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Lesson Plans


ID:UA Sequential Questions on Natural Architecture

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Adam Arthur Hillier (ahillier)
Wed, 04 Nov 1998 00:55:45 -0700


Helping the students in your classroom come to an interpretation of
an art work requires
some assistance. In giving this assistance, one can also bring them to
the point that one
wishes them to understand. The following is a sequence of questions
that deal with Frank
Lloyd Wright's Falling Water 1935-1939. The questions were generated
from the images
(photograph, and sketches) from
"http://www.gibson-design.com/sketch-kaufman+.html" .
Please refer to this as you read through the questions. This was
developed with elementary students in mind. Let me know if you feel that
this is too much for them.

Have the students view the photograph, and the Drawings by
Gibson of Wright's
Falling Water.

1. Looking at the View of the Main Entry, what do you see?
-Walkway that leads into the house
-Wooden slats cover the walkway.
If receiving answers such as these, ask them how they might
know that it is a
walkway? What do they think is at the end of the walkway, and how might
they know?
THis will give you an introduction into the architecture by
getting the students to view
it. The students may also begin to talk about the stone or wood -
natural building materials
that will be discussed in the interpretation of Falling Water's natural
emphasis.

2. Looking at the Form Dynamic Study, describe the shapes that were
involved in the
study.
-We are looking for descriptions that will lead to a
discussion of its horizontal
emphasis, and its weight - i.e.: it appears to hug the ground.

3. Now compare this Study to the photograph. Is the study accurate?
-This will give you the opportunity to focus upon the
actual architecture, rather
than the drawings. The students will be able to see that the drawings
have some validity to
this discussion when they make this comparison. The drawings have a
great use when we
view them because it removes some of the surrounding environment (which
will be brought in
at a later time), gives us different view points, and allows us to study
the architecture before
we approach the issue of the "why" of the design.

4. Now that we are looking at the photograph, tell me where is it
located?
-We are trying to get the students to now talk about the
river, trees, and rocks
around the structure. This will now introduce the issue of the natural
surroundings.

5. WHy do you think Frank Lloyd Wright chose this site for the
construction of Falling
Water?
-This is somewhat tricky. The issue is not necessarily
that he chose the site for this
design, but rather chose the design for the site. This is the assumption
that some students will
make, because most architecture that they have exposure to is designed
then built- i.e.:
housing developments, fast food restaurants, and grocery stores. THis is
why we pose this
question, to validate their understanding. Yet, the next question is in
an effort to help them
understand that the construction of Falling Water is based upon the
environment.

6. Do you think that it might be possible that Wright designed this
building based upon the
environment, rather than making the design and then finding the site?
WHy?
-We are looking for answers that address the building's
placement to the river.
This could be prefaced with how Wright included the river into his
design, but could also be a
point that you are trying to get at on the basis of the students
perception.

7. Now you can bring in the points that were made earlier. The
natural building materials
were chosen to compliment the environment, the horizontal emphasis was
utilized to bring the
building down to the earth, and the building itself blends into the
environment with its
integration of the environment.
Do you think that Frank Lloyd Wright was successful with this
architectural piece? WHy or Why not? If he wasn't, what could he have
done differently?