Kuma Words 11

Kuma Words 11

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of my most favorite architects. I recently visited two of his US projects – Taliesin East in the Wisconsin River valley and Taliesin West in the desert of Arizona, speaking about the relationship between Wright’s work and Japanese architecture.

I was deeply touched to know that people who studied directly under and later worked with Wright still reside there and have become teachers themselves. I came to realize that if one’s philosophy were clear and consistent enough, it could easily exceed the person’s own life span and continue to be passed on. The experience was most inspirational and gave me time to look back on my own life, and I wondered if our practice could be as Taliesin.

What I found particularly interesting was that Wright called Taliesin West “The Camp,” which is located in the middle of the desert, and considered that the best material for its roof would be fabric. Amazingly, they still experiment on “soft roofing” even now, though I think it is difficult to perceive the softness they’ve achieved through photographs alone.

We also work with ‘soft roofs’ as we’ve tried in such projects as Hiroshige Museum, Meme Meadows, and Moku Maku House in Nagaoka, and I’ve noted there is certainly an element of a camp in these places. At the same time, I recalled my trip of camping in the Sahara Desert that I conducted when I was a graduate student. I thus began to put together the bits and pieces that have formed my own development.