This is just the beginning of a listing of some of the things, people, and places from which I draw my inspiration. I'll be constantly adding to it as I encounter new sources of inspiration.
Most commonly Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also greatly admire others like Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier, I. M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Louis I. Khan, an Frank Gehry. There are few things more inspiring than experiencing a well designed space. Frank Lloyd Wright possessed the unique ability to create spaces that you could literally feel, toying with contrasts and and teasing with tiny glimpses into the spaces beyond. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Wright was a practicing architect for nearly seventy years, starting at the age of twenty-one and continuing until just two weeks before his death just shy of his ninetieth birthday. Over three hundred of his buildings still stand and some two thousand project were never constructed. Wright, when asked how he produced so many incredible creations, once replied, "I just shake them out of my sleeve." There is also something to be said for shear verticality, and this is a skill Cesar Pellipossesses like few others. I love standing in the middle of a dense and tall city like New York or Chicago, with the uplifting feeling of awe that produces. Most of Pelli's designs feature elements which further emphasize their verticality and draw the eye ever upward.
I've always loved impressionism. It seems to capture life in the act, everything appears so dynamic and almost random when viewed up close, but when you back away it forms a single image filled with life. Among my favorites are Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. I enjoy many other types of art as well, but impressionist paintings are generally my favorite.
All kinds of music; I enjoy everything from classical to jazz to techno and plenty in between. I also love to sing in choirs. One of my most memorable experiences was performing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana my senior year in high school, complete with timpani and brass. I also enjoy singing and listening to live music in unique spaces - singing in the all-brick St. Anastasia church in Waukegan, IL where a cut off note would linger for a rapturous ten seconds or sitting in the choir at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC completely surrounded by the pipe organ and immersed in the beautiful music emanating from it. I tend to enjoy somewhat melancholy music more than anything. One of my all time favorites is Imagine by John Lennon, also Clocks by Coldplay, Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat, So This is Christmas by John Lennon, and pretty much anything by Enya, Enigma, David Lanz, Ray Charles, etc. I'm also a big fan of swing music and have taken a couple of classes in swing dancing (east coast/retro swing).
I love to read. I read a lot of science fiction, and count among my favorites Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I also enjoy just about any book by Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, or Sean McMullen. Some of my favorite non-scifi books include Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Steven King, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.