Workshops – Experience Week

5-Day Immersive Experience

At Arcosanti, the unique and vibrant built environment is a living archive that displays the collective efforts of over 8,000 individual workshop participants and volunteers going back more than 5 decades. The 5 Day Experience Week allows participants the unique opportunity of living amongst the community of around 70 full-time residents, while learning and experiencing the ethos of the work which takes place here. Experience all of this against the backdrop of 4,000 acres of undeveloped Arizona high desert.

Upcoming Dates: October 7th – 11th | Cost: $900

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Workshop Details

This workshop starts with an introduction to Arcosanti and Site Tour, and will then include: a deep dive into the Soleri Archives, a Ceramic Silt Casting workshop, and a guided Nature Hike in the Agua Fria River Riparian Area. During this extended stay you will also get to experience:

  • An up-close look at the bronze bell casting process.
  • Explore the history of construction at Arcosanti and learn about the variety of construction techniques used.
  • Learn about sustainable technologies used for water harvesting, wastewater, water reuse, and energy production.
  • Living like an Arconaut and have free time for reflection and self-exploration!

All sessions are led by Arcosanti residents.

Workshop Hours

  • Breakfast – 8am – 9am
  • Morning Session: 9:30am – 12 pm
  • Lunch: 12 pm – 1pm
  • Afternoon Session: 1:30pm – 4pm
  • Dinner – 7pm
  • Lodging is available in a shared dorm for $25 per night, or private guestroom for $50 per night. For further information, contact

*Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included in registration fee

View Experience Week Schedule & Sessions

Experience Week Sessions

Introduction to Arcosanti – Site Tour w/ Tim Bell

Timothy Bell is the Director of Community Engagement at Arcosanti. His work is oriented towards helping the Cosanti Foundation identify new and unique ways to tell the story of Arcosanti and Arcology to a new generation of community builders. This tour will leave the participants with an understanding of the history of the project and construction, and a vision for what we hope to see happen in the future at the Urban Laboratory.

Arcosanti/Arcology – An Urban Alternative w/ Tomiaki Tamura

Tomiaki Tamura is a long-term collaborator at Arcosanti, having first gotten involved with the project in 1976. In this session he shares the foundational principles of Arcosanti and the vision of Paolo Soleri and other builders.  Tomiaki goes in depth on how and why Soleri sought out a lean alternative to urban sprawl.  Through an engaging slide presentation, Tomiaki displays some of Soleri’s artwork, models, and architectural drawings as they evolved over time, giving participants a first-hand look at how the vision for Arcosanti took shape.

Foundry w/ Andy Chao

Every piece of the Cosanti Originals Collection was designed by Paolo Soleri and is embellished by skilled artisans in sympathy with his compositional standards. In this session, Andy Chao, our Foundry Manager since 2009, gives participants an inside look at how the famous Soleri wind bells are designed and cast, with a detailed walkthrough of the bronze casting process from raw bronze to a finished Soleri Windbell with a patina. Participants will also have an opportunity to create their own designs on molds that will be used to create bronze round tiles. Andy has lived at Arcosanti since June 2007 and has an educational background in Art, Art History, and Architecture.

View from Arcosanti foundry

Ceramics w/ Rob David

In this session, Rob David, our Ceramics Manager, will engage participants in exploring and learning by doing in our ceramics operation. Particular attention in this workshop will be given to the Earth Casting process, Paolo Soleri’s technique used in creating the Soleri ceramic wind bells and the Ceramic Apse itself. This technique has been maintained for over 50 years. In this session participants will be able to understand the basics of the Soleri’s earth casting techniques and directly experience the main steps of the process itself: from the preparation of the silt beds to the pouring and the extracting of the clay.

Nature Hike – The Benefits of Bounded Density w/ Julie Quinn

The average city includes small areas of curated nature in the form of parks, botanical gardens, etc. Arcosanti turns that concept on its head; instead of a park within a city, we are a city within a park! In this session led by Julie Quinn, our Landscape Manager, participants get a thorough walkthrough of the well-preserved natural landscapes surrounding Arcosanti.

Archives – w/ Sue Kirsch and Seth Winslow

The archives initiative at Arcosanti is an ambitious project to catalog and digitize Paolo Soleri’s entire body of work, as well as the history of construction of the various Soleri projects. In this session, Sue gives an overview of her team’s efforts over the years and gives participants a chance to view and study some of Soleri’s original works. Participants will have a chance to learn about some of the rich and vibrant history of the Arcosanti project. Additionally, Sue shares some of the past and ongoing efforts to make archive materials available for publication and exhibitions at museums and other institutions around the world. Some of this outreach is in 3D and VR environments, designed by Archive staff member Seth Winslow. With Seth’s guidance, participants will be able to get a glimpse in Virtual Reality into future possibilities for the Arcosanti project and some of Paolo Soleri’s Arcology – Future City designs.

Silt Cast Panel Construction w/ David Tollas

Silt, or earth cast concrete is a technique developed by Paolo Soleri that underlies the aesthetic of his work. Beginning with the work at the Cosanti site, this concrete casting method was built upon and evolved to the concrete work that is in place at Arcosanti. Since 1981 David has worked,(and raised a family with his wife Nadia), and lived in the casting medium that is the Arcosanti project. He has managed the Arcosanti bronze casting foundry three different times for periods of a total of 7 years. As project manager with Paolo Soleri as client, David has supervised the construction program with its exclusive focus on silt cast concrete construction for 30+years. Through the experience of a historical walk-through of the concrete cast at Arcosanti and the actual casting of a silt cast piece participants will get a glimpse into the secret life of concrete-the matter turned into spirit that is Arcosanti.

Sustainable Technology w/ Scott Riley

Sustainable Technologies is a concept that can be applied to myriad design methodologies. At Arcosanti the term applies to construction techniques, mechanical system efficiencies, natural resource utilization (water, solar power, land use), the technology of urban design, and more. Since returning to Arcosanti in 2000, Scott Riley has participated in the design, installation, and operation of solar-powered pumping stations, gravity-feed irrigation systems, a technologically sophisticated grey water system, and an efficient hydronic heating system. Various design features of these facilities will be presented, followed by a tour of the installations. The discussion can include regulatory issues and performance data for those who are interested.

Metalworking w/ Ace Schutte

With a passion for art, teaching, and creativity with metal, Ace Schutte leads this session on metalworking. Participants will learn the basics of metal and welding to create a small metal sculpture like a vase, pencil holder, or plant holder. A welder and fabricator from Los Angeles, Ace creates art from recycled materials and has shown his art at Burning Man as well as numerous art festivals.

Arcosanti Ceramic Casting

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