Nature provides a vivid account of a pivotal chapter in the architectural
history of Northern California. Set in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries, the documentary examines the work of
several major architects who were influenced by Arts and Crafts ideals,
as well as by the reformist ethos of the Progressive Era. These designers
sought to create an architecture suited to the landscape, climate, and
emerging culture of the region. Rejecting Victorian excess and the
artificial separation of art and craft, they strove to create an organic
architecture based on unified design and harmony with nature. The resulting
design sensibility has become emblematic of the region and lives on
in the Bay Region Tradition.
featured in Designing with Nature include Bernard Maybeck, Julia
Morgan, Ernest Coxhead, Willis Polk, A.C. Schweinfurth, John Galen Howard,
Louis Christian Mullgardt, John Hudson Thomas, and Henry Gutterson.
The influential Arts and Crafts advocates Joseph Worcester and Charles
Keeler are also discussed.
seen in the documentary include art historians Robert Judson Clark,
Richard Longstreth, Kenneth Cardwell, and Richard Guy Wilson, writers
Leslie Freudenheim and Susan Cerny, Swedenborgian scholar James Lawrence,
architectural guide John Gaul, and home owners Carol Ann Rogers, Polly
Moore, and Marilyn Thomas.
with Nature was written, produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winning
producer Paul Bockhorst in cooperation with the Berkeley Architectural
Heritage Association. The documentary is narrated by Richard Doyle.
Original music is by Paul Morehouse. John Rogers did the principal photography.
Major funding was provided by The Ahmanson Foundation, the Graham Foundation
for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Fleishhacker Foundation.
Running time is 86 minutes.
of structures featured in Designing with Nature:
Marshall Houses and Worcester Cottage, Russian Hill, San Francisco
House, Russian Hill, San Francisco
A. Page Brown
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago
A. Page Brown,
Joseph Worcester and Others
Church, aka Church of the New Jerusalem, San Francisco
St. John the
Evangelist Episcopal Church, San Francisco
House, San Anselmo
House, San Francisco
House, San Mateo
Beta Theta Pi
Louise Keeler House, Berkeley
University of California
of Christ, Scientist, Berkeley
Palace of Fine
Arts, San Francisco
Library, University of California
aka the Campanile, University of California
Building, University of California
City Club, Berkeley
St. John's Presbyterian
Suite of Craftsman-style
buildings at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove
Lena and William
Dinsmore House, Pacific Grove
Ernest Evans House, Mill Valley
Dungan House, Berkeley
Edwin and George
Peters Houses, Berkeley
Florence Stephens House, Woodland
John and Rebecca
Howell House, Berkeley
Dutton House, Berkeley
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Berkeley
Rose Walk Duplexes,