My primary concerns are beauty, appropriateness, economy, the integration of the arts into architecture and the integration of architecture into the environment.
Architecture is a team effort and the architect is the leader of the team. It is the architect's job to find the best possible help and provide inspiration in completing any project.
Consultants, including engineers, artists and scientists, need to be brought in at the beginning so that their contributions may be integrated with the whole project. It is most important that we begin to see the relationship between the way we live and the sustainablilty of life on the planet and act in ways that may insure our continuity.
Growing up in a family of artists, I learned the value of integrating art into our lives. My father taught me how enriching this can be and that I should show others how this works. The creative process keeps us alive. Art is the soul of our civilization. Architecture is both an art and a business. Beauty can bring great joy, but if it costs too much we are left out.
In Japan I learned that every material has its own quality. Through understanding this quality and bringing it out to its highest expression we can experience the joy of beauty. Over the door to my childhood school was engraved "Beauty is Truth; Truth is Beauty".
When something is appropriate, it seems as though it belongs and could always have been there. If a thing is not appropriate it does not survive for long.
Nature is the best example: Both great beauty and economy lie in nature. The most is done with the least. The word "organic" is used by those who would imitate nature. This way can suggest that form can grow out of need, use and place.
When I built my home I wanted it to belong to the landscape and be in balance with it, neither drawing from nor adding to in harmful ways. I didn't really care how much it cost, or how long it took to build. I plan to live in it for the rest of my life and I want to be inspired.
Because life is limited, now is it. This is what it is and there is only one chance to make a difference. So be joyful and create beauty.