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Frank Gehry was born Feb. 28, 1929, in Toronto, Canada. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. In his early buildings, his use of inexpensive materials (chain-link fencing, plywood, corrugated steel) gave many of his projects an unfinished, whimsical air. His structures are often characterized by unconventional or distorted shapes that have a sculptural, fragmented, or collagelike quality.
In designing public buildings, he tends to cluster small units within a larger space rather than creating monolithic structures, thus emphasizing human scale. Of particular note is his Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1991 – 97) in Spain, a shimmering pile of sharply twisting, curving shapes surfaced in titanium. Gehry won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1989.
Gehry's contributions to product design, such as the Pito Kettle from Alessi (a true design classic), show how he transforms his interesting architectural forms into beautiful, sculptural products for the home.