Brick Course

Fond memories of growing up near an Acme clay quarry

This is a reference to, not a comment on, Acme Brick. Still, my house abutted a quarry of Acme Brick, in Fort Smith, Ark. I hiked through it a googolplex of times.


To express is to drive. And when you want to give something presence, you have to consult nature. And there is where Design comes in.

“If you think of Brick, for instance, you say to Brick, ‘What do you want, Brick?’

“And Brick says to you, ‘I like an Arch.’

“And if you say to Brick, ‘Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that, Brick?’

“Brick says, ‘I like an Arch.’

“And it’s important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. You don’t [bamby(?)] it around as though you said, well, we have a lot of material around, we can do it one way and we can do it another. It’s not true. You can only do it if you honor the brick and glorify the brick instead of shortchanging it.”

— Louis Kahn. Transcribed from the 2003 documentary My Architect: A Son’s Journey by Nathaniel Kahn. Master class at Penn, 1971.

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