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Gene Kohn Discusses His New Book at the World Bank with Washington Post Architecture Critic Philip Kennicott and KPF Editorial Director Clifford Pearson

Just weeks before the publication of The World By Design: The Story of a Global Architecture Firm, KPF’s co-founder and chairman talked about why he wrote the book, what he has learned about leadership, and how globalization has shaped architecture in recent decades.

Twenty-two years after the KPF-designed World Bank Headquarters opened in Washington, DC, Kohn engaged in a wide-ranging conversation in the building’s library that touched on the ideas behind the project and moved to issues of urbanism, public space, and fitting new buildings into historic contexts. In his new book, co-written with Pearson, Kohn recalled the international competition to design the World Bank and why he thinks KPF won it. Kennicott asked about the project’s role in KPF’s pivot from Post-Modernism to Modernism in the 1990s and how the project engages the streets around it. Kennicott also inquired about the strategy of adapting ideas tested in Asia to projects, such as Hudson Yards, in the U.S. Kohn explained that many of those ideas started in North America, went to Asia, and are now coming back home—exemplifying an on-going process of architectural adaptation and refinement.

The World By Design will be published by Rosetta Books on October 8. Learn more about it here.