Arcosanti: An Urban Laboratory?


Hannah McGerty

“Welcome to Arcosanti” is Arcosanti’s greeting sign. Arcosanti is an incredibly unique community that is based upon the art of architecture mixed with the practicality of ecology.

Hannah McGery, Columnist

Since 1965, Arcosanti has been a futuristic community and major tourist attraction. Located in northern Phoenix, this small town can host up to 35,000 interested sightseers including around 60 artists who call Arcosanti their home. Those 60 artists are there to learn about arcology (architecture and ecology) while having the fantastic experience of living in one of the most historic architectural buildings in Arizona.

As you make your way through the halls, you often see different pieces of art such as paintings and sculptures illuminated by the bright sun coming through the different shaped windows. Seeing as Arcosanti is built off the side of a mountain, a hiking trail is an obvious attraction. When you reach the end of the trail, you can step back and enjoy an overview of the entire town.

There is also The Arcosanti Workshop Program that has a variety of ‘hands on learning workshops’ giving young adults the opportunity to help out with the environment and learn new art techniques. “The Arcosanti Workshop program appeals for a frugal commitment, so as to induce a more equitable and sustainable development of the human experience,” says creator of Arcosanti Paolo Soleri before he passed away. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming a student and learning the Arcosanti ways, you are still able to wander around and see all it has to offer.

Tours are available for those hoping to learn about the history or anyone passing through, and there is a gallery shop for people wanting to snatch up one of the many souvenirs with over 100 different hand made wind chimes that are one of a kind. The experience of this urban laboratory is certainly unique and unforgettable.