Paolo Soleri was born in Torino in 1919. When I first encountered him in the desert of Arizona he was younger than I am now. I was also younger than I am now. The world was new and bright and shiny to me. He was in his bell studio and I was buying one of them. It was a brief encounter, but we had a common friend, a mentor of mine who had worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, as Soleri had. I was interested in architecture, and having grown up in the desert, this seemingly misplaced urban Italian in the desert of Arizona created a compelling counterpoint.
Arcosanti, it was a utopian project with ambitious long-range plans for the future. The idea was to build a city organically, along with a new level of society to catch the wave of the next stage of human consciousness. Pretty heady stuff. The French Jesuit paleontologist, Tielhard de Chardin, had published the manual for this human experiment, called The Phenomenon of Man. Arcosanti, as I understood it, was designed to apply a living , moving, dynamic reference to the revolutionary concepts as outlined in the book.
Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections paved the way. The Phenomenon of Man took it to the next level.
Thank you signore Soleri. Buon anima and happy trails.
written (with accompanying vintage photographs) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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