Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture often featured “long horizontal bands of wood-framed windows,” Christopher Hawthorne writes for the Los Angeles Times. And so will the stage at this year’s Republican National Convention. (At least, it will look like it: The vinyl laminates will appear on TV like cherry, mahogany, and walnut.)
The convention’s production designer says he emulated Wright’s Prairie Style houses, such as the one in Oak Park, Ill., for a sense of warmth. Hawthorne writes:
Just as Obama and the 2008 Democratic Convention used a neoclassical colonnade to bring the cavernous Invesco (now Sports Authority) Field in Denver down to manageable size, Romney wanted to humanize, and domesticate, the steel-and-glass architecture of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
But Hawthorne says the set has a dangerous aesthetic connection to Ayn Rand—especially as the architect Howard Roark in The Fountainhead was supposed to reference Wright. And especially as Paul Ryan tried to back off of his devotion to Rand's Objectivist philosophy. “By venturing right into ‘Fountainhead’ territory in Tampa, the Romney campaign is opening itself up to a critique of its own taste in architectural metaphor,” Hawthorne says.