News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Introduces Revamped Field Trip Program

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Oct 17, 2019

This fall, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is rolling out a revamped K-12 field trip program at Taliesin West with the introduction of two new tours and corresponding education labs.

Utilizing the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s revamped field trip program at Taliesin West, Wright’s winter home and desert camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, allows students to learn by doing through dynamic, applied science and art projects. Wright’s revolutionary design concepts and buildings at Taliesin West, a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage site, are used to educate and inspire people of all ages, challenging them to understand and embrace innovation in their own lives.

“We are combining creativity with academic relevance to give students the opportunity to see how their unique ideas can have a true impact on the world around them as they engage in fun and educational activities.”

– Chris Jason, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Education Manager 

The Foundation’s Education Department designs field trips at Taliesin West to be in-line with Arizona state standards as well as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) principles and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The programming promotes engaging with architecture, organic design, ecology, and art at Wright’s historic winter home. The new field trip offerings include:

  • Architectural Historic Core Tour (Grades K-12)

Experience Wright’s Taliesin West through the lens of experimentation and discover why Wright called it his desert laboratory. Students will engage with the ideas of organic architecture with visits to the Garden Room, the Drafting Studio, the Music Pavilion, Cabaret Theatre, Kiva, and Wright’s Office. Created and led by educators, this tour leverages STEAM elements to discuss architecture, building techniques, environment, and Wright’s idea of “learning by doing.” The tour pairs well with the Building with a Purpose and Building Bridges educational labs.

  • Patterns and Design in the Sonoran Desert Tour (Grades K-12)

Patterns and Design in the Sonoran Desert Tour at Taliesin West explores how the Sonoran Desert inspired Wright through engagement with nature, art, and organic design. Each student will receive a desert exploration packet which includes a discovery guide and magnifying glass to experience the desert while walking a path through the biome we call home. Created and led by experienced educators who ignite discovery through STEAM focused experiential learning. The tour pairs well with the Patterns in Nature educational lab.

There are also three new education labs that can be added in conjunction with each tour such as Building Bridges Lab (grades 5-8), Building with a Purpose Lab (grades 2-8), and Patterns in Nature Lab (grades 2-12).

The Foundation has also developed Wright Design Classroom Kits that provide all the resources a teacher needs to facilitate students creating unique stained-glass window works of art. Inspired by Wright’s organic architecture, where he created geometric designs from nature, kits include six lessons to advance the stained-glass project.

Created in collaboration with the Foundation’s Education Department and Paradise Valley Unified School District Community Education, the pilot program launched in 2018 and is currently being developed to expand into more than 150 classrooms across Arizona.

“These classroom kits are geared toward grades four through six and teachers lead students to use the same process of ‘learning by doing’ that Wright promoted to his students, and his own architectural methods. Through engaging lessons, and with all the supplies needed, students learn about patterns and shapes found in nature in creating their own unique, artful stained glass,” Jason said.

The digital field trip enhancements were made possible by a lead grant from the Gila River Indian Community, and additional grants Scottsdale Arts, Cox Charities, Larry H Miller Dealerships, and Applied Materials.