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Yes, I would like to forget the School of Architecture! The instruction and the work generated do not seem to differ significantly from any other accredited school of architecture. Are the students being inculcated with the history of Wright? It does not appear to be the case. Wright's organic principles of design are nowhere to be seen.RonMcCrea wrote:Are you forgetting the school of architecture? It is flourishing and serving as a center for architectural outreach projects. Both Taliesin and Taliesin West are playing host to a full schedule of gatherings of architects and environmental thinkers to deal with the kind of big topics Wright always liked. The two campuses also are musical and cultural venues, drawing high-quality performers.
So, what exactly remains that sets this school apart from all the rest?
I can't see access changing much going into the future. They've kept a tight grip on things in the past - and I wouldn't see the Archives becoming 'open-source' at any time. They have too much tied up in keeping a tight grip on things and creating greatly limited access.jmcnally wrote: I hope the new repositories have the resources to digitize the material so it can be shared on-line.
I do hope, though, that someone(s) will take up the mantle of putting forth relevant and quality publications from the materials.
Paul Ringstrom wrote:RonMcCrea wrote:Are you forgetting the school of architecture? It is flourishing and serving as a center for architectural outreach projects. Both Taliesin and Taliesin West are playing host to a full schedule of gatherings of architects and environmental thinkers to deal with the kind of big topics Wright always liked. The two campuses also are musical and cultural venues, drawing high-quality performers.
"Yes, I would like to forget the School of Architecture! The instruction and the work generated do not seem to differ significantly from any other accredited school of architecture. Are the students being inculcated with the history of Wright? It does not appear to be the case. Wright's organic principles of design are nowhere to be seen.
So, what exactly remains that sets this school apart from all the rest?"
I think that a sensitive and observant architecture student would learn much from simply being in the environments at Taliesin and Taliesin West. I think the inculcation of Wright's principles is not as important as it may seem. (I realize that this sounds like heresy!) But never underestimate the effect of being in a great architectural environment, especially a Wright designed one. Young students by their nature are rebellious. Let them discover on their own whether their professors have the answers. If not, maybe they will learn design directly through experiencing Wright's brilliant architecture. Maybe more can be learned by "osmosis" than by following a set of dogmatic rules which inevitably could be misinterpreted by both teachers and students. Let the school continue on its own path. It isn't a religion! (Or is it?...)
Active teacher + passive student + information as catalyst = inculcation.
Active student + passive information + teacher as catalyst = education.
We need such things as the admonition that murder is impolite to be inculcated, but art must derive through education.
I studied more than 45 years ago, but my experience since that time leads to me to suggest that colleges of Architecture have not changed significantly.
With notable exceptions, faculty is populated by those bereft of talent, but possessed of a fervent belief in the latest mindless fashion, together with a totally unjustified assurance that they can teach others to be architects.
But architects are born not made. Frank Lloyd Wright, after his experience with Louis Henri Sullivan, understood that all the master can do is to furnish the apprentice with opportunities. This approach was surely behind the encouragement for those at Taliesin West to build their own shelters. Once constructed, FLLW could immediately ascertain whether an apprentice had what it takes, or whether they were to be consigned to the ranks of hewers of wood and drawers of water. Bob Beharkaâ€™s construction is a case in point. I understand that FLLW saw his shelter, and as a consequence bestowed considerable responsibility on the then young man.
Those few apprentices who made a mark, with the exception of John Lautner, spent comparatively little time with the Fellowship: Aaron Green, Alden Dow, Fay Jones, Milton Stricker. Others spent 27 years, but to little avail.
One would have thought that the projects undertaken post 9 April 1959, under the aegis of Olgivanna, reached the nadir of what was possible, but even those have been surpassed by more current work.
My information is that the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has been taken over by those who do not espouse the creed of an Organic Architecture, in much the same way as they have negated the original concept of the Bruce Goff Chair of Creative Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. Certainly the recent offerings from Taliesin would appear to have made this manifest, as they have been of an extremely low standard.
That Will Bruder spent much time earlier in his life imbibing the lessons of Taliesin West, without ever becoming an apprentice, speaks volumes.
I would suggest that the future of an Organic Architecture is in the hands of those who keep the faith by not submitting to the professors who threaten to downgrade their projects unless they toe the party line. If the academics were really talented they would be out in private enterprise practicing their profession, instead of sheltering from the world in institutions, teaching the unteachable.
Before universities adopted the 19th century concept that any person could be taken off the street, subjected to a series of academic exercises, and emerge as an architect, the situation exhibited an understanding of the true nature of the practice of the Great Mother Art.
Louis Henri Sullivan attended the Beaux Arts in Paris, and despaired of the teaching there. Established in Chicago, many aspiring architects wished to be in his studio, and he was able to choose those he considered the best. Joseph Lyman Silsbee would probably have had to settle for those of a lower caliber. This was the apprenticeship system at its best. The sooner it is adopted again, the better.
"But it's worth noting that the foundation, eager to prove its earth-friendliness, did manage to wrangle a new million-dollar solar-energy system this year. One wonders what might have been possible if the hunt for donations had been focused, instead, on the admittedly less-s e x y business of dust-control."
This article assumes the Foundation will be able to attract staff of the caliber of those currently maintaining the Archive long into the future AND that the Foundation will be able to continue to fund the physical plant necessary to maintain a large collection of fragile materials amid their struggles to maintain two needy historic sites. While my inclination toward wanting to keep the Archives tied with the place of their creation is present, I recognize that the Foundation will increasingly become overburdened with the responsibilities of operating two house museums, a large art/architectural archive, and an architectural school. I think the move was a sound idea, and the school may need to be next.One wonders what might have been possible if the hunt for donations had been focused, instead, on the admittedly less-s e x y business of dust-control."
Accredited degrees were an anathema to Wright. The school, if the Foundation sees that as a necessary legacy, might be best operated as a place for a range of seminars for people of all ages: children through seniors, architects, and those just interested in Wright, to have the opportunity to live at the Taliesins (somewhere on site at least) to learn about organic architectural principles, historic preservation, house museum curatorial methods, or possibly land management, for a few days or weeks.
For MANY years the Foundation has been looking for donors to fund the building of new space, technology and staffing. Other than Aaron donating the existing building, years ago, nothing ever materialized.
I think it is a show of progress at the Foundation that this decision was made. It would be more accurate to compare the archives to the situation David Wright house is in, with the archives faring better so far.
I've known a lot of people who, over the years, gave a lot of money to Taliesin for one reason or another (myself included), many of whom said, as one colorfully stated, that it was throwing money down a rat hole. The situation at Taliesin is entirely the fault of Taliesin. It has been run badly for half a century. People with real money are not wont to throw it away. When Geiger was writing his will, he intended to leave a big chunk of his cash to Taliesin, earmarked for specific purposes, but got absolutely no cooperation from Taliesin. I don't know what he did with it in the end, but I'm sure it didn't go to Taliesin. Their loss.
http://miraimages.photoshelter.com/imag ... 1fQBW_HbgI
Could Wright have possibly approved of the finish on those hassocks (not to mention the entire roof structure)? Or did someone go crazy with a paint brush?...