Never underestimating the power of design is the main lesson that well-known architects have sought to impart to us over the years. Famous architects like Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Le Corbusier gained notoriety for their original ideas, unconventional methods, and beautiful structures, but their contributions to society go much beyond that. Perhaps what most motivates us is what they have to say.

The article focuses on such constructive and out-of-the-box architectural philosophies that caused a change and become essential milestones in the development of Architecture. 

Philosophy of Robert Venturi

“Less is a bore”- Robert Venturi

Robert Venturi released his “gentle manifesto” in reaction to what he considered the “puritanically moral language” of late modernism. In their revolutionary excitement, the modernists oversimplified and clarified architecture, separating it from the experience of life and the requirements of society. Although this simplification resulted in the creation of some stunning structures, the main effect in the later years of modernism was a pervasive blandness, or as Robert Venturi rephrased Mies van der Rohe’s famous dictum, “Less is a bore.” Robert Venturi drew inspiration for his projects from the surroundings of Las Vegas. Through this study of Las Vegas, he realized that architecture was not just an attractive item, but also an abstract shape determined by space and practical requirements. In contrast to the endless uniformity that modernist architects favoured, Venturi, who is largely credited with developing the fundamental concepts behind postmodern architecture, preferred chaos, ornamentation, and endless inconsistencies. By reintroducing ornamentation as an alternative to dramatic forms, Robert Venturi modified the modernist ideals of architecture. 

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Vanna Venturi House by Robert Venturi_©Maria Buszek

The Duck and the Decorated shed

Venturi supports the architectural metaphor of the duck and the decorated shed after releasing Complexity and Contradiction. The duck is a type of architecture whose shape and form convey the structure’s purposes. However, Venturi prefers the painted shed, a plain, even monotonous building with a sign describing its goals or functions put right in front of it. The written word or cultural symbols are used to convey these messages. Any sign is acceptable as long as the audience can understand what it implies, whether formal or ridiculous. Despite having a long history in architectural history, this symbol-building application was only recently abandoned in modern architecture, as Venturi claimed in Complexity and Contradiction.

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Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, The Duck and The Decorated Shed, 1972_©

Philosophy of B. V. Doshi

“One cannot just be an architect, I thought to myself. The idea is to become a chapati.”- B. V. Doshi

Professor Balkrishna Doshi, often known as B. V. Doshi, has been a teacher, an architect, and an urban planner for 70 years. Doshi’s architecture explores the connections between the fundamental requirements of human life, connectivity to oneself and society, and respect for traditional conventions with a response that is based on location and presenting a localized Modernist perspective. Doshi draws inspiration from memories of his youth, including the sounds of temple bells and the rhythms of the weather. His use of materials, overlapping spaces, and the inclusion of calming natural features show his attention to detail in addressing function while considering climate, topography, and urbanization. He considers the structure to be an extension of his body. 

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Balkrishna Doshi. Miniature perspective painting of Sangath_©Vastushilpa Foundation

The neighbourhoods that BV Doshi’s structures are designed for are effectively expanded by the community. They enhance people’s quality of life while also fostering an atmosphere that is accepting of individuals, their cultures, and ways of life. B.V. Doshi is a visionary, and as a result of his work, the local context of his Indian endeavors was able to incorporate the foreign influences of the era without losing their authenticity. The one defining value that stands out and is present throughout all of his works is the element of empathy. 

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Sangath Office_©Vastushilpa Foundation

Philosophy of Bjarke Ingels

“Yes is More” -Bjarke Ingels

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels established the Bjarke Ingels Group. His excitement for combining cutting-edge technology and bizarre concepts upends the monotony of most contemporary built settings. The major goal of Bjarke is to make imaginary ideas a reality. He plays around with the idea of architecture and constructs buildings from the fragments of his surrounding imagination. Bjarke considers architecture to be a type of “worldcraft,” which he describes as the art of making our world. He combines knowledge and technology to create exciting, fantastical places rather than letting them constrain him. One end of the earth tends to follow unorthodox and radical ideas, while the other sticks to formulaic and dull patterns. Bjarke wants to combine the two to approach design from a pragmatist utopian perspective.

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VM Houses, Copenhagen_©Maria Gonzalez

Hedonistic Sustainability

Hedonistic sustainability seeks to increase everyone’s comprehension of sustainability. Bjarke’s work served to illustrate how design could be advantageous to both the environment and the economy. Instead of seeing buildings as impersonal masses or places where humans might survive, Bjarke urges people to see them as ecosystems.

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Copenhill is a waste-to-energy conversion plant in Copenhagen_©

Vertical Suburbia

All of Bjarke’s larger-scale residential projects have the same guiding principles: to promote harmony between integration, accessibility, users, and the community. He realized that everyone in a large apartment had their own lives and different interests. It was therefore superfluous for everyone to live in the same kind of building. BIG creates structures that reflect their natural surroundings and encourage social spaces that straddle private and public life. They use affordable materials in their designs to show that clever design need not be an expensive endeavour.

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8 House_©Maria Gonzalez

Philosophy of Moshe Safdie

“For Everyone a Garden”- Moshe Safdie

The architect and urban planner Moshe Safdie is highly renowned for his original concepts. He always approaches design from a comprehensive, humanistic perspective. He contends that a building must successfully evoke a sense of its purpose, environment, and tectonics. Above all, an architectural creation must reflect the life it is intended for. Whether urban, rural, northern, southern, historic or entirely new, Moshe Safdie sees architecture as a natural extension of its environment. They also understand that architecture must contribute significantly and permanently to the environment and community. Moshe Safdie, therefore, emphasizes these intricacies and uses dialogue or engagement to handle the difficult problems of a building’s personality, image, and symbolism.

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While simultaneously offering chances for the economies and conveniences of high-density urban living, Habitat ’67 captures some of the most appealing features of free-standing dwellings_©

In practice, there are many possibilities and approaches for a single project, whether it be commercial, residential, or of another kind, but they search for the optimum approach given the specifics of each particular area and period. Architecture is not about building an impossibly complicated structure, but rather about designing what makes sense for a certain program and a specific context. The concept of “inherent buildability” serves as the cornerstone of his work. 

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Virasat-e-Khalsa_©Sanyam Bahga

Philosophy of Toyo Ito

“I think of architecture as a piece of clothing to wrap around human beings.” -Toyo Ito

Toyo Ito’s success as an architect is because most of his work is located in and around Tokyo. Tokyo’s architectural environment has always been about pushing the envelope, even when the rest of the world appeared to be stuck in a historical rut. For architects who value infinity over borders, this predicament creates fresh opportunities. The hierarchy of structure, material, and form in planning was completely turned on its head by Toyo Ito to provide a distinctive interface via modern architecture. 

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Serpentine Gallery Pavilion_©Toyo Ito and Associates, Architects

The contemporary space, which creates uniformity due to the Cartesian grid and eliminates material to the greatest extent possible to ensure the supremacy of sight, has been developed and revived by Toyo Ito’s “Blurring Architecture.” This work focuses only on pure structure and function. The architect refers to three crucial elements of architecture as “blurring architecture,” including the First, the space in question should be constructed with flexible and soft borders that respond to natural elements like light, water, or wind, analogous to a sensor, or human skin, rather than walls that divide and insulate people from nature. Second, the algorithm coding the users’ behaviours in the interiors should allow distinction and transformation concerning changes occurring, as opposed to instances that are oversimplified and separate from one another. It concludes by asserting that it is inevitable for deteriorations caused by the phenomenon of flow in a void, which has the potential to kill a person, to take place in such a fluid environment. Some people view Ito’s architecture, particularly the examples found in the contemporary Japanese metropolis, as a kind of “clothing” for city inhabitants. Finding a balance between one’s personal and professional lives is the topic of this article. In Ito’s architectural theory, the surface serves as the material, face, and structure all at once.

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Sendai Mediatheque_©

Philosophy of Philip Johnson

“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.”- Philip Johnson

American architect Philip Johnson, who received the inaugural Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979, was one of the significant figures that contributed to the development of what is now known as modern architecture. Johnson’s career was diverse, and he didn’t have a distinctive appearance. His method of approaching architecture, which has been referred to as “anomalous,” was centred on appreciation and the ability to build in a range of styles. The two architectural trends that had the most effects on urban landscapes in the second half of the 20th century—the International Style and the reintroduction of a variety of historic styles in current architectural design—were promoted by Philip Johnson.

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AT&T Building by Philip Johnson and John Burgee_©David Shankbone

He influenced the way America was built, and his effect is still felt today. He changed aesthetically between various genres. Through a variety of mediums, including ‘pure’ modernism aesthetics and ideals, neoclassicism, and postmodernism ideology, Philip Johnson’s works demonstrated his design sensibility. He was known as an openly capitalist architect and was described as a designer of consistent approaches to design, not in style but in method, conforming deeply to his philosophies and ideals of society.

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Glass house_©Flickr

Philosophy of Charles Correa

“Certainly, architecture is concerned with much more than just its physical attributes. It is a many-layered thing. Beneath and beyond the strata of function and structure, materials and texture, lie the deepest and most compulsive layers of all.”- Charles Correa

At the time, India’s youthful architects set the bar for modern, cutting-edge architectural design. Charles Correa was one of these renowned architects from the early post-independence era. Like Picasso was to modern art, he is to contemporary Indian architecture. Modern architecture may be attributed to emerging in post-independent India because of Correa’s efforts. The most well-known accomplishments of Charles Correa relate to his contributions to the urban planning and architecture of India. His designs stood out because he used traditional materials and building techniques from India. 

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Jawahar Kala Kendra_©Flickr user DraconianRain

For Correa’s architectural projects, the climate, building materials, and culture of India were thoroughly researched. His designs combined modern elements with elements of Indian architecture. The ultimate result was an architectural design that was cosy and timeless for the twenty-first century. Correa’s structures are straight, symmetrical geometric forms. He favoured the use of locally available resources over the use of steel and glass in Indian buildings. His main goal was to connect interior and outdoor spaces through the use of terraces, courtyards, pergolas, and verandas. Contextual designs were made by Correa to provide structures with optimum lighting, ventilation, and shelter. 

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Sabarmati Ashram_©Charles Correa Associates

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‌ (n.d.). Safdie Architects. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2022].

‌WTN. (2022). Bjarke Ingels: Famous Buildings and His Design Philosophy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2022].

‌world, S. (n.d.). Remembering Philip Johnson, the architect who pioneered modernism in America. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2022].

‌Minnie Muse. (n.d.). Less is Bore. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2022].

‌Archinomy. (n.d.). Robert Venturi. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2022].

‌User, S. (n.d.). Moshe Safdie and His Architectural Practice. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2022].

‌Sharma, P. (2022). Charles Correa: A Pioneer of Modern Indian Architecture. [online] Biltrax Media, A Biltrax Group venture. Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2022].


Shivani Jadhav, a Mumbai-based architect, is attempting to explore architecture through words. She is passionate about discovering new perspectives on structures and bringing them to life through her writing. Her experiment focuses on the social, cultural, and philosophical aspects of architecture.