Frank Lloyd Wright 1957 with Mike Wallace

Boing Boing just posted a link to a series of archived videos of the “The Mike Wallace Interview”. There is an interview with FLW in there, which I watched this morning.

Frank Lloyd Wright in the The Mike Wallace Inteview

FLW talks about his view on religion, politics and architecture. FLW is a strong believer in nature, or to try to put it more precisely in the belief that the natural should be the prime guide behind the artificial or man-made. This concept influences his architectural views, but also his religious and political views.

His notion of organic architecture, an architecture that draws its inspiration from its surroundings is well known and almost not mentioned in the interview. The architecture-related points focus on how the architecture of where we live influences our human nature, and how he would like to spend the next 15 years of his life (he was in his late eighties at the time of the interview) changing this country (the US) by changing where we live. This reminded me of this TED talk by James Howard Kunstler on the tragedy of American suburbia and how the US have a dramatic need to change its architecture. It also reminded me of this article Is Your Pleasant Suburb The Next Slum? on the possibility that American suburbia is becoming the new ghetto as prices dwindle there and people are willing to comprise space for convenience, car-free lifestyle and community.

On religion, he talks about “Nature with a capital N” as his Church, his rejection of organized religion, and how this independence has ironically allowed him to do his job as an architect for a number of Churches

The most interesting part to me is his views on politics. FLW seems to be a strong proponent of the Jeffersonian natural aristrocracy, one that is acquired via talents and virtues (as opposed to artificial aristocracy, which is acquired by birth/wealth). Unlike Jefferson, FLW does not provide a way for the natural aristocracy to be separated from the artificial aristocracy, for the wheat to be separated from the chaff. Jefferson believed in leaving to people this task, but I doubt from what I have heard in the interview that FLW believed that. He qualifies people as an incult mob with no taste and no awareness.

Anyway, this video is quite an interesting watch, and filled with quotes such as:

Arrogance is something a man possesses on the surface to defend the fact that he hasn’t got the thing that he pretends to have. He’s a bluff in other words.

Video here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>