Frank Lloyd Wright sought to break out of the box-like structure of the Victorian house. In his Prairie style homes, he succeeded in blurring the line between interior and exterior spaces by using groups of art glass windows as “light screens.” He wrote in his autobiography, “Now the outside may come inside, and the inside may, and does, go outside.” Wright's windows usually wrap around the entire surface of the house. Their complex geometric patterns are often abstract representations of nature. Composed of pieces of clear and colored glass, the “light screens” enliven the light as it filters in, yet provide privacy to the dweller within the house. The art glass windows in the Robie House are a key part of the design. They are made of polished plate glass (clear), ‘cathedral' glass (colored), and copper-plated zinc cames (metal joints holding the glass in place). The art glass design consists of a geometric pattern, predominantly triangular, featuring multi-colored smaller panes set in the cames. The windows occur throughout the house, and are used to stunning effect on the main level, where the entire south wall consists of paired art glass French doors, which open out onto a balcony. On the ground floor, the less public area of the dwelling, the windows contain only clear glass and came, with a pattern similar to that used in the other windows of the house.
Wright considered light "the beautifier of the building," and glass as an incarnation of light. He wrote in Architectural Record in 1928, “Glass and light—two forms of the same thing.” In the Robie House, they are integral to the building.