Hello Arconauts and others involved in the Arcosanti project! I am excited and honored to “be” here. Thanks for sharing your time. My name is Julian Lauzzana. I lived and worked at Arcosanti during 2005-2006 and return whenever I can. I consider Arcosanti one of my favorite places on the planet. Though I could delve into many areas, I will here explore my thoughts on food systems and peri-urban space in relationship to arcology.

Arcology preserves land with high density human habitat, but what do we do with the “preserved” land? Globally it has been a story of deforestation and export based monoculture. A more holistic approach necessitates that what has been referred to as “camp” by Arcosanti residents becomes a fully integrated piece of the design process. If we can more effectively integrate the edges (wilderness, food forests, gardens) into arcology planning and design, we will create a more comprehensive and livable global design strategy. John D. Liu and others are working on large scale ecosystem restoration camps (ERCs) with significant prior success in Loess region of China and now beginning in various areas of the globe that have experienced soil depletion and desertification. At all these locations there is a great need for housing in these (largely rural) projects. Can we partner large scale ecosystem restoration with production of new arcologies? The ERCs may be one of the largest global projects before us. As the Urban Laboratory, Arcosanti is a great place to experiment and dedicate to prototyping a working model for human habitat around devastated areas (refugee camps, slums, ERCs, etc.).

Since 2011, I have been stewarding a modest community homestead in rural Southwest Michigan we call Earthen Heart LLC. The impetus here was to address the delusional American Dream which exists in the overly romantic version of a family farm. In essence to do an Arco in a rural area. Many young beginning farmers soon get overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to run a farm, and the social seclusion can also be oppressive for most new farmers. From what I have seen, the farming lifestyle can be more frantic than working on Wall Street as there is no “punch in/punch out” when you run a farm. Most incentives are to go large-scale, monoculture, export based. It is a hustle as much as any career: paperwork, payroll, long hours, managerial stress, etc. Affordable housing is even harder to find in rural areas than in the city, main street shops in rural America have largely been devastated by big box stores, good labor is hard to find, etc.

So what is the appropriate model and scale for rural communities to thrive in tandem with urban areas? It is my belief that small groups of people sharing land and residing on peri-urban and rural areas can provide surplus food and energy to urban communities while living in close proximity for the benefits to be reciprocated. Those who wish for more solitude and proximity to nature can choose to live in that setting either short or long term, while most can live in the city. Through working and living together on a shared property, we can reduce our ecological footprint, and increase our social interaction. Community Homesteads can thus offer a more holistic approach to human habitat in rural areas. It is my personal goal to continue work with others to generate and strengthen networks of land stewards and communities that are dedicated to permaculture and ecosystem restoration camps. I believe arcology as the urban design component should be partnered with peri-urban communities focused on food/medicine production, fiber, wood, building materials, etc. to supply direct needs of the city. High quality/low impact living is important whether you live in the city or in the country. Aligning the needs of various people and lifestyles is an important part of the planning process. If we find a percentage of people wanting to remain in “camp” they should be willing to do some of the related work. At Arcosanti we have a great opportunity with “camp” and agriculture in connection with the cafe at Arcosanti. There is potential to provide a working model of how to integrate rural and urban culture in one comprehensive design system.

Here are a few related links:
Earthen Heart LLC
EcoSystem Restoration Camps
Greening China’s Loess Plateau

Welcome Neighbor! 


In Which

We will be publishing , we hope, what’s on your mind. We have heard from a couple of you already, and we look forward to a broad participation of opinion. Please understand that because you are reading this we consider you an integral part of the Global Arcosanti Community, a group several thousand strong that has the power to change not only this project but the world itself for the better.  We want to hear from you, right here on the Arcosanti Alumni Blog. The mechanics of the blog will be overseen by Arcosanti alum and Cosanti board member Jeff Stein, who is providing the first blog entry. Here it is.  Have a look. Send your responses! Submissions can be sent to jeffstein@arcosanti.org

As part of the exhibition “Filling the Absense” Arcosanti archives volunteer Seth Winslow undertook the task for creating a 3D virtual reality rendering of the “Stonebow” Arcology. Read more about Seth’s work, and take a video tour of the rendering below.

My name is Seth Winslow and I am part of the archives team at Arcosanti in Arizona, USA. The archives at Arcosanti house a variety of materials, most notably the original works of Paolo Soleri. The archives consist of paper, photography, film footage, sculptures, architectural models and other expressive media. Through my work in the archives, I have been very inspired by Paolo Soleri’s ideas of Arcology which addresses the need of building our human habitat in an ecological context.

I decided to build an arcology based on one of Soleri’s designs in a 3D application called Blender that enables me to use VR technologies to give a new perspective on what an arcology may be like to live in. When the open call for the exhibition FILLING THE ABSENCE was brought to our attention by team member Laura Villa Baroncelli, we decided to explore my version of 3D bridge with VR possibilities. I was appointed as the point person for the project and selected the arcology known as STONEBOW, from the Paolo Soleri book “Arcology – City in the Image of Man”, which was published by M.I.T. Press in 1970.

The absence of detail of this design left me a creative space to explore the potentials of the original drawing with my 3D interpretation. Building the 3D design from the original drawings and a few slides of a model that unfortunately no longer exists, has been quite a challenge. As I interpret the intent of the FILLING THE ABSENCE exhibition, my contribution is an attempt to explore the idea of arcology as a possibility for future urban design, reintroducing the idea of arcology to the public in a more interactive format using new a technological tool that did not exist when Soleri had originally developed the concept.

This is part of an ongoing project at the Arcosanti Archives, to explore the ideas of arcology in 3D with Virtual Reality possibilities.


Serve as an Alliance VISTA at Arcosanti!

Youth Education Program Developer needed to assist in developing consistent and impactful STEM educational opportunities, with a focus on providing access to Arcosanti campuses to young people from underserved communities.

              Responsibilities include:

  • Create a sustainability track for STEM educational programs
  • Develop a campaign to serve
    Title 1 Schools
  • Execute outreach by
    prepping and delivering
    materials digitally, as well as
    visiting partner sites

               Benefits include:

  • $472.22 Bi-weekly Living Stipend
  • Monthly Housing Subsidy of $100
  • Student Loan Deferment/Forbearance
    (if eligible)
  • Education Award of $6,095 or $1,800
    end of service stipend
  • Relocation Assistance (if eligible)


1) Create an application on my.americorps.gov
2) Search for positions in Arizona
(Program Name: Alliance VISTA)
3) Click Apply at the bottom of the page

Questions? Email VISTA Leader, Juan Chavez
at juanc@arizonanonprofits.org



Harmonicist Jia Yi-He of America’s Got Talent brings his musical skills to Arcosanti’s signature annual event: Italian Night. Join us in the Urban Laboratory for great music, serious gaiety, and a wonderful dinner with pasta served in wheelbarrows.

Tour 5:00 pm: Free

Dinner 6:00 pm: $20

Performance 7:30 pm: $20 (Special student rate $10 for each)