A group of architects, landscape architects, and urban planners from the San Francisco Bay Area, founded in late 1939 through the merging of two groups of architects, one from San Francisco and the other from the University of California, Berkeley, called themselves Telesis. Philosophically, the group also evolved from several larger international architectural movements, including CIAM (Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne) and MARS (Modern Architectural Research Group).
Their stated aim was to research the development and implications of a "Second Bay Area Regional Style," as termed by architectural critic Lewis Mumford. As set forth in their founding statement, the group believed that "People and the Land make up the environment which has four distinct parts--a place to Live, Work, Play, and the Services which integrate these and make them operate. These components must be integrated in the community and urban region through rational planning, and through the use of modern building technology." -- from The Things Telesis Has Found Important
Noted Telesis members included William Wurster, Catherine Bauer Wurster, Thomas Church, Garret Eckbo, and Grace McCann Moreley. In addition to internal research and working groups that investigated such topics as speculative housing, industrial design, and the relationship of the physical environment of the San Francisco Bay Area to indigenous architectural styles, the group also organized several influential exhibitions on contemporary architecture and planning with the support of the San Francisco Museum of Art. Professional and personal papers from many of Telesis's members are collected in the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley.