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Survivalist tiny dorms at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin architecture school

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Since Frank Lloyd Wright began building Taliesin West- his winter home and school in the desert-, students have been living in canvas tents as an alternative dorm. It was direct study of nature and the land, both important elements of Wright’s organic architecture. Today the Shelter Program has evolved and students can design and build more complicated structures (they’re given a $1000 stipend and encouraged to raise more), but the small shelters continue to be off-grid, unplumbed and often without walls. This direct contact with the desert helps students confront just what is needed to provide shelter. “To me an architect is a man who,” wrote Wright in his autobiography, “knows the secrets of nature and studies them, is informed by them and comes out stronger with knowledge.” Stephanie Schull, director of academic affairs at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, gave us a tour of a few of the 60 odd shelters (Note: We appreciate her giving us an impromptu tour and want to make clear that the opinions she gave during the interview were her opinions and not part of any school philosophy). Taliesin Shelter Program http://www.taliesin.edu/sheltersmain.html Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/survivalist-tiny-dorms-at-lloyd-wrights-taliesin-arq-school/
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Text Comments (662)
Marquee Mark (22 hours ago)
That is not true! Phoenix was a full-blown City in 1937 with an airport and major hotels!
Rebecca Treeseed (23 hours ago)
An ounce of shade is better than waterproof. Location location location. Glass houses are death.
Jerry Johnson (4 days ago)
Ooops, watch out for that rattlesnake dumbass.
Garden chef (5 days ago)
These are student projects, when you go into a Frank Lloyd Wright structure you get it. Starting out in architecture, I'd love to have been able to work things out in this environment. I traveled to the desert just to see this project.
Sonny Girl (5 days ago)
I think this women has never been out in the “country” before as she carries her purse around looking at rocks in the floor. Cracks me up
TheGranti7a (6 days ago)
Reactionism is unconscious. Projection reveals historic conditioning.
Osborn C (7 days ago)
Mountain lions are sexual predators
Jennie Huebner (7 days ago)
Seeing places like this are fascinating to visit. I grew up in Wisconsin where there are a few locations like the school in West Allis. House On The Rock is a sight to see built by Alex Jordan Jr. Both are great Architects!
christopoher ziboh (14 days ago)
I want to make my own version of this in Colorado
OuTLaW#HighTimes 101 (15 days ago)
This looks like a bunch of bums are living here..these buildings are useless loli guess this is one way of getting government funding to use stick in some ritch tight wads ass!!
OuTLaW#HighTimes 101 (15 days ago)
This is proof that stupid people have way to fucking much money lol..such a waste an more polluting of the deserts an other lands..such a pity wow!!!
Van (16 days ago)
4:55 you see all the tiny weeds that take 100 years to grow BECAUSE ITS THE DESERT! Water them and instead of walking delicately, you would be chopping/mowing evasive plants down. Hipicrit
Raven's Reflections (25 days ago)
I've been out there since the 1st time I saw this video. No one is living out there. And no new structures are being built. They are hideous crumbling structures in the desert.
Norman Mitchell (29 days ago)
How do the structures perform in the summer? I’m guessing not very well . I would like to see a year round organic structure.
Jim Henry (1 month ago)
Just FYI, Scottsdale was established as a township in 1896.Wright and his wife Olgivanna purchased the land for Taliesin West in 1937. So, the statement that Taliesin West predates Scottsdale is erroneous. Nice to hear that the pretentious bias is alive and well though.
8675309 (3 months ago)
That audio editing is so choppy, arg
Chris Davies (4 months ago)
Fantastic. Superb. Wonderful.
burstmyballoon (4 months ago)
Echoes of Golden Gate Bridge in the suspended ⛺️
Kendra Xxx (4 months ago)
Where the hell dit these people POOP????
MrAac2020 (4 months ago)
You all have fun now....ill keep to my A.C. & ceiling fans. Looks like it's going to rain like all hell too.
Warrior Homestead (5 months ago)
Looks like a lot of folks don't get it. I guess they like where they're at.
Nalijay (5 months ago)
Her comment about getting up early making you industrious is just stupid. Lady, he just stayed up all night working. You spent all night sleeping. Who is the more industrious?
Eileene Clark (5 months ago)
6/18/18.....I'm NOT impressed! "Forced to live with nature"? HOW did other architects manage to go to college/learn art/building/ architecture? I LOVE FLW & HIS DESIGNS but would never live in a hovel in the desert to study with him. So WHERE is the school? Miles away or do the students stay here 24/7? HOPE nobody ends up with degree & astronomical student debt!
JackStrait (6 months ago)
This video proves to me that there are crazy architects just like how there are crazy artists.
Svetlana Lana Tisaj (6 months ago)
Awesome place!
drrsc (6 months ago)
in Wisconsin, some call his place Talespin.
Clark Askam III (7 months ago)
Senseless nutball of figs, if I haaaad evaaaseen!
Stephanie Rideout (7 months ago)
I don't know anything about the basics of design, so I'm going to be very rude about how stupid I find this! - the entire comments section
Cotswold Droner (7 months ago)
I like to look at Frank Lloyd Wright, I live in a Louis Asbury. Built in 1930 and not.falling apart like most of Frank Lloyd Wright's pieces. Love the aesthetics though.
FREEdom of PEACH (7 months ago)
I have been a fan of Frank Loyd Wright for over 30 years, all but 1 of these shelters look good or even vaguely Wrightesque. All the others look like COMPLETE GARBAGE! What the hell are you teaching there? Go visit the ASU campus and study that, you might learn a LOT more about Wright.
elainehawk50 (7 months ago)
just dumb....
Victor Ali (7 months ago)
welcome to the comment section
Happy Positive (8 months ago)
Super cool!
RP McDonald-Bell (8 months ago)
Excellent video. I visited here a few years back and loved the environment FLW created. A great architect.
Rusty Nail (8 months ago)
Just did a full tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin house and I may say absolutely no disappointments!!!. What amazing architecture !!!. Such a wonderful tour and a great time we had . Sipping tea at the little cafe in the warm spring Arizona weather overlooking such a beautiful amazing structures and Landscaping was probably one of the most impressive memories I will ever have . What a great staff too !!!. A++++
I just want to thank you for making such a good archive of this work. It's very hard to find in the internet, so thank you.
Pontious Pilot (9 months ago)
sadly he built nothing there the abandoned land is still only a transient camp no classroom nothing it's a wannabees sixties hippy trip place like charlie MANSONS ranch.. GROW UP PEOPLE the sixties have been OVER for fifty years...
Scott Stafford (9 months ago)
Kids today need to be spoon fed, air conditioned, and a place to play video games.FLW is still a God!
CHRISY B. (9 months ago)
Is this just a masters program? I'm an undergrad architecture student at the moment. This is something I'd love. I really like the philosophy of building to compliment nature.
Lolitbird (9 months ago)
I'm sorry too many creepy crawlies and rattlers...I wouldn't stay in one without walls
M34T (9 months ago)
I want to go here so bad.
HiPetitGateau (9 months ago)
What is needed is walls, door roof, warmth& protection from the elements i see the pretentious BS but a 5 year old making a fort in the back yard or living room knows this. Wake & come out of the rain??maybe And dont freak out over walking on a rock cause its takes decades to regrow its ecosystem come on... rejuvenation makes for heartier regrowth especially in desert vegetation it evolves. I worry about the students coming out of that college i mean jow many baristas does the world need??????
Liam Ball (9 months ago)
Thanks so much Kirsten. This was a delight. Your film making style really conveys a sense of place.
Kaiser Frost (9 months ago)
No walls, no plumbing, no heat, no brains.
Serendipitous One (9 months ago)
These comments are hilarious. These are STUDENT projects...creativity stop comparing them to what YOU would live in.
Michael Doster (10 months ago)
Always have loved FLW's work. Even in furniture! Always bigger than the parts. Intuitive.
R.J. Mx (10 months ago)
Kirsten I very much enjoy your videos and I think for me this was one of the best I've seen. Thank you for what you do, you are enriching the experiences of people all over the internet 😀
Christy T (10 months ago)
The mosquitoes would eat those people, if such a shelter was built in Wisconsin.
emelle Farmer (10 months ago)
Love the plant community there
Tom O'Hawk (10 months ago)
There is something similar in France near the channel tunnel
Erik Breihof (10 months ago)
"it takes decades and decades to get to 200 years old" ..... You don't say?
Erik Breihof (9 months ago)
I don't think you caught my sarcasm
aaron veranos (9 months ago)
it was artistic license; yes, very obvious but never the less it still jogs your thought process in terms of the 10 year increments that live so long. well said
Natasha Semrau (10 months ago)
Thanks for the look at Frank "Lord" Wright's school dorms. He has been a hero to me because of his genius in Architecture and all parts design. When l was studying him in school, he amazed me with all the work he compleated. In the mid West we have many of his Prairie Houses dotting our cities, Chicago has the most. Thanks for a view at rustic FLW school in the desert.
Laz Arus (10 months ago)
Nice, wouldn’t work in Scotland though
Frank Winkhorst (11 months ago)
A lot of Wright's roofs weren't water proof. He did a bank building where the roof leaked. His famous remark was something like, "that's how you know it's a roof."
Scoot Monty (11 months ago)
Hello!..........................................Roman concrete is still here.
Louise M-D (11 months ago)
is better than native hogans cool in summer?
Read voraciously all I could about FLY and the great video documentaries. My connection is where he started with the Prairie Style and visiting his home in Oak Park in my early 20's. The combination of our life experiences make us who we are. The being part of the earth philosophy appears to be an evolution re: not harming the desert. To me, although the buildings make every effort to be part of the land they do stand in contrast. Intellect, problem solving, and thought integrating who I am with the planet I live on. Thanks for this video which I found accidentally. LOL!
patricesez (11 months ago)
I "get" the go-back-to-the-land experience, and perhaps many of today's students (snowflakes) haven't grown up in a camping family, so good for the school. Several points mentioned in the commentary (trampled desert plants; horrible-view due to above ground power lines; "good to live with candle-light;" "recycling materials) indicate how steeped in anti-West elitism the program is. Consider the utter ruination illegal border crossers have brought to the southern desert - have you seen documentaries showing the trash, alone? Consider the further ruination UnderGround electrical lines would cause (not to mention additional costs, lowered efficiency, etc) the desert floor (kinda like WindTurbines)! And please, please, please quit preaching about "Upcycling" & "re-purposing" and call it what is it, and what we've been doing for nearly 50 frigging years: ReCycling. Because most everybody in the civilized world does it. p.s. Do you think the tour guide goes to a doctor who's office is lit with candles?
This is different, sure. But a beautiful work of art? Not at all, sorry
Dr. Sass (1 year ago)
I like Frank Lloyd Wright too, but this woman shouldn't be saying a person "chickened out" solely because they didn't wish to live in this type of environment to go to this school. Choosing this type of living doesn't make you better, or worse, than anyone else.
dlwatib (1 year ago)
Frank Lloyd Wright was cost conscious? No he wasn't. He was notorious for his unapologetic cost overruns.
Ronn Sethman (1 year ago)
give her credit for the video, but i think its all stupid, i would have a underground house, shade and heat, f the bullshit
Ronn Sethman (1 year ago)
f l w,is old school. i live by falling water, old school also
Derrick Zupf (1 year ago)
i just want to slap her to snap out of her haughty gibberish... she’d probably thank me
Redefine Living (1 year ago)
Unfortunately most places in America will not allow you to build structures that are not "to code". You are not free to do as you wish on your property. Need video though, thanks.
Sayitlikitizz (1 year ago)
Pretentious and nonsensical idiocies! A load of BS and entitlement. Kirsten, you wasted your time there.
come on man! (1 year ago)
fucking professional development cunt with no understanding of people or place.
hitchhiker (1 year ago)
My concern there are the poison snakes & spiders in the desert! Necessary in that environment would seem to be enclosure. I read that every poisonous thing in the US is in Arizona so how could the "open air" concept work there?
Antonia Ignacio (1 year ago)
I love your video just BEAUTIFUL 😆 thank you for the Adventures
Jeffrey Buchalco (1 year ago)
thankyou for the tour! I have been to Scottsdale, but not to the taliesin school of architecture and art! when I view the hills and surroundings I envision a structure which mimics those same hills regardless of size! materials for construction? cardboard? perhaps plastic bottles repurposed for waterproofing! mimicking a samurai armour! greenhouse glazing which simulates 'pools of water' or small ponds which capture and collect moisture for storage, etc.! colored transparent plastic, oil paper, etc. to produce sunset effects, etc. ! I hope to try my hand on these issues with imagination and thrift! ([email protected])
Charlotte Dickson (1 year ago)
I think the concept is very cool. The reality of scorpions, snakes, gila monsters having such easy access would not allow me to sleep. When I lived in Phoenix (in another lifetime ago) scorpions sometimes got into your house-- I'm not even sure about fire ants. No, I could not do this.
Alexandra Stratan (1 year ago)
are there scorpions roaming the area? DId she say there is some privacy? I am sorry not sure how to classify this sort of nonsense.
DW (1 year ago)
Ugly.
Ididnotk illjfk (1 year ago)
Woo philosophy that misses the target of practical
Sloan (1 year ago)
It's rather silly. Pointless unsure and exposed to elements, insects and animals not to mention human hazards. The hippy mindset is rather odd.
plan pitz (1 year ago)
I wonder where the students went to crap!In the desert?To stony to dig a hole!
tortugabob (1 year ago)
I always wanted to be an architect. I still study architecture but went down another career path. One thing I have noticed was many architects don't want to build structures for people to live in as much as they want to build monuments to themselves. Look at the "Modern" architecture movement. It's 75 years later and most of it looks cheap, flimsy, dirty and most of all, hated by the masses. I prefer the indigenous architecture of places like the Greek isles. Everything is the same but different in some way to give variety and intimacy. Some of Wright's ideas resonate but to be honest he was a pompous ass who could not see how bad some of his ideas were.
tortugabob (1 year ago)
Just like the school to let students build shelters where the tarp roof doesn't keep the rain out. They leak like Wright's flat roof Usonian houses. And can you imagine how hot that suspended pyramid with the clear roof is? It looks like a common problem in every one of the structures. Hot as Hades so no residents for a least half the year. Houses or shelters should be living spaces for the whole year.
Russell Pierce (1 year ago)
having a minimal amount of walls to make a space work is one of the things i found coolest about houses in thailand, it allows everything to come and go. you get bugs in your house? well they leave in just a bit because they can, and they very rarely get in the way. it also allows for lots of breeze to keep the house nice and cool when it'd otherwise be sweltering
eshiveley (1 year ago)
The suspended tent designer's girlfriend was all, "You better get me up off the desert floor!" and it was so. Later she was all, "You better not design hosepitals in autocad for $29,000 a year!" And he was all, "Okay I'll design modern custom homes for $1,700 a year until I get a foothold, bitch." And she was all, "Build me my dream home right now!" And he designed a tent that was suspended over a cliff. One that wasn't over-engineered like the one shown here.
H. Thi (1 year ago)
thank you! love your channel!!
sdfklsdfls (1 year ago)
Survivalist? How about joining the modern. world and fighting for more economic rights, higher wages and taxing wall st? why run into the woods just to survive? is this not the modern world?
reiko na6ase (1 year ago)
more down to earth mumbo jumbo by people who aren't native but desperately want to feel special
Tyler Schwindt (1 year ago)
reminds me of on walden pond and what is needed to shelter the inner warmth and what is superfluous and will on serve to way you down.
Nancy Pontius (1 year ago)
it's too hot in May up there, people will be getting heat stroke ugh. I am in TUcson and it is even hotter up there.
Nancy Pontius (1 year ago)
still it is interesting
mikey weaselwhipper (1 year ago)
hell. no.
KiloByte (1 year ago)
And just think, if the Bernietards get their way us taxpayers will be footing the bill for this nonsense.
Kazi Arafat Ahmed (1 year ago)
An invitation for rattle snake
Andrew Perez (1 year ago)
bullshit . they build it then they make a story behind it thats not true.
hades angelos (1 year ago)
I'm from this area and the desert is nowhere near as fragile as this lady suggests, one good rain and you'll see an amazing amount of growth within a week, to the point you won't even recognize it. As for these structures, I see this as a architectual concept Proving Ground kind of thing.
malapropism27 (1 year ago)
I'm poor, but only ironically. It's to experiment with what it means to not have nice things, been going 30 years now.
AGC (1 year ago)
i understand the less is more and being one with your surroundings approach however i dont see the advantage of getting soaked. for god sakes buy a $20 can of water repellent spray to treat that canvas tarp
l.m. Getz (1 year ago)
Went here in 1987 when I first moved here!
Pat Lowney (1 year ago)
Frank Lloyd Wright was not his real name his last name was something like Belushi do a Google search on Frank Lloyd Wright and you will find this out to be correct his son went to Chicago and did building designing he didn't want to be cast in his Father's Footsteps and the son used his real name I saw one on a show called my strange inheritance the son inherited the home his father built
Razzes Est (1 year ago)
it is so wasted
Bilal Sardar (1 year ago)
i just can get that how this thing has so many likes?
AsTheWheelsTurn (1 year ago)
the desert floor is not that delicate. Obviously if everyone is tromping around in one area it will get to looking like shit but it wouldn't take decades to make it right again. my property is desert and it has been trampled before from vehicles and construction, you just rake it all back around randomly and give it a few months of non abuse and it looks the same as it ever did. one rain and plants grow again. the desert floor is very resilient. I do appreciate that she respects it though but yeah, not that delicate.
John Bruce (1 year ago)
Those power lines must have really pissed the guy off!
Gun Tech. (1 year ago)
That'll learn'em! Hah. :)
Andy Mac (1 year ago)
Weird,none of these are minimalist in the true sense of the word,maybe the one without walls,maybe they were smoking some powerful stuff. ;-)

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