Square

Mies van der Rohe

“Each material has its specific characteristics which we must understand if we want to use it… This is no less true of steel and concrete [than of wood, brick, and stone]. We must remember that everything depends on how we use a material, not on the material itself… New Materials are not necessarily superior. Each material is only what we make of it… We must be as familiar with the functions of our buildings as with our materials. We must learn what a building can be, what it should be, and also what it must not be… And just as we acquaint ourselves with materials, just as we must understand functions, so we must become familiar with the psychological and spiritual factors of our day. No cultural activity is possible otherwise; for we are dependent on the spirit of our time.”

Mies van der Rohe – From his inaugural address at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1938