Kevin Michael Renz

Organic architecture  

Can Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of Organic Architecture improve current environmental design in residential dwellings?
Supervisors:John Counsell, John Littlewood
Research Group / Theme:Ecological Built Environmental Research and Enterprise (EBERE)
Research Degree Type: Professional Doctorate (D.SBE) Research CSAD DSBE

Widespread adoption of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for HOMES (LEED for HOMES) is faltering within the residential design practice here in the United States. My proposed research will attempt to identify key issues and provide an alternative studio guide for the design of residential dwellings that are more closely aligned with nature and net zero energy use. Frank Lloyd Wright’s nine principles of organic architecture will be authenticated through case study analysis and interviews with key apprentices trained at Taliesin. The principles will be reconsidered for practical use within current architectural practice. A key change agent will be the development of an organic architectural design studio guidebook and green strategies to provide a new holistic design approach and alternative to point chasing rating systems for residential dwellings and developments.

My research seeks to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance of the bond between site, building form, materials, energy, and end users health and wellbeing which are all key elements of Wright’s work. A central question that will be addressed is whether Wright’s organic architectural principles can provide guidance within current design process and deliver benefits for end users and our natural environment.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts design firm “ARCHITECTURE” will validate the study through application of the organic architecture studio guide within an upcoming project. A more universal use of the guide will be encouraged through a series of presentations coordinated within the Boston Society of Architects Design Committees.

Image: Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Hillside Drafting Studio, Spring Green, WI. Photo: Hillside Studio, Spring Green, WI

Contact details: