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Political, Social and Religious Commentary => From The Desk of Bernard Pyron => Topic started by: bernardpyron on July 08, 2019, 08:47:32 am

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright and His "Democrat."
Post by: bernardpyron on July 08, 2019, 08:47:32 am
Frank Lloyd Wright and His "Democrat."

In his fall 1952 talk at the University of Wisconsin Student Union auditorium Wright said "A Democrat is born hating the government." By Democrat he did not mean the Democratic Party. He defined Democratic as the freedom and dignity of the individual, an ideology that came out his Wisconsin Populism and Progressivism.   

Progressivism, and Populism before it, had upheld the common people and were both critical of the rich - and what we would now call the ruling elite. The more agrarian populism of the Midwest, Texas and the South, as well as Wisconsin Progressivism were also critical of government. Wright's Usonian architecture for the common man was inspired by his Progressivism, which was influenced by the earlier agrarian populism. Progressivism taught that the common man is capable of improving himself and the whole society might be improved. To Wright, the Middle and Lower Class people might be raised up to appreciate great art and to develop as individuals  in  a free, democratic  culture.  His organic architecture, he thought, was a major way common people could be elevated. Wright thought his architecture would edify the Middle and Lower Middle Classes.  He suggested to me in the fall of 1957 that I was studying his houses of the fifties for "my own edification."

Wright said :  “Let this truth come through: Democracy is far stronger than Fascism or Communism or any other ism if allowed to work. The idea of the absolute autonomy of a free man has created a power in this world mightier than anything that can be opposed to it.” —“Defense,” Taliesin Square Paper #4 (1941)

"This Architecture we call organic is an architecture upon which true American society will eventually be based if we survive at all." The Natural House, 1954"

"So, architecture speaks as poetry to the soul. In this machine age to utter this poetry that is architecture, as in all other ages, you must learn the organic language of the natural which is ever the language of the new."

"Every great architect is—necessarily—a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age."

"The planning profession has lost sight of the future and is abandoning its responsibility in the design of cities and oriented more toward social sciences and scientific method."

Broadacre City was an urban or suburban development concept proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright.   It was his application of some of his principles of organic architecture to the city scale of design, or urban planning.

"It was an entirely new and better way to build cities; it was designed to be compatible with and to establish and preserve the liberty and sovereignty of the individual as proposed in American Democracy where the Citizen is King; historically he saw as did Thomas Jefferson that cities were and continue to be built by rulers to control or enslave the people. His thinking on this began in Chicago at least by age 35 and was published at least by 1918 at age 45."

"The sprawling continuous growth of the big city denies the basic concept of decentralization advocated by Frank Lloyd Wright in his concept of a city compatible with the American system of democratic government."

"Wright first presented his unique and innovative idea in a book The Disappearing City in 1932. A few years later he unveiled a very detailed twelve by twelve foot (3.7 by 3.7 m) scale model representing the principles and pattern of the concept in a spacious and elegant four square mile..... The model was crafted by student architects who paid for the privilege of working with Wright as his apprentices at Taliesin. Wright would go on explaining the concept in later books When Democracy Builds in 1945, The Living City in 1958 and in lectures, exhibitions and articles until his death in 1959."…/ct-biz-frank-lloyd-right-…

"Eight buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Prairie style masterpiece of the Robie House in Chicago and the bold concrete structure of Unity Temple in Oak Park, were named Sunday to the United Nations’ list of the world’s most significant cultural and natural sites.

Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, a UNESCO committee voted to place the Wright buildings on the World Heritage List, which recognizes such iconic structures as the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids and the Statue of Liberty. The Wright structures are the first works of U.S. modern architecture to make the prestigious list."

Wright died in 1959, sixty years ago. But if Frank Lloyd Wright knew what the United Nations has become in the past sixty years, it is doubtful if he would feel honored by anything they would say about his work. Among other things, Wright was a follower of Thomas Jefferson, and as a Jeffersonian, he would not have appreciated the totalitarian nature of the UN in 2019.

Since Trump was involved in building large buildings in urban areas during his career, the question on what he thought of the larger buildings and especially the skyscraper-type buildings and  projects of Frank Lloyd Wright has to be raised. I do not know anything about Trump's attitude toward the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, nor where to look to find out anything on this topic.

Some of the spokespeople of the Patriot-Populist-Alternative Media Movement have suggested that this movement can be seen to be a Countercultural movement. It does include the present day alternative health care movement, and it is in opposition to aspects of Conventional Medical Care such as vaccinations, and prescription drugs. Why could not the Patriot-Populist-Alternative Media Movement also include an Alternative Art Movement which includes Architecture?

And why could the Patriot-Populist-Alternative Media Movement not also be allied with an organic architecture movement which affirms designs that are beyond the box as architecture?

Title: Re: Frank Lloyd Wright and His "Democrat."
Post by: bernardpyron on July 10, 2019, 08:37:08 pm
See  Form and Space Diversity in Human Habitats: Perceptual Responses,  Environment and Behavior, 3, 4, 382-411, Dec 1971

In the study I did with three research assistants in the spring and summer of 1970 I focused on the city block level of design.

In addition to being published in Environment and Behavior, in December of 1971 this study was reviewed briefly in The Milwaukee Sentinel - Oct 17, 1970.

The idea for this study done at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, funded by a grant from the Public Health Service,  was that the participants would look around more at the more complex environments than at the more simple ones.

We measured amount of coverage of the visual field by a camera photographing the eyes of the participants and recording their eye movements.

The hypothesis that the participants would look around more at the more complex environments than at the more simple ones was confirmed by the data. And form and space information, or amount of complexity were additive as expected, for determining how much the participants looked around at the environments shown them by the 16mm black and white films.

Amount of visual coverage of the field of view can be taken as a measure of the orienting response to information in the environment. The more the amount of information, the more the people looked around to see the environment. An orienting response can be an indicator of interest in what the person is looking at.

The more the amount of information in the environment looked at, the more the people looked around to see the environment. The greater the diversity of building forms and of the spaces created by these forms, the more information there is to see in the built environment

We found that the people in our study looked around more at the movies of more diverse forms and spaces and looked around less at less diverse spaces and forms. 

On questionnaires the people also said they liked the more diverse form and space environments more than the less diverse - though the preference was greater for form than for space diversity.  They liked diverse house forms more than simple forms.

Some of the ideas for this study of the urban environment at the city block scale came  from the old man who had lived forty miles to the west of Madison, Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River.  Frank Lloyd   Wright did one suburban "town" design he called Broadacre City of 1935, which was a suburban landscape with trees and a few buildings larger than homes, with fantastic looking cars on the streets. But instead of the small city lot of 60 by 120 feet in Wright's design every family would have an acre of land.

Title: Re: Frank Lloyd Wright and His "Democrat."
Post by: patrick jane on August 28, 2020, 03:23:12 pm
Title: Re: Frank Lloyd Wright and His "Democrat."
Post by: patrick jane on October 29, 2020, 01:38:11 pm