A colleague of mine recently returned from a long weekend holiday to Arizona. In their travels, she and her lover toured the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. I’m not an architecture nerd, so my knowledge of FLW is incomplete at best. I know very little about his actual work, other than how my mother — who actually is an architecture nerd — will never forgive him for the popularity of the split level ranch house and how it has “single-handedly ruined the neighborhood curb appeal of most of America.” In describing his Arizona winter home, the tour guide tells a story about a little red signature tile on the house. The lore goes that FLW would only put this signature red tile on projects where his architectural vision remained intact. That is, if his clients insisted he deviate from his design, then he’d still complete the project for them, but it wouldn’t get a red signature tile. I think this is a fantastic concept. It’s also a lesson for professional designers today. Do the work regardless of client fiddling, but reward those clients who respect your creative vision with a token of special appreciation.

Photo credit: Flickr user Rock Chalk Jayhawk Cartographer. Original here.

Nathaniel Salzman