Usonian Style is based on Frank Lloyd Wright's later work, first appearing in Wright's work of 1930s. His architectural practice diminished by the Depression, Wright turned to social philosophy and planning. He conceived of decentralizing an increasingly urban America in favor of low density communities governed by a social, political, and economic system which Wright referred to as "Usonian Democracy." His Usonian Style of architecture reflected his social ideals: the buildings were designed for economical construction and to be energy efficient within their specific climate zone.
The Usonian Style is based on Wright's concept of Naturalism. Each architectural project is seen as having a "natural" solution derived from its function and site. Naturalism is, in this sense, closely associated with functionalism.
The influence of traditional Japanese architecture is also seen in the Usonian Style. They share open floor plans, flowing interiors with movable screen partitions, an abundance of natural light, overhanging eaves and shallow pitch roofs.