Our group of CSI folks were part of the Construction Specifications Institute, in Arizona for their annual national conference, produced by Hanley-Wood media. CSI is a global network of over 13,000 volunteers: specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product representatives, manufacturers, owners and others who are experts in building construction and materials.

[photo: Jeff explains the process of making bronze bells shortly after a pour in the foundry; photo by Donald Mahoney & text by Jeff Stein]

Just before the conference got underway in Phoenix, 27 of their members, from all parts of the building industry and all parts of the US, came to Arcosanti for the day. They were here for an in-depth tour of the site with Cosanti Foundation President Jeff Stein, a lecture-demonstration from Chief Ceramicist David Hutchens.

[photo: CSI members are taken through the process of making ceramic bells by manager David Hutchens; photo by Donald Mahoney & text by Jeff Stein]

The also had a brief to the Soleri Archive with Sue Kirsch, lunch in the café, and time well-spent in the Arcosanti Gallery.

[photo: Archives manager Sue Kirsch shows the group one of Paolo Soleri’s sketchbooks; photo by Donald Mahoney & text by Jeff Stein]

“I’ve always wanted to visit Arcosanti,” was a frequently overheard comment. “It’s very grounding to be in this place at the start of our conference,” said an architect from Colorado. “The rest of our week is going to be spent in the company of high-tech solutions to big buildings’ performance. Today, seeing how an apse performs on its own with the sun and seasons, so clearly part of the natural world…it couldn’t be better!”

[photo & text by Jeff Stein]

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