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Frank Gehry: Complex and Imaginative

By Ruby Cemental

Architecture is complex, and, often, so are the architects that create it. Frank Gehry, the Canadian-American postmodern architect, is no exception. Learn more about this inspirational senior.

Early Life

Frank Gehry was born as Frank Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada in 1929, and started building at a very young age, using anything he could find. His grandfather owned a hardware store, and Frank often scoured the shelves for uncharacteristic building materials to create miniature houses and other buildings. He later moved to the United States to attend college at the University of Southern California's Architecture School, where he changed his name to Gehry, in an effort to thwart rampant anti-semitism. He married twice, and had 4 children between both wives.

Architectural Beginnings

After graduating from college, Gehry created and sold furniture made of corrugated cardboard. He used the money from the sales to remodel a home for his family, and, as a first hint to the aforementioned complexity that he is known for, he surrounded the existing bungalow with corrugated steel and chain-link fence, effectively splitting the house open with an angled skylight. This unique design is what first garnered interest from the architecture community, and his career, as a result, took off.

Inspiring Career

What is perhaps most inspiring about Gehry is his use of imagination in making the common—even plain—something extraordinary. Oftentimes, seniors seem to lose their creativity and youthful spirit upon getting older. They might even feel like they have nothing special to offer in their golden years; however, using Gehry as a model, it's not difficult to see that this doesn't need to be the case.

In fact, in 2014, at the young age of 85, he completed one of his most dramatic structures yet: the billowing glass and steel foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. Its imaginative and whimsical design—both inside and out—is sure to become another beloved attraction in a city known for wonderful landmarks.

One of the keys to long life and happiness therein is to hold fast to one's creativity, imagination, and complexities, and, in fact, to celebrate them. It's easy to find inspiration in a senior like Frank Gehry, and hopefully to find inspiration in oneself as a result.

For more Caring Senior Service's inspirational stories on the aging pioneers of our day or for aging resources, please contact us.

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Tags: Golden Inspirations

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