Life at Arcosanti

What’s It Like to Live at Arcosanti?

The most basic interpretation of what an arcology is – living leanly and in close contact with nature while still experiencing a rich and rewarding life – is what residing at Arcosanti is like. Undeniably unique and rare in our hyper-connected, hyper-consumeristic culture, the chance to live at Arcosanti is an opportunity in our modern times to participate in a radical lifestyle experiment.

Like communities anywhere, especially those in Arizona, the total number of people living at Arcosanti changes with the seasons. On average, the community body is 45 full-time, year-round residents.

Community life at Arcosanti is vibrant and there are traditions and customs that guide how we live and work together. We share a distinct sense of being a part of something larger than ourselves, with a focus that aligns with our personal values.

Learning by Doing

At Arcosanti, the notion of “learning-by-doing” has always been important. Developing the community of residents at Arcosanti is something that continues to evolve and we are learning how to be a thriving community by doing the things that thriving communities do: we coexist in an effort to create a different urban prototype informed by our commitment to social and environmental equity and justice.

The majority of residents at Arcosanti work for The Cosanti Foundation or Cosanti Originals, though some work off-site. In addition, a number of interns and volunteers live at Arcosanti for shorter periods of time, working on seasonal programs, projects, or initiatives. Learn more.

As a community, available staff, volunteers, interns, and residents gather each weekday for Morning Meeting, an informal exchange of information, where ideas are shared, issues are raised, requests are made, and announcements are made. It is a perfect place to see the community on a regular basis, to greet, to share, to encourage group cohesion, and deliver important information.

Arcosanti’s Community Council is a group of 5-7 elected residents who meet weekly to facilitate initiatives and activities that promote the overall well-being and cohesion of Arcosanti’s diverse community. The Community Council mediates disputes among residents and sponsors a number of programs designed to enrich the lives of the Arcosanti residents.

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The Benefits and Challenges of Living at Arcosanti

While the bond of the community at Arcosanti is very strong, it goes without saying that it is not easy to work – and live – with the same group of people day in and day out. Yet the benefits of being an Arcosanti resident abound: connection to nature, fundamental socialization with others, shared resources, and interconnected multi-use spaces, among others. There are also inherent challenges to living at Arcosanti: sharing space with people with whom you don’t always agree, not always having clear boundaries, and encountering the visiting public on an almost daily basis.

At times, living in an incomplete experiment that hasn’t yet reached the critical mass necessary to make it a truly urban experience, coupled with an aging infrastructure in need of maintenance and preservation is tedious. However, like Walden Pond’s impact on Henry David Thoreau, Arcosanti residents’ strong connection to nature that is interwoven with their close community bond has an overwhelmingly profound and positive effect.

How does someone become a resident of Arcosanti?

For many years, the pathway to residency at Arcosanti was to experience a 5-6 week Workshop. Today, to become an Arcosanti resident, a person must be an employee of either The Cosanti Foundation or Cosanti Originals, although not all positions within the organization require residency at Arcosanti.

Long-term volunteer projects and internships are also opportunities to become an Arcosanti resident.

Current Opportunities

The Arcosanti Cooperative

The Arcosanti Cooperative helps activate, support, and grow the entrepreneurial projects of the Arcosanti residents & extended community. The ArCo-op was founded in 2017 by Arcosanti residents interested in catalyzing opportunities and re-igniting the spirits of entrepreneurs involved with the project. The ArCo-op runs and operates various programs at Arcosanti including a small business incubator, annual art show, convergence event, and various micro-enterprises. Visit the ArCo-op website at to see about our businesses, events, and membership opportunities!

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