Isn’t this a question we all had someday?
Maybe when we were in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling waiting for the inspiration to strike us; or when we are standing on the street quite clueless as to what and where we are going as architects?
We all had our moments. And in those moments this question is more than just a sci-fi thought. Having America’s most famous architect in today’s date practicing would make today’s architecture different. Frank Lloyd Wright had been a synonymous name with organic architecture. A philosophy that can be seen throughout his works. The harmony between nature and the modernist structure that emerged from its site would’ve been rightly defined as ‘Invisible’ architecture. A kind of architecture that doesn’t just emerge from the site but also merges into it.
In his time attaining a fair ideal would’ve been a tough task to complete. But in today’s date; the construction advancements and material development have been drastic. FLW who was known for ‘destruction of the box’ pioneering a different architecture would’ve used construction technique for realizing his designs into reality. As today’s construction advancements are not just helping the structure stand but also can withstand the architectural masterpieces that challenge the concept of possible and impossible. FLW had changed the core of architecture by eliminating the corners, changing the roof and base of the box. And with the help of today’s techniques like tensegrity, precast, etc. He would have been able to achieve the feats he dreamt of long back. A man who had adored machines and artists both equally; he always had a unique choice towards site-specific materials. And with the availability of different materials which included his favorite material glass; which he famously called ‘just condensed air’ available in ample amounts and with new moldable techniques would make his merging of interior and exterior concept a reality.
With drastic changes that have happened in the last decade, there has been a massive degradation in our environment; our prospect. Like global warming and other uncalled natural disasters that have affected our homes; our refuge. And coherence between prospect and refuge is something FLW had been trying to achieve in each of his projects. The new software developed that helps to carry out environmental impact analysis and assessment would in a true sense make the building be birthed by the site itself. FLWs love for 3-dimensional designs, art forms, and furniture design would be possible to be done in minute details. With the help of 3d printing technology. Further using the ‘machines’ for making his designs a reality he would’ve rescued us from the ‘One size fit all’ logic. As he would be able to design and juxtapose the structure better according to user needs with the help of UI/ Ux designs. By providing walkthroughs and user analysis that won’t just make the homes smart but also the homes ‘that feel’ and ‘can be felt’.
His work exhibits and publications would be grand considering his personality and the changes in his way of representation. As now his panels won’t just be filled with watercolors sketches but with high resolution renders that help represent the designs in a better and efficient way. With his popular persona, he would have been a true ‘influencer’ to our generation. A kind of influence whose architecture was so ahead of times that it is still standing tall amidst our changing trends. With his wit filled statements on twitter, it would’ve been a way to catch the eye of people. His social media presence won’t just be content to scroll through but something that can inspire the young minds by helping them know and understand the architecture in detail. As today we need to understand that we as architects are the influencers of the life of people. As we have to work not just as an architect but also as a revolutionist, environmental conservator and reformer too. With social media, he would’ve been just a message or mail away. A man who has been known for timeless architecture would have been an inspiration for the generation which is losing its definition of classics and timeless.
Well, at this point I do wish that this does not remain just as a piece of fiction but one day becomes a reality. Although this concept or thought is a fiction. The buildings that stand today, the words and descriptions, the number of lives he has influenced still exists. And as a man of flesh and blood he can be forgotten but his philosophy; his legacy continues. As he had once quoted:
“The product of a principle never dies. The fellows who practice it do. But the principle doesn’t”
And even though we might not be able to write to him directly. But if we carefully observe his works, the space between the slits of the walls, the delicately crafted prospects or the serene flow at the falling waters. If we try to see with our hearts, we might still be able to find him sitting in his studio, staring across the vast expanse of nature where all his creation resides in spiritual harmony. Ready to guide and help us understand the ‘Wright way of Architecture’.
As to understand these principles to the core one must understand the core of humanity and creation that extends beyond the architectural realm. Some of the famous lines Wright often quoted when wright talked about his philosophy; from Alfred Lord Tennyson were:
“Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all in my hand,
Little flower-but if I could understand What you are,
Root and all and all in all,
I should know what God and man are.”