Kevin Nute, Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon
From the opening of the 20th century through to the present day, the relationship between the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the traditional architecture of Japan has been a recurring source of discussion, and no little puzzlement. One of the principal factors in maintaining this interest has been the fact that whilst Wright freely acknowledged an important philosophical debt to Japanese art, and to the wood block print in particular, he consistently rejected suggestions that Japanese architecture had any direct impact on his work. Wright maintained that he found in Japanese culture not the inspiration which many suspected, but merely confirmation of many of his own ‘organic’ design principles. In his lecture, Kevin Nute examines Wright's interest in traditional Japanese pictorial art in the context of his philosophy of 'organic' architecture, and how the former contributed directly to its formal expression. Taking Wright and the Robie House as its central focus, Frank Lloyd Wright: Origins and Influences explores the international exchange of ideas that shaped the work of progressive designers in Britain, Europe and America at the turn of the twentieth century.
Recorded August 7, 2014