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Design & Style


Frank Gehry

Lesson time 06:08 min

Frank welcomes you to his MasterClass. He shares what he hopes you'll learn from him, and tells you exactly how he found architecture. Or did it find him?

Frank Gehry
Teaches Design and Architecture
In 17 lessons, Frank teaches his unconventional philosophy on architecture, design, and art.


There is a moment of truth where the artist faces the white canvas. And you make the first move. And all of a sudden you reveal yourself. I hope to discuss basic principles that I operate on, how I see working as an architect today and some of the pitfalls, some of the issues that I'm confronted with, some of my fears about what's happening in the future. I guess we're always afraid of the future. Overall, sharing the way I play the game, what I'm interested in. It's not about trying to be like me. It's trying to be like being about themselves and finding their own way that I hope I'm promoting. I don't think you should become Frank Gehry. Little Frank Gehry's or big Frank Gehry's or even medium Frank Gehry's. By showing you how I'm doing it and to think the thoughts that are in my mind as I'm working and the things that are important to me in the processes and how I interact with clients and world around me gives you an idea of how an architect today has been working. I'm Frank Gehry and this is my MasterClass. [PIANO MUSIC] Architecture, it chose me more than I chose it. When I was in high school in Canada and they had vocational guidance books in the library of what different professions. I remember going to the library and studying all of them. And I picked architecture out. Because why, I don't know. And the University of Toronto class in architecture, they were very proud that one of the projects was to design a little cottage, you know, like a little stone cottage with a fireplace. And I just closed the book and put it away. I wasn't interested in that. My cousin was a chemical engineer. And in my whole family, he was somebody I looked up to. Because he was a chemical engineer and they talked about him, this big chemical engineer. I thought, well, I did good in chemistry. So maybe I'd do that. I signed up for vocational guidance and chemical engineering. And I was the only one in the class that signed up for it. So the scientist, or the chemical engineer, came, picked me up, took me out to his lab. And he was making paints for General Motors, I think. And they had a bunch of beakers and Bunsen burners and all kinds of stuff. It looked pretty exciting. And he let me stay there for a couple hours. And they were doing a thing called titrations. So they do a test on something, very small variations, like tiny, tiny variations. And while I was there, they did a hundred of them. Variations like dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk and they were testing all these things. And I looked at the guy, and I said, get me out of here. So I knew I wasn't going to do that. I didn't have the patience for that. Family was poor. I was a truck driver. I went to night school. And I took a class in ceramics and the ceramics teacher who was pretty well known at the time, Glen Lukens, took me aside one day and said, this ain't for you. But I think arc...

About the Instructor

At 19 years old, Frank Gehry was a truck driver taking sculpture classes at night school. His vision for what architecture could accomplish went on to reshape our cities’ skylines and the imaginations of artists and designers around the world. In his online architecture class, this master builder invites you into his never-before-seen model archive for a look into his creative process.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I have no ambitions to be an architect. But I wanted to learn about how the mind and heart of an architect works, how inspiration comes and how ideas can be realized in form. I like this man, the wisdom he offered, the authenticity he conveyed. I feel fortunate to have been in his class.

A true designer, not afraid to look beyond traditional architecture and explore new forms to give a creative solution.

Gehry's honesty and humbleness is what inspired me the most, despite all his achievements.

The class has helped me direct my perspective in looking at several things. It has given a different perspective in connecting dots.


Thomas P.

I find it interesting the serendipity involved with Gehry becoming an architect. Almost a right place at the right time, or rather the right people at the right time. I think the same applies for us. Whether thats keeping an ear out for those who might be guiding us to an unforeseen passion, or an eye for peers who's flame just needs to be fostered so that they may see it and let it rage. There's for sure power in helping people realize the potential that they possess. Might be a little cliche, but I can't deny the power ad urgency of it.

A fellow student

This is very interesting, a truck driver taking ‘Sculpture’ classes, turned architect. So, it was ‘Sculpture’, before Architecture or shall we say ‘Art’ first and then Architecture? Also, notice how he starts this lecture “There’s a moment of truth, when the ‘Artist’ ….. faces the ‘canvas’ ….”, So, for him it’s not Architecture, but ‘Art’ - ‘Artist’ and the ‘canvas’, isn’t it? Also his attachment to “The curved, swooping forms” from the very beginning was a ‘foreshadow’ - “foreshadow the movement he wanted to express in future designs”. Then what’s the first impression? Of course it’s the pencil in his hand and the piece of paper on the board isn’t it? What can you say about that? Is it the indication of his “Passion” for creativity? In this computer dominating modern world how many architects can we find like Gehry? I’m sorry, I don’t know how to say what I want to say ……… is there a saying like this - “old habits die hard” – I think this is an important ‘nonverbal lesson’ that he is trying to teach us, not just a ‘good habit’ but an ‘important/ must do’ one for all creative professionals. So, you creative guys, learn from the master – on one hand the ‘Art of Architecture’ and on the other the ‘Art of free hand drawing’. In conclusion what can we say? Can we say that he is an ‘Art-architect’ with great passion for creativity? Finally, everybody knows that the practice of Architecture requires ‘patience’ and his kind of practice - ‘Art-architecture’, requires much, much more of that – ‘patience’ – on the contrary to his initial/ decades old/now famous confession – “I don’t have patience ……..”.

Martin J.

When we choosing our career, we generally think we know what we are passionate about, but many times we don't know that unconsciously what we choose is seeking the approval of our family, friends, etc. Today's education, at least in Latin America, doesn't offer the necessary tools so that each child really knows what their passion is, their strengths, their talents and weaknesses. In the company of Mr. Frank Gehry, I want to remember why I chose design and architecture like my career, my lifestyle and my passion.

Linette A.

I'm very impressed about how architecture chose him because I feel the same way: I didn't choose it, it chose me.

Linda Grace L.

🏠 This is a wonderful class! I've always been curious to understand and know more about this man whose iconic buildings have shown us how to blend aesthetics with the functional. Thank you Frank Gehry and thank you MasterClass for sharing.

A fellow student

I really enjoyed also in my first time on this class thanks. I hope I take his advice .

Jack S.

Frank Gehry is 90. The wealth of his knowledge goes right over the heads of some that get bored easily and others understand his depth and appreciate his willingness to talk about his humble genius. Icons like Frank show us all another dimension away from the common-place, the expected to find not what something is, but what it can be. Treasure Frank's words for they are from a place so far away we can only dream of finding some day.

Leandro D.

“There is a moment of truth where the artist faces the white canvas and you make the first move and all of a sudden you reveal yourself.” Great way to start. Revelation of the self as a process of pure volitive expression. I like to think about it as a powerful action where the neophyte becomes one with the process as part of his mastership and ends up somehow sublimated as a visionary of a deeper and reacher reality. I am more than curious to better understand the different ways to overlap this quest to the exploration and creation of 3D-mentional space as it brings undeniable value but also challenge for human collective.

A fellow student

I want more on why he got hooked on architecture. What questions buzzed in his brain? Etc.

A fellow student

Very interesting to learn about his back story and how he became acquainted with his craft.