Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.

Daily Life

September 25. 2017

Just outside the East Crescent, you’ll find a young Peruvian Apple Cactus, otherwise known as Cereus Repandus, in a planter. Last week we captured a rather rare occurrence for our young cactus.(Photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

The young plant sprouted a flower nearly half its size! The bloom of the Cereus Repandus only lasts half a day, bursting open at night and closing again at sunrise. This implies that it’s pollenator is also nocturnal, possible a bat or moth. “With an often tree-like appearance, its cylindrical gray-green to blue stems can reach 10 metres (33 feet) in height and 10–20 cm in diameter as a self-supporting plant. However, if supported by a scaffold, C. repandus has grown to a height of 110 feet (34 meters) at the SDM College of Dental Sciences at Dharwad, Karnataka, India, technically making this the tallest cactus plant in the world, although no cactus under natural conditions exceeds seventy feet (21 meters) in height. The large, cream-colored, nocturnal flowers remain open for only one night. The fruits, known locally as pitaya, olala (only in some parts of Bolivia) or Peruvian apple, are thornless and vary in skin colour from violet-red to yellow. The edible flesh is white and contains small, edible, crunchy seeds. The flesh sweetens as the fruit opens out fully.” You can find more information about the Peruvian Apple Cactus at the following resources:

September 13. 2017

The whole community got together on Tuesday for the quarterly All Site meeting. Reports were made by each department about how the year is going up to date. The community also discussed issues of policy and upgrading things around site.

The Chair of the Board of Directors, John Walsh, joined the All Site meeting to present the Foundation’s new “Strategic Initiatives.” This strategic plan builds upon the momentous work done by the Strategic Plan Steering Committee that was form shortly after Soleri’s death in 2013. The Steering Committe’s discussions, organizing efforts, meetings and planning work have pushed the Cosanti Foundation in the direction of developing these strategic initiatives.

This plan will guide us - and the coming generations - in taking the next steps at Arcosanti and beyond. Look for the “Strategic Initiative” document on our website sometime next week.

(photos by Sue Kirsch and Shannon Mackenzie, text by Shannon)

September 01. 2017

This past month, Su Vida hosts Vanessa Ramirez and JR Cardenas visited Arcosanti! We introduced them to the history of Arcosanti and Arcology. You can catch their show, which includes an interview with Jeff Stein, on Cox 4/1004 this Sunday September 3rd at 7:30 pm, and again on Wednesday September 6th at 8:30 pm.

From the network: “On Su Vida, we introduce you to exciting people and take you to fun places while exploring Hispanic community, culture, food y más. […] Su Vida airs on Cox systems all across the country and is seen in over 6 million households.”

Find out more about Su Vida on their website: or on their Facebook page:

August 30. 2017

This week our construction manager led a trip of workshop participants to Sedona Recycle Inc to drop off a load of recyclable electronics, plastic, and styrofoam and tour their hard working facility.

Our tour guide was incredibly helpful, taking the time to explain how they process each different material and type of material. She even showed us where they have to exclusively separate cat food containers from other metals. Sedona Recycle Inc uses an industrial baler to condense the materials they collect into manageable sizes. Here their cardboard and paperboard have already been processed through the baler, and the numbers spray painted onto them indicate each bundle’s weight.

They have a machine that mixes the different styrofoam pieces up and compresses the beads into dense logs. Construction Intern, Du Hao, shows off their condensed styrofoam.

Workshop participant, Richard, and Eli from the construction crew stand beside the stacks of aluminum and steel cans that have been processed by the baler.

The crushed cans together create a beautiful and serious reminder of how much waste Americans produce.

In true devotion to "reduce, reuse, recycle," Sedona Recycles Inc has this whimsical dragon at the entrance of their facility to show off the creative possibilities of our waste. (photos and text by Shannon Mackenzie)

August 23. 2017

Monday August 21, around 10:33, the moon passed in front of the sun all across America to different degrees. Here in the high desert of Arizona, we saw the moon cover almost two thirds of the sun. Residents and visitors all over site had their special classes prepared as the moon began to peak in front of the sun starting around 9:30. (photos by Ali Gibbs and Shannon Mackenzie, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

(We all watched in wonder. There was a slight diffused cloud cover on Monday, not enough to completely block the sun, thankfully. At 10:43, this perfect cloud passed in front of the dancing celestial objects and we were able to capture pictures of the incredible event without depending on the glasses. Without looking directly at the sun, this picture was captured through the cloud.

There were other effects of the eclipse around Arcosanti to be seen as well! Our wonderful olive trees that dapple the sunlight during the eclipse turned into hundreds of pinhole cameras that projected tiny eclipses all over the concrete walkways. The clouds made this a more temporary phenomenon of the day, but when the sun was at its brightest, you could see this.

August 11. 2017

We have two wonderful employees of the Cosanti Foundation stepping into new roles this summer. You know him from the continuous work in construction and many other departments - Ron Chandler came to Arcosanti for his workshop in September of 1993. We are honored to announce that Ron is our new Cafe Manager. He plans to take charge of the cafe to improve organization and preparation for catering services as well as daily meals. 

(text Shannon Mackenzie and photos lvb)

Joel Masters is our new construction manager, filling another very important role here at Arcosanti.  Joel did his workshop in July of 2007 and rejoined the community here in 2016. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. In addition to being our construction manager, Joel is also an artist. He has an installation currently on display at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

August 09. 2017

Mesquite was a staple in Native American diets for generations. Many arcosanti residents have joined forces with Colleen Reckow and the Slow Food Prescott this summer to harvest mesquite all over site.This mesquite will be turned into enough flour for the annual Mesquite Pancake Breakfast, an event that can feed as many as 200 people!

Mesquite is a superfood, high in protein, lysine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and dietary fiber. It is also naturally gluten free. More to come and please join us for the pancake breakfast this November.

July 31. 2017

Conviviality - a chance for the August workshop participants to meet Arcosanti residents. 

(photo and text lvb)

A barbecue potluck to welcome the new workshop is organized in the Vault. Cyo, one of the residents, is vegetarian: bean burger for him.

Thanks Charlie for taking care of the barbecue and thanks to everyone who prepared something for the potluck or simply joined it. Welcome to Dominik, Miles, Richard, Taylor, Camilo and Irene.


Arcosanti alum, our "architect of record" on many recent projects, and Northern Arizona's Architect of the Year Jeff Zucker hosts a meeting at Arcosanti of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chapter of the AIA / American Institute of Architects.

Waiting for everyone to start. 

The meeting included real AIA work in our solar classroom for the amassed Board members, lunch in the Cafe at Arcosanti, and a special tour of the site and discussion of our current projects with Arcosanti's planning coordinator, Kevin Pappa. 

Congratulations to Arizona AIA; we hope to see them again, and for you who are reading this, we welcome YOUR meeting at Arcosanti.

July 19. 2017

East Crescent. The monsoon season has started in Arcosanti. Cloudy colorful sky and big storms are all around.

(photos and text by lvb)

Like every Tuesday the community council members, Devron, Ray, Kyle, Jona and Joel, meet to discussissues and affairs important to living at Arcosanti. Last night, maybe to enjoy the cooler temperature outside after the storm, they choose to meet on the east crescent rooftop.

Other then the CC Members, most of the workshop participants and Kevin, our Planning manager, were also present at the meeting. Between the topics of the week: the involvement of the people in the community and lab studios policy...

A special guest was also on site...