MISSION

General Electrics asked me to help them design a spaceship. [...] I had explored the subject and, for better or worse, I was able to talk about a spaceship. I met with a group of scientists around a table. They wore clothes in noisy colors, smoked pipes and had bizarre mustaches. They seemed strange, non-normal people anyway. One of them put a photograph on the table and said to me: << Mr. Kahn, we want to show you what a spaceship will be like in fifty years >>. It was an excellent design, featuring people floating in space, next to a beautiful, very complex device flying through space. You can understand my mortification, the result of the humiliation you feel when you hear that others know something about which you know absolutely nothing and they show it to you and tell you << So it will be a spaceship in fifty years >>. I immediately replied: << It will not be so! >>. Everyone approached the table and said in unison: \ u0026lt; \ u0026lt; How do you know? >>. I replied that it was simple. If you know what something will be like in fifty years, it means that you are able to make it happen now. But in reality you don't know, because that thing in fifty years will be what it wants to be >>.

Louis l. Kahn, 1969, from a lecture given at Rice University in Houston.