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Kanye West Wants to be an Architect

Friday, October 4, 2013

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You won’t hear it on Yeezus, but Kanye West is singing a new tune—this one, about his architectural aspirations.

“I’m learning what I want,” the Chicago native, 36, told Zane West of BBC News Radio in an hour-long interview available here, in four segments.

“If you're an architect, if you're a world builder, if you have all these ideas—if you're Gaudí, and you want to build buildings—and you don't ever get that out, what's going to happen?” the Grammy Award-winning musician said.

“This is the reason why I’m working with five architects at a time,” he said.

Architect Magazine has listed the five architects that West is or “should be” collaborating with here.

BBC News Radio / YouTube

“I hang around architects, mostly—people that wanna make things as dope as possible,” Kanye West, 36, told BBC News Radio.

West noted that he has been limited in fashion design endeavors and wants to be respected as a “real designer.”

In the BBC interview, West also referenced his experimental design company, Donda, launched last year. The company has architects, video-game developers, and even doctors on staff, reports say.

Donda collaborated with OMA to design a temporary pavilion to show West’s debut short film Cruel Summer at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.  

Inspired by Le Corbusier

Architecture, West says, was also the inspiration behind his latest album, “Yeezus.” In particular, a lamp designed by Le Corbusier (1887-1965) inspired the sounds, according to reports.

The Swiss architect is considered one of the most influential of the 20th century, modernizing the fabric of urban design.

House designed by Le Corbusier
Andrew Bossi / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Share Alike

Designs by Le Corbusier have inspired Kanye West, the rapper says.

“Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for house and the city,” Le Corbusier said in 1923, according to Design Within Reach.

Road to Design

West’s interest in architecture has led some to question his path as a designer.

Architizer’s blog report “decoding” West’s architecture goals suggests that targeting established companies and architects to fulfill his design goals may be not the best method. They may not show him the “mutual respect” he desires as a collaborator.

“Why not partner with young designers?”  the blog asks.

“These are skilled individuals who are just starting their long climb to renown; surely a few would appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with someone with the financial and cultural resources of Kanye West.”

Perhaps that’s not a bad suggestion, after all, West made his intentions clear in this New York Times interview.

“I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers,” he said.

“I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”

   

Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architects; Architecture; Building design; Design

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