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The Influence Of Traditional Japanes Architecture On The West, Particularly On Frank Lloyd Wright

Part 1 Dissertation 2001
David Bryson
Queen's University Belfast Belfast UK
It has often been speculated that there is a similarity between the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the architecture and art of Japan. In the twentieth century it has become a focal talking point, especially as Wright freely acknowledged that Japanese culture gave confirmation of his own ‘organic’ ideals and not the inspiration which so many thought.

Although there is little evidence to support the notion that Wright directly borrowed forms from Japanese architecture, some critics have felt the need to make comparisons between Wright’s work and traditional Japanese art and architecture, as there are similarities.

The main goal of this dissertation is to set out when and how people in the Western world first became aware of Japanese art and architecture. It will also discuss how traditional Japanese culture and architecture played a role in the development of new ‘styles’ and ideas in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It will also talk about how Wright became aware of Japanese art and architecture and subsequently how this made an impact on his work. The dissertation will finish off looking at some similarities in the approach and design of other leading architects and traditional Japanese architecture in order to show how such interest gathered pace in the aftermath of Wright.

David Bryson


This is a very competent response to the requirements of the dissertation project at Queen's, being literate, well constructed, well researched and well illustrated. There are just a few minor mistakes in spelling or syntax, which are not significant enough to mar an otherwise interesting discussion of an unusual theme. It reveals a mature interest in some finer points of 19th to 20th century architectural (and decorative arts) history, which goes beyond the current range of topical and popular themes that usually engage the attention of students.

As the attached programme sheet shows, the dissertation is carried out entirely within the first postgraduate year (ie 5th year), and is conducted in parallel with other lecture courses and a full and demanding studio programme, thus requiring a fair degree of personal time management and balance of tasks on the part of the student.

2001
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