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A different look at annual Wright birthday celebration

 
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:36 pm    Post subject: A different look at annual Wright birthday celebration Reply with quote

Photos now at: www.wrightinracine.com

Mark Hertzberg
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Mark Hertzberg
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3585
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Wright events are too white. Seeing Mr. Allmond at Taliesin at all is good, to see him at the reception would be better.
We need to reach out to communities of color, somehow.
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have long been in agreement on this point. He was at the reception, but never in a context for my photos. I have hopes that grade and middle school curricula that we have been working on in Wisconsin for years and that the FLW Foundation has developed will help in the long run.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3585
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ll toast to that.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5847
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should see if Chicago architecture critic Lee Bey might want to be involved in some way.

https://design.newcity.com/2017/09/12/chicago-architecture-biennial-lee-beys-photographs-convey-the-south-sides-architectural-stature/
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2316
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard of Lee Bey before now.
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We need to reach out to communities of color, somehow.


My two cents.... The current "world" of Frank Lloyd Wright needs to diversify in an overall sense.

I think the most important aspects of diversity aren't racial, but in age-brackets and economic-brackets. How can Wright events bring in younger people? How can they make it economically feasible for people of lower income, which includes students and young creative types (who'd be very much interested in Wright's work)?

There's a recent report going around which concluded that 40% of adults in America cannot afford a $400 emergency expense. That's a number to keep in mind when we think about how much it costs to do things—going to a ballgame costs at least $20 per person; going to the zoo or an aquarium costs at least $20 per person; going to Taliesen costs at least $50 per person. (Hollyhock House, on the other hand, costs $3 per student. Bravo!)

Regarding age, how can the "world" of Wright appeal to younger people? I don't just mean opening buildings up for field trips—but a more systematic approach to becoming an organization that truly educates in the realm of Creativity? Wright was, after all, one of the greatest creative minds this country has ever seen. We do him injustice if education in his name stops at merely admiring his works. (He's dead, but his ideas are not!)

There's a designer named Emily Pilloton who I think is a modern visionary in how to educate in the realm of creativity. Here's a TED talk she did awhile back:
https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change
The documentary they made called "If You Build It" is really good, too:
https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Build-Emily-Pilloton/dp/B00UVCI2S4

It's not a direct example, but I think her mentality shares a lot with what Wright was all about, many decades ago. So, could the "world" of Wright learn from what she is doing, and in the process, make the organization younger and more "hands-on", more accessible?

That sort of general outreach and all around diversifying, I believe, could be a fundamental way to expand the current culture that surrounds the Wright legacy.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5847
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We opened Lamberson for two tours this spring. One was sponsored by the Iowa Architectural Foundation, the other the Conservancy Wright Out and About.

Guess which one had young people? The more affordable Mid Mod Tour which placed our house within the context of other mid century modern houses in Oskaloosa, not the more expensive Conservancy event which was more exclusively Wright based. Midcentury modern, as if we need a reminder, is extremely popular right now with millennials and 30 somethings beginning the nesting process. Just look at those annoying Wayfair.com tv commercials...

Maybe simply discounting 20% for those under 40, but limiting the number to a certain percentage.

As I said earlier, Wright will always be considerd a genius, but the goal should be to make him relevant and “hip” to a generation unfamiliar with his importance.

As for racial diversity? Let’s face it, it’s just pathetic.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TED is an interesting concept, but it uses the old-fashioned (and I would contend) outmoded method of the lecture. That is the element of FLWBC Conferences I believe tends to turn off a lot of younger persons who might otherwise join. (Don't they get enough of that in college?) In the end, no matter how pertinent Pilloton's points may be, it is presented in a fashion that has been around for centuries, and which has lost its effectiveness. The lecture defines the speaker as the active participant in a learning process, and the audience as passive recipients. Better to find an interactive means of spreading ideas than the old hat of what is basically a narrow point of view verging on propaganda. When the same approach was used at Taliesin for the Sunday preachments, it was just that: propaganda.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the beginning of FLWBC, the defined, single purpose was to preserve, or (as Edgar Kauffman, Jr. put it) conserve FLW's built works, a narrowly defined task, but a full plate. It makes most of the events that go on during the conferences "side dishes" intended to draw a broader audience. It may be that, in the incipient Digital Age, the structure of the conservancy must change in order to survive. How that process would reach out racially, generationally and economically, I don't know. Perhaps a more interactive structure throughout is called for.
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In no way was I suggesting that "lectures" would help matters. I just figured having Pilloton explain her own ideas via video would be better than me describing them.... (Did you even watch her TED talk?) Pilloton put her ideas into action, by moving to rural NC and teaching high school kids design and building, with a yearlong school project to build a farmers market for the community. Pretty impressive stuff, if you ask me.

That approach to "active, physical learning" is what I am suggesting could make the education of Wright more current and approachable to young people. And in doing that, open the door to a more diverse interest group.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did watch. What she did and how she presented it at TED are two different things. The FLWBC lectures are all about people doing this and that, but the form of the talks is stale, and new members will not be found by this old formula. Getting people involved at the conferences would help to get them, ultimately, into rural North Carolina, but not by sitting silently while someone talks at them. Since the subject being discussed is how to engage a broader range of conservancy members, it begins and ends with what goes on at the conferences.

I have seen a couple of TED presentations, and to be blunt, they're a bore. At a few early FLWBC Conferences there were groups set up with varying subjects of interest, yours to choose, which engaged everyone present. That's what might get the blood boiling.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick's posts remind us of the differences between the necessarily narrow scope of the goals of the Conservancy, and the issue of Wright as exemplar
and inspiration; both are of importance, but the overlap of their participants will of course be only partial. The discussion here is about the latter mission --
I take it ?

Emily Pilloton and "If You Built It" bring to mind another Southern architectural exercise, the Rural Studio and the late Samuel Mockbee. There, rather than
high-schoolers, college-level architecture students have contributed to the local building stock as a learning experience combined with community service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Studio


Interesting the public in the work and philosophy (if any) of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Fellowship has several challenges; I see them primarily as the marg-
inalization of Wright in the professional community, an historic reality, and (on the other hand, and more easily perceived by the general audience) the current
hero-worship of the architect as Starchitect.

Progress on this front will proceed, it seems to me, from the resolution of the question, "What is most important about Wright and his work," as necessarily
sifted through the screen of "What will be most effective as a message." And that will depend on an agreement, or at least the attempt at one, on what cons-
titutes Wright's unique strengths as a designer and as a producer of habitat for man -- and on what Wright should "mean" to us, now and in the future. These
two may not necessarily be synonymous . . .

SDR
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