Frank Lloyd Wright And Olmsted: A Legacy Of Design

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Frank Lloyd Wright is one of America’s most influential architects that has left a legacy of structures that are collaged with Nature (Mead, 2014, February). Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture, has left a legacy of tranquil spaces hidden within parks that are known for their “picturesque” qualities (Mead, 2014, January). These two men are completely different with the designs that they’ve created simply because they are using different mediums, but ultimately there aren’t a lot of contrasting elements to their designs. The similarities are evident when you begin to look at their main priority when designing; mental health and wellness. With health and wellness as a mutual focus it is easy to find that they had complementary design influences, theories, and design principles. To create a design that successfully helps to soothe the mind they both found that Nature is the best tool to use. This tool is now their unique contribution to design history, and as a result it stands out as something that today’s designers want to mimmic when focusing on mental health and wellness.

Although Wright and Olmsted created successful designs using different mediums, they both have helped to change the way that contemporary designers approach health and wellness as a focus in their own designs.

Past experiences and travel were a common ground for Wright and Olmsted as far as inspirations go. Both have personal experiences with nature and a toured land that were used to fuel designs. Wright has reportedly been influenced by a number of different things throughout his entire career, but the most consistent inspiration was Nature. By growing up on a farm he was very close to Nature, a...

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...Olmsted’s principles.
With health and wellness as a topic that is still very relevant as there become more urban developments, it is valid proof that Wright’s and Olmsted’s design principles and theories are useful precedents for contemporary designers.

The design principles that Wright and Olmsted lived by helped to create a standard for following generations. Using Nature as an inspiration and a employing a consistent programmatic style have been characteristics that designers have picked up on from Wright, and plan to continue using. Juxtaposing nature and thick urban life, and finding innovative ways to mix the two, has become a signature characteristic that points to Olmsted. Both, Frank Lloyd Wright and Frederik Law Olmsted have had a heavy influence on designers today when it comes to including nature in design, but in very contrasting ways.
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