Toyo Ito, Design, and the Power of Writing

Toyo Ito’s design for the Berkeley Museum of Art – as shown in The New York Times. The building is interesting, but what really got me engaged in thinking about the architecture is the fantastic writing by Nicolai Ouroussoff describing the new structure.

To my untrained eye, Ito’s design reminds me of Frank Gehry – the sculpted chaos of the exterior, the sense that the structure is being whipped by fierce winds, or could take off into flight. 

In turn, Gehry reminds me of Antonio Gaudi – because both create buildings that seem physically alive.


With Ito’s design, I can imagine the structure breathing – slow deep meditative breaths. Gaudi’s design makes me think of something more mystical and mysterious; magically organic, as opposed to Ito’s sleek replication of nature’s elegance and Gehry’s sleekness and sophistication.

Learn about Ito from someone who knows far more about design.


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