Celebs

Kanye West in Harvard speech: 'World can be saved through design'

Nov. 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM ET

Kanye West stopped by Harvard University's Graduate School of Design on Sunday and dropped some knowledge — and free concert tickets — on students during a short speech.

West, whose interests extend beyond music into art and fashion and Kim Kardashian, started a creative agency called DONDA (named after his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who died in 2007). Despite being beaten to the punch on leather jogging pants, DONDA's aim is to fill the world with more beautiful and useful things. Creative director Virgil Abloh was with West for the first stop on the company's "design lecture series."

Video of Yeezy's speech, peppered with applause and laughter, showed up on Facebook, and a transcript was printed on the blog Archinect. Aspiring designers should know that the 36-year-old rapper has your back. A few of the key points West made to students:

  • "I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be 'architected.'"
  • "The reason why I turn up so much in interviews is because I've tasted what it means to create and be able to impact, and affect in a positive way."
  • "I believe that utopia is actually possible — but we're led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political."

West ended up making tickets available to students in the GSD program to Sunday night's Boston stop on his "Yeezus" tour. But he warned them to be kind about his stage design.

"Tonight, this show, if you come see it — um, I'm a bit self conscious because I'm showing it to architects," West said. "So the stage does have flaws in it. It's an expression of emotion so give me a pass on that."

Kardashian also tagged along and was impressed by her fiancé's fancy speaking platform. (Not the desk he was standing on, but the school he was visiting.) "My baby speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design," she captioned her own Instagram photo.


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