Creating communal spaces for people to come together: Frank Gehry at Culture Summit

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World-renowned architect Frank Gehry sat down for a conversation with Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), during the second day of Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, to discuss architecture, its impact on societies and what keeps him going at the age of 93, reported Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“There’s joy to be gained making spaces that people are inspired by, live in and work in. We’re all human beings, we all contribute what we can, and we’re actually very equal in the end in what we bring to the table. I don’t have any presumption that I know what the future is, but I do know a building can create feelings, can create communal activity and I think that’s important,” he said.

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Gehry, who is known for some of the world’s most prominent architectural figures of our time, is behind the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi design, one of the museums being built on Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District.

Speaking of how the museum differentiates itself from other institutions, Al Mubarak stated, “When we started thinking of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and even before that, we were thinking of creating a place where people can come, understand, learn, and view things in a completely new manner based on the 21st century view of how art should be perceived, to create experiences and not just art on the wall.”


“It is the best time for us to shed light on artists who had been misrepresented in the past and shed equal light on artists from Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, the whole world, and having equal wall space for female and male artists from all over the world. This is the DNA of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi,” Al Mubarak added.

When asked what advice he has for the young generation of architects, Gehry noted, “I think the most important thing is to be yourself. Don’t try to be like somebody else. Don’t. You’ll find your own way. It will take time, but you will find it.”

Read more: Construction of Abu Dhabi Natural History Museum reaches 25 percent completion

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