Date of Award
MS in Architectural Studies
This thesis reconsiders the notion of authorship in architecture by examining the drawings, characters and stories surrounding the W.A. Glasner House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1906 and located in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe, Illinois. The house stands out in Wright’s body of work as his first project to assimilate the dominant horizontality of the prairie style with complex topography, and for its unusual residential program. Perhaps more importantly, the process by which the Glasner House was designed, drawn and modified reveals a critical way of viewing authorship in architecture by introducing the contributions of multiple different characters. By examining the contributions of Wright, the architect; William and Cora Glasner, the original owners of the house; Marion Mahony, an important member of the design team; and Rudolph Nedved and Elizabeth Kimball Nedved, later the owners and themselves architects who modified the house, the thesis considers the multiplicity of authorships that shaped the house, the readerships that informed these authorships, and the diverse means by which these different characters constructed their own authorship. Due to the importance of drawing both in Wright’s practice and the history of the Glasner House, the research uses drawings as tools to explore multiple mechanisms and records of authorship. Ultimately, the thesis proposes a definition of authorship in architecture that not only involves multiple agents, but is also dependent on readership, and encompasses many forms of engagement, including building, drawing, and lived experience.
Chair and Committee
Igor Marjanovic, Ph.D. - Chair Shantel Blakely, Ph.D. Robert McCarter