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Youth Workshop Participants: A Day in the Life

May 31st, 2019

DAY IN THE LIFE ofTaliesin Summer Youth Workshop Participants

1. What was the biggest surprise about architecture camp?

Jane Stenson: My grandchildren love the camp. The learning environment is so different from their schools. It’s experiential in that the first day is a walking tour of the land and buildings which gets translated into the hands-on projects produced throughout the rest of the week. This progressive approach encourages thoughtful pursuit of ideas. Concepts or understanding arise from their experiences with the land, building materials, and extended conversations about construction. Because they have attended the program for several summers, their understanding of the functional relationship between nature and man-made structures has increased, creating the foundation for them to produce more sophisticated and artistic constructions.

Clare Wiegert: How much I could do in five days (a relatively short amount of time). From making the model to computer design to touring the estate—we’re learning the whole time throughout the camp. You don’t expect to go to a camp in Spring Green, WI and meet someone from Florida; that’s pretty cool too!

2. What new knowledge or skills did you acquire?

Clare: I’ve learned a lot about the principles of organic architecture in addition to how Wright’s travels influenced his life and designs.

3. Describe a favorite Taliesin memory.

Jane: In his first year at camp, Zach (then age 10) saw a lumber yard on the drive home. “STOP!” he yelled, “I need some wood.” The fellows at Ridge Lumber shared his enthusiasm and helped Zach choose inexpensive lumber that would fuel his ideas. They were as excited about helping him as he was. We came home with lumber that he used to build and continuously rebuild all week long. That summer he had his projects at Taliesin plus his building work at home.

Clare: Coming back to volunteer after having been a camp participant for four years. I love meeting the new campers and seeing how excited they are about architecture.

4. How did the camp modules differ each year?

Jane: Zach has attended for four years. He prefers the hands-on building to the computer or virtual design. He also loves to work with his hands. The last two years he has enjoyed the sessions and activities with the School of Architecture at Taliesin (SoAT) students very much.

Clare: The fourth year I was a student, I got to go all out with my design and could push it super far. So I constructed a model for a three-story house perched on stilts above a coral reef off the coast of Hawaii. It also included a trapdoor which would swing out into the ocean plus roof-top pergola with an outdoor shower.

5. Pick four words which depict your overall Taliesin camp experience.

Clare: Fun, engaging, inspiring, and exciting.

Explore our 2019 Summer Youth Workshops offerings at: