AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

08 June 2016

Happy birthday, Wright.


Frank Lloyd Wright was born on this day in 1867.

Every idea that is a true idea has a form, and is capable of many forms. The variety of forms of which it is capable determines the value of the idea. So by way of ideas, and your mastery of them in relation to what you are doing, will come your value as an architect to your society and future. That's where you go to school. You can't get it in a university, you can't get it here, you can't get it anywhere except as you love it, love the feeling of it, desire and pursue it. And it doesn't come when you are very young, I think. I believe it comes faster with each experience, and the next is very simple, or more simple, until it becomes quite natural to you to become master of the idea you would express. 

As we live and as we are, Simplicity - with a capital "S" - is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.  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.

Frank Lloyd Wright


One of the more extraordinary elements of the unique pedagogical approach to architecture at Taliesin West is the student housing.

It was part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design vision to imbed his apprentices in the landscape, to let them learn from the land, the wind, sun and shadow, soil and sky, the sight, sound and smell of it, the plants and animals of it, and to let the landscape reveal itself as inspiration for designing shelter that is positioned deeply within the context of its site.

This tradition carries through to the present day. Most of the 30 or so graduate students live in very small shelters that dot the open desert a good distance from the main Taliesin West compound. Though the scale is modest, often only large enough for sleeping quarters and a fire pit, the designs range from spartan to contemporary to totally outlandish. Students are invited to design and build their own if they so choose.

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