University of Western Australia – Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts
This paper is a parallel reading of Frank Lloyd Wright’s treatise Disappearing City and Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead. The author explores the rhetoric of anti-urban utopias of the Depression-era inspired by the myth of the American pioneer and the conquest of the frontier. She identifies three characteristics of Wright and Rand’s anti-urban constructs: the celebration of virility, the denial of political engagement and anti-intellectualism, all combined in the dream of primordial, ideal capitalism. What are the contradictions and inconsistencies inherent in building an anti-urban utopia? This is the question this paper intends to answer.
modernism, utopian fiction, anti-urbanism, Usonia, the Fountainhead, ideology, masculinity, anti-intellectualism