Alan Phillips is a self-described anarchist. Growing up in the hedonistic 60s, Alan found his way into Architecture. But he's not your everyday Architect. His life long passion for design has taken him around the world to teach and to design houses for all kinds of interesting people from princes to U2 front-man, Bono.
Now in his early seventies, Alan reflects on the stabilising role that architecture plays in his life. This is a story of yin and yang. Where Alan's passion and drive for the creative art of designing buildings meet his OCD behaviour and how he organises his everything in his life right down to the very specific way he makes his bed every morning. Without this creative passion for his work he'd likely be dead, with it he finds the balance to live his best life. This is where the benefits of a blurring, between work and life, really comes into focus.

Show Notes

Alan says "creativity is intelligence having fun”. He balances some very rigid and carefully designed routines with architectural anarchy.  He joined us in The Walrus pub where he shared his thoughts on life including:
  • Why everything will be fine
  • On vision as an ability to visualise and create order when others can only see chaos
  • Why he’s looking for £100 per week from each of his kids
  • A rock ‘n’ roll year working with Bono and The Edge 
  • Why Architects make very good lovers but very bad husbands
  • Becoming a committed Mod in 1965
  • What it’s like to have two mothers and two fathers
  • Late diagnosis of Adult Attachment Disorder (AAD) 
  • Travel anxiety and why two hours early is preferable to one minute late 
  • His knack of destroying his relationships
  • How Architecture has provided security and stability in his life
  • How setting light to his canvasses in a telephone box led to a career in Architecture
  • The importance of third-party endorsement 
  • The importance of doing something modest and doing it very very well
  • The joy of both teaching and designing houses
  • Exchanging architectural fees for backgammon and skiing lessons
  • His second Grand Designs project


Alan Phillips Architects
U2 Beautiful Day @ Eze-Sur-Mer
Gaudis Sagrada Familia

Creators & Guests

Neil Witten
Entrepreneur, Business Advisor, Podcaster @lifedonediff, Co-Founded @StoryStreamAI now building & You only get 1 go, live consciously 🏂
Ray Richards
Converting small steps into the unknown, into the known
Home of the podcast. Inspiring interviews with people who go against the grain & live their lives differently. @nwitten & @rayrich

What is

Do you wonder whether there’s another way?
Another, more creative, more meaningful approach to living your life. Well there is and there’s a growing movement of people from all kinds of walks of life who are proving that the way we end up doing what we do in life is often a side effect of external forces. Rather than a deliberate, conscious and authentic set of choices that have come from you and your unique needs. What are you chasing? Success? Safety? Fame? Fortune? Recognition?
Have you stopped to think recently why you’re doing what your doing with your life? Are the stories that you're creating today the ones that you hope your grandchildren will be telling to their children? Are you creating your legacy?