Creative's Spotlight The Business of Being Creative

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright Bio

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

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The first installment of the “Creative’s Spotlight” features the person who introduced me to the beauty of architecture and design, Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright.

As a young co-ed, my college roommate and I religiously reserved Thursday nights for HGTV.  We used plop down in front of TV and begin to fantasize about how our dream homes would one day look. Sure, we picked out paint colors and dreamed about floor coverings, furnishings and where they might be located, but we also dreamed about home styles – Cape-Cod, Country French, Cottage, Tudor, Craftsmen, etc.  One style or person that has stuck with me many years later, is the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. The only architect’s name that I can remember from that time.

We both loved how the inside just flowed into the outside with his designed homes. Realistically though, as business majors we really didn’t have any need for learning about or discovering home styles. We weren’t going to purchase homes anytime in the foreseeable future; it was sheer curiosity and the best daydreaming fuel. Fast forward some six or seven years later…

Life had continued on and I was in my second year of law school. After being bogged down reading case law and treatises all week, I looked forward to my Sundays at Borders bookstore. After getting my cup of cocoa, and an armful of books and magazines that I wanted to peruse, I headed off to my usual part of the store to settle down for the day. Unfortunately, “my” space was occupied that day, so I had to find another reading nook.  Finally, I spotted a quiet alcove. I sat my stuff down, got comfortable, and prepared to get lost in the afternoon. As I began to take in my surroundings, I began to run my eyes through the various titles on the shelves around me. “What part of the store is this?” I thought to myself.  I grabbed a book, flipped it open to a random page and there I was re-introduced to Frank Lloyd Wright. Immediately, I was transported back into time, back to my Thursday nights in college.  I grinned and I was giddy with curiosity and daydreams all over again. There in the “Architecture” section of the bookstore, I began to discover the work and philosophies of Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment. He called this philosophy organic architecture, which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world.  His style – the Prairie Style (or the Prairie School), used low, horizontal lines that were meant to blend with the flat landscape around them. Oftentimes, there is a central chimney and the structures are build around it. Wright used open spaces instead of rigidly defined rooms to blur the distinction between the indoors and the outside world.

Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater

The best illustration of Wright’s organic architecture philosophy, Fallingwater (circa 1935), located outside of Pittsburgh, PA was built on top of a waterfall. Photo Source:Wikipedia


“The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built”

Wright came from humble beginnings, having been born in a farming town in Wisconsin. He would eventually enroll in the University of Wisconsin -Madison, where he took some courses but never earned a degree. He would later move to Chicago to find a job and incidentally, Chicago was still reeling from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which meant urban development jobs were plentiful at the time. After several interviews, he was eventually hired as a draftsman with a architectural firm. In time, Wright would go on to establish his own practice, and the rest (as they say) is history.

During his lifetime, Wright would design over 1,000 structures (a little over 500 of them actually were completed). Wright was also influential in community planning/urban design projects throughout the United States.

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

Top row, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (far left) and the Nathan G. Moore House. Bottom row, the Laura Gale House (far left) and the Dr. William H. Copeland House. Credit Kevin Miyazaki for The New York Times

” Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

Frank Lloyd Wright Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York – Photo: Flickr – blink

Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House, Los Angeles, CA – Photo: Flickr joevare

Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin Fellowship

Taliesin Fellowship, Spring Green, WI – Photo Source: Taliesin Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West

Taliesin West,Scottsdale, AZ – Photo Source: Flickr Brenda Blue

Wright’s lasting legacy as “the greatest American architect of all time” is not only the collection of stunning buildings that he has left but the influence that he has had on modern architecture and design throughout the world.

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