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4 Celebrities Influenced By Architecture

Who would’ve thought the world of architecture could be so diverse? From the fashion industry, to the music business, many of our favorite celebs were either inspired by architecture or studied the field during their college years. In a distinct way, we can definitely say that architecture has a striking effect to merge the elements of art and technology.

Check out our list of celebrities who are shockingly influenced by architecture:

1. Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh
Image credit: L’Officiel USA

If you haven’t heard about Virgil Abloh yet, I’m sure you will soon. Before taking over the fashion industry in recent years, Abloh attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received an engineering degree. “My degree taught me how to multitask” Abloh expressed in an interview with The Badger Herald. In 2015, he returned back to the university to present a Red Talk discussion about his college journey, diverse career path, and his creative process through the years.

Many of his projects are a combination of art, history, architecture, and industrial references stemming from his educational background and the city of Paris, France (where he currently resides). “Nothing that you learn is actually useless. The parallels that you draw from some quadratic equation…is just as difficult in figuring out how to pay rent … I use my engineering degree all the time and I think I don’t use it at all.” Abloh always has an interesting way of connecting the dots between the fashion industry and the DIY culture.

In 2012, Abloh founded Off-White, a streetwear and luxury fashion brand specializing in women’s and men’s seasonal collections. Not to mention, last year he accepted Louis Vuitton’s position as their men’s Artistic Director, becoming the first African-American to hold the influential role, with goals of rethinking how the brand communicated with its consumers, including the release of products, the runway show and the way it interacted with the global political mood. “I find the heritage and creative integrity of the House are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times,” Abloh said during his appointment.

2. Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams
Image credit: Pexels

Pharrell Williams has expanded his range of musical talents from recording artist and producer to include architecture and design ventures, like collaborations with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and French furniture designers Domeau et Pérès.

Creative guru Williams may be better known for his ‘Happy’ disposition, or N.E.R.D music group, but the musician has been dabbling in different disciplines. Despite no formal training in architecture or fashion design, Williams has teamed up with the late architect Zaha Hadid for both art forms. The duo has designed prefab houses and the classic Adidas Trainers shell-toe tennis shoe together.

Their innovative reinterpretation of this tennis shoe seems to be influenced by architecture. Williams also serves as the creative director of Bionic Yarn, a fashion startup that makes clothes from recycled ocean plastic. A strong focus on materials seems to suggest a strong architectural influence.

3. Ice Cube

Ice Cube
Image credit: Pacific Standard Time

Prior to joining N.W.A and blazing the charts with Straight Outta Compton in 1988, Ice Cube studied architectural drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology as a backup plan in case his rap career didn’t takeoff. “Before I did rap music, I did architectural drafting. One thing I learned is that you’ve always gotta have a plan,” Cube said.

Not to mention, he stars in the recent, “Ice Cube Celebrates the Eames”, a video produced by the Pacific Standard Time , a non-profit organization who showcases Los Angeles art created between 1945 and 1980, and connects more than 60 cultural institutions across Southern California. A great deal of his perspective explores his early interests in architecture, generations of creative connections in Los Angeles, California, and how pioneer designers Charles and Ray Eames continue to inspire his work.

In the video, Cube tours Case Study No. 8, the home of Charles and Ray Eames, detailing how hip-hop reflects the couple’s innovative home as both make use of merging elements that transforms to something new. “What I love about the Eames is how resourceful they are. The principle behind building anything starts with a plan. That helped me design a career for myself—it all happened with a plan,” Cube further expresses during the video. Whether it’s making music, directing the latest movie, or continuing his love for architecture, he’s always sure to reach new heights in his talents.

4. Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd
Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cites them “as the architects of two major music movements – psychedelic space-rock and blues-based progressive rock”. Co-founder Syd Barrett, who was an art student from Cambridge, went on to later meet Roger Waters, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason — three college students studying architecture. The close-knit group of friends went on to form the legendary rock band, Pink Floyd.

Guitar World asked David Gilmour, who joined Pink Floyd after the departure of founding member Barrett, about the techniques he used to get such unusual guitar tones back then. He replied: “Well, on the middle section of ‘A Saucerful of Secrets,’ most of the time the guitar was lying on the studio floor. I unscrewed one of the legs from a mic stand… You know how mic stands have three steel legs about a foot long? I just whizzed one of those up and down the neck – not very subtly.

Another technique, which came a bit later, is to take a small piece of steel and rub it from side to side across the strings. You just move it and stop it in places that sound good.” As neither Waters nor Mason could read music, to illustrate the structure of the album’s “”A Saucerful of Secrets” they invented their own system of notation. Ultimately, Gilmour later details their method similar as to looking “like an architectural diagram”.

As you can see, architecture spans beyond the scope of building design. Thus on many levels, it inspires our daily life. As Alastair Parvin, co-founder of WikiHouse, an open-source platform for designing and constructing affordable homes, explains: “When people are involved in creating and nurturing their own environments, they also feel a greater sense of agency, community and pride.” So remember, no matter what you’re interested in, the world of architecture has endless possibilities.


A. (2017, May 22). Westminster Alumni Pink Floyd’s architecture
designs exhibited at the V&A.

Blake, Mark (2008). Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81752-6.

Gann, A. (2016, August 02). Virgil Abloh: From Architecture to

Getty, T. (n.d.). Pacific Standard Time.

Parvin, A. (2015, January 20). How 3D printing and land reform could help to solve the housing crisis | Alastair Parvin.]]>

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