Peter Bohlin Lecture

Peter Bohlin is the architect who collaborated with Apple and created/designed most of their stores. Shortly after Steve Jobs’ death he visited our school and gave all the architecture majors a lecture on his career and even spoke about Steve Jobs. These are some quotes and excerpts from his lecture. I’ve honestly never felt so inspired in my life. He was such a humble man and I feel so lucky to have seen him speak.


“I’ll for about an hour and 15 minutes I think….unless I fall asleep.”

“[In reference to his firm] We’re in 5 places which is ridiculous. I’m a nomad!" 

"It’s scary to think of the Sun rising in the South. It makes buildings ass backwards.”

Discussing design: 

Things you must consider when designing a building: the subtle issues such as where is the breeze, why is it coming from a certain direction, what sounds surround a site, and how is this building going to be made?  

It’s what you touch that’s particularly important. How do materials naturally fit together and what emotional qualities do these materials evoke or possess? 

Always remember that people are what give a building life so they are the greatest consideration when you are designing.

“[In reference to the nature of designing buildings] You’re always revealing and not revealing. You’re always discovering. You’re always telling truths and not telling truths.”

“[In reference to the Shelly Ridge Girl Scouts Camp] The children will remember it all their lives.”

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Discussing Apple & Steve Jobs: 

In ‘97, Jobs asked Peter to be involved in Pixar and the designing of Pixar Animation Studios. 

Shortly after Steve asked Peter Bohlin and his firm to get involved in the Apple stores right away. 

Comments on Apple:

“When considering the design of Apple stores you had to consider the nature of Apple.”

Apple stores are universal space." 

 Apple Soho was built from 2001-2002 and was the first two story Apple store model.

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With the 5th Ave. Apple store, the glass elevator was a last minute addition. 

Bohlin discussed the renovations of the 5th Ave. Apple store and stated that Steve Jobs came to him and asked "What can we do now,” to which Peter replied with a new design for the scale of the glass cube. The scale will now be radically different and was revealed in November. 

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“I am at the intersection of science and art.” -Peter Bohlin quoting Steve Jobs

Peter Bohlin explained to us how fond he was of Steve Jobs and how the man was able to maintain a balance between technology and nature. You could tell in the way that Peter Bohlin formed his sentences and in his discussion of Steve Jobs’ funeral that Peter admired the man and truly believes we lost a genius. 

Peter’s Final Words To Us: 

You can look into the future and not get caught up in funny shapes." 

He left us with the notion that we shouldn’t get caught up in technology but really capture natural elements in the way we design.