"Just carrying a ruler with you in your pocket should be forbidden, at least on a moral basis. The ruler is the symbol of the new illiteracy. The ruler is the symptom of the new disease, disintegration of our civilisation." - Hundertwasser, from his Mould Manifesto Against Rationalism in Architecture, a speech given at Seckau Abbey on July 4, 1958.
"The straight line leads to the downfall of humanity." - Hundertwasser
Friedensreich Hundertwasser so believed in the negative influence of "straight line" architecture on one's health, that he encouraged people to refuse to enter into buildings that were based on the ninety degree angle / grid paradigm. He told people that if they were supposed to meet somebody in one of those straight buildings, they should call from a phone outside and ask the person to meet them under a tree, or in a Baroque pavilion. He said "I will carry a kilogramme of plaster of paris around with me. If I receive an invitation to go somewhere, i will have a look at the building first. If it is a smooth one in which people are confined who are not allowed to do anything, who can do nothing, want to do nothing, I will insist on putting a nice lump of plaster of paris on the wall with my own hands. If I am not permitted to do this I won't go in."
Hundertwasser was a big fan of decay, deterioration, rust, vandalism, graffiti - anything that would encroach upon the tyranny of the rigid, measured and sterile world, undermining its fascist authority and returning objects to a state more harmonious with nature. He yearned for bright colors, twisting and irregular lines that reflected man's meandering path through his day, the unstructured debris of life careening towards entropy.
Hundertwasser's statements about the evil of "straight lines" taken out of context sound ridiculous and fanatical, and they are funny, but in the context of his work, it is apparent that these proclamations and manifestos are an impassioned incitement for people to take their living environments into their own hands. To no longer allow themselves to be constrained within the inflexible, the dull and severe world dictated by modern architectural fashion, but to demand the right to beautify their surroundings. It was his belief that everyone should be their own architect, living within spaces that they designed, built and loved, and that only this kind of creative expression could save people from spiritual death.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser was also famous for giving lectures in the nude.