Designers on AXIS cover 

Designers on AXIS cover 6 Jean Nouvel


Photos by Yoshaki Tsutsui

Photos by Yoshaki Tsutsui

When our photo shooting began, he grinned and rolled up his jacket sleeves. Powerful! In AXIS vol. 75 (1998 September / October) we featured the French architect, Jean Nouvel.

He has put forth many thought-provoking questions to society with his revolutionary attempts that may be though of as rebellious.


Our interview was held in 1998, but now we can find many comments in which he seemed to foresaw the 21th century.

“It is clear that the cultural sphere recognizes my work and has come to see it more favorably than before. But there still exists a chasm between me and the leaders of the economic and political world.”

“The design of architects and design of designers are of different cultures, and I feel that the latter in particular place importance on form. But I’m not necessarily looking down at designers. Design needs these two cultures.“

“I’m already European. I think it’s necessary to cast off narrow-minded nationalism, and I believe in and support the union of Europe.”

“Architecture is the creation of essence, and not just a simple exterior. Details have both good and bad aspects. If the details truly express the essence of something we have the situation Mies van der Rohe referred to with his famous saying “God is in the details.” But if the details are mere decorations with no relationship to the overall theme, then the devil is in the details.”


Jean Nouvel was born in France in 1945. He was involved in a leadership position in redevelopment plan for Les Halls in Paris. He is a founder member of the architecture department of the Paris biennale and he has worked as the artistic director among other capacities. He has been closely connected to the main trends in French architecture for many years. Principle works includes “The Arab World Institute” in Paris, “Nemausus 1″ in Nimes, and “Luzern Music and Conference Center” in Luzern etc. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2008. Now he is active in various kinds of design fields including not only architecture, but also product and interior etc.

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