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Louis Kahn used to tell his students: if you are ever stuck for inspiration, ask your materials for advice.
„You say to a brick, ‚What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‚I like an arch.’
And you say to brick, ‚Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel.’
And then you say: ‚What do you think of that, brick?’
Brick says: ‚I like an arch.’
And it’s important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. [..]
You can only do it if you honor the brick and glorify the brick instead of shortchanging it.’