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Frank Lloyd Wright Practiced Sustainable Design Before It Was A Movement

In the United States, many conceive of the 20th century as a time when man successfully separated humanity from nature. One of the most obvious examples of this can be found in popular visions of modern architecture. After World War Two, the American economy thrived and suburban development quickly churned out homes to meet nationally increasing demand. And thus the suburbs as we think of them today were born. American city growth continued to expand outside of city centers and by the 1980s, suburbia was not just a growing reality but an ideal destination for many.

But some were uncomfortable with the cost of suburban sprawl. It seemed that homes grew bigger at the risk of habitat destruction and energy waste, while giving way to an aesthetically unpleasing uniformity. Born out of the 1970s environmental movement, contemporary architects have injected the concept of sustainability into their designs, seeking not to use the home to separate people from nature but as a device to re-integrate the two. For these designers, new home plans are focused on native material usage, energy efficiency, recycling and blending nature with human construction. But this isn’t completely a new concept; it’s a rediscovery of earlier principles.

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Micro Sculptures: Great Things Can Come In Small Sizes

Micro Sculptures Collection

Some of Dalton’s most popular pieces Source: Original Paints

If we take a look at art throughout history, it becomes quite clear that cultures around the world have associated size with value. A giant block of stone enters the studio of a talented sculptor and emerges, almost as if by magic, as a larger-than-life testament to the human form. A painter stares at his subject, and with a certain combination of small brush strokes creates a portrait so imposingly grandiose that it can only be hung in a cathedral or palace.

While floor-to-ceiling frescos and sculptures are diminishing in terms of popularity, one constant remains: as a matter of survival, artists are always looking to innovate. One of the most impressive recent trends in art is microsculpting, a practice where artists create incredibly small works of art that are sometimes invisible to the naked eye.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, Finally Restored

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house open floorplan

This all-new entryway was once bogged down with concrete floors, recessed lighting, and boring glass sliders. It has since been restored so that there is no separation between the house and courtyard, and even features original hardware from the 1920s.Curbed

The Hollyhock House was commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall as part of a performing arts complex in the early 1920s, and had the distinction of being the first house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Wright was also working on Japan’s Imperial Hotel at the time, and thus was absent for much of the original construction work. Costs on the house started to spiral out of control, and when all was said and done Wright was fired from the project and Barnsdall–privileged heiress that she was–never moved in.

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