Developer: it starts with ‘D,’ like ‘devil’ and ‘demon

That’s a quote from retiring president of the Cosanti Foundation, one Mr Paolo Soleri. Cosanti Foundation is, of course, the organisation responsible for Arcosanti:

For those who don’t know, an arcology is a huge structure – bigger than a mega-structure (a ‘hyperstructure’?) – which is in itself a self-contained ‘habitat’ (yes, definite links to post Corbusian CIAM et al theory of the 1950s and later still inform our visions for the future). The city becomes a building becomes a living organism – it grows and shrinks and changes to reflect the needs of the polis within. And, as filtered through the hippies of the 60s and 70s, and its associated renaissance in contemporary ‘green’ theory, the self-sufficiency of the arcology extends to taking care of its own ecological footprint (and all the fallacies that involves when architects climb aboard that particular bandwagon). Arcologies include residential, commercial and agricultural capabilities. the structures themselves have evolved from a loose agglomeration of connected structures, as ain Arcosanti above (almost the plug-in city concept), toward massive monolithic primary forms:

Foster + Partners Crystal Island proposal, Moscow


NOAH – New Orleans


Anyway – well done Mr Soleri, for the considerable achievements over the long 92 years of your life so far. You can read more about Soleri, Arcosanti, and its future in this interesting New York Times piece…


One response to “Developer: it starts with ‘D,’ like ‘devil’ and ‘demon”

  1. I had the pleasure of seeing Paulo Soleri at a student conference in Auckland in the 1980s – he seemed ancient then, but he really is so now. And still digging in the desert. Arcosanti was a pretty crazy dream back then, it is interesting to see how far (or how little) it has progressed since then. I think he was touting for inspired students to come to Arizona and shovel concrete with him – I’m not sure if any of us ever did. I think maybe one student did – he may still be there now. But I think it made me aware just how important developers are in the vital phase of gathering money – without them you’re sunk. Soleri is still holding out – I long ago sold my soul to work for the dark side…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *