Honorary Members

Honorary membership is bestowed in those rare instances of individuals whose clarity of vision and articulation of that vision has had profound effects upon the work of all of us. These are the people whose work allowed us to “think different.” Without them, our work would have been less than what it is today. These are people who are generally older than us, and whose legacy is so firmly established that Guild membership would not benefit them, otherwise we would invite them to join our ranks as regular members. Currently, we have a single honorary member.

Leon Krier

Leon-Krier

Without Leon Krier, the New Urbanism as we know it would never have existed. Without the New Urbanism, the Guild would never have existed, either. All of us would be doing different things today than we are now doing. There can be no more fitting character than Leon Krier to be the first honorary member of the New Urban Guild. We thank Mr. Krier profoundly for honoring the Guild with his acceptance of this membership.

It was Krier’s lecture in Miami in 1980 that completely changed the careers of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. In Duany’s words, “I left the lecture furious at Krier. But over the next couple weeks, as I thought back over the things he said, I had to admit, one at a time, that 'Krier is right about that.” Then, ‘Krier is right about that, too.’ And ‘Krier is right about that as well.’ We were doing high-profile high-rise Modernism at the time, but Krier completely turned us around."

  Krier’s work wasn’t defined by a single virtuoso lecture thirty years ago... not by a long shot. His writings have had, and continue to have, a profound effect on two generations of architects and planners... and counting. His most recent book, The Architecture of Community, is an essential resource for anyone hoping to contribute to sustainable place-making.

  This work continues a long track record of unusually idea-rich books such as Architecture: Choice or Fate and several others. You can’t just flip through a Krier book in a couple hours... there’s so much content there that you could spend weeks digesting it all.

  The brilliance, however, is that this wealth of ideas can be easily digested in small bits. Those bits are built around Krier’s highly-provocative cartoon drawings. Never in the architectural world have so many ideas been skewered so thoroughly with so little ink.

  And when Krier sets about to advance a great idea rather than rebuke the regrettable ones, he’s equally incisive here as well, articulating principles with such clarity that they are likely never to be forgotten.

  The New Urban Guild has, since the beginning, placed high value upon great ideas. At the same time, the Guild has been an eminently practical organization, focused on ideas that work as opposed to the purely theoretical. It’s no mystery, therefore, why we have always held Leon Krier in such high regard: he is a consummate man of ideas, but he puts them forward in such a way that they effect real change in the way we build our places and our buildings. Welcome aboard, Mr. Krier!


© New Urban Guild 2014