The LAT’s architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, comments on the stage for the GOP convention, which:
…will be crowded with large video screens framed in wood. Actually the “wood” will be made of vinyl and various laminates, but it’ll read on television as cherry, mahogany and walnut.
The inspiration for the set, said Jim Fenhagen, lead production designer for the convention, is Wright’s residential architecture, which often featured long horizontal bands of wood-framed windows.
The Wright references, which Fenhagen said he pulled together after a couple of simple Google searches, are relatively faint.
Faint, indeed, but not faint enough to stop Hawthorne from flying off into loony land.
Still, in the context of a national political convention, where every symbolic choice is sure to be scrutinized, there are more than a few risks in going with Frank Lloyd Wright as your architectural touchstone. And I wonder how many of them the Romney campaign has fully considered.
For this particular ticket, the most obvious risk is the Ayn Rand connection. Wright was the chief inspiration for the headstrong architect Howard Roark, hero of Rand’s 1943 novel “The Fountainhead.” Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan, was long a devotee of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy.
Indeed, the GOP risks having viewers notice the faint resemblance to Wright’s prairie style designs and immediately start thinking of a character from Ayn Rand’s novel, then remembering that Paul Ryan admired the book, start worrying that maybe Ryan is a nut and then deciding not to vote GOP.
Oh, that Mitt — always playing with fire!