Daniel Libeskind is one of the most diverse and multifaceted figures in the world of contemporary creativity.
Although the general public knows him mostly for his Jewish Museum in Berlin and the (unfortunately unbuilt) design for the new World Trade Center in New York, Libeskind has actually created an impressive ensemble of different works, from architectures to objects of design, from art installations to abstract artworks.
The rich personality of Libeskind possibly originates from his personal history and diverse cultural background. Born in Lód’z, Poland, in 1945 from Jewish parents, he first moved to a kibbutz in Israel and then, in 1959, to New York City.
Before choosing architecture as his main profession and graduating at the Cooper Union, Libeskind was a violin virtuoso who also played together with a young Itzhak Perlman.
Either large or small, from museums to installations, Libeskind’s works are always based on a complex conceptual framework and a thorough investigation of the formal, cultural, and symbolic elements of design and architecture.
Libeskind is widely regarded as a reference figure especially for what concerns the relationship between architecture and history, including the design of historical museums, of course.
This is mostly due to the idea, partly derived from Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction, that architecture is a form of language based on a dynamic relationship between contrasting elements/terms; a concept which particularly fits the design of venues aimed to depict/present the inherent complexity and disjointedness nature of, especially modern, history; Libeskind’s design for the Jewish Museum in Berlin is exemplary in this sense.
Another recurrent element in Libeskind’s designs is the importance of and the references to the written word. Texts and words are often printed onto his museums’ walls; in some cases, such as in the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Hebrew letters even give shape to the architectural space.
Studio Libeskind, conducted by Daniel together with his wife Nina, is currently based in New York, Zürich, and Milan.