Mies Had Nice Hair

I studied under Mies Van Der Rohe. Sort of.

Not me, Not listening to the Cure


When I was in third year, while under the influence of the Cure’s “Disintegration“, I decided to cut my own hair. I left it long on the top and shaved it close to my head everywhere else. I looked awesome. And by awesome, I mean I looked completely ridiculous.

Professor Shell, my 3rd year studio instructor, walked up behind me on the stairs the next day. “Did you cut your hair?” he ask. I said “yep” (which is all I really said that year), and I flipped my hair out of my eyes. Then he said “it looks nice” and walked away.

This is how I learned the meaning of “less is more.”

Just because you use a few materials, or words, or images to express your ideas, doesn’t mean your ideas are simple. Since that day, I’ve always associated simplicity with subtlety. Professor Shell said “it looks nice,” but what he probably meant was “what the hell is wrong with this kid’s hair, and why won’t he get out of my way on these stairs, which are a lovely open tread steel pan construction with polished cast concrete treads, and who is the Cure?”.

See? Less is more.

Professor Shell worked for Mies.



photo from hallovalerie’s photostream on Flickr – used under the creative commons license.


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