In search of organic architecture

Bryant-Mole, Edward (2008) In search of organic architecture. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The phrase 'organic architecture' is used both to describe buildings and to describe the work of individual architects. But what does it mean? And how can two buildings of completely different styles both be described as organic architecture? This dissertation begins by identifying and examining the problem, which is that, today, the term 'organic architecture' can have many different interpretations. It looks at the various ways in which the phrase is used, both in everyday language and in the field of architecture, and suggests that the key to understanding organic architecture lies in looking beyond the buildings themselves and examining the underlying ideologies of the architects. It then proposes that, in order to gain a better understanding of organic architecture, it is first of all necessary to discuss its origins. This historical perspective focuses on the work and philosophy of Frank Lloyd Wright. The dissertation continues with an examination of the work and personal philosophies of a number of contemporary architects who are regarded as being proponents of organic architecture. Common threads that run through their philosophies are sought and their philosophies are compared with those of Wright. This analysis of the personal approaches of individual architects is then followed by a review of some theoretical definitions and explanations of the concept. Areas of difference, as well as areas of agreement, are noted. The dissertation closes with the proposal that what is needed is a manifesto that brings together both the theoretical and ideological aspects of organic architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright's 'nine-word lexicon' and David Pearson's Gaia Charter introduce this section, which then goes on to put forward a 'Manifesto for Organic Architecture'. This set of guiding principles is a distillation of all the research analysed in the preceding chapters. It aims to provide a set of criteria against which architects and individual buildings can be assessed and organic architecture discussed.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > Portsmouth School of Architecture
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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