Thinking Aloud

Sketch of New Gehry House, 2005

Frank Gehry calls his way of drawing 'thinking aloud'.
"Once upon a time, all architects drew as a matter of course. These days, thanks to CAD and design by committee, not so much. Still, it's encouraging to know that the most famously innovative contemporary American architect is also famous for his scribbly sketches.The key to Frank O. Gehry’s architecture is in his drawings. A Gehry building begins with a sketch, and Gehry’s sketches are distinctive. They’re characterized by a sense of off-hand improvisation, of intuitive spontaneity. The fine line is invariably fluid, impulsive. The drawings convey no architectural mass or weight, only loose directions and shifting spatial relationships."Christopher Knight, LA Times
We're very fortunate that the late, great Sidney Pollack, as a friend and fan extraordinaire, made an engaging film about Gehry and his drawings. Buy it, rent it, watch it. It's fun for the whole family.

Frank Gehry Sketches

Read an article about the film by Ultan Guilfoyle, the film's producer, at PBS.

If that's not enough for you, Gehry Draws traces the architect's creative sketching process through through 32 major projects with over 500 drawings and more than 400 additional illustrations.

At the top of this post is Gehry's 2005 sketch for his new house. In the late 1970's, I frequently rode my bike past Frank Gehry's old house in Santa Monica and, never having been able to come to aesthetic terms with chain link fences, thought it was the most god-awful thing.

A few years ago, I had full access to the Walt Disney Concert Hall while a friend's Requiem was in rehearsal and performance. It was a privilege and great fun to explore the inner workings of a building that is remarkably beautiful through and through.

Gehry Partners, LLP