7 guidelines to flawless design by Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted by Rudy Parker on 13-Feb-2019 23:09:02

Ever since I read the book 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand, I've been obsessed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright; The book's protagonist, 'Howard Roark' is modelled on Frank Lloyd Wright.

I've become immersed in his philosophy as well as intrigued by his breathtaking architecture. Who could forget the Ennis house, below, in Los Angeles, featured in the classic 1982 film,  based on the Philip K Dick book, 'Bladerunner'?

Blade runner

Or this iconic building, Fallingwater, in Pennsylvania?


Here's his design philosophy in 7 guide lines. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.

1. The parts are made according to the function of the organism.

2. The form of the organism decides the character of the organism

3. Do not learn design. Learn principles. His foremost principle was to question the 'why?' of everything. Why are houses built with this material? why not this one instead? Why are buildings located in this place? Why not that place?

4. Organic architecture strives to integrate space into a unified whole. He had an overarching belief that architecture, which encompassed both interior and products, should be a complete work of art and that all elements should contribute to the whole. 

5. Don't be concerned with the architectural style. Focus on developing the design
naturally from the environment.  Do not get fixated on following rules, even if they are well established in your industry. Architect, Jonathan Adler 'He seems like a person who felt like the rules never applied to him – good, bad, or other.'

6. Form Follows function, not the other way around. 'It’s also not merely a piece of sculpture. It’s the fulfillment of a functional request. Someone wanted a house and Wright did it in such an otherworldly, graceful and beautiful way. That’s what the power of design is.” – Architect, Michael Bierut

7. 'Early in my career...I had to choose between an honest arrogance and a hypocritical humility... I deliberately choose an honest arrogance, and I've never been sorry.' Frank Lloyd Wright's self-belief in his experimentation and innovation is what enabled him to design buildings that were more beautiful, thoughtful and unique, than ever before.


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Mailmanager is saving engineers, contractors and architects on average four hours a week, so they can spend that time more productively on their creative work. I would like to think that Frank Lloyd Wright would approve.

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