Frank Lloyd Wright and Broadacre.html

Frank Lloyd Wright

Imagine spacious landscaped highways, giant roads, themselves great architecture, past public service stations, no longer eyesores, expanded to include all kinds of service and comfort. They unite and separate — separate and unite the series of diversified units, the farm units, the factory units, the roadside markets, the garden schools, the dwelling places (each on its acre of individually adorned and cultivated ground), the places for pleasure and leisure. All of these units so arranged and so integrated that each citizen of the future will have all forms of production, distribution, self-improvement, enjoyment, within a radius of a hundred and fifty miles of his home now easily and speedily available by means of his car or plane."

Frank Lloyd Wright wrote this in 1932. We will spend more time on him in the module on architecture. For now, we are interested in the first four words and last three words of that quotation. Wright believed that there were two technologies that made cities more or less obsolete: the telephone and the car. If you have instant communication available to you, and you can travel quickly to everything you need because it’s all within 150 miles of the acre on which you live, you don’t need giant office complexes, crowded public transportation, densely populated down-town housing and all the blight that comes with urbanization. On the very rare occasions where you have to go farther than a three-hour drive, fly in a plane. But that would be a very rare event indeed. But there is another interesting thing that came out of this thought experiment. In the age of Covid-19, the idea of living in a much more self-contained home, with limited long distance travel and fewer crowded spaces, doesn't seem to ridiculous. 

This video gives you an introduction to Broadacre as it relates to your course.

A relatively detailed discussion of the philosophy behind Broadacre, a philosophy made possible by the automobile, read this: