DC, July 10, 2012

Arcosanti, Arcology and the Ecological Cities of Paolo Soleri

Arcology is architect and philosopher Paolo Soleri's concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology, and proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the antithesis of urban sprawl. By foregoing the automobile and minimizing destruction of the surrounding ecology, and by incorporating extensive terraced solar greenhouses and energy production, arcologies provide for highly pedestrian cities which maximize urban functioning while dramatically minimizing energy and resource consumption and waste. Arcosanti is the prototype arcology being built in Arizona.

This presentation covered the range of Soleri's work, starting with his apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, through the full range of his arcology designs. It covered his evolutionary design philosophy, with its roots in the work of Teilhard de Chardin, explored Arcosanti, the prototype arcology being built in the desert north of Phoenix, and included details on the design and development work at Arcosanti. Finally, it delved into Soleri's newest arcology designs and publications, probing issues related to long-term sustainability, from a resource, a planetary ecology and an evolutionary perspective. The presentation included numerous images of arcology designs, including new, yet-to-be-published works.


About the Speaker

George Kosmides George Kosmides was the staff electrical engineer at Arcosanti, and works with the Arcosanti staff on an ongoing basis. He has worked with a range of leading edge solar and wind energy development projects and currently owns a software consulting firm in Baltimore.