Yesterday I was watching a Snap story from one of the people I follow on Snapchat and he was in Arizona at Taliesin West, the site of America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright had his home and which is now a school of architecture.
I’ve always been fascinated with architecture and at one stage even entertained thoughts of studying it because the idea of designing spaces that stood time over time but which contained thousands of people and their stories within them appealed to me. However, I never knew what I was interested in the most – the solid static structures or the ever-changing stories of the people who lived and worked within them.
Ever since I saw the Fallingwater House, I was mesmerised. A solid structure within the trees and with the waterfall beneath it was awe inspiring – even if it was only a photo. Merely looking at it, your heart rate slowed down and a peaceful feeling overcame you. It was an unobtrusive man-made structure sitting within nature and it just seemed to ‘fit there’.
With pangs of jealousy, I wondered who lived in that house and what it may look like inside.
This house inspired me to look into some of his other works. After the watching the snap story yesterday, I was in the Brighton library (whose design was inspired by the design of the Gugenheim, another FLW work) and then looked in the catalogue to see if they had any books on him and sure enough, they did – and a DVD on his life.
Watching DVD “just because people live in the machine age, does not mean people need to live in a machine” said FLW. A house is about soul. It shouldn’t be soulless. To enter it, is to become transformed. (His story is fascinating). pic.twitter.com/m9ZuGFSrtC
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) February 27, 2019
Last night, I sat up late to read the book and watch the documentary and what amazed me about this man was his pure creative genius.
Never one to follow the rules or be told what to do – he knew exactly what he was doing. His clients would come to him knowing that they were going to be frazzled with high costs, projects being delayed, and things going wrong but they flocked to him because they knew that in the end, they would have something so beautiful, awe-inspiring and unique.
As I watched the documentary, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. I don’t know what overcame me.
It was not the story of his tragic circumstances or his personal and financial struggles. In fact, people described him as egotistical. It was that I was watching someone who was a creative genius.
When they showed his lily pad building which is an office where tall structures that look like gigantic lily pads that bring in dappled light from specially made clear perspex, I was in awe. How did he know to put in moulded perspex rather than glass? How did he know how to get the dappled and diffused light into the space? How did he come up with the idea of the lily pads – for an office?!
Do you see where I’m going with this? He didn’t just look at function and utility – he looked at it completely different and it’s something I wish I had.
The lily pad office looked like we were under a wonderful lily pad forest. Now, over time, the office may look slightly dated but I think I loved the idea that this man took risks – he didn’t follow rules – he had his own ideas of how to design the spaces. (For example, his Fallingwater House took less than 3 hours to design).
People like this amaze me. I’m in awe of their creative genius and truth be told, envious. (I had the same reaction when watching the movie Amadeus on the life of Mozart and at the Escher Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria recently
Last night as I lay in bed past midnight, I wondered what I could do with my life to fill it with creativity like this – a sheer desire to pump out work that transforms others, something that is in your system and just needs to get out. A way of looking at the world and not following what others are doing but creating something of your own….
Where your work is…beauty. I can’t describe it any other way.
Depressingly I realised, I can never be this – it’s far too late for me now – if it’s not in your blood, if your craft is not the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night, if it’s not as natural as your breathing – then I’m just bumbling my way through life dabbling in all sorts of things without ever experiencing this feeling.
Anyway, it got me thinking this morning about the other times I wrote about this on Twitter so I did a search and found all my old tweets that mentioned his name and decided to collate them here.
Oh well, at least I can dream about being a creative genius and leaving the world with a legacy that inspires awe and beauty.
I should start my work instead of perusing Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Sigh. I wished I lived here.https://t.co/rlrIwT0z5Q
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) July 21, 2014
I love to work out of the Brighton Library because the building was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim. It’s circular, brick, inside there’s no straight lines and frankly, it’s pretty cool. Outside, there’s sculptures from Australian artists. What’s not to like? pic.twitter.com/Kpi9ssxw4D
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) February 25, 2019
Very productive morning.That happens when I sit in Frank Lloyd Wright (fave architect) inspired building & listen to Mozart (fave composer)
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) September 13, 2017
Working out of Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design library in nearby suburb.Built in 59, it’s seriously cool. Who knew that this was nearby? pic.twitter.com/ZNXDD3C7gJ
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) August 9, 2017
— aktoman (@aktoman) July 21, 2014