Deconstructing Discontent at Taliesin

How do the stewards of an iconic architectural institution build community for a new generation?


WE MUST BE BOLD designed and led a creative workshop that would help breathe new life into the historic Frank Lloyd Wright property, Taliesin. 

The Project

Taliesin, the home, studio, and country estate of Frank Lloyd Wright, is located in the lush Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin. Named in honor of his Welsh heritage, Taliesin was the principal residence of Wright as a mature designer, and the valley was his inspiration and life-long laboratory for design and innovation.


Taliesin Preservation, the organization tasked with preserving this historic property, approached WE MUST BE BOLD (WMBB) to envision ways of evolving the property’s place in contemporary culture. The spaces were not being used fully year round other than for tours, and they wanted to breathe new life into this place that had once been where Wright and his fellows designed some of the world’s most iconic structures. 

How could Taliesin keep reaching new audiences, bring their spaces to life, and resume the role as a center for exploration?

Our answer was to use the breathtaking spaces the way they were originally intended to be used — as spaces for hosting innovation and ideation, bringing the world’s big-thinkers and creative leaders there to be inspired, and in turn, to inspire.

The workshop’s curriculum aimed to examine moments of transition in the participant’s careers and create an open exchange of ideas and experiences between people who might not have found themselves in a room together otherwise.  

We branded the experience Deconstructing Discontent, inspired by a previous project that explored similar creative questions. Activities included mapping life timelines, modeling potential futures, and mission statement drafting. Custom-designed prompts and worksheets compiled attendees’ learnings into a work plan, allowing them to have a pathway for implementation and continuity once they returned home. 

What resulted from this first Deconstructing Discontent workshop at Taliesin
was far more meaningful than anyone could have predicted. 



Participants forged a deep and lasting connection and have stayed in close contact in the months since. Taliesin Preservation gained valuable new insights and perspectives on their own narrative along with lasting relationships with influential members of new markets across the country. Leveraging our storytelling platform, The Great Discontent, the workshops and Taliesin were also promoted to an audience of over 50,000 people.

But perhaps a shared community experience is the most powerful testimonial. One of the participants shared the following sentiment post workshop, “It is not an exaggeration to say how much the time together has changed the square foot I have been standing in. Not only in the very introspective work of self in the past, present, and future, but with the time spent with the other individuals and staff. I am still reflecting on all we shared.” 

“The mission of an architect is to help people understand how to make life more beautiful, the world a better one for living in, and to give reason, rhyme, and meaning to life.”
— Frank Lloyd Wright

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