Inspired By Art: Interview With Art Gensler


Art Gensler is arguably one of the most successful architects of all time. 

Inspired By Art: Interview With Art Gensler

Founded in 1965, his eponymous firm--Gensler--operates 45 offices, employs close to 5,000, and works with more than 3,500 clients around the globe. Gensler recently sat down with Tom Dioro of The Modern Architect radio show podcast--brought to you by Modlar and broadcast live on Stanford's KZSU--to discuss how he's achieved such long-term and world-wide success. Much of the wisdom Art imparts can be found in his bookArt's Principles, 50 Years of Hard-Learned Lessons in Building a World-Class Professional Services Firm, but we've highlighted some of our favorite Art-isms from his interview here.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Inspired By Art: Interview With Art Gensler

"The world is too much about I and me, and not enough about us and we."

The concept of the "starchitect" doesn't sit well with Art. Instead, his firm embraces the idea of a "constellation of stars," which focuses on team success rather than individual success, and celebrates a mindset where each member of a team counts, no matter how big or small their role. In Art's mind, this isn't just how you make a project succeed, it's how you make a business succeed, too.

"If you want to learn about a client, ask them what they do."

The goal at Gensler goes beyond making great buildings, extending to include fostering great relationships with clients, enhancing the world by making it a better place, and sharing success with all involved. The key to getting there? Curiosity--asking client questions like 'what do you do?' and ultimately asking yourself 'how can I help?'

Inspired By Art: Interview With Art Gensler

"Go home at 6; get a life."

Architecture's signature late hours and near-impossible deadlines can make it an insular profession, but Art believes the best employees aren't just good designers, they're good people with a variety of interests, backgrounds, and life experiences. He also believes everyone should go out for a sports team at some point, but we'll let you be the judge of whether that's the right approach for you. Either way, it's hard to argue with the importance of living a fulfilling life outside of work.

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