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Mount Shasta, Siskiyou County, California USA

Telos is an interdisciplinary design/research/education facility, planned by architect and author, Eugene Tsui, located at 3500 feet elevation on 170 buildable acres and 350 additional national park acres of alpine desert at the base of Mount Shasta, the highest volcano and the largest volumetric mountain in the USA. It is on the Juniper Valley area of Weed, California approximately 500 meters south from Lake Shastina and 12 kilometers northeast of the city of Mount Shasta, California. The area is bordered by Lava caves, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, small mountains and a nationally recognized ski/snow boarding park, all within 20 minutes drive of Telos. Of note is the nearby 7000 foot elevation Castle Crag Lake--a volcanic lake 650 feet deep surrounded by sheer stone cliffs. From the Telos site, on a clear day, you can see to the ends of the earth in all directions. It is a place seemingly on top of the world.

The educational concept of Telos was first conceived and named by Dr. Eugene Tsui in 1985 at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Eugene Tsui completed his interdisciplinary doctorate in architecture and education and wrote his graduating dissertation about the Telos concept. The word, telos, is a Greek term meaning, purposefulness, or, final purpose. Its intention is to bring together the most far-reaching artistic, social and scientific discoveries of humanity as a basis for social change; to create the microcosm of a world governed by a mutually beneficial relationship of humanity and nature; an educative environment that questions the debilitating influences of social and cultural conditioning and institutionalized religion and seeks to design a world based upon the profound intelligence of nature.

In 2004 a master plan was first drawn. The first building will begin construction in 2008. A completed campus of buildings is scheduled by 2012. The Telos plan contains the following buildings and special landscape features:


1) Main Residence
2) Library and Archives Building
3) Gymnasium and Athletic Training Facility
4) Model Building and Machine/Woodshop Building
5) Drafting Studio and Exhibition Gallery
6) Biology, Microscopes and Research Laboratory
7) Work Plaza, Pool and Dormitory Apartments


1) Swimming and Diving Pool
2) Running Track and Paths
3) Archery Field
4) Constructed Wetlands
5) Aquifer Drinking Water Springs
6) Horse Stables
7) Windmills
8) Photovoltaic Panel Banks
9) Outdoor Covered Amphitheater
10) Camping Areas


1) Lake Shastina (1000+ meters distance from Telos)
2) Lake Shastina 18 Hole Golf Course (1000+ meters distance from Telos)
3) The Pluto Caves (1 kilometer distance, sacred Native American caves of unknown length)
4) Mount Shasta (4,316.3 meters/14,162 feet high)
5) Weed, California (6 kilometers distance, population: 3000 people)
6) Mount Shasta, California (12 kilometers distance, population 3500 people)
7) Lake Siskiyou (14 kilometers distance)
8) Castle Crag Lake (16 kilometers distance)
9) Heart Lake (16 kilometers distance)
10) McCloud River (25 kilometers distance)
11) McCloud Waterfalls (Three waterfalls about 25 kilometers distance from Telos)
12) Burney Waterfalls (50 kilometers distance from Telos)
13) Mount Shasta Ski Park and summer mountain biking (14 kilometers distance)
14) Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (90 kilometers distance)


Telos Population: Up to 100 persons, male and female, minimally 18 years of age.
Extend of Stay: 1 to 8 years.
Tuition: $30,000.00 per year includes living apartment, 2 prepared meals per day, 5 days per week.
Accreditation: All students receive 50% academic credit and 100% professional licensing credit for licensing as an architect, engineer or building contractor.
Weather Conditions: Winters are cold, rainy and occasionally very windy. Winter temperatures range from 20 degrees F at night to 50 degrees F during the day. Winds can reach 110 miles/hour on rare occasions.
Spring and Fall temperatures range from 40 degrees F at night to 75 degree F during the day. There is generally a mild breeze and occasional rain shower.
Summers are hot and dry. Temperatures range from 50 degrees F at night to 90 degrees F during the day with mild breeze.
Transportation: Around the immediate Telos regional the preferred mode of transportation is walking, bicycling, horseback riding or electric vehicle. For longer distances, automobile or electric vehicle.
Food: Vegetables, Cactus Fruit and Herbs are grown in the gardens at Telos. Other foods are obtained from local markets and farms.



Open Athletic Facilities: 6:00AM
Wake Up Bell: 7:30AM
Communal Breakfast and Discussion: 8:00AM
Start of the Work Day: 9:00AM
Communal Lunch and Discussion: 1:00PM
Resume Work Day: 2:00PM
Work Day Ends: 6:00PM
Individual Dinner: 6:30PM
Physical Training/Leadership Training/Music: 7:00PM
Open Facilities: 7:00PM
Group Activities Stop: 11:00PM


Hands On Construction
Scale Model Building
Furniture/Prototype Development
Preliminary Design Drawings
Construction Documents
Perspective Drawing and Rendering
Materials/Processes of Construction Research
Biological/Biomimetic Research
Glass Mural/Bas Relief Construction
Gardening/Ecological Technologies Implementation
Landscape Design and Construction
Clothing Design and Fabrication
Industrial Design and Fabrication



Wing Chun Kung Fu
Boxing/Kick Boxing
Horseback Riding


Recording Studio Engineering
Solo Instrument Instruction
Solo Instrument Practice and Performance
Band Formation and Practice/Performance
Music Composition


The Place Of Civil Disobedience
Global Inhumanity and Injustice
Organizing Protests and Behavior
Laws and Permits
Public Speaking


Film photography
Film editing
Script Writing
Film Direction and Production


Dance Performance
Public Speaking
Lecture/Visual Presentations
Dramatic Theater
Costume Design


Radio Programs
Television Programs


Mandarin Chinese


Telos is a environment where individuals from various countries come to gain knowledge, skills and commitment that will enable them to become designers, non-violent and forceful leaders of world change. Design, art, music, athletics, science and creative inquisitiveness are catalysts for social change. The Telos design attitude is deeply rooted in the scientific study of nature as a basis for sensible and beautiful design and as a way of life. Yet, design in itself, is not enough to impart a profound change in human thought and behavior. The human individual must initiate and become a proactive example of leadership that brings lasting change to destroy the heinous injustices of our human world; injustices such as slavery, poverty, corruption, oppression, the exploitation of women, children and the destitute, the destructive consequences of consumerism, racial and governmental coercion and environmental destruction.

No single person can be truly successful until every person is successful. This is the fundamental attitude that guides human life at its deepest and highest understanding—and this requires thought, insight and action—action that lies at the fundamental basis for life at Telos.


At Telos, participants learn by direct involvement with current design projects. Learning by doing imparts real responsibilities and understanding of the issues and persons involved in developing a design—from concept through to construction completion. Many persons must be communicated with; the engineer, the soils engineer, environmental protection groups, the surveyor, the builder, the sub-contractors, the energy calculator, the materials representatives, the planning and building departments, building inspectors and neighborhood associations. All of these individuals come together in every project. Academic settings fail to provide such practical, essential learning.

Another component of learning is the participation in constructing buildings. How can aspiring designers gain practical skills when they have never built anything? Even the professions of architecture and engineering do not provide such valuable experience. The Telos experience includes gaining knowledge and skills from constructing buildings.
This includes surveying a site, staking out the building, digging trenches, tamping the soil, tying rebar, laying conduit and plumbing pipe, erecting walls and beams, and much, much more.

Telos is a culture which, “seeks to live lightly on the planet”. Its electrical energy source is windmills and photovoltaic solar panels. Its sewage treatment is by water plants and marine life contained in a constructed wetlands ponds. Cooking is provided by wood and propane gas. Indigenous materials of the site; rocks and Pine/Juniper/Manzanita wood and loom/soil are used as building material.


The Telos environment promotes and encourages every participant to regularly engage in vigorous physical training and learn to competently play at least one musical instrument. Athletic and musical knowledge and skills are essential to the physical and spiritual health of every human being. These are skills that are life long and crucial to a strong and well informed life.

Athletics, music and having diverse skills and knowledge in many fields is also crucial to successfully communicating with others. If the ultimate intention is world change then the ability to navigate through every kind of unknown physical and social terrain is essential to success. These terrains are often hostile and foreboding. One must be able to defend oneself and have creative imagination and resourcefulness both physically and socially. One must also have the verbal skills to communicate in a wide variety of circumstances; from a very intimate few to public crowds of thousands of people.

An individual who is not physically, mentally and creatively strong—who has not learned the discipline of physical and creative training—will not likely succeed in times of debilitating difficulty and social duress. The physique and the soul must learn how to harness its power. This comes through regular, disciplined training and experience. It comes through dedication, life long commitment and the applied attainment of personal vision. Creative imagination and the inquisitiveness to experiment is a component of this. True experimentation is rigorous and tedious. It requires never giving up. This is the spirit of Telos.

Telos is an environment that helps others to find their personal vision—to find clarity of direction and purpose.


Telos accepts persons 18 years of age or older, from any country and from a variety of backgrounds. Preference is given to college graduates from the allied fields of architecture, engineering, ecology, regional planning, biology, the arts and sciences. The most desirable traits of persons accepted at Telos are: Curiosity, dependability, promptitude, analytical thinking, trainability, unrelenting focus and persistence.

Individuals who come to Telos are characterized as having an interest in many subjects, are multi-talented risk-takers with a fascination for challenging the unknown and the untried. They are ready to take on any task to learn more. With this comes patience and the ability to reflect and analyze upon one’s experiences with the intention of personal improvement.

Telos does not accept anyone with a history of alcohol drinking, drug use, tobacco and marijuana smoking or criminal offenses. A three month probationary period applies to all Telos candidates for an initial annual stay.


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