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Students design for Fallingwater

Ten former Miami students will see a project they started in 2004 realized when furniture they designed is installed at Fallingwater. Located in Bear Run, Pa., the Fallingwater house is recognized as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most acclaimed works. In a 1991 poll of members of the American Institute of Architects, it was voted “the best all-time work of American architecture.”

John Reynolds (architecture, director of the graduate program) says the project was a great opportunity for the students as no designer or architect has ever substantially modified the interior of the house through design.

Cara Armstrong, Fallingwater curator of buildings and collections, initiated the collaboration after she saw a project Reynolds had created with students for the National Center for the Study of Human Migration museum, located in Luxembourg.

In spring 2004, students with Reynolds and Kimberly Hill (landscape architecture) began the project. They included Mauricio Barerra, Todd Douglass, Emily Fernambucq, Carl Giometti, Brian Green, Brandon Guyer, Marcus Knoll, Scott Later, Troy Lowell and Neil McManaway.

Students later completed a series of design process projects and twice worked on site at Fallingwater. The result was an exhibition March 21–May 28 at The Barn at Fallingwater, “Exploring the Duality of Fallingwater’s Architecture and Landscape: Furniture for the Servants’ Sitting Room.”

In late October, the furniture they designed will be installed. Bill Duerksen, a local cabinetmaker, is crafting the pieces in collaboration with the students.

Reynolds said a Fallingwater/Miami collaboration will continue, as two new groups of students developed a master plan that was approved for further development by Fallingwater this spring to adapt an adjacent historic farmstead near the Fallingwater site into an arts center.

Date Published: 09/28/2006
Volume: 26   Number: 6

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