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/
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.
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!
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.
6/18/18.....I'm NOT impressed! "Forced to live with nature"? HOW did other architects manage to go to college/learn art/building/
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!
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.
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 !!!.
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...
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??????
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.
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!
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?
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.
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?
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])
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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