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Art & Architecture Summer Camps at Taliesin West – 2019 Recap

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Aug 12, 2019

From speaking to a NASA engineer who is working on the Mars 2020 rover; to capturing images of Taliesin West, K-12 students in our Summer Art & Architecture Camps fused technology, architecture, and creativity for an unforgettable summer experience.

This summer, at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Summer Art & Architecture Camps at Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory, campers’ grades K-12 explored everything from building on Mars to the basics of photography. Thanks to generous grants from Scottsdale League for the Arts, Employee’s Community Fund of Boeing, and ON Semiconductor, the Foundation’s Education Department was able to continue improving the programming offered and incorporate more technology than ever before.

The generous support of these organizations also covered operational expenses for camps, and allowed the Foundation to provide free registrations for 25 children from several under-served Title 1 school districts.

In the Design Your Dream Space Camp, where campers learn to build their dream home from the ground up through multiple tours of the Taliesin West to gain inspiration, creativity, and ideas from Wrights principle idea’s on organic architecture, campers used iPads and an app called Magic Plan which scans rooms with its camera to make a floor plan. After each room was scanned, each camper got to change the floorplan of the room around. After developing a floor plan, campers then constructed a scale model of the floor plan using foam core, cardboard, and other materials to make their dream space or home a reality. At the end of the week of camp, the campers presented their dream space to their families in a gallery presentation.


In the Wright for the Future Camp, middle school and early high school students came built a city for the future. Inspired by Wright’s Broadacre City, campers learn more about how different cities are laid out to promote transportation and better living quality.

“This summer I was able to witness the creativity of campers in ways I could not imagine. By guiding students through a creative process using technology, hands-on investigations, and the legacy and inspiration of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; students each displayed unique and innovative creations that were a reflection of both their personalities and their experience at Taliesin West.”

Natalie Pollet, Education Coordinator

Campers also got to learn from professional Arizona photographer Andrew Pielage in the Photographing Wright Camp. Through learning the basics of photography, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, campers were able to capture the beauty around them at Taliesin West through their own lenses.

In Designing for Mars Camp, campers studied and learned more about Mars while they collaboratively tackled some of the same challenges confronting scientists in their effort to travel and live on red planet. At the end of the week, the students used 2D plans to create a 3D model of their new colony on Mars.

Campers also had the opportunity to discuss mars related topics with Erin Bonilla, a former NASA employee, and Davis Born, a current NASA employee who is working on the Mars 2020 rover mission.

In Architectural Discovery camp, an introductory course in basic engineering and architecture design, these future architects learned about Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, basic architectural concepts, and how architecture is inspired by nature.

Campers tested out a range of different engineering and architecture designs throughout the week-long camp taught by the camp instructor.


Summer Art & Architecture Camps at Taliesin West are supported in part by grants from these community partners: