“The best way to answer violence is creativity”

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, in my mind, was a public leader of the twentieth century whose artistic and humanitarian actions closely resemble my own personal values and aspirations. Hundertwasser was a Jewish artist and architect who was born in Vienna, Austria, and lived during the period of the Nazi regime. He developed artistic talent at an early age, which he exercised at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Instead of continuing his formal art education at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, he made the decision to travel to exotic locations around the world such as Morocco, Tunisia, Nepal, Tokyo, and Siberia to find inspiration.

He was a creator who integrated both art and architecture into his life’s work, which encompassed vibrantly colored and organically shaped paintings, sculptures, and buildings. The entirety of his work was approached from a non-conformist perspective, because Hundertwasser firmly believed in human life that harmonizes with nature, especially life that embodies individualism. Hundertwasser was determined to make life livable in a humane environment that was close to nature. He achieved this vision by issuing manifestos and making provocative public appearances. One of his most famous manifestos was giving a speech in the nude, which suggested that humans have five symbolic layers of skin.

Hundertwasser’s adopted last name translates directly into English as “Peace Realm Hundred Water”, which relates to his belief that humans have the right to freely express themselves and connect themselves with nature.

Hundertwasser stands out as a leader in my mind for his character that embodies vitality, uniqueness, and natural being. He and I share a passion for art and architecture, as they are both forms of expression that reveal our individual, social and political views. I highly value human interaction with space, which is an idea that Hundertwasser brought to life through his creation of bright, organic pieces of art, particularly though his works of architecture. I believe that the highest form of architecture is one that accords with the natural environment, and Hundertwasser highlights this aspect in each of his buildings. He exemplifies that art acts as a bridge between man and nature.

Most importantly, Hundertwasser sought inspiration though travel and culture; he utilized his creativity to stimulate awareness of a social issue, such as the environment. It is my personal aspiration to design visually expressive architecture that facilitates community interaction and growth; I want each of my creations to prompt a social change that is advantageous toward the wellbeing of a community of people.

I plan to achieve this in various regions of the world, so that I too, can immerse myself in cultures that are new to me. I want to learn how different ethnic groups of people respond to certain types of architectural spaces. My hope is to design public spaces around the world from different cultural perspectives; humans will be able to interact with such spaces that organically connect people together from different cultural backgrounds. It is my wish that people from all regions of the world will coexist with each other and with nature; if this can be accomplished, my ‘why’ to live freely can be achieved.