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Faculty Sponsor

Professor Julia Walker


In 1832, French writer Victor Hugo declares the death of the edifice as a result of the totalizing popularity of Gutenberg’s printing press since the fifteenth century. American architect Frank Lloyd Wright would echo this sentiment to an intrigued Chicago audience almost 70 years later in his 1901 lecture, “The Art and Craft of the Machine.” The argument went that architecture, chief among the arts, would employ ornament, applied art, and symbolic meaning to capture and spread lasting imprints of human thought before the book usurped this position on account of its greater efficiency in accomplishing the same ends. While many architects of his time were finding ways to circumvent use of machine technology in architecture, citing worsening qualities of industrial life among other ills, Wright sought instead to make a return to the very force that had killed architecture centuries earlier. Wright attempts to revive this once-central artform by inventing an original didactic architecture along with a prescribed almost spiritual set of values meant to be inherent to the United States and symbiotic with the machine.