Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Mikaila Bolin – Week 11 –

Frank Gehry has been an inspiration to many architects and students around the world. According to an online article posted by the University of Southern California, the author, Alicia Di Rado states, “He is one of the world’s most influential living architects” (Di Rado).  Today the architect was honored with the nation’s highest civilian honor award, the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. He is among 21 recipients of the award this year and others joining him in this honor include Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, and Bill and Melinda Gates just to name a few. Established by John F. Kennedy in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the national interest, world peace, or to cultural or other significant actions (Stack).  In his statement while inducting the individuals, President Obama expressed, “the 2016 recipients helped to push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way” (Stack). There is no doubt Gehry has inspired millions if not more and not only those who are in the field of architecture. Students every day on the University of Minnesota’s campus pass by the Weisman Art Museum. The stimulating metal wrapped exterior of the building brings a unique twist to the somewhat conventional look to our university’s founding Mall area. Its shiny curving surface can be seen from far distances away and is replicated in other designs by Gehry. It shows the true nature of trial and error and a sort of messiness with rough and jagged edges, while maintaining sweeping curves that reflect the sun. This could reflect on the struggles that Gehry himself went through on his path to becoming an architect (Di Rado). Gehry’s unique design thinking and legacy will be around for many years after he is gone, which is why he was the perfect recipient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom Award.

Di Rado, Alicia. “Architect Frank Gehry To Receive The Presidential Medal Of Freedom.” USC News. University of Southern Californai, 21 Nov. 2016 Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Stack, Liam. “Ellen DeGeneres and Kareem Abdul-JAbbar Among 2016 Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipients.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

weisman_art_museumImage found at:


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