Sunday, August 9, 2009

From Within Outward, Homeschooling NYC

Yesterday the boys and I headed over to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit called "From Within Outward". The exhibition is being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the museum which was designed by Wright. Containing scale models and blueprints of his work, the exhibit showcases Wright's design philosophy of creating a building from within, then outward. Wright designed his buildings by first considering how the building was to be used and making sure the interior spaces blended function with aesthetics. He then worked outward to create the exterior space. Prior to this point in time, building design considered exteriors first and interiors last, resulting in unimaginative boxlike rooms within the building. Wright felt, "The solution of every problem is contained within itself." These words of his really struck me later that day as I gazed upon the many gaudy billboards of Times Square.

The hundreds of people filling the square were clearly captivated with the billboards of bright lights in every direction, caught up in a haze similar to what one feels when under the spell of an advertiser. "Be this, do this, buy this" the signs shouted with their lights, focusing on the external parts of ourselves, distracting us from what is within. Remembering Wright's words from earlier in the day, that the solution to every problem is found within, I felt that his wisdom could be useful in how we approach the environmental crisis that we face today. If we could look inside ourselves and see that life isn't about what is outside us, but what is inside. Looking within and focusing on our relationships with others or our love of this planet which provides for us could be part of the solution. Making external choices, and the drain it makes on our resources no longer matter. From within, outward.

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