Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.


October 23. 2017

Studying utopia and distopia, a group of Arizona State University students visited Arcosanti to experience Arcology philosophy. Professor Michael Ostling shared a bit about their experience:

“We've been reading all semester about "utopian" solutions to issues mainstream society has been unwilling or unable to solve (and in our class, "utopian" doesn't mean "impossible" but radical, bold, intentional). It's one thing to read about Plato's Republic or Le Guin's Annares or real communities such as Oneida or Twin Oaks--it's something else entirely to visit such as community and see it thrive (and also see its complexity, its lived experience). 

My students, on the whole, prefer to dismiss utopias as, well, utopian (the hangover from the standard definition is hard to overcome). Our visit, and your tour, made such dismissal more difficult: they could not deny that Arcosanti works, that it is full of thoughtful, caring people, that it might serve as a model to the world. We learned a lot, and we took on the burden of hope--hope whichh, after all, imposes the obligation to try to realize its goals in the world. 

It's easy to treat utopias as castles in the air. Arcosanti reminded us of Thoreau's quip: ‘That is where they should be: now put the foundations under them.’”

(photo by Michael Ousting, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

A group of inspired architects from Aero Collective based in Los Angeles came to visit Arcosanti this past weekend.

From their website: “AERO COLLECTIVE is a multi-faceted design practice that gathers unique creative talents to realize your vision. Our project types are purposefully diverse in order to maintain creative curiosity regarding each individual project; as a result our experience covers: Affordable Housing, Art Galleries, Art Museums, Master Planning, Multi-Family Housing, Office, Restaurants, Retail, Single Family Residential, and Theaters. Our mission is to meet and exceed your expectations on every project, no matter its size, scope or complexity; thus, we proudly partner with innovative, creative professionals who will help us realize your unique vision. Truly great design comes from the inspired ideas of talented and passionate people working in collaboration, and we would like to be the team that designs your space.”

During their stay, they were guided on an in-depth tour of the Arcosanti Architecture by resident and Penn State graduate Ryan David. The group even joined the community in the evening for activities in the Vaults, getting a better feel for daily life at Arcosanti. To find out more about Aero Collective, visit their website at


(Text and photos by Shannon Mackenzie)

September 18. 2017

Last week, Arcosanti was visited by Local Earth. “Local Earth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to upgrading the health and sustainability of our planetary systems. We are doing this by creating a regenerative model for human society that integrates harmoniously with our natural environment. We are cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship with the human species and the entirety of our global ecosystem. The old paradigm ways of fear and competition are becoming obsolete. We are upgrading the operating systems for planet Earth, just as we upgrade the operating systems on our computers.. Earth 2.0 is evolving from a solutions-based modest of creativity, cooperation, collaboration and abundance.”

During their visit, they took time to learn about the Arcosanti project by interviewing different members of the community and employees of the Cosanti Foundation including, Co-president Jeff Stein. These interviews helped to explain the powerful work that the architecture and the community at Arcosanti are doing every day to live a more "regenerative" lifestyle. You can find more information about Local Earth here:

(Text and photos by Shannon Mackenzie)

September 11. 2017

GreenLight Solutions Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates experimental learning opportunities for university students by connecting them with local organizations to collaborate on sustainability projects. This past weekend, the GS foundation and a group of Arizona State University students came to stay and work at Arcosanti for their annual retreat. (text by Shannon Mackenzie, photos by Devron Lovick)

Most students are majoring or concentrating of sustainability studies. The group with the construction team to continue their effort of restoring the highroad foot trail, initiated an impact analysis on the recycling facilities and process at Arcosanti, and enjoyed a hike along the Agua Fria River. More to come.

Find out more about GreenLight Solutions at

September 08. 2017

This week, Arcosanti got a visit from 75 students from the Desert Marigold School, a Waldorf School in Phoenix. “The mission of Desert Marigold School is to provide an educational context that emphasizes intellectual achievement and the imaginative, artistic, and moral growth of its students. By addressing their heads, hands and hearts, the school will encourage students to be lifelong learners and independent thinkers as well as self motivated, self-disciplined, creative, adaptable and responsible individuals.” Here they are touring the site.

The students took a one week field trip north. Before coming to Arcosanti, they camped at Lynx Lake and volunteered at Prescott Creeks. We are honored to be included in their trip. 

During there visit, they got a tour of the architecture, watched a bronze pour, and had a pool party! Here they are preparing to watch the bronze pour.

They also got to participate in a silt casting workshop. (photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

We were honored to have the Console Generale Italiano Dr. Antonio Verde visit Arcosanti on April 2. 2017. He was accompanied by Gino Gaudio, President of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West and by Honorary Consul in Arizona, Massimo Paolillo.

Here are Cosanti Foundation Directors Mary Hoadley and Roger Tomalty with the visitors in the Soleri Archives.

[photo by Sue Kirsch]

DOCOMOMO US National Symposium visits Arcosanti.

The Fifth Annual Docomomo US National Symposium entitled "Modernism and Climate" is taking place in Phoenix, AZ from March 29. through April 2. 2017 and about 150 participants visited Arcosanti on Friday, March 31. 2017.

Here are a few more photos.

[photos by Sue Kirsch]

Jeff Stein, one of four Cosanti Foundation directors, welcomes the group in the Colly Soleri amphitheater.

Participants in the cafe with a box lunch.

After lunch different workshops were offered, here in the red room.

Another group is in the Crafts III cafe.

Cosanti Foundation director Tomiaki Tamura took a group through the site and talked about the varied concrete building techniques at Arcosanti.

DOCOMOMO US National Symposium visits Arcosanti.

The Docomomo US National Symposium is the primary event in the United States for professionals to discuss and share efforts to preserve modern architecture and meet leading practitioners and industry professionals.

[photos by Leah-Ann Walker]

The Fifth Annual Docomomo US National Symposium entitled "Modernism and Climate" is taking place in Phoenix, AZ from March 29. through April 2. 2017.

It will look at how modern design approached desert climates creatively and how thos design strategies continue to be relevant in light of our search for sustainable solutions and what can be learned from those creative efforts.

The only national event dedicated to all aspects of the preservation of Modernism, the symposium brings together world renowned designers, scholars, students and professionals from around the country.

Kim and Jose Caraveo had their wedding at Arcosanti on Saturday, March 25. 2017.

[photos by Sue Kirsch]

Here is a link to more wedding photos at lifepassages.

Beautiful - Congratulations!!

PR Coordinator Sean-Paul VonAncken and maintenance manager Jeff Fisher are having fun putting lightbulbs into lightstrings in preparation to a wedding.

[photos by Sue Kirsch]

The strings of lights were installed in the Vaults.

More to come.