Final Exam Study Guide

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Hannigan

Frank Lloyd Wright one of the most famous architects His fame probably comes from his architectural design of residential homes and his ideas about redesigning cities for people If you see an architect designing a home today with glass and stones, its the inspiration of Frank Lloyd Wright He was hugely influential, not only famous designerarchitecture of modern housing, but also had all kinds of ideas of what cities should look like We will see in a way his urban utopia is to do away with cities As weve seen, Ebenezer Howards idea was to build new urban settlements at a distance from cities Le Corbusier wanted to build high rises, but Wright wanted to build cities in another way Like these other urban utopian thinkers, there are aspects of his ideas and designs that become central to North America More than any of the three other utopian thinkers weve looked at so far, its hard to separate Wrights life and his biography and his work His life at times is when he reads things like soap opera? He was born in 1867, the year in which Canada became a country; he was born on a farm, and his community was in Wisconsin The images of growing up in rural Wisconsin, images that stayed with him in his whole life and played a significant role in his designs He was always preoccupied with idealization of his rural childhood In the case of Frank Lloyd Wright, there were many cases that were unhappy At one point when he was a rebellious teenager, his father tried to beat him, so was close to mother instead Again, he was not an architect, he didnt go to university, he was a high school drop out When he left high school in 1885, his mother arranged a part time job for him to assist the member of engineering in University of Wisconsin At the same time, he enrolled in Engineering in University of Wisconsin and that lasted a year and never got his degree As many people did, since he got a chance, what he set out for at that time was a city in middle of Chicago (emerging as great industrial centre for architecture and building) Like Daniel Burnham, he was really good at drawing planets and blueprints He ended working in architectural company and met Louis Sullivan regarded as genius in Chicago architecture at the time, and was well-known figure in social service in Chicago In essence of Frank Lloyd Wright, he worked with Sullivan He started as a draftsman and designed more himself Combined the engineers understanding of technology with the artists Like Le Corbusier, he built it with technology (steel and other materials), but at the same time, Le Corbusier had another streak which was being creative and intuitive, so Wrights homes were not machines like Le Corbusiers In late 1880s, it seemed like Frank Lloyd Wright was ascending to the top in terms of architecture in Chicago He moved into one of the most exclusive suburbs in Chicago called Oak Park, he began to design Russian houses, was high end residential designer He married a woman named Catherine father was businessman in Chicago All was going smoothly, at that point, things took a right turn To start with, he ended up in a major fight with Sullivan and ended up leaving Sullivans architectural firm But even more so, he walked away from his marriage, Catherine and his six kids, because he fell in love with wife of a client Mama Borthwick Cheney Were still talking about 1890s is not contemporary times, is still Victorian era He generated scandal, and his wife would not let him divorce So he decided that he had enough with designing homes for rich people, he began to think in terms of coming up with whole vision of what houses and the environment should look like so that they would merge Some designs were new, and sail for Europe was his idea, leaving behind family, architectural practice and everything In 1909, he and Mama Cheney popped on a boat Key Ideas: From his former manager, Sullivan, he picked up the notion of architecture of democracy = connection with Le Corbusier, and that is that the architect is kind of superhuman Powers above human beings, the architect has a kind of mystical insight that other people in society lack, so therefore its the job of the architect to reshape society in a more demographic fashion Another way of describing this is the triumphant individualism = he believed in the power of individual achievementcreativity, which meant that he wasnt much interested in schemes like Ebenezer Howard, his mind is more collectivist and socialist The way Frank Lloyd Wright was perfectly in tune with characteristics of United States Americans are first to be individual, you are the ones to bear arms and own guns Anything that distinguishes from the American Americans believed the power of the automobile, which is so much different than Europeans because mass transit is in most parts of Europe, but mass transit is second or third place in America American cities focus on high speed train traffic, running it in two cities in Florida Other places in the world also have high speed trains Japan, France But the governor of Florida said no thanks, no high speed trains Frank Lloyd Wright believed in this, believed individuals to be able to throw off chains of government Everyone had their own home and property, their home is their castle He also believed that designing a home was not just a matter of designing the structure of the home itself, but the architect designing in another way where everything in the home was designed by the architect e.g. drapes, kitchen, even the wardrobes should also be designed by architects Biography: He and Mama Cheney had sailed for Europe He remained in Europe all the way until 1911, he and Cheney returned to America and designed to build his stream house where he was going to install himself against the world His childhood memories reassured himself and built a magnificent house in Wisconsin in New Valley and its called Taliesin = residence, architecture studio, farm, water close by The way he built it for American architecture was revolutionary He decided to build it as close to nature as possible Built it into a hill overlooking a valley, was revolutionary Then tragedy struck, he was in Chicago in 1914 and as it happened, the servant was completed and the servant lost it and went mad and set fire to the house Frank Lloyd Wright was devastated because Cheney was his life, went into a long depression and despair Thought about redesigning and coming up with something In 1916, he set sail again, left America and went to Japan and built famous hotel in Japan Spent the next six years in exile in Tokyo, he incorporated various aspects of Japanese culture in design in his architecture He came back and was 50 years old, at this age Frank Lloyd Wright was not a lean American architecture, was a guy who designed a number of desirable homes in Wisconsin His wife Catherine finally divorced him, he did have a reputation in Europe He had another crisis in his personal life In 1923, got married again to a woman called Mariam, but the marriage didnt last very long He then met another Russian woman who was a granddaughter of a duke, he fell in love and brought her to Taliesin, the home got on fire again But meanwhile, Mariam was angry at him and suffered from jealousy In 1926, Mariam charged him for adultery and issued him for his arrest, he escaped that by rumouring he went to Mexico but fled to Minnesota He and Mariam were finally divorced Later... In late 1920s, he suffered from periods of despair, he was working on a plant in society called Broadacre City = exercise in hyper-decentralization
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