Frank Lloyd Wright Reflects on Creativity, Nature and Religion in Rare 1957 Audio

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most admired and influ­en­tial archi­tects of the 20th cen­tu­ry. He was a flam­boy­ant, unabashed­ly arro­gant man who viewed him­self from an ear­ly age as a genius. Oth­ers tend­ed to agree. In 1991, The Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects named Wright the great­est Amer­i­can archi­tect of all time.

Wright believed that the adage “form fol­lows func­tion” was some­thing of a mis­state­ment. “Form and func­tion should be one,” he said, “joined in a spir­i­tu­al union.” A sense of spir­i­tu­al union ran all through Wright’s work. He iden­ti­fied God with Nature (which he spelled with a cap­i­tal “N”) and strove to design build­ings that were in har­mo­ny with their nat­ur­al sur­round­ings. “No house should ever be on a hill or on any­thing,” Wright wrote in his 1932 auto­bi­og­ra­phy. “It should be of the hill. Belong­ing to it. Hill and house should live togeth­er each the hap­pi­er for the oth­er.”

Wright spoke about life and the cre­ativ­i­ty of man in mys­ti­cal terms. In this rare record­ing from June 18, 1957, a 90-year-old Wright describes his phi­los­o­phy. “Man is a phase of Nature,” he says, “and only as he is relat­ed to Nature does he mat­ter, does he have any account what­ev­er above the dust.”

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Gas Sta­tion Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Falling­wa­ter, One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Finest Cre­ations, Ani­mat­ed

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