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Enrico De Pierro

B.Arch. 1941
London, England
Interview by Jim Donaldson

What I wanted to ask you, just talk a little bit about why you became an architect. What was the decision-making process there?

I don’t know when it started, but I was always interested in plans and buildings, even in primary school and high school. Montreal High School on University Street, is that buildings still there?

Still there, yeah.

It’s a very clever design and I liked it. I can still draw the plan of that school from memory. The thing that impressed me was the cafeteria was on the fourth floor, the kitchen was in the middle over the front entrance and the goods lift, you call them? The goods lift was in a column in the front, classical pediment.

Never knew that.

I’ve got a picture of it. And there’s four columns and two solid bits and inside is the goods lift with a door down in the bottom that takes the stuff up from under the front entrance.

[1:17:13]

So this impressed you. Was this the biggest influence on your decision?

It certainly was an influence at the time. I said, “this is just clever”, you see. The cafeteria was sexually segregated.

Did you go to Montreal High School?

Yes, four years.

So then you got to know it pretty well.

Boys and girls segregated but the kitchen was in the middle over the main entrance. And the goods lift came down one of the columns and I thought that was just too clever!

[1:48:08]

Obviously, the architect at that time had a little more brains than most people had.

Yes. The whole plan is very clever. It’s shaped like an H to start with.

That’s right.

And the way the gymnasiums fit with the assembly hall at the back and the fire escapes used to impress me because they were double scissor stairs, an up and a down. And you had to go outside before you went down the fire escape. And all that intrigued me so much and nobody else seemed to worry about what the building was like, but I thought it was fascinating.

[2:21:07]

But architecture in those years wasn’t a career that a lot of people pursued, was it?

No, very few. The school had only about twenty, twenty-five students.

So you literally moved across the street…

I just moved across the street.

…across University there. So what year did you enroll at the university?

’36.

1936.

Yes. I was too young, I didn’t have the Mathematics, and we didn’t have any money either, it was the middle of the depression. So I don’t know. I think Philip Turner had a lot of wangling. He got me in without the Maths, but I had to take extra Maths in the first year with the engineers. And none of the other students had to take all these extra Maths.

[3:03:25]

Was it a five year course or a six year course

Yes, five, five in those days, yes.

Can you, I guess- Let’s talk about some of the things that you were just talking to me about before. And you know we can talk about, you know, the studio, the way the studio- people moved from, what, the front to the back, the back to the front, I guess. And also the other- the business of the revolution when you were doing the mausoleum and so forth. You have a lot of interesting incidents that you should, as I said before, repeat to me.

Well, it was very hierarchical and old-fashioned. And in the first year, we weren’t allowed to speak to the fifth year, much less go near them, the other end of the room. The whole school was in one studio on the second floor of the Engineering Building. Is it still the Engineering Building?

[3:54:25]

No, they’re in the MacDonald-Harrington Building now.

Oh, MacDonald- next door. The old one is, well, it’s next door.

For a long period of time, they were in McConnell Engineering and then they went into- but they were also on McTavish many years ago too, McTavish Street for a short period of time. But they are in their own building now and it’s been designed and it’s quite a well-built structure.

Anyway, we were on the second floor with windows on two sides. And the first year, sat in the dark, and the second year, in the dark. The third year, I got a window. The fourth year was in the dark and the fifth year, got a window. And there was a big sink in the corner where we did our Watman’s hot-pressed stretchers. You don’t do those anymore.

[4:46:29]

No, no, no.

We had to stretch the paper and stick it onto a drawing board and you’d draw on it with ink and washes with sediment, burnt umber and ultramarine blue, and these things took six months to do. You worked on them- classical orders, you know the- you did the-

The Ionic columns, the Doric columns, Corinthian columns.

Ionic columns, I did an ionic column. And-

I’ve seen some of Roy Wilson’s work.

They were magnificent, some of them. I threw mine all out when I came to England, and I wish I’d kept them because I’d have them on the wall now. They were such a lot of work. You know, a whole term for one drawing.

They don’t do any of that anymore.

Oh, it’s such a-

I think some of the things we will be talking about, that phrase will become pretty common

They don’t do that that anymore, not at all. And of course heraldry in the second year. Lions rampant and flags and things. It’s quite ridiculous.

[5:46:29]

So did you take all your lectures in that one hall or did you go, for example in History of Architecture, did you go to a separate room for that?

Next door, there was the library where the lectures, the History lectures were kept. A little room with books, books on the walls.

And do you remember, how many, Enrico, how many were on staff that year?

Yes, well, Frank Chambers, Roy Wilson, Ramsay Traquair on the History. Now, who did Construction? Philip Turner did Construction and there was a young man, oh, I’ll try to remember his name, but he died in the middle of it. It was very sad. What was his name now? I can’t think of it. Anyway. And-

[6:37:10]

And you only had a student enrollment of, what, about fifteen or were there that many?

Five. Five for the year,

Five for all years?

Each year. There were only about twenty-five in the whole school, yes.

And I’m just trying to think, at that time, were any of the professors, you’re going to tell me in a minute, hopefully, about that revolution that you had, but I wanted to know, is there any particular courses that you enjoyed more than others? I mean did you enjoy the drawing? Of course-

I did enjoy the drawing where we had to draw parallel lines freehand. And I can still do it. I can draw perfectly straight lines a millimetre apart, you know!

Not after too much sherry, though!

The point is, of what use is that? But-

I know, exactly!

I enjoy it now. At meetings, staff meetings where I was teaching [unclear] very boring, and I’d do a lot of doodles. And I’m doodling straight lines parallel like I was taught at the first year at McGill. I’d doodle with a pen. It’s really quite ridiculous! And of course, Shades and Shadows. And Mathematics. And then they had a Survey School at MacDonald College. Do they still have that?

[7:53:26]

They still have it. It’s not at MacDonald College, it’s another venue but they still have it.

That was at the end of the first year.

Most people’s memories of that, it was a waste of time but it was a lot of fun.

Well, all I remember was the mud.

Oh yeah, we all remember the mud because it’s that time of the year.

May.

May, yeah.

May and mud everywhere. And I wasn’t equipped with big boots or something. I went with shoes, ordinary shoes, I think the only pair I had, you know, in that we were in the middle of the Depression, you had one pair of shoes. And of course they got caked with mud. And it was the most uncomfortable- rain and mud, you know, I didn’t like it at all. And then you spent the first term of the second year drawing the map on one of these stretchers.

Oh, of course, that’s right, yes. [Unclear]

You drew it up. And I didn’t understand a word of this. You know, the tripod, the level.

The level, that’s right.

I could never understand how you could stand the thing in mud, and it would sink in mud and it would measure accurate measurements. I could never understand that.

[9:00:09]

You probably don’t today either, right?

No, I think I got it after awhile that the line is what counts.

And it seemed to me the key thing in all of that was to ensure that when you did everything, all the angles, that they came right back together.

I know. I used to be surprised that things happened. But I just didn’t see why the thing sticking in mud would do anything. Yes.

[9:21:06]

So tell us a little bit more about the studio work, because you said you were doing the drawings and you progressed, I guess, through. You weren’t allowed to do any housing or actual design. You did façades one year and then the housing or the-?

Not ‘til the third year. The second year was lots of measured drawings. I measured the King’s Lynn Courthouse…

Oh yeah.

…Measured it. And the Biology building on University Street has a classical doorway and we measured that and drew it up. I think, apart from the fact that it went on too long, two years, to teach you how to do things, drawing and things, it was good for you. A foundation, because nowadays, of course, they don’t need to draw, they just use a computer or something.

[10:11:16]

Well, except that- they’re still doing the drawing. They’re still- they have a course, as you know there, which is two- it’s called Freehand- Sketching School.

Yes, yes.

And you go after or before any one of the terms with-

There were lots of measured drawings in the summer school, which was the Gordon Webber Sketching School, we went and measured French Canadian churches in the province of Quebec somewhere. I remember measuring one with two towers, where, I don’t know where it was, but we did that in the summer. May, I think, the summer after the second year. And then you had to work in an office every summer. And if you did two years’ worth every summer, you got your degree at the end.

[11:01:22]

They still have that.

Yes. So the first summer, I worked for a firm called Shorey and Ritchie and I didn’t earn a penny. They don’t pay you anything; you were just there for the experience. And the second year, I think I got five pounds and a book. Five dollars, I beg your pardon. Five dollars and a book. And then third year, I went to another firm. In the fourth year, Philip Turner was building a church in Shawbridge. And he had me go and supervise it. So I stayed there I think six weeks. I’ve got lovely pictures of this church, which he designed and was built. And I, I don’t know, what do you call them, site-

Site supervisor.

Site supervisor.

Everybody, I think, as a young architect probably had exposure to that.

There was a wonderful scissors truss, you know, a scissors truss like that, which- The workmen were local work carpenters, and I laid this thing out on the ground with four by twos and six by twos, or two by fours, is it?

Two by fours, yeah.

Two by fours and two by sixes. And drilled holes. They put the bolts in and they stood it up and it didn’t spread an inch. They were surprised and so was I surprised! I thought when they’d stand it up it would all collapse! But it didn’ t.

[12:32:22]

But you were telling me a few minutes ago before we were on camera about the design that all the students, the five of you, I guess, had to do in connection with a mausoleum for a war memorial.

Oh yes, the fourth year.

That’s a fantastic story.

That’s most important. In 1940, when there was all this- everybody was revolting, I think. John Bland had just arrived and there was talk of shutting the school down. There wasn’t worth bothering it. And John Bland fought for it. And we were thrown out at the end of the fourth year because we did this pantheon for the war dead ninety feet in diameter. And they expected a classical building, Chambers and Roy Wilson. They were classicists, you see, they wouldn’t allow anything else. But we were all revolutionaries, our year. So we did gas tanks or igloos or, I forget, but they were all just round, round things in concrete.

[14:27:00]

But you all agreed to take a non-classical approach.

All except one student, which shall be nameless, but he was the son of a famous architect in Montreal, Ross and MacDonald…

Oh yeah, sure.

… the firm who built all those big buildings, Dominion Square buildings and things like that. Well, he was very conceited and he was going to go back to his father’s office so he didn’t care if he passed or not. He was a very unpleasant young man. But the rest of us failed and thrown out and the school was going to be shut. And Philip Turner and John Bland, I think, were the influences and they got a reprieve and we were let back into the fifth year with Howard Fetherstonough looking after us. And we didn’t do anything the fifth year except look at John Bland’s books on Le Corbusier, you see. And another thing, Catherine Chard, as she’s known, what do you call her now, Wisnicki.

[15:26:08]

Yeah. She got an honorary degree this year at McGill.

She got an honorary degree. Well she arrived when we were in the fifth year, the first woman ever to be allowed there. And, you know, it says in the book that they couldn’t have women in because there wasn’t a ladies’ lavatory in the building. In the end, John Bland adapted one. But she knew all about Le Corbusier and Gropius and Aalto, and we’d never heard of them. We’d just heard of some American architects, modern ones, Hugh Stubbins and people like that, but we’d never heard of the Europeans. And Catherine Chard arrived and she knew all about it.

Isn’t that interesting!

And so we had a wonderful time.

She came in as a, what, as a student?

First year student.

First year student!

Or maybe second year. I think she had all kinds of degrees before.

Because at that time, McGill was one of the few Schools of Architecture in Canada. I think there was, what, one in Toronto, maybe one in Winnipeg. I don’t think there was one at University of British Columbia, then. I don’t remember.

The British Columbia, Fred Lasserre started that…

Oh yes, that’s right!

…in the fifties or sixties.

And Brahm Weisman, I think, was one of the people there.

Yes, yes. So John Bland, we spent the whole of the first term just looking at books and finding out about modern architecture that we didn’t know anything about. It was a wonderful period! And then, the final term was your big, big thesis.

Your thesis, yeah.

And I did a reinforced concrete building, which nobody had ever thought of before. It was quite revolutionary.

[17:05:03]

Reinforced concrete?

Yes!

What was the subject of the building?

It was an apartment house. It looked very much like Tecton Highpoint, you know.

Oh yeah, ok.

Well, they had just been built, didn’t they, in ’36, ’38 and we’d just were looking at plans. Anyway, they were all reinforced concrete walls. And when I designed it, I knew nothing about it, concrete or anything. But it’s done. I’ ve got photographs of it for you.

[17:39:05]

Anyhow, what happened, I guess, after you graduated?

Well, we were all volunteers, but they- dreadful business. We had to go and fight Hitler, I don’t know why. You know, I don’t think I would do it now, but we were mad, you know. There was a student in my year, John Porter and Ron Peck from the year before, they also joined up. And before we went overseas, we saw quite a bit of each other for some reason. I think we were in the same military camp somewhere. Camp Borden, Petewawa.

Petewawa, yeah.

Yes, all those terrible places.

Did you ever get overseas though?

Yes, I was here for three years, all over Europe. You don’t want wartime experiences, do you?

No, I don’t want to.

We came over, a year in Canada and all those places, and then ’42, I came overseas and “45 I did the war, the invasion.

Oh, the Normandy invasion?

Yes, I got as far as Munich when Hitler gave up in 1945.

[18:57:06]

So then, you came back to Montreal.

Yes.

I guess what you didn’t say, and I should have asked you, of course, you were going to Montreal High, so obviously, you were raised in Montreal and you had family there. So you went back in 1945 to Montreal.

Yes.

And what happened then?

Well, again, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I got a job with T. Pringle and Son.

Oh, geez!

You’ve heard of them, have you? Because they weren’t architects.

No, they were sort of Engineering…

That’s right.

…but they did hire architects.

I said, “I will not work with any architects. They’re all horrible, you see”. There probably were some good ones, but I didn’t know about them. I went to work for Pringle’s and I stayed there, oh, I don’t know, six months or so, and it was pretty horrible. I said, “I am never going to sit stuck to a drawing board for the rest of my life from nine ‘till six doing this”, so I said, “I’m going to study Music”. And I went to University of Michigan. The government wanted me to stay in Canada; they were going to pay for graduate studies. But there was no graduate studies in Canada, Architecture or anything. So they would only allow me to do Architecture. They wouldn’t let me do Music, because Music would mean I’d have to start from the beginning and they weren’t prepared to pay my fees for that. They were prepared to pay fees for graduate studies, and as I had a degree in Architecture, it had to be Architecture. So I went to get an M.A. at the University of Michigan, you see.

[20:42:12]

An M.A. in Architecture or Music?

Architecture.

Okay, so you took your M.A. at University of Michigan, as you explained-

‘Cause Harvard and Yale you couldn’t get into anyway. So Michigan. And while I was there, I went home for Christmas, and John Bland said, “you’ve got to come and teach here”. And he got me. So I left Michigan, and went to teach at McGill and that’s where it all started.

[21:09:27]

So this would be, what, now ’48? 1948?

’47. ’46, ’47, yes.

And you stayed at McGill teaching for-

‘Till ’48.

‘Till ’48.

Yes. Just two years.

And what were you teaching?

Well, I started with the first year and then they promoted me to the fourth year, and the second year and, goodness, what would have happened if I’d stayed there longer! I ran the library. My interest in books, you see, my father had a huge library at home. And the Blackader Library at Redpath…

Yup. Still there.

…was a nuisance. And John Bland persuaded them to allow us to move all the architecture books into that one in- that house in University Street. You know, the house that is now demolished. Before- Between the Engineering Building and McConnell, there’s -

[22:08:24]

Okay, yeah. So you moved all the books in there?

Not all of them.

All the architecture books?

Just one room. There was a room on the ground floor. We put up some shelves, and I was the librarian. And they gave me a course on the Dewey Decimal System or something. And I catalogued all the books and had all the catalogue.

And you were teaching as well though.

Teaching the fourth year and running this library. I think I ran it sort of in the afternoons for an hour or so, for the students. Well, it was much nicer, especially in winter, to go trekking across to the Blackader. I don’t know, they still have a library in architecture?

[22:47:00]

They still have- the architecture library is all the Blackader now, and it’s admired tremendously.

Well you’ve got all kinds of lovely young ladies lying around this school. There was nobody there but John Bland and me!

Those young ladies wouldn’t want to be described as “lying around”. They may say, “We prefer sitting around”.

Sitting around, yes, sort of…

Now, 1948…

Yes.

…you left the school?

Yes, I came to England. For one year, I was grumbling all the time, arguing with Spence-Sales, and it was just miserable as anything. I think the war had a lot to do with it. And the fact- you don’t remember Montreal what it was like when you were a boy-

Well, I remember Montreal in ’48 and ’50 and that-

It was pretty dull, a dull spot. You have to have a pioneer spirit like John Bland had to see into the future. Well, I didn’t have that. I was naïve or I still wanted to learn, I think. I wanted to see things, do things. And I had enjoyed my three years in England, even during the war, you see. So I said, “I’ m going back there”. John Bland said, “All right, go for a year and then come back. Your job will be still here for you”. And he got me the job teaching at the AA.

[24:08:08]

Oh, I see.

‘Cause he had been there as a student and he knew everybody. So he actually got me a teaching job at the AA, which was- He did all that, he didn’t want me to go, but he still did it, you know, wonderful man!

So you came to London for a year, and you worked at the AA and then you went back to Montreal again?

No, I’m still here!

You told me you went to Paris, you wanted to go to Paris.

I wanted to go to Paris but even that was stopped, because I did this first competition. I’m mad, you see.

You did a competition when you were in London, which you won.

Yes, that’s right. Poole Technical College in Dorset. And I won it, you see. There was, you know, two hundred- a hundred and fifty-three entrants…

And you won it!

And I won it, you see, a little colonial hick from the Colonies beat all these English! They were all desperate for work just after the war, and everybody entered into this competition, even James Stirling, you know, and he didn’t even get a mention. I’m very proud of that.

[25:18:25]

Did you do this completely on your own?

All my own in my basement bedsit in Bedford Place.

You must have been exhilarated when you won this.

I just couldn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t sleep. I just was terrified.

You told me earlier you were blessed with a client who wanted to get it built, because as you well know, there are a lot of competitions the project never gets built. So in this-

Well, this one was absolutely built. Not all of it, they’ve left a bit out. Even now, it’s unfinished. But they built in sections. They built the first section the first five years and then they built the next section the next five years, and so I was still here. But the next five years, I had won another competition. You see, I do two of everything. And that was a large civic centre in Corby. And that one took ten years to built. So I was stuck here.

So you…

By that time, I had become a native, and drank tea…

So you were, as you said, you were never able to go back home.

Never could go back home. Visits in between.

It’s interesting because those competitions have been the catalyst for a lot of firms, for a lot of architects. Because Arthur Erickson won a competition which he produced to start him off, and of course, Ray Affleck’s firm won competitions which built up their reputation and confidence.

Yes, it does. But not mine, because I wasn’t a good businessman. I built them properly but I always liked to go back to teaching, you see, I much preferred it. So I went back to teaching between.

[26:59:00]

But you kept your practice at the same time or did you-

Except that it stopped after twenty years of practice. And then the last ten years, it was all teaching. Oh, I did little things. Little houses, odd houses for people. Shop, there’s some offices on Regent Street for Langs, the builders, which I did. And I did a little swimming pool for them up in their house in Totteridge. I did little things while I was teaching.

[27:26:04]

Did you enjoy the life of an architect, because, I mean it was very [unclear].

I enjoyed designing the buildings and watching them being built, but I hated being a businessman. I was horrible!

I think all architects are in the same situation.

I had to hire a staff, and rent an office, and a secretary, and pay them wages. And there was never enough money for me. I didn’t pay myself anything. I had to pay them all their wages.

[27:53:18]

When you think of the responsibility and the work that the architecture profession is sort of a very unheralded and lack in revenue for the-

Well now, they are all big businessmen, aren’t they? But they were still in my day, they were gentlemen, and you never did anything wrong. If anything was wrong, somebody else got the blame, the builder, or the quantity surveyor, but the architect never got the blame. He was a gentleman, you see.

[28:25:10]

I just wanted to ask you, because you worked both with Harold Spence-Sales and I guess he was a professor for quite a few years at McGill, and also, Gordon Webber had a studio there too, so-

Well, I didn’t actually work with Gordon Webber and his students, but I used to do, what do you call them, some of his abstract constructions. I was learning from him like the students were, because my education before the war was useless. Well not, I mean, I’m glad I’ve had all this technical stuff and History. But compared to the twentieth century, I knew nothing, you see. And so I was learning form Gordon Webber and I would do constructions and dia-drawings and things. I don’t know if he approved of them or not.

[29:23:17]

Because, a lot of people- His name around Montreal is pretty well forgotten. But at one time in the history of Montreal, he was quite an artist.

He was very famous.

He did a lot of work. And it was not only two-dimensional but it was three-dimensional because I know he got into, what, dancing and all sorts of stage productions and everything else.

Yes, he did a ballet and things. It’s all in a little book there. They did exhibitions. We did a lot of work with him. I used to help, you know, whatever I could do, I helped. John Bland did an exhibition of modern furniture in’47, which I worked on. And he brought all his Alvar Aalto stuff from England, and we’d never seen anything like it in Canada before. It was quite wonderful. And they put this exhibition of modern interior at the gallery in Sherbrooke Street.

[30:23:18]

The Museum of Fine Arts there?

Yes, it used to be called the Art Gallery in those days. And this exhibition was in one of the rooms there and we did a lot of work there. I think I was a guard, where you keep people from touching things. And then we did an exhibition of Le Corbusier in the Engineering Building in ’47, the first in Canada ever. And they came up from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to interview it. And Doug Shadbolt, he helped on that one. I made him do a mural.

Was he a student at that time, because he was a student-

No, I think he was finished by that time, ’47.

Well, he was a student also with Arthur Erickson, wasn’t he?

He was a student… No, I taught him in ’46 and Arthur Erickson, so maybe he was still a student or maybe he was finished.

Because I didn’t realize, I did an interview of both Arthur Erickson and Doug Shadbolt, and they were- came to McGill together, I think. They went down to Washington State University in Washington and-

Wait, well, I didn’t behave like a professor at all. I was one of the bunch. We all worked together.

The best type, the best way of doing it.

Yes, you get on with the students.

[31:45:27]

Do you, I just want to ask you, there are a couple of other people I wanted to ask you about. Did you work with Harold at all, Spence-Sales?

No, I never got on with him at all.

You’re not the first one!

I think, I just- I knew nothing of town-planning, anyway. But I thought- anyway, I was full of Le Corbusier’s la ville radieuse and things like that, and he was Garden City, and I thought that was horrible. I didn’t approve of anything sentimental like that. But he was probably right in that to introduce planning to Canada, you have to start like that. You can’t just suddenly hit them on the head. But I was a naïve youngster, thinking you must have Le Corbusier or nothing, you know.

[32:37:06]

You mentioned, in one of the pictures or at least you mentioned, Ray Affleck. Did you teach Ray?

Yes. I think he was still in the fifth year when I got there in ’47.

And he kept in touch with you over time?

Yes, he came here to see me with his wife, yes. Interesting, I don’t know if I’ ve got one, we use them as ashtrays, so we don’t have ashtrays now. Pavement lights, you know, toughened glass that you walk on. And his wife thought that was wonderful, that this was that pavement light, which you turned it upside down and it’s used as an ashtray. I’ve got one downstairs or upstairs. And she took one away with her. And I was always impressed. She thought that was a lovely idea.

[33:29:16]

I have a couple of other question, if I may, just because I’m sort of curious, and anybody else who will probably see this interview will be curious, do you still have family members back in Montreal?

Me? Well, I have two sisters, one in Montreal and one in Vancouver.

Oh, isn’t that interesting.

Yes, one is a widow in Vancouver. I think her husband worked for the Bristol Aircraft, I think.

And you have a sister in Montreal.

Montreal. She keeps me informed about all whatever you’re doing. Oh, I get clippings sent to me all the time about Catherine Chard’s honour. They gave her a degree.

[34:04:12]

So she has that interest.

Yes, my sister sent it to me.

But not all sisters have the same interest in their brother.

Well, she’s got nothing better to do, she’s 84.

Well, anyhow.

It’s pretty ancient!

The other thing I wanted to ask you is you’ve been here now pretty well all your life. Your whole career has been in London. Do you ever see any of the- have you ever heard anything-? I guess not the last- you’ve probably outlived a lot of the people that you’ve graduated with. But have you talked to any of them recently or-?

No, I think I’ve lost all contact. The last time I was there was ’72-’73 when I taught at Toronto. One of my AA students ran the school at Toronto. What’s his [unclear] Pragnell, Peter Pragnell.

Oh yeah, Peter Pragnell, yeah.

Yes. So he invited me over there for a year so I went.

Isn’t that wonderful!

And in Toronto there was one or two students, I forget what his name now.

I probably wouldn’t know.

And then I went to McGill to give a lecture and John Bland invited me to one of the lectures, one to, what do they call them, criticizing students’ work? Juries or something?

Juries, yes.

He invited me to one of those.

Isn’t that interesting.

Yes. That was very nice. It was nice sitting next to John Bland looking at students’ works again. That was in 1974.

[35:36:17]

I guess if I were to ask you if you whether you would do it all over again, you would probably say yes.

Yes.

In retrospect, a lot of people would change things. And I mean that’s only natural. But the way you talk, you’ve had a very balanced, you know, a very fulfilling life.

Well, talking to other people, they seem to think that my life has been far more interesting than working in a bank all your life or-

Well, I think it has been. So has mine.

I think it has been. I’ve done lots of sillyish short things, ten years here, ten years there, and I haven’t settled down. I still haven’t settled down.

You probably every now and again wake up and you look out on a beautiful day like today and say, “boy, am I every lucky. It’s been a great life”. And it’s a bonus to be-

Well, this house is pretty lucky as well. In the middle of London, a little house like this, nearly Corbusier strip windows and stuff.

The way you’ve furnished it, it’s a very comfortable place too.

And it’s all Corbusier. It’s all very old-fashioned, isn’t it? You see, 1929.

Those chairs and the furniture doesn’t go out of fashion because it’s classic.

They are classics and the angle poise and this stuff.

The irony of all of this, here you are after that revolution, surrounded by classic design items, classic in the generic sense as opposed to-

It will all come back one of these days.

Just like us!

I’ll be the latest thing one of these days!

[36:55:02]

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