How Japanese style inspires American furniture makers and architects
Frank Lloyd Wright, the iconic American architect, believed in designing structures to be in harmony with humanity and the environment. He called this philosophy “organic architecture.” Perhaps the best example of this design theory is Fallingwater (1935) in Pennsylvania.
FrankRobinson House in Pasadena, CA (1905) their first major house commission, showed a distinctive Stickley influence in the furnishings.
Their next commission, the Bolton House, displays a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School style, with its strong linear trends and spindle detailing. For the Bolton House furniture, they took Wright’s strong verticals and linearity but added their own little Japanese-inspired twists, such as the cloud-lift details and decorative inlay.
Both Wright and the Greenes were affected by their exposure to Japanese design, but they diverged in their application of the design features.
Wright incorporated the simple open floor plans of Japanese houses, their overall geometric interior look and their place in their environment. The Greenes were more inclined to use the Japanese decorative arts in their furniture design and detail ornamentation.