In this unit we looked at the World's Fairs, Frank Lloyd Wright, Art & Crafts Movements, the search for Modernism, Reform, Art Deco and Art Nouveau, and Modernism.
When we discussed the World's Fairs we talked about
- what a fair is
- the purpose of the world's fairs
- the architecture and design associated with the world's fairs
- the objects and ideas associated with the world's fairs
- the different world's fairs and their locations and the most important things that came out of each of them
- the products that came out of the world's fairs
The world's fairs are festivals, exhibitions, expositions, or expos for people to flaunt their stuff and show off to others. These world's fairs were seen as world spectacles at the time and they still take place today although they are not nearly as important. The purpose of these world's fairs was to commemorating, commercializing, collaborating, and celebration. When looking at the architecture and design aspect of the world's fairs they used the past and the future for their inspiration in their architecture, the buildings they designed were very expensive and lavish, the venues for the fairs were important and after the fairs were hosted there they because institutional legacies, the buildings used in the worlds fairs were usually "temporary" and they were made out of transportable materials that could be carried long distances to get to the fairs location. Some products that came out of the worlds fairs are cracker jacks, the first dishwasher, wrigley's gum, zippers, and blue ribbon beer.
Then before we went on our field trip we covered the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. These works included:
- His own home and studio
- "Bootleg" house
- Ward-Willets House
- Robie House
- Unity Temple
- Larkin Building
The Ward-Willets House in Highland Park, IL was the first house where Wright used the idea of the hearth as the heart of the house by placing the chimney at the center of the house where the heart would be. He also used the idea of creating horizontal bands out of the building material to ground they house into the landscape. Later he used these same ideas in the Robie House and Fallingwater. The Robie House in Chicago, IL he hid the front door so that visitors would be forced to search for the door and experience the building. This building was when he started designing all the furniture that went into his houses and he designed the windows of this house so that people would not be able to see into the house even without curtains. Just like the Ward-Willets House he used the building materials such as the brick mortar to emphasis the horizontal nature of the house. These techniques were also used in his design of Fallingwater in Bear Run, PA. Frank Lloyd Wright was a man who worked with nature instead of against it.
|The Robie House|
The two different major art movements from this time period were art nouveau and art deco. Art nouveau was in Europe whereas art deco was in the United States. These art movements are reflected in object design today. During these movements people focused on breaking the rules so that things would not fit perfectly within the "box" of design. They also focused on using materiality to make the buildings stand out and in some cases seem to make the buildings come alive. One example that we covered in class was the Postal Savings Bank in Wagner. In this building the systems are used as decorating in the space. This technique is also used in our studio building where the building systems are exposed and a somewhat kind of decoration.
|Postal Savings Bank in Wagner|
|Interior of Gatewood Studio Arts Building|
Then the last thing that we covered in this last unit was the idea of modernism and why everyone was trying so hard to be modern. The critiques of the buildings from the modernism era say that the problem with modern buildings is that all the buildings speak a similar language but that language is hard to understand. Some of the designers that we talked about that were involved in modernism were Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Phillip Johnson, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Edward Loewenstein. The building that we talked about that I found the most interesting was the Edward and Frances Loewenstein House in Greensboro designed by Edward Loewenstein. This house was designed with slanted windows to help with heating in the winter when the sun hits the stone and heats it and then cooling in the summer because the slanted windows keep the sun out. Then the fireplace is designed to filter the smoke and heat down and out of the house. Edward Loewenstein was the first to employ women and african-americans on his staff.
|Edward and Frances Loewenstein House|
Overall in this unit we discovered that everything within design and its history is connected in some way shape or form to everything else. It is just like how we previously discussed this semester with the nautilus shell and how architecture is constantly building upon its history to create a better future.
Images from Google Images.
Information from Roth and Ching Textbook and personal notes.