Critic, curator and educator Aaron Betsky has been announced the new dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Betsky will assume his role immediately, taking over responsibilities regarding the School’s academic programs, personnel, students, finances, and character, as well as relations with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s broader programs.
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue the work that for so long made Taliesin into a workshop for reinventing American architecture,” said Betsky. “I look forward to continuing its traditions and making the School into the best experimental school of architecture in the country.”
A group of alumni from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture have launched a petition on change.org to incorporate the school “as an independent subsidiary as required by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to ensure this irreplaceable treasure is perpetuated.” The school is currently at risk of losing its accreditation due to a recently enacted HLC law that requires colleges and other institutions to be accredited separately from the organizations that sponsor them. The Frank Lloyd Wright School is currently funded as a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which supports both of the school’s campuses, and preserves collections of Wright’s work.
“The School is a vibrant, rigorous, and fully accredited contemporary school of architectural design (offering an HLC- and NAAB-accredited M.Arch degree) that fills an irreplaceable niche as an alternative to conventional architectural education, a mandate set forth by Frank Lloyd Wright at its founding in 1932,” states the petition, which currently has over 400 signatures. Among the signatures are Mecanoo’s Francine Houben and Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, who wrote: “Having stayed at Taliesin West for five months as a Scholar in Residence, I have deeply understood the great potential of the School.”
Learn more and sign the petition on change.org.
Since childhood, growing up on a farm outside of Nashville, Wendell Burnette has been inspired by nature; indeed, the amplification of the natural site has highlighted his body of work. In the following question and answer by Guy Horton of Metropolis Magazine, the Pheonix-based architect speaks about memories, inspiration and experience.
Wendell Burnette’s journey through architecture has taken him from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, where he has designed a type of architecture that resonates with the power of natural surroundings. It has also taken him to one of the world’s fastest growing cities, Phoenix, Arizona, where his practice, Wendell Burnette Architects, is based and where he calls home. More recently it has brought him to Los Angeles where he is the current Nancy M. & Edward D. Fox Urban Design Critic at the USC School of Architecture. He is also Professor of Practice at The Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.
I spoke with Burnette about his approach to architecture, the importance of direct experience, and the meaning behind his current USC studio, “Earth Curvature”.
The annual AIAS FORUM meeting for 2011 will take a break from the snow of the past two years (2009 Minnesota, 2010 Toronto) and be held in sunny downtown Phoenix, Arizona. FORUM is the annual meeting of the AIAS and the premier global gathering of architecture and design students. The conference provides students with the opportunity to learn about important issues facing architectural education and the profession, to meet students, educators, and professionals with common interests, and to interact with some of today’s leading architects through keynote addresses, tours, workshops and seminars, last years FORUM was attended by over 1,000 young and ambitious architecture students and AIAS members. This years Keynote Speakers will be Jeffrey Inaba, founder of C-Lab and former project manager with Rem Koolhaas and OMA, Brad Lancaster, author of www.harvestingrainwater.com, and University of Californa, San Diego architect and professor Teddy Cruz.