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Frank Lloyd Wright's Genius


These ideas proposed by Wright represent a half century of 
ingenuity and unrivaled creativity. Wright was unquestionably a 
architectural genius and was years ahead of his time. The biggest 
obstacle which held Wright back throughout his career was the lack of 
technogaly that was present during his time. As a architect, Wright 
accomplished more that any other in history, with the possible 
exception of DaVincci or Michangelo. His philosophy of Organic 
Architecture showed the world that form and function could both by 
achieved to create a house that was both true to nature and 
affordable. Wrights homes, have today become monuments of greatness 

and distictionn. Most of them serve as museums, displaying the his 
ideas and the achievements of a lifetime of innovation. It wasn't 
until Wright published "The Natural House" however, that he fully was 
able to illustrate all of his ideas relating toward housing. In the 
"Natural House" wright defines the meaning of Organic Architecture and 
how it can be applied to creating housing which provides a closeness 
to nature for the occupents. Wright was undoubtly a romantic and 
individualist. His feeling toward nature and self integrity can best 
be shown by comparing them to those shared by Emerson and Thoreau. 
Wrights deep love of nature and his individualism were formed from the 
events which influenced him as a child and up until his days working 
for Louis Sullivan. In order to fully understand the ideas which 
Wright proposed through his philosophy of Organic Architecture, one 
must first understand the events and influences which led to their 

 As a child, Wrights parents always encouraged him to be a free 
thinker and individualist. Both of his parents were intelligent and 
creative people by nature. They, of all people had the greatest 
influence on Wright. Throughout his life they were extreamly 
supportive of Wrights dream of becoming an architect, and always made 
sure that he had books and pictures of buildings that he could study 
and learn from. Wrights parents had little money, but they always 
found the extra money needed to support their childrens intrusts. When 
Wright became old enough to begin learning about working, his parents 
felt that sending him to his uncles dairy farm during his summer break 
from school would provide him with the proper work ethics and morals 
needed to become a responsible adult. The work on the farm was 
rigorous and seemingly endless to Wright. He despised the chores which 
he was required to do. Wright attempted to run away almost each summer 
that he was sent there. However, his kind but stern uncle promised him 

that all of his hard work would make him a better person and would 
teach him responsibility. As the years passed, Frank began to dread 
working on the farm less and less. He became fascinated with nature 
and developed a deep respect for it. It was there, on a small 
Wisconsin dairy farm where Wright began to ponder the theory of 
integrating architecture with nature. Wright attributed his love 
toward nature and his respect toward it, to the many summers which he 
spent on his uncles farm.

 The other major influence in Wright's life, was the collapsing of 
the State of Wisconsin Capitol Building. At the time, Wright was only 
13 when he witnessed the building collapse upon itself, killing all 40 
workers who were inside it. Severely traumatized and unable to sleep 
for weeks, Wright kept wondering why the tragic incident occurred. 
Weeks later, it was revealed that the cause of the buildings collapse 
was a lack of support from the pilars which held up the above 3 
stories. The architect and the builder both reglected to test the 
pilars before they were introduced into the buildings structural 
design. After Wright learned this, he vowed that if he became a 
architect, he would thourghly test all of the support membranes used 
in the construction of all the building projects which he oversaw. The 
greatest factor which Wright put forth in his philosophy of Organic 
Architecture was that of safety. Wright felt that all buildings, 
whether they were commercial or residential should be built and 
designed so that they were structuraly sound as well as true to 
nature. Wright illustrates his feeling toward the importenance of 
safety by saying "There is no excuse which I have heard, that can 
compensate for a poorly designed building. The only thing that I can 
say about a individual who takes no responsibility for his ideas is 
either lazy or a truely uncareing person"(Wright, The The Natural 
House,74). Wright seldom talked about the tragic callamiaty which he 
witnessed as youth, but it was clear that the memory left a deep 
impression upon him.

 At only 16 years of age, Wright began studing Civil Engineering 
at the University of Wisconsin. Growing board with his clases, Wright 
left his studies and went to Chicago hoping that he could obtain a job 
as a architects apprentice. Fortunatly Wright sucessfully managed to 
secure a apprenticespib job with Louis Sullivan, renowned modern 
architect. Wright worked with Louis Sullivan and his partner Dankmar 
Adler, for 6 years. During this time, Wright learned form Sullivan 
what his studies at the University of Wisconsin lacked: a design 
concept which was new, and was logical to Wright. Sullivan shared the 
same feeling toward about Wrights philosophy of Organic Architecture. 
Sullivan showed Wright how his philosophy could be applied to the 
housin needs of the late 1800's. Without Sullivans direction and 
guidence, Wright may have never been able to accomplish what he did. 
Wright referred to Sullivan as "Lieber Miester" because Wright felt 
that he was truely a master at his work and should be addressed with 
the utmost of respect. Unfortunatly, when Sullivan found out that 
Wright was moonlighting, he was forced to fire him. Sullivan felt 
betrayed and was left sadned by the incident. Wright was so involved 
with his ideas that he neglected to respect the trust and teachings 
put forth by his teachings. After Wright first began to recieve praise 
for his early design work, he felt it necessary to fully communicate 
and define his philosophy of Organic Architecture, so that everyone 
could get a clear picture of it's ideas. He to accomplished this by 
expressing his ideas in a book called "The Natural House". Of all 
books which Wright published, "The Natural House" had the greatest 
impact. As Emerson and Threau proposed divine models for behavior and 
self integrety, In "The Natural House" Wright proposed a divine model 
for what he considered to be the perfect house. Wright stated that a 
house should be as close to nature as possible. He illustrates this by 
stating "A house which is constructed in a manner which is 
complementive to nature, rather than insulting, is one that will last 
the longest and be the most attractive."


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