Taliesin Summer Camp

June 30, 2022: I was thrilled to be invited to talk with the high school students attending Taliesin’s Summer Camp. Their topic this week is “From Detail to City: Exploring the Concept of Scale in Architecture & Design”. Earlier in the week, they explored the scale of personal space. Later in the week, they’ll explore the scale of the city. My mid-week presentation was on the scale of a house.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hillside Drafting Studio at Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin

I brought in the cardboard model of my first Poem Home design, the Construction Drawings for the house built in Spring Green (the students are deep into section drawings right now), and slides showing the construction from excavation to framing to insulation to trim and finally to the installation of the solar panels. We passed around material samples as we followed the story: styrofoam, 2×4’s, plywood, cellulose, housewrap, wood and cement siding, tape, gaskets, steel angle iron, and other fun stuff.

We talked about drawing software, what things cost, how an eco-friendly house can fit into a neighborhood, and how to know in advance if your design will work. The students asked good questions and were able to draw on their personal experience to help them understand design concepts, how people use space, and how we create community. For me, the most rewarding idea we discussed is how the study of architecture involves subjective (and sometimes objective) observation combined with the designer’s imagination. Architecture is a fascinating field for these student to consider as they make their way. All I can say is: Look out world!

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