Event | Moshe Safdie at Brattle Theater with Yo-Yo Ma

Harvard Book Store celebrates the release of If Walls Could Speak, joined by award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma

A long-awaited reunion between two old friends – Cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined Moshe Safdie for a discussion of Safdie’s highly anticipated new book If Walls Could Speak: My Life in Architecture hosted by Harvard Book Store at Brattle Theater.

Constantly seeking to answer how #CultureConnectsUs, Yo-Yo Ma led a conversation with Moshe Safdie on the cultural impact of Safdie Architects’s global practice. Moshe Safdie talked about the design philosophy and the praise received for the firm’s most celebrated cultural projects – from Habitat ‘67, National Gallery of Canada, Crystal Bridges to Jewel Changi Airport. Yo-Yo Ma gifted Moshe Safdie and the audience a Bach cello suite to conclude the evening.

Moshe Safdie recites poem "What I Believe" to Yo-Yo Ma.
"What I Believe"

He who seeks truth shall find beauty.

He who seeks beauty shall find vanity.

He who seeks order shall find gratification.

He who seeks gratification shall be disappointed.

He who considers himself the servant of his fellow beings shall find the joy of self-expression.

He who seeks self-expression shall fall into the pit of arrogance.

Arrogance is incompatible with nature.

Through nature, the nature of the universe and the nature of man, we shall seek truth.

If we seek truth, we shall find beauty.

— Moshe Safdie

About If Walls Could Speak:

If Walls Could Speak takes readers behind the veil of an essential yet mysterious profession to explain through Moshe Safdie's own experiences how an architect thinks and works—from the spark of imagination through the design process, the model-making, the politics, the engineering, the materials. Relating memorable stories about what has inspired him—from childhoods in Haifa and Montreal to the projects and personalities worldwide that have captured his imagination—Safdie reveals the complex interplay that underpins every project and his vision for the role architecture can and should play in society at large. The Memoir is illustrated throughout with drawings, sketches, photographs, and documents from Safdie Architects' voluminous archives that illuminate Safdie's stories. 

A book like no other, If Walls Could Speak will forever change the way you look at and appreciate any built structure.

To read more about Moshe Safdie’s professional life, the memoir is now available in Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, Harvard Book Store or at your local bookstore.

Published in Events on November 3, 2022