FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

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DavidC
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by DavidC »

Rood:

What might the odds be of the Foundation once again taking over the school? It seems like they may be trying to make moves in that direction.

Also, do you think another architectural firm/TAA-equivalent might ever arise at T. West again?


David

Roderick Grant
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Roderick Grant »

For the "School" to have maintained its purity, it should have died with the Master in 1959. It never was an architecture school in general; it was founded as a method of perpetuating the ideology of Frank Lloyd Wright, no one else. As the world moves on, and the very idea of the viability of the stand-alone private residence comes into question, any educational facility at Taliesin is bound to move on as well. Andrea Palladio's surviving buildings are maintained in his memory as historical artifacts. I think that's the most one can expect from FLW's works, especially the Taliesins.

Rood
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Rood »

Mr. and Mrs. Wright organized Taliesin as a tripod ... one leg the overseeing Foundation, the second leg Mr. Wright and his architectural practice (later: TAA), and the third leg being the Apprentice program, with young enthusiastic apprentices continually providing fresh blood. Storms may have lashed either leg at one time or other, but the structure stood firm.

Everything changed when TAA was dissolved ... and now the "school" is also threatening to close: at any rate no longer a real apprenticeship, because no longer working architects. Which would leave the Foundation, all by itself: to find its primary support in the tens of thousands of tourists willing for years to pay top dollar just to see the place.

Only now a tiny virus is suddenly eating away at the only foundation left for the remaining leg ... the Foundation. Like sand on a beach, all those tens of thousands of tourists supporting the Foundation are in danger of being washed away by the onslaught of the fearsome Coronavirus. In time those tourists may come back, but like the Great Barrier Reef, they may not find a living organism, but only a bleached white carcass lying in the sun

Roderick Grant
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Roderick Grant »

Rood, that assessment seems both exaggerated and premature. It is very likely coronavirus will ebb as the weather in the northern hemisphere warms. Notice that the virus has spread less in the equatorial region and southern hemisphere than in the north. Worst case scenario is likely to be that the virus will become seasonal, like influenza. By the time it comes around again, there is likely to be a vaccination available.

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

new article with more background info:
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/202 ... e-taliesin

Also, it seems that requiring them to remove the FLW name from the school has hurt recruiting. No kidding, who would have thought? It seems that the FLW FDN did this for spite.

Also, not having working architects to serve as mentors for the students cancels out the concept of apprenticeship.

There are many former apprentices in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Maybe a couple of them could form a partnership and relocate their active practices to TW to serve as mentors. FLW had 650 apprentices during his life and more since 1959. Surely there could be some to implement this idea.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

JimM
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by JimM »

After reading a link from the PrairieMod newsletter, I was surprised-and did not previously know, that the Foundation ultimately had the final say whether the school could exist... in any manner.

Tom
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Tom »

Aaron Betsky is going to Virginia Tech as Director of their program.

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

FLW FDN announces that the school will close at the end of this term.


Dear Friends:

I am writing to let you know that, after thorough consideration of the matter, the Board of Trustees of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation voted unanimously to allow its agreement with the School of Architecture to expire at the end of July, 2020. This follows the decision made by the School’s independent board on January 25 to close its doors in May. Though the School thereafter reversed its decision to close on March 5 in light of the “possibility of major additional funding and students,” the School provided no information about new sources of secured funding or enrollment to the Foundation that would suggest that it had a viable path forward. As a result, the Foundation made the difficult decision to end discussions with the School.

The Foundation takes very seriously its mission to preserve Taliesin and Taliesin West for future generations and inspire society through an understanding and experience of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas, architecture and design, as well as its responsibility to perpetuate the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright. Given the uncertainties around the School’s viability, the Foundation will return to its own efforts to develop new programs in architect education that advance Wright’s legacy, his pedagogical ideas, and the integrity of Taliesin and Taliesin West as architectural campuses. These campuses are living spaces that preserve an ongoing experience of Wright’s legacy, including the 88-year legacy of training architects in the drafting studios. That vital part of the legacy will continue.

Since the School’s January announcement that it will close after just over 2 years, we have been contacted by apprentices who spent years working at Taliesin, alumni of the School’s predecessor (the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture), and others interested in Wright’s legacy of training at the Taliesin campuses. We have heard an eagerness from these stakeholders to have us return to core elements of Wright’s Fellowship they felt had disappeared, including ideas around apprenticeship and pedagogy centered on the evolution of organic architecture. We are assembling a working group that will explore how these ideas and others can become the spine of new programs that will continue the legacy of Taliesin, the Fellowship, and organic architecture through the training of design professionals and others in Wright’s ideas.

We thank you for your ongoing support of our work, and look forward to engaging you in developing these new programs as we all work together to inspire the world through Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of organic architecture.

Sincerely,
Stuart I. Graff
President & CEO
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

DavidC
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by SDR »

From the same page: http://files.archinect.com/public/EOTD/ ... ifesto.pdf

I note that the term "principles"---as in, "principles of organic architecture"---is invoked only once in this manifesto.

Could it be that this vague and time-worn usage is losing its appeal for younger Wrightians ? Is its very ubiquity robbing it of whatever charm it once held---whatever meaning it might have evoked---having come, it's true, from Wright's own hand, albeit with the late caveat, also his, that the term "organic" was as it were snatched from the air, and might have been substituted with some other vague but evocative vocable ?

This is how these present-day Taliesin students choose, here, to define "organic":

Image

As for principles: Wright spoke of them, enunciating a number of desiderata that any well-intentioned and sensitive architectural designer---of any age---might equally have called his own. Of course a building should be a fitting complement to its setting; of course it should respect the climate, the terrain, the needs and aspirations and the comfort of its occupants; of course it should be made of appropriate and well-utilized materials.

Isn't what makes a Wright building special more than these ? Isn't "organic" a code word for low-slung houses with deep overhangs and hovering trellises, high sheltering walls with slit windows dressed in geometric wooden foliage, rough earthy stonework or crisp but warm and streamlined brick, broad horizontal boards, cave-like interiors centered on a massive hearth and opened to a private view ? Do we have to take Wright's word that his favored aesthetic was more than that, was somehow the result of a divine inspiration grounded in a sincere wish for a better America---a set of commandments descended from above---or something equally lofty that a Madison Avenue maven might have concocted to sell the product ?

Yes, it's difficult to put a visual art into words. These young architects don't attempt that, in their impassioned defense of their institution and their goals. Rather, they take for granted that the experience of Taliesin is what guides and inspires. "Organic are the future architectures to be devised by those who have lived and been educated at Taliesin." Let Wright's spirit, his lingering presence at the places he designed and grew and inhabited, be the matter absorbed and digested---not a rote set of rules supposedly laid on their shoulders by the man who penned them while awaiting the next opportunity to build . . .

S

Stephen Cowdery
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Stephen Cowdery »


Rood
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Rood »

Without knowing anything about the financial workings of the FLLWFoundation ... or the School, since I left in 1977 ... this quote from Aaron Betsky's statement is almost exactly what I have long assumed. When I was at Taliesin ... most members of the Staff received a stipend of $100.00 a month, and, depending on circumstances, that was not always paid on schedule. It's impossible to imagine that a hired staff would agree to live on such a precarious income.

"Over the years, the foundation became more and more removed from its original stakeholders and evolved its self-image into being the custodian of Taliesin and Taliesin West. The organisation interpreted the will by believing that, by giving tours and licensing products, they were educating the general public in the importance and meaning of Wright's work. In reality, most of the income they generated went, it seems to many observers, to support and ever larger and more well-paid staff."

Rood
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by Rood »

Just as we thought ...

"As a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, your support is more important than ever. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Arizona, Taliesin West closed to visitors earlier this month, our busiest time of the year. Tours during this season allow us to operate the rest of the year, support our mission, and keep our invaluable staff employed. It is estimated that 1/3 of the museums that have closed will not be able to reopen. If this crisis continues too much longer, the very future of Taliesin and Taliesin West, two of the world’s most important architectural sites, is at risk."

SDR
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by SDR »

Oh, boy.

This is a time for original thinking. I've gotten as far as "Now would be a good time to fix the highways and bridges . . ."

How can we turn lemons into lemonade---this time ?

S

DavidC
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Re: FLW SOA - SOAT CLOSES JUNE 2020

Post by DavidC »


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