There is something about Frank Lloyd Wright that has always inspired me. I love his dedication to function as well as form. When I first walked up to Unity Temple this weekend it reminded me a huge concrete Shinto shrine. All of the horizontal line emphasis and the courtyards. One of the first art history classes I took had a huge section dedicated to Shinto Shrines and a large part of the shrine’s construction was the honesty of materials. It was so important to the construction of their sacred spaces. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple embodies both the honesty of materials reminiscent of the Shinto shrines and the clean design applied to the function of the space.
He also emphasized the sense of compression and expansion. It was a relatively small space, but you would enter the common area from the outer court yard, walk down a side aisle that was nice, but kind of smallish, then turn a corner and be right next to the podium in the front of the room. The area in contrast to where you just were was expansive and overwhelming. After the service was over instead of walking out the back of the room, away from the pulpet, you walked towards it. This created a natural flow towards community and participation. You then walked out larger somewhat hidden doors into the main entrance area, and into the “Unity House” where there would be refreshments and food. To Unitarian Universalists it is important that their temple be “For the service of God, For the service of man” (which is what it says in huge lettering across the entrance to the building). They wanted to not just create a place of worship, but a place of community and culture. Frank Lloyd Wright was able to design a build that intuitively lead one to that conclusion.
No matter what level you were sitting at, you could always see most everyone in the room and you always felt so close to the pulpit. There was a sense of intimacy, amazing for a room said to seat over 300 people
To Frank Lloyd Wright, if you were using concrete, let that show. Don’t cover it up with a plaster facade. He did incorporate pea gravel into the surface to give the exterior a texture and created a walkway that reflected the same material. You can really see what the building is made out of. I love that. It is something that I strive for in my own work.
When I went on my Junk Mail crusade last fall semester, it was important to me to not shred the paper too much, to not bleach or dye it. Even in the quilling I did, it was important that when looked at closely you could still see that it was junk mail. I didn’t want to paint it or cover it up. What it was, what it is, was an important part of the context of the work, why try to cover it up?
Speaking of Junkmail, check out this great post about what people have done with junk mail. I particularly like the brick idea. Haha.
And another using resources that aren’t generally thought of resources, Simple Scrap has put together a great shop full of fabric samples, mill ends, and yards of reclaimed fabric.
And if you are like me and are making your fabric stash smaller, True Up is starting a series of posts on De-cluttering your fabric stash, starting with signs of and moving into how to declutter. Great! I admit it, mine is cluttered! Now what? I can’t wait until the next post!
It was a great weekend. We got to go on a private tour of Unity Temple with a lunch in Unity House, putzed around for a bit, and then went to Rivinia in Highland Park for dinner and cocktails. It was so fun! My sister invited me along on this wonderful trip and paid for my part of the expenses. So nice of her! Thank you big sis! So it really only cost me gas to get to the QC (we carpooled to Chicago) and an oil change. Jason let me borrow his car, so I figured that was the least I could do to thank him. I actually spent this last week going on driving lessons because I’ve never driven a manual, but he has a manual. I did A-okay on the drive there and back and only killed it about a dozen times, haha.
See you all on Thursday!