What Is The Cosanti Foundation?

Arcosanti Is a Project of The Cosanti Foundation

Founded in 1965, The Cosanti Foundation is an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Our mission is to inspire a reimagined urbanism that builds resilient and equitable communities sustainably integrated with the natural world.
Our vision is a world of equitable communities which improve earth/life balance and do better with less.

We pursue this mission and vision at our two flagship locations, Cosanti (in Paradise Valley near Phoenix) and Arcosanti (near Mayer in central Arizona), as well as with projects, programs, and partnerships that hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over the last 57 years.

The word “cosanti” is a combination of the Italians words “cosa” (meaning “things”) and “anti” (meaning “against” or “before”). It signifies The Cosanti Foundation’s commitment to a way of living, working, and building that is oriented away from consumption and materialism, and is respectful of our planet’s natural rhythms and resources. Through ongoing experimentation with and application of the principles of arcology (a combination of the words architecture and ecology), we seek to demonstrate a kind of construction and community that offers an alternative to sprawl development and a solution to modern social and environmental crises.

The Cosanti Foundation also owns and operates the for-profit Cosanti Originals, where we make our world-famous bronze and ceramic windbells and other artisan items.

How We Work

Over the last 60 years, The Cosanti Foundation has developed an extensive set of educational programs that help to increase public understanding of arcology. Through hands-on workshops, lectures, publications, academic partnerships, cultural collaborations, festivals, conferences, and tours of the experimental architecture at both Cosanti and Arcosanti, The Cosanti Foundation has reached millions of people all over the world, and continues to reach and teach hundreds of thousands of people every year.

 

Cosanti and Arcosanti were built by hand by more than 8000 students and volunteers who came from all over the world to participate in our signature multi-week workshop program. That program continues today, but with an emphasis on maintaining and utilizing a prototype arcology and urban laboratory, rather than merely building one. Graduates of this program are considered our alumni.

 

The four central tenets described below are our core areas of advocacy, and have guided our work from the beginning.

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Embracing Frugality & Resourcefulness

Thoughtfully approaching the built world and our practices in daily life in ways that are experientially rich but materially frugal.

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Nurturing Ecological Accountability

Supporting the world’s human habitat without burdening the Earth’s capacity and limited natural resources.

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Fostering Experiential Learning

Promoting the empowering impact of learning-by-doing and the dynamic educational experience that comes from immersion in one’s work.

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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.

Who We Are

Get to know the staff and board of The Cosanti Foundation.

Our Senior Staff

Ivan Fritz

Ivan Fritz

Chief Operating Officer
Acting Executive Director

ed@arcosanti.org

Read Ivan's Bio

Ivan Fritz is an Arcosanti alum with a lifelong history of involvement with the Cosanti Foundation. Ivan first came to Arcosanti as a child, spending much of his childhood playing among concrete and rebar while experiencing a vibrant community of close to 200 residents and project participants. He continued to spend every summer on site throughout his adolescence and teens, then later after building a career in IT, he returned to Arcosanti to head up the construction of the first network and broadband connection on site, leading small and large teams to retrofit the buildings with modern communications infrastructure. After leaving site he continued providing technical management and strategy from afar.

He was hired by Francis Ford Coppola after the director had visited Arcosanti while researching a film. At Zoetrope, Ivan managed special technical and film related projects in Belize, Guatemala, Romania, and Napa, CA, including working on sound post production for Marie Antoinette with director Sofia Coppola, and Youth without Youth with editor Walter Murch. At Skywalker Sound, Ivan continued his work in sound post-production, providing mix and editorial support for over 90 films including: Iron Man, Indiana Jones IV, Wall-E, There Will be Blood and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Additionally, Ivan was trained in organizational structure and management by business consultant and best-selling author Robert Fritz. He became the Product Development Director for Wisepond, an independent e-learning company with a curriculum based on Robert Fritz’s work in structural dynamics.

Currently, Ivan is the technical lead at Music Together Worldwide, setting technical roadmaps and managing the development of mobile apps, websites, and other technical projects. Ivan is also President of CreatorTools, an online educational company as well as a partner in a business and IT consulting firm where he helps organizations think through strategy, change management, and growth. He has professional certificate in project management from Cornell University.

In 2019, Ivan joined the Cosanti Foundation’s Board of Directors, and serves on the Executive and Governance Committees and as Chair of the Alumni Committee. He is stepping into the role of Acting ED, partnering with COO Jean Tuller to continue to support the board’s mission while also leading the search with the board for the Cosanti Foundation’s next executive director.

Scott Riley

Director of Site Management

scott@arcosanti.org

Sophie Rabb

Guest Experiences Manager

sophie@arcosanti.org

Read Sophie's Bio

Sophie Rabb arrived at Arcosanti in June of 2022, starting in the classic 5-week workshop program. She volunteered in the agriculture department, where she helped with weeding, starting seeds in the greenhouse, and shovelling the field where the three sisters, corn, beans, and squash, currently grow. After the completion of her workshop, she found a home at Arcosanti and stayed on as a tour guide. Being passionate about sharing Arcosanti with others and introducing the space to people, she was then promoted as the assistant tours manager. Now, she is the guest experiences manager, giving tours, helping out with the guestrooms, hosting one day events, and completing administrative work for the department.

Sophie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelors in global studies and cultural anthropology and a minor in sustainable development. Her professional background is working with adults with developmental disabilities as a group home manager, as support staff in a rehabilitative center for adults recovering from substance abuse, and with kids with behavioral issues. When she’s not working, she enjoys long walks, learning about bees, community meals, playing soccer, hosting poetry nights, and reading.

Taylor Morgan

Education Manager

taylor@arcosanti.org

Read Taylor's Bio

In his fifth year thesis, Taylor explored a theme of borders between manmade human habitation and the natural environment: borders of access for residents to view and value the earth, and borders to prevent encroachment while stimulating urban density.

Working at Arcosanti has given him a rare opportunity to explore aspects of urbanism and environmental protection not typically offered in mainstream industry. He seeks to learn through helping others learn in a growing city of people with a village-mentality of work and relationships.

Our Board of Directors

Matteo for Website 2021

Matteo Di Michele

Chair

Charlotte, NC

Read Bio

Matteo DiMichele is originally from Milan, Italy, and has lived in the U.S. since 2002. He received his Juris Doctor Degree in Como, Italy, with a doctoral dissertation on the international protection of human rights.

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.

Sarah Marino

Sarah Marino

Vice Chair

Phoenix, AZ

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Sarah Marino is a Phoenix-based start-up executive and ceramics artist.
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 Stein

Secretary

Boston, MA

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Jeff Stein AIA is an award-winning architect, journalist, educator and long-distance motorcyclist; alumnus of Arcosanti’s workshop program, and past president of Cosanti Foundation. Mr. Stein taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, headed the school of architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology and was dean of the Boston Architectural College where he served as architect-of-record for the BAC/Tufts 2009 US Solar Decathlon entry.

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.

Steve Ostwinkle

Stephen Ostwinkle

Treasurer

Phoenix, AZ

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Stephen Ostwinkle has worked as a Structures Operations Manager and Contracting Director for Hunter Contacting Co. since 1985. Stephen has worked in most phases of Heavy Civil Construction, with an emphasis on concrete structures  from headwalls and bridges to water/wastewater structures. He is also a member and Director of the Dons of Arizona, whose mission is to promote the Lore, Legend and History of Arizona and the Southwest.

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.

Monique de los Rios-Urban

Phoenix, AZ

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Monique de los Rios-Urban has practiced architectural design, regional and urban planning for thirty years initiating her career in South America and continuing her professional practice in the US. Her experience spans from urban planning and development to sustainable systems and strategic planning for the greater Phoenix region during the last twenty years. She received a professional degree in Architecture and has a Masters of Environmental Planning Degree from Arizona State University with a concentration on infrastructure and energy systems for the built environment. Monique was an active collaborator and member of the Arcosanti Strategic Planning Committee from 2014 to 2016. De los Rios-Urban is currently retired from MAG, the Maricopa Association of Governments, after managing the Regional Performance Program at MAG since 2006, leading the implementation of performance management at the planning and programming level as well as developing web-based reporting applications based on data systems analysis, visualization and policy development.

Youngsoo Kim photo

Youngsoo Kim

New York, NY

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Youngsoo Kim is landscape and urban designer based in New York City and alumnus of Arcosanti. He is currently practicing landscape architecture and urban design with James Corner Field Operations as associate and working on projects in various scale from the rooftop garden to the new university campus design in US and abroad.

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.

Dr. Carolyn J Lukensmeyer

Washington, D.C.

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Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer will bring her expertise in policy making to The Cosanti Foundation Board. Carolyn is a leader in the field of deliberative democracy, a public servant and social entrepreneur. She is Executive Director Emerita of The National Institute for Civil Discourse.

In 1995, Carolyn founded AmericaSpeaks, a non-partisan non-profit organization that strengthens citizen voice in decision making.

From 1986 to 1991, Carolyn was Chief of Staff to Governor Celeste of Ohio becoming the first woman to serve in this capacity. Later, she was Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff for nine months during the Clinton years. She ensured that systematic thinking was part of the White House’s work on internal management issues and she was also heavily involved in government-wide reform. Lukensmeyer directed the management audit that evaluated the decision-making processes and structures of the White House. After the audit was complete, Lukensmeyer made recommendations for staff changes and redesigning the system between working units.

As a leader in the field of deliberative democracy, she works to restore our democracy to reflect the intended vision of our founding fathers. She earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and has completed postgraduate training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

Jeff Zucker

Jeffrey Zucker

Oracle, AZ

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Jeffrey L. Zucker, AIA, LEED-AP, is a practicing architect and a longtime active alumnus of The Cosanti Foundation’s multi-week workshop program. He participated in his first Arcosanti workshop in 1973 and returned as a volunteer in 1974. The next four years found him in southern Ohio, constructing a cabin from mostly recycled materials for a cost of $37.47, and also building a stone house dedicated to “American energy independence.” In 1978, Jeff returned to Arcosanti where he became the construction supervisor of the Soleri Office and Drafting Unit, and then project architect of the Colly Soleri Amphitheater.  

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.”

http://jeffreylzucker.com/

Our Board Committees

Winter Shadows at Arcosanti

Alumni Relations Committee

Ivan Fritz, Chair

alumni@arcosanti.org

Learn More

Land Use, Master Plan, and Infrastructure (LUMPI) Committee

Steve Ostwinkle, Chair

Learn More

Governance, Nominating, and Audit Committee

Matteo DiMichele, Chair

Learn More
Summer Sunrise at Arcosanti by Shanta Ambady

Resource Development Committee

Sarah Marino, Chair

Learn More
The committees above are each chaired by a current board member and open to public involvement. Please reach out to the committee if you are interested in participating. In addition to these committees, the board’s Executive Committee consists of the board officers (chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer) and the committee chairs, with the Executive Director as a non-voting member.

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.

Form 990 for FY 2021-2022Form 990 for FY 2020-2021Form 990 for FY 2019-2020Form 990 for FY 2018-2019Form 990 for FY 2017-2018

#metoo

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.

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Raising Awareness about Racism and Civil Rights

For over two decades at Arcosanti, The Cosanti Foundation has celebrated Juneteenth with performances, concerts, and programming to celebrate and draw attention to the historic and profound significance of this day. We pledge to continue listening, learning, and identifying the steps we can take to continue our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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