Max Horner (b1950-2009)

Can you describe a person’s contribution throughout their life in twenty or so words?

If you have never met a person can you (sift through pages on the internet, perhaps interview a few people, maybe talk with a couple of them on the phone about the subject’s life and then) write about them? We can try, but then you are bound to always fall short. The power and the problem of words is that to the unfamiliar such a description may appear complete and factual.

So let me write simply about my experience of Max Horner.

Max influenced the way I think and make. As my first Year Lecturer of Design in Architecture at the University of Queensland in 1993, he demanded that we (as students) work hard to truly understand the implications of our ideas as architects. He asked more questions than gave answers; he challenged everything including the way we thought, the way we drew, the tools that we selected to make a mark on a page and the way we spoke about our projects… And for that I will be forever truly grateful.

If you call out a persons name I believe you bring the memories of that person back to you. You can almost hear their voice, recall their mannerisms and the funny moments you shared.

And so I call his name now.

Can you describe a person’s contribution throughout their life in twenty or so words?

Yes you can reduce it down to just one.


  1. I think it was Milan Kundera who bemoaned the fact that the sum of a person’s life can be reduced to a mere 30 minutes

    • Sad perhaps. But how can one measure a person’s contribution to another’s life?

  2. Thanks for this, and for celebrating and conjuring up Max. This accumulation process is the richness of life, our own personal treasure. No need to measure it. I too, studied and worked with Max, but in the late 70s.

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