No doubt exasperated by people asking how he came up with his brilliant designs, Frank Lloyd Wright once famously explained, "Why, I just shake the buildings out of my sleeve."

It was mostly Wright’s puckish sense of humor talking when he claimed to conjure up brilliant concepts out of thin air. Yet today there’s still a widespread perception that architects design by invoking some kind of arcane creative voodoo, and that ideas just flow onto the paper fully formed.

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