The ˜Rubik's Cube' is most popular toy of all time and a staple to the popular culture of the 1980s. It was invented by and named after ErnÅ‘ Rubik, a young Hungarian professor. He taught architecture at the time and had always been amazed by the complexities of structure and math. In an attempt to challenge his students, Rubik engineered a solid cube that could be twisted many different ways and not fall apart. As a handmade item, this was a difficult enough feat “ but the real trick was the puzzle included in the toy. Each side was painted a solid color; twisting the cube randomly would rearrange the pieces, and the near impossible objective would be to work out how to put this cube back correctly again. It took Rubik himself over a month to figure out the solution to the problem he created. He had difficulty getting this toy patented and sold, however, facing many rejections from toy companies. However, once the toy took off and was able to get outside of communist Hungary, it defined a generation. It is estimated that one in seven people in the world have touched a Rubik's Cube. Rubik continues to work as an educationist and is a board member of the Rubik's company.
The first woman and first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Prize in architecture in 2004. She was also awarded the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. She was known for her futuristic designs and use of curving formations with fragmented geometry and numerous points of perspective.
Served as the managing director and head of the drafting department at Harland and Wolff but was more importantly known as the shipbuilder of the famed RMS Titanic.
Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect and interior designer credited to have revolutionized American architecture and interior designing. Over his long and productive career he designed more than 1000 structures and 500 works including different types of buildings like offices, schools, hotels, museums, churches and skyscrapers. He is best remembered for his innovative designs which were in harmony with nature and humanity. As an interior designer he also designed furniture and stained glass. His interest in architecture began when he assisted famous architect Joseph Silsbee with the construction of the Unity Chapel as a college student. He also worked under the architect Louis Sullivan who was known as the ˜father of skyscrapers'. This experience had a profound influence on the young Wright and motivated him to develop a unique American style of architecture. He later developed his own practice and became a much sought after architect famous for his unique and stylish designs. His residential designs were known as Prairie Style and reflected the influence of Japanese architecture. In spite of being highly talented, his scandalous private life and affair with a married woman jeopardized his career and he could never gain back the reputation of his hey days.
I.M. Pei is a Chinese-born American architect who is popularly known as the master of modern architecture. Providing modernist, cubist designs to architecture along with glass work in the form of geometric shapes, he has designed some of the world's most unique buildings. His dedication to his work has brought him worldwide acclaim and according to his biographer, he has won every award of any consequence in his art. He has headed projects as large as the JFK Library, Dallas City Hall, the Louvre, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His fascinating creations have been showcased around the world in some of the most famous cities including Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Paris, Dallas, and New York. He is a unique architect in the sense that he has made creations as beautiful and extravagant as the Louvre, and at the same time also headed projects involving development of low-income housing. In addition to his majorly successful career, he has also been a dedicated family man. This prolific architect continues to remain dedicated to his work at the age of 97. Two of his sons have taken over Pei's architecture firm while he continues to work on individual projects.
Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect, designer, sculptor and painter. He is considered as one of the great leaders of planning, as well as a key advocate of midcentury modernism. His fifty-year career included work in the fields of furniture, textiles, painting, sculpting, landscape, urban planning, glassware, and jewelry. He was Finland's most notable architect. His high stature was a result of his humanistic approach to modernism--a mixture of organic resources, self-expression, and fresh progression. His main objective was to create an overall work of art. Aalto did not merely design buildings but also gave much consideration to their interior elements, such as light fixtures, glassware scheme, and furniture. He redesigned architecture and the furniture of public structures by placing reliance upon the foundation of performance and man's relationship with organic forms--using natural surroundings as a starting point for projects. He is known for contributing his alternative technique to the machine-age-governed detachment, visual tedium, and structural monotony of international style during the midcentury. As such, in Scandinavian communities, he is referred to as the Father of Modernism.
Leader of Catalan Modernism whose works adorned Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the incomplete Sagrada Família; UNESCO named seven of his works World Heritage Sites between 1984 and 2005.
Prolific Indian architect whose work included the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Centre for Environment and Planning Technology in Ahmedabad, and Amdavad ni Gufa, also in Ahmedabad.
Frank Gehry is a leading architect based in Los Angeles. As a child, he often tried to build imaginary cities and homes from items kept in his grandmother's hardware store. The same can be seen in his creations that are characterized by usage of unconventional fabrications and bold, modern shapes. He graduated from the University of Southern Californian School of Architecture and then studied at Harvard. In fact, he moved to Harvard School of Design after marriage to Anita Snyder, in 1956. Frank left Harvard and relocated to California, where he began the Easy Edges cardboard furniture line. It was the renovation of his Santa Monica home. However, he was more interested in buildings rather than furniture and eventually went on to create much bigger designs. Some of the famous ones are EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, and Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Apart from buildings, he was also involved in the design of other items such as furniture, jewelry and clothes. Though he is not known to have joined any political party, his opinions have always been leftist in nature. As a famous personality, he has played himself on famous television programs such as the Simpsons.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect, known for his vibrant use of color. His work encompasses colorful paintings, unique sculptures, fascinating edifices and thought provoking exhibits. He was born as Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna and developed an early interest in art. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, signing his works as Hundertwasser, which was a choice throughout his career. He entered the field of architecture, and after residing in Austria and France, he lived modestly in his New Zealand home, which he designed to be environmentally responsible, or 'green.' To expand his horizons, he entered the arena of applied art, designing flags and stamps. Politically, he showed nostalgia for the Imperial period of Austria. He favored constitutional monarchy as an ideal government. In his artistic themes were the factors of individualism, man living in harmony with nature, organic forms, and a hatred of squares. His legacy lives on in his art which bears his stamp of color and innovative design.
The main representative of Art Nouveau in Great Britain, he was influenced by the Industrial Revolution. Redesigned famed architect and designer W.J. Bassett-Lowke's home.
Native American runner widely considered one of the best long-distance runners of his era. He won notable races like the 1907 Boston Marathon, which he completed in record time.
Designer of The Shard, Europe's tallest skyscraper, which was opened to the public in 2012. His other works included The New York Times building in New York City and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Pritzker Prize recipient whose work included the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London, the Senedd in Cardiff, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg.
Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century architect best known for his work on the famous Eiffel Tower. His design contributions to the tower included ground-level arches and glass encasing.
Born in Switzerland, Le Corbusier was a celebrated architect, painter, urban planner and designer par excellence. One of the forerunners in the field of modern architecture, this talented artist used both reinforced concrete and steel for his constructions. Besides, he was very famous for his use of elemental geometric forms in building construction. This versatile architect's works are characterised by understandable structures and forms. He introduced the five points of architecture in his books, and followed them closely to create wonderful pieces of architecture that are still revered as masterpieces today. In addition, he devised a scale of proportions known as the ˜Modulor'. It is based on the famed golden ratio and human measurements. Beginning his colourful career in his father's footsteps as a watchmaker, this artist cum architect travelled far and wide to learn the various dimensions of art and architecture. His masterpieces adorn every corner of the globe including India, America and Europe. Besides being an urban planner, he was bent upon improving the living conditions of people in crowded cities. He later converted to a French citizen and passed away in France. To know the details of this personality's early years, career and personal life, continue reading.
Albert Speer was a German architect who is known in the history as ˜the man who built Nazi Germany' and also ˜the Nazi who said sorry' for accepting moral responsibility of the atrocities his Nazi party committed. In the World War II, Hitler appointed him as the Minister of Armaments and War Production for Germany. Before that, Speer worked as the chief architect in Hitler's Nazi party and, based on the facts collected in his memoir, he was close to Hitler, on a personal and professional level. After an illustrious career in architecture, he gained Hitler's attention and was offered to join the Nazi party in the 30s as Hitler wanted him to redesign entire Berlin. Speer thought of himself as an artist and there he was, planning wars for Hitler but even then, he performed his duties with patience and honesty. During the Nurnberg trials in 1945-46, Speer accepted the blames rising from his involvement in killing of Jews and also for employing the prisoners in factories. He was convicted and sent to prison for 20 years. Albert Speer died of a stroke in 1981 while on a visit to London.
Architect and writer who gained attention when he was commissioned by Pakistan's former president to design his farmhouse. He became known for his designs of farmhouses, villas, office buildings, and hospitals.
Conservative politician who became a Member of Parliament for Orpington in 2010 and the Head of the Number 10 Policy Unity in 2012.
One of The New York Five who espoused Modernist architecture; became known for his contemporary designs and public commissions.
Rebuilt 52 churches in London following the Great Fire in 1666, including St. Paul's Cathedral on Ludgate Hill. He was also responsible for the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, the south front of Hampton Court Palace, and the oldest academic building still in continuous use in the United States: the College of William and Mary's Wren Building.
Pioneer of modern architecture known for designing civic buildings for the planned city of Brasilia, Brazil's capital since 1960. He also proposed uses for reinforced concrete that impacted the architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Unconventional architect whose work included Mountain Dwellings and VM Houses, unique housing complexes in Copenhagen. His designs were known for their sustainability and sociological philosophy, balancing both the playful and the practical.