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Taliesin West

SoAT Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020

Contact: Mike Sunnucks Rose+Moser+Allyn Public and Online Relations Email: MSunnucks@RoseMoserAllynPR.com Cell: (623) 760-5543 Sadly, School of Architecture at Taliesin to Close after 88 Years of Fostering Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision for ‘Organic Architecture’ More than 1,200 architects lived, worked and studied at the innovative and influential school since its founding; Backers call the forced decision ‘tragic’. (Scottsdale, Arizona / Spring Green, Wisconsin) — An innovative and iconic pillar in the architecture world is closing its doors. The School of Architecture at Taliesin will cease operations after this semester, after a gut-wrenching decision by its Governing Board on Saturday.

The School of Architecture at Taliesin was not able to reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to keep the school open. The acclaimed architecture school was established in 1932 by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The school has been integral to Wright’s visionary architecture. Top architectural students from across the U.S. and the world have studied at the school. The school was previously named the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. It was renamed in 2017. Students split their time between Wright’s retreats housed at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The School of Architecture at Taliesin has been a pillar both in the architecture world as well as Arizona and Wisconsin where Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife Olgivanna invited architecture students to live and work with them and immerse themselves in ‘organic architecture’. That immersion evolved into the architecture school whose alumni have worked on important Frank Lloyd Wright designs including Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum. “This is a sad and somber day for our school, our students and staff and the architecture community. We are saddened we could not reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to continue operating the architecture school. Our innovative school and its mission were integral to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for connecting architecture to our natural world. Wright’s legacy was not just building. It was a school to promulgate the lessons for all future generations,” said Dan Schweiker, Chairperson of the Board of Governors for the School of Architecture at Taliesin. “The closure of the school is very emotional for our students, our faculty and staff and all of us who worked so hard for this one-of-a-kind institution and its important role in Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy. We did everything possible to fight for its survival but due to other forces it was not meant to be,” Schweiker said. The School of Architecture at Taliesin (SOAT) will continue operating during the Spring 2020 Semester. The school will officially close by the end of June. There are approximately 30 students currently enrolled at SOAT. The School of Architecture at Taliesin offered a unique experience for architecture apprentices and students who traveled to Wisconsin and Arizona to work with Frank Lloyd Wright and other esteemed designers.
Students often design and live in their own residences at the Taliesin campuses. In Scottsdale, those designs have been aimed at living in the Sonoran Desert. Those designs are part of what made SOAT a different type of design and architectural school. Students designed more than buildings. They focus on how to change the world. Students also plan and entertain guests at formal dinner parties first started by Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife Olgivanna. Architecture students and apprentice at the school would also cook meals, put on and attend artistic and performing arts events as part of those events. The School of Architecture at Taliesin is a separate independent entity from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. SOAT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The school is in good standing with accrediting agencies as well as the states of Arizona and Wisconsin. “In an age of so much turbulence, this school and its students provided so much peace. It breaks my heart that all the parties could not come together to ensure the proper legacy of this great American,” said Jacki Lynn, a Member of the Board of Governors for the School of Architecture at Taliesin. For media inquiries please contact Mike Sunnucks at MSunnucks@RoseMoserAllynPR.com or call (623) 760-5543.

Student Life

The Taliesin Culture

From culture to creativity, travel to community gatherings, life at Taliesin provides an experience unlike that of any other school, and one that students here will carry with them for the rest of their lives. While the heart of life at Taliesin revolves around the studio and the creative work produced by students in Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic drafting rooms, students are encouraged to gain perspective from field trips to local artists’ workshops, living in and building their own shelter, and joining the community around them.

Programs

Master of Architecture Degree

The School of Architecture at Taliesin offers a three-year immersive Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program designed for students who thrive in a multifaceted environment focusing on rigorous design, critical thinking, and hands-on learning. The small-scale of the School facilitates an individualized educational experience and fosters a close relationship between students, faculty, and staff.

The M.Arch degree is an accredited, professional graduate degree leading to qualifications for architectural licensing. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter leadership roles within the architectural profession and become licensed architects upon completion of internship experience and passing the architectural exam.

Immersion Program

The SoAT offers an 8-week Immersion experience at both the Taliesin and Taliesin West campuses. Geared to college-level participants and adults interested in deepening their understanding of architecture, this experience provides an opportunity to learn the discipline side-by-side with faculty and students.

During the program, participants investigate the basics of design, as well as the Taliesin campuses (Taliesin West in January-February, Taliesin in May-June). The Architecture Design Studio is the core of the Immersion experience and is housed in the studio drafting rooms, where Wright and his collaborators produced his work. During the course of the studio, students navigate the various phases of the architecture design process and explore architecture drawing and three-dimensional modeling techniques. Participants design an architecture project responding to a particular design challenge and the final projects are presented and reviewed by faculty and students.

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