbusier

Architecture is inhabited sculpture. – Constantin Brancusi

Architecture is a ride – a physical ride and an intellectual ride. – Antoine Predock

Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity. – Spiro Kostof

Architecture is what nature cannot make. Architecture is something unnatural but not something made up. – Louis Kahn

Architecture is too slow in its realisation to be a ‘problem solver’. – Cedric Price

Architecture is the thoughtful making of space. – Louis Khan

Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless. – Zaha Hadid

Architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience. – Roland Barthes

Architecture is a political act, by nature. It has to do with the relationships between people and how they decide to change their conditions of living. – Lebbeus Woods

A design isn’t finished until someone is using it. – Brenda Laurel

Form ever follows function. – Louis Sullivan

Function First. – Michael E. Pipkins

Function influence but does not dictate form. – Eero Saarinen

Where form comes from I don’t know, but it has nothing at all to do with the functional or sociological aspects of our architecture. – Philip Johnson

Architecture is not about form. – Peter Zumthor

Form follows profit is the aesthetic principle of our times. – Richard Rogers

My work is not about “form follows function”, but “form follows beauty” or, even better, “form follows feminine”. – Oscar Niemeyer

A house is a machine for living in. – Le Corbusier

A house is not a machine to live in. It is the shell of man, his extension, his release, his spiritual emanation. – Eileen Gray

Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose. – Charles Eames

I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good. – Mies van der Rohe

I don’t know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do. – Frank Gehry

In pure architecture the smallest detail should have a meaning or serve a purpose. – Augustus W. N. Pugin

The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization. – Frank Lloyd Wright

We shape our buildings, therafter they shape us.- Winston Churchill

Architecture must concern itself continually with the socially beneficial distortion of the environment. – Cedric Price

Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money. – Ambrose Bierc

Prose is Architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway

It is therefore indisputable that the limbs of architecture are derived from the limbs of man. – Michelangelo

The modern architect is, generally speaking, art’s greatest enemy. – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Among the planets of the arts, architecture is the dark side of the moon. – Bruno Zevi

Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Finally, architecture is bigger than buildings in the same way the city is; it concerns the production and dissemination of knowledge as much as it does embodied energy. – Samuel Medina

The white façades of the villas and apartment houses were like blocks of time that had crystallised beside the road. – J.G. Ballard

If we find a mound six feet long and three feet wide in the forests, formed into a pyramid, shaped by a shovel, we become serious and something says, “someone lies buried here”… Now that is architecture. – Adolf Loos

Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake. – Luis Barragan

Beauty is the harmony of purpose and form. – Alvar Aalto

The only way to enjoy architecture is not just to look at it but to move around it and through it. – Kenneth Bayes

The architecture we remember is that which never consoles or comforts us. – Peter Eisenman

Good ideas come from everywhere. It’s more important to recognize a good idea than to author it. – Jeanne Gang

I’m interested in conflict and confrontation. -Thom Mayne

If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture. – Oscar Wilde

For architecture, nature provides only indications and analogies, not models to imitate.- Leon Krier

Each new situation requires a new architecture. – Jean Nouvel

I think space, architectural space, is my thing. It’s not about facade, elevation, making image, making money. My passion is creating space. – Peter Zumthor

There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners. – Antoni Gaudi

I was attracted by the curve — the liberated, sensual curve suggested by the possibilities of new technology yet so often recalled in venerable old baroque churches. – Oscar Niemeyer

The architects who benefit us most may be those generous enough to lay aside their claims to genius in order to devote themselves to assembling graceful but predominantly unoriginal boxes. – Alain De Botton

I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies. – Le Corbusier

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I’m finished, if the solution is not beautiful I know it’s wrong. – Buckminster Fuller

My hand is the extension of the thinking process – the creative process. – Tadao Ando

Let one building be like another. We won’t be published in Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration and we won’t be made professors of applied art, but we will have served ourselves, our times, our nation and mankind to the best of our ability. – Adolf Loos

An interesting plainness is the most difficult and precious thing to achieve. – Mies Van Der Rohe

There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one? – Zaha Hadid

I search for an ideal condition of new architecture in-between artifice and nature.- Sou Fujimoto

God is in the details. – Mies van der Rohe

The cosmetic is cosmic. – Rem Koolhaas

Architecture is essentially an aesthetic art, and … our goal is to essentially broaden and deepen human experience, and we do that primarily through creating aesthetic situations. – Coy Howard

We had better not enjoy the moment, but create the moment. – Ai Weiwei

Any architectural project we do takes at least four or five years, so increasingly there is a discrepancy between the acceleration of culture and the continuing slowness of architecture. – Rem Koolhaas

The speed of change makes you wonder what will become of architecture. -Tadao Ando

One might regard architecture as history arrested in stone.-A. L. Rowse

They swore by concrete. They built for eternity. – Gunter Grass

Modern architecture has the potential to send you to an early grave. – Steven Magee

Modern architecture only becomes modern with its engagement with the media. – Beatriz Colomina

Authentic architecture is not the incarnation of the spirit of the age but of the spirit, full stop. – Leon Krier

The door handle is the handshake of the building. – Juhani Pallasmaa

The silence of architecture is a responsive, remembering silence. A powerful architectural experience silences all external noise; it focuses our attention on our very existence, and as with all art, it makes us aware of our fundamental solitude. – Juhanni Pallasmaa

Modern architecture is not a style, it’s an attitude. – Marcel Breuer

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable. — Frank Lloyd Wright

Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it. – R. Buckminster Fuller

One of the great beauties of architecture is that each time, it is like life starting all over again. – Renzo Piano

The most beautiful house in the world is the one that you build for yourself. -WitoldId Rybczynski

For architecture, among all the arts, is the one that most boldly tries to reproduce in its rhythm the order of the universe, which the ancients called “kosmos,” that is to say ornate, since it is like a great animal on whom there shine the perfection and the proportion of all its members. – Umberto Eco

Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois. – Le Corbusier

Always design a thing by considering its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan. – Eliel Saarinen

The difference between good and bad architecture is the time you spend on it. -David Chipperfield

Inconsistency itself breeds vitality. – Kenzo Tange

Buildings should be good neighbours. – Paul Thiry

Among the planets of the arts, architecture is the dark side of the moon. – Bruno Zevi

The ideal architect should be a man of letters, a skillful draftsman, a mathematician, familiar with historical studies, a diligent student of philosophy, acquainted with music, not ignorant of medicine, learned in the responses of jurisconsults, familiar with astronomy and astronomical calculations. – Vitruvius

98% of what gets built today is shit. – Frank Gehry

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero

…architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favourite amusements. – Thomas Jefferson

It is a building designed by committee: all they have been able to agree on is that it should be rectangular, have windows, and not fall over. – Max Barry

The building had been designed by an architect, so it bore little resemblance to any normal structure. – Gary Corby

When strange objects shape the landscape, we get fiction. – Umair Siddiqui

I’m gonna pick up the pieces and build a Lego house if things go wrong we can knock it down. – Ed Sheeran

The extent to which you have a style is the extent to which you have not solved the problem. – Charles Eames

An architects mission, simply stated, is to improve the quality of life of human beings. –Toshiko Mori

You think philosophy is difficult, but I tell you, it is nothing compared to the difficulty of being a good architect. – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Architecture is just art we live in. Why don’t people realize that? -The Librarians TV show

I think I have said enough. – Cedric Price

I hoped you liked these quotes. If you have any quotes you know that might fit here please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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