Higher Learning Commission Approves Plan for Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture To Maintain Accreditation


Higher Learning Commission decision allows the School to maintain its accreditation as an institute of higher learning.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) announced its approval today of the Change of Control application submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (School). This allows the School to operate as an entity independent from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Foundation), and thus maintain its accreditation as an institute of higher learning.

The HLC decision allows the School to continue its three-year Master of Architecture Program, while offering additional programs for continuing education, including an 8-week non-degree Immersion Program.  Stuart Graff, CEO of the Foundation, applauded the decision. “This action is a result of a collaborative process between the Higher Learning Commission, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and the School. We are pleased this decision results in the continuation of a legacy of education that Frank Lloyd Wright began in 1932 with his apprentices,” said Graff. “Together, the Foundation and the School are now able to extend this approach throughout the education continuum. As the Foundation creates unique K-12 experiences that challenge students to think about the world in new ways, the School will continue to provide exceptional programs for advanced education.” As Graff indicates, the Foundation will expand its own STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education programming for K-12 students.

Since gaining accreditation in 1987, the School has operated as part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  In a proposal submitted in February of 2016, and after responding to communications from the HLC regarding revised accreditation standards, the School demonstrated its ability to operate independently from the Foundation. With the approval of this plan, the School will begin to transition to an independent entity by August 2017 while providing a seamless educational experience for both existing and incoming students.

The Foundation will continue to be a supportive partner as the School works to provide experimental and experiential higher education in architecture. It will continue to donate space at Taliesin and Taliesin West for the School’s operations and providing other support to the School.  Aaron Betsky, Dean of the School, said the HLC decision will benefit all parties. “Frank Lloyd Wright established his apprenticeship program to encourage innovative and creative thinking that furthers the School’s mission of learning how to create a more sustainable, open, and beautiful designed environment. We look forward to working with the Foundation and building on this legacy at his homes, Taliesin and Taliesin West.”

Betsky and Graff both expressed gratitude for the work of the HLC and the time dedicated to reaching an outcome that satisfies all parties. The School and Foundation will work together over the next several months to allow the School to begin its new academic year as an independent institution beginning in August 2017.

The Letter from the HLC can be read: Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Action Letter


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, January 12th, 2017

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture is happy to announce the 2017 Taliesin Forum. The Forum features ten discussions with prominent architects during the Spring 2017 season.  Throughout the Spring our guest lecturers will discuss “Difficult Architecture for Difficult Times.”

The lectures are possible through the generous support of the Rio Salado Architecture Foundation, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Arizona Community Foundation.

Lectures are free, and open to the public by reservation. Reservations can be made by emailing TaliesinForum@taliesin.edu. Space is Limited


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, July 11, 2016

The Architecture School at Taliesin is pleased to announce the addition of Chris Lasch as its new director or academic affairs. In this role, Lasch will work with Dean Aaron Betsky to support and facilitate the educational programs of the School, with a primary focus on curriculum and assessment, faculty and staff support and retention on both campuses, and strategic development of the academic environment. He will also become one of the School’s core faculty, teaching design studios and other courses.

Lasch is a partner in ArandaLasch, a design studio dedicated to experimental research and innovative building. Established in 2003 with Partner Benjamin Aranda, the studio designs buildings, installations, furniture and objects through a deep investigation of structure and materials. They have been winners of the United States Artists Award and Young Architects + Designers Award in 2007, the Architectural Record Design Vanguard Award in 2014, the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award in 2015, and were named one of Architectural Digest’s 2014 AD Innovators. Their early projects are the subject of the best-selling book, Tooling. ArandaLasch has exhibited their work internationally in galleries, museums, design fairs and architecture biennials. Their work is part of the permanent collection of the The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dean Betsky believes that Lasch brings an approach to architecture that extends Frank Lloyd Wright’s love of craft, geometry, and space, using new technologies to take design both deeper and further. “We are excited to have Chris join us here at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture,” says Betsky. “He brings skills, experience, and international reputation that will be of invaluable importance to us as we seek to all learn how to make an architecture that is more sustainable, open, and beautiful.”

Lasch will help lead a core faculty who are also practicing architects. They bring to the learning environment not only the principles and methodology of architecture, but their real world experience.

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