From left, Ron Chandler, manager of Landscaping; David Tollas, project manager; Nadia Begin, manager of the planning department; Mary Hoadley, Cosanti Foundation director and treasurer; Roger Tomalty, agriculture manager at Arcosanti and manager of Soleri Scuptures; new President Jeff Stein; maintenance manager Randall Schultz; utilities manager Scott Riley; manager of HR, workshop coordination and the Italian Project, Matteo Di Michele; Cosanti Foundation director and director of the Soleri Archives, as well as director of Design, Tomiaki Tamura; and taking the photo is Sue Kirsch, manager of the Soleri Archives.
Jeff Stein sent the following address to the Arcosanti Alumni:
13 December 11
Dear Fellow Arcosanti Alum:
It’s Jeff Stein sending you a note from Arcosanti. As I write this, the sun is shining, the air is crisp and buildings you helped construct continue to be occupied and more relevant than ever.
Those of us at the site want to take this moment before the start of a new year to thank you for taking a chance on an Arcosanti Workshop years ago, for having had the foresight to come here to contribute your strength and energy to build this place where we live and work today. You have helped to shift some of the discussion worldwide from maximized cars to miniaturized cities. The dialogue, of course, is still ongoing; but you should know the importance of this desert place is greater than it was when I was a workshopper thirty-five years ago. We have regular calls from journalists – New York Times, Wall Street Journal, new international publications – and educators. This past month, a documentary film director showed up to tell us he needed to revise his shooting script about the future of housing in America to show visual evidence at Arcosanti, because architects he was interviewing around the US suggested relevant dialogue on green/ sustainable architecture BEGINS here.
The news this month is of University of Michigan studies about the effect of nature on enhanced brain function. The studies claim that memory, attention span, creativity…all are enhanced by time spent in – or even just a view of – unspoiled nature. Arcosanti, standing and functioning in the midst of a vast nature preserve, is a living example of this enhanced ability to evolve.
We are thankful for the continuing support of alumni. Geoff Bruce has funded the Geoffrey Bruce Workshop Scholarship for the coming year; Russell Ferguson returns for his annual month-long visit with 16 students from Kansas City Art Institute in January; Anthony Floyd, pioneering the new International Green Construction Code, is at Arcosanti lecturing about it, keeping us up to date. And we appreciate all of you for visiting with family and guests, buying bells, sending workshoppers. As an Arcosanti alum, please do consider supporting a workshop scholarship; or find a way to support our exhibition and publication schedule. We need donations to both these projects, and welcome your participation in them.
Thank you for all you have done so far to make Arcosanti a reality in the world. There’s much more to do, and we look forward to your help.
On behalf of the Arcosanti Community
Jeff Stein AIA
President, Cosanti Foundation
Arcosanti HC74 Box 4136
Mayer AZ 86333
JUST A NOTE: The following is a partial list of what we are up to just recently at Arcosanti. Again, it is your support that continues to make all this possible.
*Our new book ARTERIAL ARCOLOGY: Lean Linear City, put together by Arcosanti staffer YoungSoo Kim, is at the printer; Princeton Architectural Press brings out a new CONVERSATIONS WITH PAOLO SOLERI this spring; and new additions to the QUADERNI series will be arriving by summer.
[more about these new books will be posted in the early part of the New Year].
*Five separate documentary films are being prepared about Arcosanti and Paolo Soleri’s work, including projects by Geoffrey Madeja, Eric Bricker, Michael Peterson / Blue Dot Films, Lisa Scafuro / Mona Lisa Films , and Aimee Madsen / Eye Am Films. This last Eye Am film is an in-house project at Cosanti .
[We will post a report about Aimee Madsens project on Friday, December 30. 2011].
While Paolo Soleri (age 92!) no longer makes public appearances, several of us continue to represent the work in venues across the US: Matteo DiMichele and YoungSoo Kim presented at the University of Nevada; Roger Tomalty in Boston, Jeff Stein at NAU, TECHONOMY, and the Santa Fe Institute.
We are preparing two exhibitions during the coming year: a major retrospective of the work of Paolo Soleri, with comprehensive catalogue at the NAU Art Museum in Flagstaff; and an equally significant exhibit at SMOCA / Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, part of a series of installations in conjunction with ASU.
*Not that one, just yet, but it’s a start: a new Cordes Junction interchange ($50 million!) is under construction with a special ramp to Arcosanti; Paolo Soleri was design consultant for all the concrete bridge (5 new bridges) abutments and landscape walls.
The construction workshop / experiential education remains at the core of our educational mission. 2012 workshops begin on February 5, and we look forward to a larger group of diverse students undertaking more projects on-site than during the past few years. We have added special events to this year’s workshops: side trips, foreign language study, and a special tuition discount for children of alumni.
*We are developing new educational / research relationships with Northern Arizona University and with the Santa Fe Institute; and closer ties, project-based, with Arizona State University and Taliesin West/the Frank Lloyd Wright School.
*Strategic planning is ongoing with Board and Staff and Community, sharpening our focus as a lean institution and working through the possibilities to accomplish our mission. We will welcome new thoughts for consideration in the coming months.
*We know what must be done, and pretty much how to do it: the East Crescent needs completing; expanded greenhouse agriculture is ready to happen; site utilities need expanding; archival storage is in the works; Cosanti in Scottsdale requires restoration work.
Colly Soleri Music Center
*The annual series of performing arts events at Arcosanti continues in the coming year – April to October – with returning guests as well as new artists ready to produce some extraordinary moments in the East Crescent amphitheater. We hope you can join us for one or more of these.
*Of course Paolo’s retirement from day-to-day management decisions made this happen at the end of the past summer; I have left Boston and the Deanship of Boston Architectural College to do this work; the board and staff at Cosanti and Arcosanti, and Paolo himself, have been extremely generous in helping to insure our success here as we move forward to the future.
Again, I thank all of you for your continued support of this place and of each other. I hope to see you out here.
Jeff[photo: Sue & text: Jeff Stein, Sue]