The Guardian gets personal with Renzo Piano:
If you grow up in a school where you are not the first in class, then you grow up with the feeling that you can learn from other people. If you are the first in the class, I guess – I never experienced that – but I guess you grow up with the feeling that other people will learn from you. You are teaching others, not the opposite. And I feel that there is a moment when, unfortunately, because of that, you stop learning. You stop absorbing. And life is about learning, about grabbing every occasion. And art is about that; art is robbery in the noblest sense. It is taking things. Art! Art! In every sense.” And architecture, too? “Yes. Architecture is about robbery. About taking, taking, taking, and about giving back.
I’ve always admired Piano’s work for its diversity and thoutfulness and it’s always disappointed me that he often seems to be chosen as a safe choice for big commissions, and some consider his work to be bland, plain, or at the very least, exhibiting great discretion. That’s why I think it’s great to get a glimpse of his more passionate side; to understand his restraint as a disciplined expression of firm beliefs and raw emotion.