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Big Ideas -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) If you want to be pooshed to

the limits, this is the place

to be. Have about four or five

minutes and we'll run a 1.20.

Put a jumper on if you get

cold. Michelle and Kelly sure

look determined. But training

to represent Australia is

fairly new to them. They're

leg amp uties and have used

running to get their lives back

on track. When I was 15, I was

worried how I looked, make-up,

boyfriends, in year 10 at

school, partying with my

friends. As soon as I got told

I had cancer, my world turned

upside-down, my life changed, I

think my whole family's. To hear you were going to lose your leg was

heartbreaking Michelle's leg

was amputated after she was hit

by a car. Almost four years

ago I was at work one day

taking out a rubbish bin. I

was on the footpath. A car

slammed into the brick wall at

work. My leg was instantly amputated. Michelle's goal was

to start running, and that's

when she met Kelly. Now they

train together all the time and

look to each other for support.

They've become great friends

and rivals. I guess it's like

any rivalry, you want to win

and you want to win for

yourself. But, like I said, we

get along so well, we're happy

for each other, whoever has

won, we're both happy for each

other. We've got 2 and a half.

We've got 2 80s They can clock

up pretty zippy speeds. It's

all thanks to the prosthetic

legs. On the track, Kelly uses legs. On the track, Kelly

a special light-weight leg she

can tune and balance to give

her the best performance. It's

different to her everyday

prosthetic leg, which is

heavier and designed to look

like a real one. Prosthetic

legs can be painful on their

bodies, so sometimes they need

to ice their leg after using

it. But according to their

coach, there's a benefit of

having one. He says prosthetic

legs can even give amp tee

runners an advantage over

able-bodied people. That's the

beauty, the technology

involved, that you can play

around with different types of

legs, able-bodied athlete can't

just take off a leg and swap it

. And it seems like it's given

them the edge they need.

Shortly after filming with the

girls, they took the World

Championships by storm in New

Zealand. While Michelle put in

some good performances, Kelly

went on not only to win gold in

the sprint, but she also picked

up a gold in long jump and

broke a world record at the

same time. Oh, my God, I don't

have any words to explain what

I feel like right now. I can't

believe that. Gold medal, to

do it in long jump, I'm over

the moon. With that kind of

form and with the support of

each other, Michelle and Kelly

will no doubt be going for gold

again at the Paralympics in

London in 2012. Impressive

stuff. That's it for this

week's show. Don't for get to

log on to the website and get

more information about any of

our stories. We'll see you

next time. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned Live. # Theme Music

I'm Waleed Aly. Hi there, welcome to Big Ideas,

the architect so famous, On the show today, in The Simpsons he's been immortalised of modern architecture. Frank Gehry is a superstar bold, innovative He has a history of creating and often controversial buildings like the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, that really stand out, but enraged some Spaniards. which transformed the town

his first Australian project - Now Gehry is taking on of Technology in Sydney. a new building for the University to launch his vision, In a public event around his most iconic buildings, Gehry discussed the fuss the art of negotiating with clients, his inspiration, architect up at night - budgets. and something that keeps every event and interviewed the architect. The ABC's Geraldine Doogue hosted the presumably requires a good client. Good architecture Yes. What's a good client in your view? that's willing to engage. Well, somebody For me, I need to work with deciders, W Bush coined the word. What I've done here, you can see, is I've done what I usually do, I've opened the door my thinking. at some of those early models That's precarious, because you look and you think where's this guy coming from?' 'Holy shit,

But, I think that... a way of talking to the client. ..that creates a kind of, And when they begin to understand are at the service of their program that those moves that I'm making and their constraints and are responsive to their budget and propriety and the local issues of context and all of those things - to interact with. that you have somebody it was pushed back from the faculty, And those early models, and the administration. and need - Which I expected and hoped for you need to find where it's gonna be. you need to find the edge, And that honing and that relationship I think. is what leads to the best work, I'm just wondering - But what do you, Oh, sorry. Now wait, just to finish though... attitude, needs are bogus, ..if the client's philosophy, a killing, the biggest buck possible you know, he just want's to make I don't deny them that, it's fine,

on the table and talk about it. but it's better to get that

So, ah - I suppose I wondered what you - that really are strident, if you start hearing responses and you say you like pushback where you think but there must be a point this is not going to be worth it.' 'This is not worth - sort of things you have to hear, I'm just wondering what

intuitive, by the feel of it. 'cause it's obviously quite Really? Well, I haven't had that. Maybe one or two. I've ever worked with I think there's only one client that I don't talk to anymore. never talked to them. Never have again, And the reason was, a huge bill of mine. he arbitrarily decided not to pay he just decided to not to pay it. And, ah,

And so I decided not to talk to him. (Laughter) Um, we'd done the work.

But everybody else, I mean, there's - there's a multimillionaire in LA tried to do a house for, that I've worked with, didn't work out. um, but we're still friends. We had a difficulties, So I think you can - it's not like that, it's just what's reasonable, if you see that the way you feel or you're going

isn't a process that's going to be understood, best to get out. 'Cause it's not gonna lead anywhere. It's gonna lead to, you know,

it's like somebody comes in, and says 'Well, I don't like that piece.' And they cut off your arm. And it's late in the process. That rarely happens, it rarely happens because it's an inclusive process, and so all of those issues are brought up as we go and are not surprising. When the - I've had once, with a very wealthy client, where he didn't have the time to work with me, and one of the conditions of accepting the job was that he work with me. And then he disappeared and I had one of his family. And we designed the thing, she loved it, everything was fine. And he came back in and saw it and said, he got angry, he got angry with her, and it wasn't worth it to me to let her take that heat and for him to be upset. So I went back in and grabbed hold of it, redesigned it, talked him through it, came up with a - the time constraints to get it back to something that I really thought was great, weren't there, so the building suffered for that. I think you have to really engage. If you're serious about making making a building that does all the things you want and the reason to do it is that they bloody well pay off. You know, Bilbao was in under budget by $3 million, not an expensive building at the time. Probably a third less per square meter than the going price for museums in '97. And the community last year got 310 million euros

and that's been going on every year. And the building paid for itself in the first eight months of constr- paid all the hard costs within the first month - eight months it was open. And we've been able to do that a few times. Was there argument early in that point too? You know, you said you get into that - Well, the community, like the guy who calls this 'Brown Bag' in some paper today,

they, in Bilbao, they were going to shoot me. It was in the paper - 'Kill the American architect'. It was pretty straight. (Laughter) And I was worried some for a while. I thought they meant it. (Laughs) Maybe they did! The Walt Disney Concert Hall was called 'Broken Crockery'. There was always something like that -

that some smartarse comes up with. (Laughter)

I'll tell you what, I was going to go to Bilbao later, but I'll go now - I'd love to have this said of some of my work. This is what the New York Times wrote at the time. 'The word is out that miracles still occur

and that a major one is happening here in Bilbao.' Wonderful line. Did you honestly think it would be that remarkable? No. They asked for the Sydney Opera House - you guys should know that. They did. They said, 'Our town needs a hit, a jolt, like the Sydney Opera House. Without all the problems, but - ' (Laughter) On budget. And it was a business decision by the Minister of Commerce, the Mayor of Bilbao and the President of the Basque region. And they told me it was a business decision.

And they wanted to achieve what the building achieved, in terms of a financial success. Now, some people talk of it as a form of cathedral - Nah. And that they experience something other than the everyday. It's a sublime - almost of the numinous.

I wondered if you even aspired to that? Well, what you aspire to, or what I aspire to, is a building that engages people. Right? So - can I be critical of this building? (Laughter) How could you be? God. So, I mean, you make do. The building's built, people come in,

they humanise it by putting stuff in, and slowly get used to it, and then - it becomes like a mother-in-law. (Laughter) You learn to live with it. I think, um, I think, I think the goal is - and this is the goal in any - Shakespeare was right, all the world is a stage,

and we are players, and we are talking to each other, and we have a context in which to talk to each other. And when you - people in the theatre are very aware of this - when they come on a stage, they have to feel the audience.

It's real. It's a real thing - you feel the audience. And you feel the audience's feelings about what you're doing. And that engagement, which is magical when it's done right, when the building enables that, is powerful. It's really powerful. And so, I understand it, from giving lectures, that there are some lecture halls that are difficult, this one isn't easy, it's a little bit -

but it's not bad. But you laughed at a few of my jokes, so I know you're with me a bit. But it's that feeling. So, the architecture can help do that. And I think that's crucial in everything. It's crucial in a house - that you walk in, it's a place that you can, er, come in after work, throw your coat down, you don't have to hang it up exactly, you can put your shoes in the corner, and it's OK, you feel comfortable doing that. I think that's, er - now, I have a lot of colleagues that feel that's not high art,

that minimalism, you know, you have to be stark, and you have to suffer a little bit. And a lot of people like that precision, you know. I think when I started out, I was a purist, a little bit but I felt I couldn't live that way,

so why would I lay it on someone else? Well, I heard somebody say something about the Sydney Opera House, when there was an anniversary, that people love it, they actually love it as a building, it's got a sort of something, that's almost like a relative. And I think that's true. And I wonder if that's something that you recognise. It's also like if you go to the Segrada Familia, the Gaudi building, in Barcelona, which was set up as a church by a very, very religious man, the last thing I think you feel in that building is any sense of spirituality or prayer - it's completely devoid of that. It's remarkable, but it's devoid of that which I presume was its original function.

Yeah, but if you go to his little church, Parc Guell, I think, just south of Barcelona, you do get the spiritual feeling. So I don't know why it didn't work there.

He didn't finish that building. I know, that's right. It's being finished by other people, projecting from his sketches and images. I think the biggest problem for an architect is the conception which - a lot of it happens in your head and hand-eye coordination to get it on to paper. And then the ability to take it, to manage it through a process of many people, because when a painter does a painting it's one to one, usually. And so, with architecture, you gotta go through 5,000, 6,000, or more, people putting the thing together. And how do you get there? And that's kind of the magic trick, I think. And, um, you gotta really watch it because you can lose that. I bet you can. It's easy to lose, it's very fragile. So, is there something remarkable about teamwork in there? Or do you not see it like that? Yeah, you have to get people on board. We do a lot of hands-on management as part of our process

to ensure that. We don't just design it and then turn it over to somebody. We go through to the end. There's a lot of predictability in the craft, or lack of, so, you spend time watching what's going on on other buildings. And you can kind of get a sense of it. It becomes almost a de facto palette which you understand how to use and paint with when you work. And, I don't know, I've actually never talked about it like this - first time I've done this. Do you know when something's going wrong, then? If you get this intuitive feeling - Yeah, you do, unfortunately. (Laughter) But some of it is misunderstood by people who aren't in on the process, because they'll presume that it was cheap, or what have you,

and they don't realise it's intentional, that I've accepted a craft - level of craft that may not be perfect. Now, when you go to perfect - at the same time as I did Bilbao, Bilbao was built for $300 a square foot - I did a bank in Berlin that was all square, and as soon as you go into square and rectilinear shapes, then there's a lot more focus on the connections and details, so you're almost forced into a fastidiousness

that's a lot freer when you use freer shapes, because the freer shapes are stronger, it takes it. When you get to simpler, minimal things, the detailing required is more precise, because you're focusing on them. It's more expensive, so the building in Berlin cost $600 a square foot at the exact same time. So it gives you a kind of - And I think that I chose the other way because of my lifelong involvement with painters and sculptors.

And my people that were around me - what do you call those - who were painting and making work concurrent with my time, like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, were using junk in their paintings and making beauty. And I realised there was a - you know, the culture wasn't really making, detailing like an old Vienna and European masterwork craftsmanship, that America, at least, was rough and tough, and a frontier, and that in the art that was being produced - especially by Bob Rauschenberg - you saw the acceptance of that and the translation into beauty, and that was a road map for me. How interesting. Just a complete sidebar - one man that I know who's a very good art viewer said to me the other day that some of the extraordinary, exquisite beauty of Aboriginal art, which is incredibly painstaking, is that they have the time to do that. Yeah. And that in a lot of Western ways, there's no time for that, so a different art has formed. To that extent, you know, Muslim art was like that too, incredibly detailed. It's a different time. I mean, post-war, where I was, in California, they were wham-bam thank you - they were building wood -

you know, the craftsmanship was non-existent. And it was messy, and, er - and so, you could either fight it or say, 'OK, this is what I got. How do you make it into something?' And I think that's what artists do. They do translate the time, the period,

and sort of accept the idiocy that's going on at any one time. Well, there's a great quote of yours that - 'Democracy equals consensus, equals a form of chaos.' And obviously you've gotta work within that. Right, so the American city, or the modern city, is a product of democracy, obviously, and that means that everybody has a right to do what they want. And so, it is a collision of ideas. And that's where I went when I first started out. I looked at that and I realised there was not much you could do to change that. And so, I found the beauty in the collision - the space between the buildings which were quite beautiful, and the energy of that collision. That was inspirational to me. Have you applied that, do you think, in this commission? Yeah, I don't think about it, I'm not conscious of that anymore. What I'm doing here is trying to interact with the buildings - it's not a Sydney Opera House site, somebody pointed out, one of the press pointed that out. Um, that they thought I should have had an equal site, I have no problem with the site, Ross. (Laughter) I love it, and it is creating a building that knits itself into the fabric of the city, has its own integrity and doesn't pander to the fabric - talks to it but doesn't talk down to it. I think those are the issues, whether it will be successful or not, I got a pretty good track record. They're all standing up as someone said. And, um, I'm sure we'll get there, it won't be perfect, it'll be OK and maybe it will be, maybe it'll be special. The most important thing is that it engenders the kind of interaction that the school is looking for in a building. To a certain extent we're - you know, if we had 20 million more dollars, probably we could make it better. I don't know. I usually like the constraints but I think that knitting it together in the city, the way you're going to perceive it will be understood when it's built.

Not now, it's hard for a layman to look at it. The editorial writers will come around. I want to finish shortly so then you can go to questions and I want to finish with how Frank might speak to the young people in the audience. But just before we do that, you were talking about - you like the constraint of a budget and that's what I've read, You're in exactly the opposite position with your work in Abu Dhabi at the moment, aren't you, where you've got this phenomenal thing, this Guggenheim, in Abu Dhabi. I saw the beginnings of it last year, it's 12 times the size of the New York Guggenheim, it's sort of more or less - by the impression I get - an open cheque book, I know it's not completely but - It's not. OK, alright, but it's huge! No, you're absolutely wrong, you're so wrong. Am I wrong? Wrong? What is it? 800 million or something? Yes, but it's coming in... (Laughter) We think that's big here. The building is big. The building itself is coming in close to half the price per square metre, of the last Renzo Piano building in LA. For a museum. And Renzo's building is the norm for museums in the US. The building in Abu Dhabi is coming in a little over half that price.

Now, part of it is because of the recession, so I can't claim credit for all of it, but we have been able to take, I'm not sure how much out. But we've taken a big chunk out, at least 10% out by managing it properly as we go forward, we were under-budget when the building was approved and the building was approved at $1,000 a square ft, I think. For a museum. I don't know a museum in the US that's been built in the last year being planned that's under 1,000 - they're more up to 1,200 - 1,400 now. Look, I take your point - Even in the recession I take your point, that's what I was intrigued by,

and I noticed The New York Times recently talked to you and I.M. Pei and Nouvel and so on, that you've all been invited to this rather remarkable part of the world, to create something out of nothing. This design to be a bridge between the world of Islam and the West, sort of, to create a new cosmopolitanism. I.M Pei said, he said to them, take me to the site

and they said, well the site doesn't exist yet. We've got to dredge it. So, this is extraordinary architecture, isn't it? No, I had the same. The same with me. How do you think that through? What's your context? Well, as usual now, you got to the real core of the issue. Um... First of all, I understand, I think, their mission. Which is to integrate themselves and be seen as part of the global world as people interested in culture. And you see that in the orchestra with Barenboim and Edward Saeed playing Mozart in Ramallah in Palestine, to 2,000 people, Palestinians sitting in the audience listening to Mozart. And that's a terrific message for the world to see. And I think that the museum I'm working on is big, as you originally said. It's bigger than the Bilbao museum and its mission requires that because they're going to have world art. So, if you go to Africa and look at African art, African art is - contemporary African art is influenced by Picasso. It's ironic, because Picasso art was influenced by Africa - that's an interesting story. The Chinese, I mean, one of the greatest things I discovered in Sydney is the White Rabbit Gallery. Oh, yeah. There's nothing like that. But this museum is going to do what the White Rabbit Gallery has done for Chinese art, is going to be, hopefully, in Abu Dhabi. And I've asked them to get involved with Mrs Neilson because she understands how to do it. The, um... ..if you put all those countries, all that work together in a museum, all at once, you can see what's happened. You can see the interaction, you can see - If you to the White Rabbit now there's a show on in which Chinese artists are riffing on Andy Warhol. That's pervasive throughout the world now. Everybody knows Andy Warhol, everybody's - all those artists have seen it

and they've interacted with Rauschenberg and Johns and Picasso and... ..and even contemporary artists are talking to each other. That's a hell of a story, and in that story you can include artists in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel and Emirati. And so there's a context that explains globalisation. It's exactly the teaching mission of Roy Green at the business school is to prepare students for that world. So, in order to create that museum - they're the only ones right now that have the resources to do it. There's no American museum that is big enough to do that. And they're in a hurry to tell that story, and they're in a hurry to become a part of the world. And they know the oil's going to run out and, you know, they're on a surfboard and they're riding that wave and they know the wave is going to end.

And I think it's exemplary, what they're doing. But, budget conscious they are. They're very tight about it. They're very controlling on the budget and they are making the comparisons with costs around the world. They know what's going on, so there's no - so, it's big, it has a big mission, it had to be big. It looks like it's over-the-top expensive because it's big by comparison. It's not expensive. Right, right. I stand corrected. And now my final question -

because I do think that, obviously, there are a lot of young people here who will be very interested to hear that one of your most consistent messages to the students you teach at Columbia and Yale and elsewhere, is 'Always be yourselves, learn to be yourselves,

and you will become the real experts in your work. It doesn't matter what anyone else says, only you can be the experts in your work.' Now, honestly, Frank, how long did it take you to be yourself as an architect? Um, I don't know. I think, we had an earlier talk before we came out, that I taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade in elementary school. Just, I wasn't part of the faculty or anything,

it was just, I had an opportunity to do it. And I wanted to find out where things go wrong, I was curious. (Laughter) At least in the art part of it. So 3rd grade, open-minded kids, you could do anything - fantastic. 4th grade a little less, 5th grade a little less. By the time you get to the 6th grade, the system has squelched a lot of stuff, it has overcome this, the intuitive, more primitive instincts. And some of that is good, because you really have to learn to live in the world. And the problem in America now is they do that, but they don't replace it or come along with an arts program that teaches, ah, about the world of art, the world of music, the world of literature. And I think there's a missing link here.

And so how do you become yourself?

You, when you write your - I do this with the kids - when you write your signature, that is yourself. 'Cause you're not -

unless you're self-conscious about writing your signature, but if you just allow yourself to 'dadadada' everybody's look's different - that's yourself. OK? So just do that with your work. And don't edit it, and don't look over your shoulder to see what the next person's doing, 'cause it's irrelevant. But there was a tipping point for you, you didn't do this until, that crucial - well, more or less, it must've been brewing in you - that conversation. In your own home, near the, um - I don't know, for me it seemed like it was inevitable, I may be wrong, it's pretty hard to self-analyse. I did have an encounter for a few years with a superb gentleman, a psychoanalyst who was treating artists, my artist friends. And he was a Hollywood, Beverly Hills, he had some of the most famous names as his patients, but he devoted a third of his time - he liked the arts - and he devoted a third of his time to artists and he didn't charge for his time.

And I was one of them, I was lucky, I got put in the group. And, ah, I think that a lot of things cut you off at the pass, like, first of all, there's a kind of a self-awareness that has to - how you are to other people, how they're looking at you, what they think of you - to become aware of that. And, um, in order to do that you have to be a good listener, and a lot of people never become good listeners, they just don't. They're too self-conscious, they're too self-involved they think the world revolves around their butts, and that's dangerous. So there's a lot of elements to it, I think. I just happened to run into this guy, I spent three or four years - not lying down, it wasn't like that. It was a group, and it was 15 people in a group. And you liked some of them and you hated some of them, after a few weeks. And some of them were fancy and some of them were not. But when you came to a group and 14 people confronted you about what you were you doing... You worked out that there was something in it.

..you couldn't dismiss it, and that was brilliant, the way he did that. And for two years in that group, I was scared and I didn't talk.

And I was angry. And they pointed that out to me one day, that you're a judgemental bastard, you're sitting there, judging us. And I was. Were you? And they were right. Yeah. But I didn't realise it. Once they made me realise it, it all changed. I started listening to them as somebody who was going to be able to tell them how I felt about what they were saying. I wonder if you became a better architect. Huh? a better architect. Well, when I met this gentlemen, the first meeting I had with him, I said, ah, 'I'm really nervous about this, because there's a kind of a weirdness in my personality, I think.

And I think that relates to my creative thing.' And I said, 'I don't want you to mess with that.' (Laughter) And he said, 'Did it ever occur to you it could get better?' You know, things could be better, artistically. Never occurred to me until he said that. Sorry, I didn't meant to get into my - Well, I did. That's exactly what I meant to get into. Ladies and gentlemen, can we please thank Frank Gehry. (Applause) I'm just looking for where the three mics are. Who's - Oh, one. Two. And right at the back, is it? Oh, three. OK. So, anybody - I can keep rabbiting on, happily, but I won't. If anybody would like to ask Frank Gehry a question, we'd love to hear from you, we've just got about - I just stripped myself in front of them, what else is there to know? There's more. They'll pick up on it.

If you could just keep them relatively short, so we can get through a few. We should be finished by about 15 minutes, because I think Frank has been immensely generous and I don't want to tire him any more. So, is there one gentleman over there, please? Could you just say who you are and then ask the question? My name's Rodney Grey. Um, Frank, you're an architect and you're famous for your innovation and your creativity. Above us here in this hall is the UTS Tower building,

which is widely regarded as the ugliest building in Australia. And I was just wondering what we could do about this. Is it possible to do a new facade of a building that's big and visible or do you really knock it down and start again? Are you offering me the job? (Laughter) I think you're doing the wrong building here, but that's another story. You can always do it. There's a tipping point where you start to wonder - and I'm not saying that is here - this is a substantial building, I'm sure. There could be an intervention that would make it more palatable,

yes, I really do. You can do that retroactively? Yes, absolutely. For not too much money? Well, that's the point, you know. You get into it and you'll find that there's a tipping point, where you say, 'Well, it's cheaper to tear it down.' OK. Yes, sir. Yes. Ah, my name is Ali. You mentioned Abu Dhabi project and I actually just came back from UAE and I have a question regarding the cost, because you mentioned that the cost of Abu Dhabi project is almost half of the US standards. And I'm aware of the fact that most of the labourers who actually build these projects are actually getting paid less than $300 per month,

which is, in my point of view, living a long time over there, is a modern way of slavery. Would you think this has a significant impact on the cost of the project? Well, I have not examined the books of the Emirati. But I started the project by hiring a human rights lawyer to represent me, from the Human Rights Watch and they have people on the ground at Abu Dhabi. And my contract would be legally broken if there's a such a thing as slave labour.

So, I feel confident that the lawyer I've hired and the Human Rights Watch on my particular building

is assuring me that that's not happening. Now, that may be happening on other buildings, but I did take care and ensure for this building that if I was going to be involved, it was not going to be that way. (Applause) Yes, please - Oh, sorry. OK. Is there somebody over there? It's very difficult to see through these lights. I apologise. Hi. I'm Susanna Framer from Cumberland Courier Newspapers. When I left the newsroom to come here today to do the story everybody was saying, 'What are you going to ask him?' And I said, 'I want to know how he thinks.' And, um, I wanted to know how you think, because you create these buildings and I'm very excited that we're going to have one like this in Sydney. Someone said, 'Oh, he must be on drugs.' And someone else said, 'I've heard that he gets a piece of paper and screws it up and throws it in the middle of the room.' That's The Simpsons. I was on the Simpsons. These were the myths in the newsroom. So, it's a very simple question, because you create these sort of buildings - is there anything you can tell me about the way you think?

For me to understand that a little. I told you, I just did everything. I want a bit more. What else do you want? Well, in terms of the building. Especially - we haven't talked much about this one. How - I know there was this - So, here's how it went. I met with fat Roy and I met with his people and we talked about their philosophy about what the building - what they wanted to achieve pedagogically, as the university, as the program for business education for the future, the globalised future. We talked about the necessity for interaction, elimination of silos. Silo thinking is pervasive in our world, in all of our worlds. You see it even in my office. How do you break that down, so people are interacting and talking to each other? So that was the issue. We knew the building had to be vertical. It's easier to do that all on one floor, but we can't do it on one floor. So we started talking

and by free association I started talking about this notion of a tree house. I don't know why. I mean, it's sort of an obvious reference, if you're talking about vertical interaction and you think of a tree and its branches. And so the word 'tree house' came out and I sketched a tree house, these little platforms set up in the tree. That became the beginning discussion, the point of discussion and Roy Green took that seriously and started to think about that in terms of his program and how he was going to evolve that. When I thought of the offices and the smaller parts of the building, I thought of those as more pragmatic, more rectilinear. And I thought, any money we'd spend would be spent in the more communal parts of the building,

so what looks wiggly out there, it was just - I started sketching it like that,

because it was a reference to freeing up that part, making it freer and different and more inviting than the more pragmatic parts of the building and so those sketches started to come out and I did sketches of it as three dimensional buildings, as floor plans and we discussed those - I mean, that seemed very logical, right? No. See, I wouldn't think of tree houses and business in the one breath, ever. I mean, how did you do - that playfulness? I mean, that's what I think our questioner's asking. OK. So, it is kind of childlike, intuitive playfulness, but it's - I think that's what we all yearn for, that freedom to free yourself of all the constraints and say then, 'I know all the constraints, so I know I'm not going to forget that.' So how do you work within that? How do you find your path

to something that's more open, more engaging, etc?

So that's how that started. And then we talked about, a separate issue, materials, constructability - what are you going to build it out of? We did an analysis of building types in Sydney. We had a cost estimator analyse, oh, maybe 30 different schemes of how you might build a building of this height

and within our budgetary constraints, we knew we weren't going to build this of marble. And, you could build it all in glass, like a dumb glass office building... ..and, ah, you know, I wanted it to be something that had possibility of intergrating with the vignettes and the way it's going to be seen. You're not gonna see it all like you see a model here, you're not gonna look at an elevation front-on and say, 'that's the building,' you're gonna see pieces of it. And so, the use of brick - even though when I first mentioned it Ross Milbourne went crazy, said, 'I don't need a brick building.' But I think that we're confident that the technology and the craft is here to do that - brick is simple, a lot of buildings are brick, so if we don't mess it up too much it could be done. And we analysed the costs of a flat brick wall, and a brick wall with some animation in it and it's possible with the management of the process to probably get an animated wall for the same price as flat wall. But that's been my experience in other places, so... ..but it's not sure. So that's why we're not sure, we're exploring it. This is what we want it to be, this is the direction we want it to go in and as it's engineered and, I mean, you have to be on your toes throughout, it's like a performance - you're always being challenged by realities throughout the process. So, I'm not an architect that brings in the model and says, 'This is it,' and I go back to LA, 'see you later, kids, call me when it's done.' We don't do that. So, what that does, what that means to me is I can't do as many projects. Is that bad? I don't think that's bad, I like it better 'cause - You get to be exhausted by UTS more that once. It allows you to be more involved and it ends up a better product. I have a pretty big office - 150 people isn't a tiny joint but it's mananageable. We were at 250 before and it was getting a little out of hand.

I think we've probably got time just for a couple, yes? Over there. And then I'll come to this gentlemen here who - I'll relay the question. My name is Dimitrios, I'm an architect myself. Mr Gehry, you've achieved a lot in your life as an architect but I want to ask you what is the legacy you want to leave behind? How would you describe your work? Well, since I'm not gonna be here, I don't care. (Laughter) I don't completely believe that. Now, come on, you have got a sense of what you've created. Yeah, but I don't... Every new project is a challenge and I think the fame stuff and all that attention came into my life late - so, I was late 50's, early 60's, that's 20 years ago - and by then you're pretty well formed, your patterns of insecurity and anxieties -

you can't change it, so I approach each project with the same kind of anxiety that I had years ago. I'm never sure - which I think is healthy, not to be sure - I'm not sure the thing's going to be great or not.

And I'm surprised at how well some of it has been thought about but a lot of it is, ah, artificial, the press does things, I mean - a lot of people -

I think it takes time, I don't think you'll know - there are, in every field, there's the flavour of the month

and that goes away so I would be cautious about assuming that things are gonna hold up for 200 years. But have said that, it's pretty nice,

some of the acceptance and discussion about my work have been - I'm happy with it. Canadian-born and US-based architect Frank Gehry speaking there with the ABC's Geraldine Doogue. That's all from Big Ideas for today but don't forget we're the show that never sleeps - head to the Big Ideas website at the address on your screen at any hour of the day or night for a vast selection of the best talks from the brightest minds at home and across the globe. I'm Waleed Aly, till next time. Closed Captions by CSI

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