Writing. Design. Social Change.

39.9061° N, 79.4681° W

In honor of the autumnal equinox, I unearthed some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s musings about the importance of nature in design. As he wrote in 1908:

“there is no source so fertile, so suggestive, so helpful aesthetically for the architect as a comprehension of natural law.”

Concerned with creating an authentically American, organic architecture, Wright formulated some timeless “propositions” concerning architecture and design. Here they are coupled with photos I snapped while visiting his masterpiece, Fallingwater. Fall is the perfect time to visit.

1. Simplicity and Repose are qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.


2. There should be as many kinds (styles) of houses as there are kinds (styles) of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals. A man who has individuality has a right to its expression in his own environment.


3. A Building should appear to grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonize with its surroundings if Nature is manifest there.


4. Use the soft warm, optimistic tones of earths and autumn leaves in preference to the pessimistic blues, purples, or cold greens and grays of the ribbon counter.


5. Bring out the nature of materials, let their nature intimately into your scheme. Reveal the nature of the wood, plaster, brick, or stone in your designs, they are all by nature friendly and beautiful.


6. A house that has character stands a good chance of growing more valuable as it grows older while a house in the prevailing mode, whatever that mode may be, is soon out of fashion, stale, and unprofitable. Above all, integrity.


*From Frank Lloyd Wright. Essential Texts (2009).
*Originally published in The Architectural Record, 23 (1908).

One Response to “Fallingwater and the equinox”

  1. Madame Fromage

    Mmm, lovely. I like the ideas of using optimistic tones. I never thought about the hues of optimism, but perhaps that is why I am attracted to the buttermilk and toffee colors of hard cheeses. Something to muse as I lounge in an angle of repose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: