Pillow Designs
Inspired by Artistic Expressions of Frank Lloyd Wright

Mrs. McDowell Dr. Christian Dr. Rogers Mrs. Brenda McDowell
Art Teacher
Otterbein Elementary School

Dr. John Christian
Original Client of Frank Lloyd Wright
Owner of SAMARA

Dr. Wally Rogers
SAMARA Interpreter and Webmaster
Mrs. McDowell has been involved in studies of architecture with elementary school children for many years. With the help of her fifth-grade students, Brenda integrated into the school curriculum studies at SAMARA, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home, using special projects and techniques to express works of art.

The project is titled Pillow Designs Inspired by Artistic Expressions of Frank Lloyd Wright. The major goal of the project is to create small pillows with abstractions of something taken from Nature on their covers. SAMARA provides examples of the way the world's greatest architect used abstractions of Nature as works of art in his architectural style.

Dr. Christian participates in the classroom to share first-hand, experiences he and Kay, his wife, had with Frank Lloyd Wright and in the construction of SAMARA. Using 35mm slides, John tells stories about knowing Frank Lloyd Wright and about the way Mr. Wright abstracts Nature and applies his artistic expressions in the design of SAMARA.

John demonstrates to the students how Mr. Wright used the tiny winged seeds found in pine cones to name his house. He shows them examples of abstractions designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and involves the students in numerous hands-on learning activities.

Dr. Christian enjoys interacting with the kids and surprises them by wearing a necktie designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. John always invites the students to visit SAMARA and tells them that he has more stories to tell them during their field trips to SAMARA.

Special thanks go to Dick and Mary McDowell, interpreters at SAMARA, for their expert storytelling and the contributions they make to the students and to the overall success of the project.

Dr. Rogers works closely with Dr. Christian and Mrs. McDowell in planning and carrying out the project with the children. By taking photographs of every phase of the project, we have readily available materials to construct Web pages to document the kids' achievements.

The pillow designs project is organized into four parts: Class Activities, SAMARA Visit, Pillow Making and Pillow Show. The Web pages consist of a series of 34 slides containing a total of 74 photographs, with typically two photographs per page. Most photographs fall within the 200-300 Kbyte range. To tell the complete story, the photographs are accompanied by short narratives suggested by the children.

Class ActivitiesSAMARA VisitPillow MakingPillow Show

Copyright 1999-2018   All rights reserved.
The John Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc.
In cooperation with the Otterbein Elementary School
This page was created on October 30, 2000
Latest revision on November 7, 2000
Links to Email Address and Home Page Updated on November 23, 2005