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By David Basulto | September 7, 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Le Corbusier and Albert Einstein (1946)

Two of the brightest minds from the past century.

Back in 1946, Le Corbusier meet Albert Einstein at Princeton after traveling to New York to present at the United Nations his project for the UN Headquarters.

I had the pleasure of discussing the “Modulor” at some length with Professor Albert Einstein at Princeton. I was then passing through a period of great uncertainty and stress; I expressed myself badly, I explained the “Modulor” badly, I got bogged down in the morass of “cause and effect”… At one point, Einstein took a pencil and began to calculate. Stupidly, I interrupted him, the conversation turned to other things, the calculation remained unfinished. The friend who had brought me was in the depths of despair. In a letter written to me the same evening, Einstein had the kindness to say this of the “Modulor”: “It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.” There are some who think this judgement is unscientific. For my part, I think it is extraordinarily clear-sighted. It is a gesture of friendship made by a great scientist towards us who are not scientists but soldiers on the field of battle. The scientist tells us: “This weapon shoots straight: in the matter of dimensioning, i.e. of proportions, it makes tour task more certain.”

- Le Corbusier, 

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