RIP I. M. Pei

One of my biggest sources of inspiration when I was young has just recently left us …


My first exposure to the architect I. M. Pei was when I first visited Cornell University as a junior in high school and saw The Johnson Art Museum. Growing up in Syracuse, NY, I’d never seen buildings like that. It made me want to be an architect, whatever that meant. Alas I didn’t have the right creative skills for it at the time, so I chose a career in marketing. Another creative avenue. And five years later graduated from Cornell with a degree in marketing and communications. And here I am today writing a blog.


When I was a junior at Cornell, I visited Paris for the first time and was struct by the architectural marvel at The Louvre, also created by I. M. Pei. Couldn’t believe that it was the same guy who did that cool building at my university. His range of creativity inspired me.


After I graduated from Cornell, I moved to Boston to be met by another I. M. Pei building…The Hancock Tower where I couldn’t believe how the modern glass reflected the iconic church next door. I. M. Pei was the only famous architect I knew, so seeing yet another piece of his work continued to spark my personal love of architecture. And creativity in general.

There’s still a part of me that wishes that I’d tried to become an architect, and I know that in today’s much more open-minded sense of career paths that I could try it if only I had the time! But I am happy where I am, and I am happy to thrive in my own world of creativity.

I was very sad to hear of the passing of I. M. Pei. He was such an inspiration of creativity for me. I’m sure at 102 he lived a full life, and we have his work to admire forever. Which is an amazing legacy to have and to share with future architects and architect wann-be’s. And anyone who strives to be creative.

Thank you I. M. Pei. You’re amazing. RIP.

What’s your experience? JIM