The Cosanti Foundation
The Cosanti Foundation has developed educational programs that help to increase our understanding of the importance of embracing these four concepts that guide our work. Through hands-on art-making workshops, lectures, publications, academic and cultural collaborations, and tours of the experimental architecture at both Cosanti and Arcosanti, The Cosanti Foundation continues to advance the idea of a better built world, one that is in balance with its natural surroundings.
Our Core Areas of Advocacy
These central tenets have guided our work for more than 55 years.
Embracing Frugality & Resourcefulness
Thoughtfully approaching the built world and our practices in daily life in ways that are experientially rich but materially frugal.
Nurturing Ecological Accountability
Supporting the world’s human habitat without burdening the Earth’s capacity and limited natural resources.
Fostering Experiential Learning
Promoting the empowering impact of learning-by-doing and the dynamic educational experience that comes from immersion in one’s work.
Leaving a Limited Footprint
Advocating for an urban density model where mixed-use spaces make better use of limited resources and connect to economic, social, and cultural outlets.
Meet Our Team
Get to know the staff and board of The Cosanti Foundation.
CEO & Executive Director
Originally from New York, Liz holds degrees as a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Tulane University. She has more than 30 cumulative years of experience as a practicing and principal architectural designer and more than 15 years of experience as an academic-practitioner teaching domestically and internationally as a professor of architecture and urban design.
Liz was most recently a tenured Professor of Architecture at Kennesaw State University’s College of Architecture and Construction Management in metro-Atlanta, where she chaired the thesis program and serves as the college’s academic outreach liaison.
In the course of her distinguished career, Liz has curated, presented, lectured, and published extensively. Her lifelong commitment to her profession and to her community is evident in her service as part of dozens of commissions, committees, and councils, including the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Women’s Leadership Initiative, Metropolitan Public Art Coalition (MPAC), and AIACC Monterey Design Conference committee. She has been awarded numerous grants, including, most recently, a Precast Concrete Institute (PCI) Foundation Curriculum Development Grant for a project entitled “Integrating Precast: Threads of Constructability, Complexity and Constraint” ($100,000 over 4 years).
Liz has also received a variety of honors and accolades for her dynamic work, such as the AIA/ACSA Practice and Leadership Award (2019), AIAS Educator of the Year Award (2020), and most recently, recognition as part of the ULI Atlanta “The Leaders” 2021 cohort. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Liz is a musician, having graduated from the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division with a major in violin and composition.
Senior Director of Development & Communications
In 2012, she spent two life-changing years living at Arcosanti, where she was the PR & Development Coordinator as well as a member of Arcosanti Community Council. Her time with Cosanti Foundation was one of growth and transition, and her work included significant expansion of both digital engagement and Arcosanti’s live events, including the establishment of the multi-day FORM festival. She has since served on both the Strategic Plan Steering Committee and the Arcosanti Cooperative Board of Directors. She remains close with the current Arcosanti community and its extended alumni network, and active with the co-op in the planning and production of its annual Convergence festival.
Since 2014, Kate has resided in Portland, Oregon, where she is currently the Development Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, a statewide nonprofit that safeguards Oregon’s unique land use planning program. This program began in 1973 as a means of protecting Oregon’s vital farmland and environmental treasures from unchecked urban sprawl, while also ensuring the development of compact, highly-livable towns and cities inside of intentionally-set urban growth boundaries. For Kate, it’s a logic that resonates strongly with the principles of arcology upon which Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti are founded. Perhaps that’s why there are so many Cosanti Originals windbells in Oregon!
Director of Experience & Operations
With a BA in Agroecology from Prescott College, she launched into developing the Arizona wine industry in 2008 as a vineyard manager for Merkin Vineyards and quickly began working with Yavapai College to teach courses on grape growing. She was the founding director of the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College and went on to help emerging vintners establish over 40 acres of new vineyards throughout the state as a vineyard consultant.
During that time she was elected Mayor of Jerome in 2012 which inspired a run for the state senate in 2016. Through public service, she developed an understanding of rural economies and community development in small towns. Nikki also has a strong interest and experience using sustainable building materials that are suitable for the chemically sensitive such as hempcrete and natural hydraulic lime plaster.
Nikki believes in the power of good food, beverages, and meeting places to create and cultivate community . Her skills in vision building, partnership, and strategic planning stand to further develop Arcosanti and Cosanti and as friendly, inspiring, and economical destination locations.
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Education
As a life-long advocate of the arts as well as a current performing musician, Norm is an active member of the arts community in the Phoenix area. In addition to performing, his broad music career includes recording and producing artists as well as in 2002 starting an independent record label, Perfect Circle Records. Since visiting Arcosanti for the first time in 1976, Norm has been passionate about design and its impact on the environment.
Our Board of Directors
Matteo Di Michele
After working in Milan as a contract law adviser with a large telecommunications company, Matteo moved to Arcosanti where he resided and worked for more than 10 years with a variety of responsibilities including human resources management, workshop coordination, operations management, and the development of strategic partnerships with cultural institutions and universities.
In 2012 Matteo received his MBA in Supply Chain and Operations Management at Arizona State University and relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife Emily, and their two daughters. Matteo currently works with Bank of America where he holds the position of Senior Vice President with the Global Corporate Services team.
Kelli was a resident at Arcosanti from 2002 to 2006, along with her husband, Jim, and twins (born in 2005). During that time, Kelli served for a year as the public relations coordinator and for three years as the workshop/internship coordinator. She was also a member of the Arcosanti Leadership Team, focusing on human resources procedures.
Mr. Stein has lectured about the work of Cosanti Foundation/Arcosanti in numerous public arenas including DOCOMOMO, FORBES’ Techonomy Conferences, AIA Conferences, The Santa Fe Institute, Oregon’s HOPES conference; and throughout Europe and the Middle East. Jeff was a longtime board member of the Boston Society of Architects, The Frank Lloyd Wright School, Ecosa Institute, and EcoCity Builders. He has published widely, including “Visionary Architecture” in the AIA 150th Anniversary book, ARCHITECTURE: CELEBRATING THE PAST, DESIGNING THE FUTURE.
Stephen became acquainted with The Cosanti Foundation in 2005 as a contractor selected to construct silt cast wall panels as art features for the Soleri Bridge Project. Paolo Soleri and Roger Tomalty were involved in the project as artist and artistic consultant respectively. The Architecture of Cosanti intrigues Stephen, and served as the catalyst to become more involved with the organization as a volunteer.
New York, NY
He lived and worked in Arcosanti from 2009 to 2012 as a research and design expert for Arcosanti planning department. During his three and half years of residency his main focus was on strategizing and visualization of Arcology. In 2012, Youngsoo coauthored book Lean Linear City: Arterial Arcology with Paolo Soleri and other alumni. Also he helped curation of Paolo Soleri’s exhibition in China back in 2011. Youngsoo believes Arcology as vision and Arcosanti as community have unique place in the era of climate change.
Jai Singh Khalsa
Khalsa Design currently averages around 150 jobs a year. Projects scale from three family to mixed-use projects of 500,000 square feet with hotel, retail, residential and parking components.
On the community side, Jai has been involved in the administration of many Sikh related nonprofits and business boards for more than 40 years. Jai is also an Arcosanti Alumnus – he spent 6 to 8 months living and working in the Urban Laboratory and says, “I often reflect on it as a foundational moment in my development as an architect.”
As former Director of Team Experience at Tuft & Needle (TN.com), the company that disrupted the mattress industry and revolutionized the employee experience, Sarah nurtured the award-winning start-up culture by producing large scale team events and a best-in-class work environment that enabled breakthrough work and team execution. Tuft & Needle’s culture accolades include earning Entrepreneur’s 2017 Top Company Culture Award and being named one of Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in 2017.
After her time in the start-up world, she transitioned to focus on ceramics, where she currently creates both functional and sculptural designs that feature high-contrast, familiar silhouettes, with an eye for the underrated every day.
In 2019, Sarah and her husband, JT, purchased Paolo Soleri’s only commissioned residential home to preserve and share its unique history.
As a board member, Sarah brings a passionate drive to help develop and progress Cosanti’s big vision with a fresh perspective from her experience operating high-performance teams and creatively supporting digitally native brands.
Jeff opened his own practice in Prescott, Arizona in 1986 with Tom Reilly, also an Arcosanti participant. One of their earliest commissions was the design for La Loggia, one of the potential future structures at Arcosanti, followed by the Energy Apron Greenhouses.
In 1995, Jeff teamed up with Paul Moore, yet another Arcosanti alumn, to create a company called Cohocom, dedicated to the fostering of cohousing communities. Together, they founded Manzanita Village of Prescott, which continues as a thriving community to this day.
Over a career spanning five decades, Jeff’s clients ranged from private residences, to Indigenous cultural centers, and nature centers. His stone house was published in “The Cabin Book” by Linda Leigh Paul. His work also appeared in “Architecture + Magazine” for “The Leaf House.” His design for The Los Alamos County Nature Center received the Southwest Building of the Year award from McGraw-Hill publishing. He also received the “Architect of the Year” award from the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Jeff continued his association with Arcosanti as a consultant until 2019, and joined the Board of Directors of The Cosanti Foundation in 2022.
A former member of The Screen Actors Guild, Jeff is also an accomplished actor, having appeared on stage numerous times, including in over a dozen plays by Shakespeare. He now lives in Oracle, AZ with his wife, Jean Wilcox. These days, in addition to practicing architecture, he has turned his attention to writing, and is currently working on the third book of “The New Moon Trilogy.”
Our Financial Reports
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Cosanti Foundation is pleased to be able to share our annual IRS Form 990 with the public. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 86-0208931. Our fiscal year runs December 1st through November 30th.
The #metoo movement has brought to light many abuses against women around the world that were not previously acknowledged and addressed. As a microcosm of the macrocosm, The Cosanti Foundation has had its own issues relating to abuse that we have chosen to address directly and proactively. Visit our #MeToo page to learn more.
Black Lives Matter
For over two decades at Arcosanti, The Cosanti Foundation celebrated Juneteenth with performances, concerts, and programming to celebrate and draw attention to the historic and profound significance of this day. While we are not able to gather together publicly this year, we mark Juneteenth once again with a pledge to continue listening, learning, and identifying the steps we can take to continue our commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement and add our support and voice to a movement that has long moved us.
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