Crossing Boundries

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  • Title: Crossing Boundries: The Transfer of Spatial Ideas across Culture and Medium in the Work of Two Modern American Architects
  • Author(s): Kevin Nute
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: Spatial Devices, Far Eastern Art, Modern American Architecture
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-008X (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2554 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-008X/CGP/v14i02/13-26
  • Citation: Nute, Kevin . 2019. "Crossing Boundries: The Transfer of Spatial Ideas across Culture and Medium in the Work of Two Modern American Architects." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies 14 (2): 13-26. doi:10.18848/2327-008X/CGP/v14i02/13-26.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

This research uses examples drawn from the work of two modern American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright and John B. Yeon, to show how established traditions in one context can serve as a source of innovation in another. It shows how both of these designers translated two-dimensional spatial devices derived from Far Eastern decorative and pictorial art into habitable architectural space, investing them with new meaning in the process. It is suggested that these examples not only demonstrate that established traditions in one context can be innovations in another, but also that—contrary to the stereotype—modernist architects were in fact willing to make use of the past, provided that it was sufficiently far removed from their own tradition. At a time when the legitimacy of using forms derived from other cultures is being seriously questioned, these examples are a reminder that the movement of ideas across disciplines and cultures has been a key source of human innovation.