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What's Arcosanti REALLY like?

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  • ericofeeler
    To all who actually visited Arcosanti: I read the website, now I d like to know what it s really like there. Specifically: How hard do people actually work
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 11, 2003
      To all who actually visited Arcosanti:

      I read the website, now I'd like to know what it's really like there.
      Specifically:

      How hard do people actually work there, including project work and
      housework?

      What are the living conditions really like?

      How much food and electricity is actually generated on site now?
      How much needs to be imported? What staples do they consume?

      What societal improvements have been tried there? Do they work?

      Thanks.
    • rhkratzse@aol.com
      I lived there for 4 years a while ago, so I ll give your questions a stab. Disclaimer: This info. may not be current. I don t want to shout, but will put my
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 11, 2003
        I lived there for 4 years a while ago, so I'll give your questions a stab.
        Disclaimer: This info. may not be current. I don't want to shout, but will
        put my comments in caps to differentiate them from the questions.

        Ralph Hueston Kratz
        Richmond CA USA

        In a message dated 6/11/03 2:23:23 PM, ericofeeler@... writes:

        << To all who actually visited Arcosanti:


        I read the website, now I'd like to know what it's really like there.

        Specifically:


        How hard do people actually work there, including project work and

        housework?

        DAMN HARD! AS HARD AS I'VE SEEN ANYWHERE, CONSIDERING THE OCCASIONAL 110 F
        HEAT, WITH SOME INDIVIDUAL EXCEPTIONS OF COURSE.


        What are the living conditions really like?

        HARD TO ANSWER IN ONE SENTENCE, BUT NO WORSE THAN ANY SUMMER CAMP, WITH SOME
        IMPROVEMENT FOR LONGER-TERM FOLKS. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A LITTLE
        TOO HOT OR COLD OCCASIONALLY, OR HAVING TO WAIT IN LINE FOR A BATHROOM, WHEN
        YOU LOSE AN HOUR OR TWO OF DAILY COMMUTING.


        How much food and electricity is actually generated on site now?

        How much needs to be imported? What staples do they consume?

        QUITE A BIT OF FOOD IS GROWN, BUT NO ATTEMPT IS MADE TO BE "SELF-SUFFICIENT,"
        BECAUSE IT'S A "TOWN" NOT A DESERT ISLAND. SAME STAPLES AS ANYWHERE ELSE,
        CORN, WHEAT, NEWSPAPERS, TV, INTERNET, ALCOHOL, ETC. THERE IS SIGNIFICANT
        EFFICIENCY IN COMMON USE OF MANY FACILITIES, FROM LAUNDRY TO CAFE.


        What societal improvements have been tried there? Do they work?

        EVERYONE KNOWS HIS/HER NEIGHBORS, WHICH IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUE WHERE I HAVE
        LIVED BEFORE AND SINCE.

        I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED A MORE LIVELY SOCIAL SCENE, BOTH ON A DAILY BASIS
        AND ON A SPECIAL-EVENT BASIS. I MET A CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR THERE, WHICH I HAVE
        NEVER DONE IN 20 YEARS OF LIVING IN CAL. I WAS IN THE SECOND ROW WHEN A
        PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CAME TO TOWN. TRY THAT ANYWHERE ELSE. (YES, I DO MEAN A
        WHITE-HOUSE-TYPE CANDIDATE.) I SAT IN THE FRONT ROW FOR SEVERAL MAJOR "BIG-NAME"
        CONCERTS, MET SOME NATIONALLY KNOWN "EXPERTS," AND EXPERIENCED MORE VARIETY OF
        PEOPLE, BOTH RESIDENTS AND TRANSIENTS, THAN EVER BEFORE OR SINCE.

        YES, THEY WORK.


        Thanks. >>

        YOU'RE WELCOME.
      • George Kosmides
        Following Ralph s notation, I ll capitalize but don t mean anything by it. I lived there for 3 years in the 70s and am active with the alumni group. I go back
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 12, 2003
          Following Ralph's notation, I'll capitalize but don't mean anything by it. I
          lived there for 3 years in the 70s and am active with the alumni group. I go
          back just about every summer solstice for meetings and Soleri's birthday.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: ericofeeler [mailto:ericofeeler@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:21 PM
          To: arcology@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [arcology] What's Arcosanti REALLY like?


          To all who actually visited Arcosanti:

          I read the website, now I'd like to know what it's really like there.
          Specifically:

          How hard do people actually work there, including project work and
          housework?

          PEOPLE GENERALLY WORK REALLY HARD UNDER VERY TOUGH CONDITIONS. IT'S 30 MILES
          FROM PRESCOTT OR SEDONA AND 65 FROM PHOENIX (THOUGH PHOENIX IS CLOSING IN).
          THE MAIN FOCUS IS HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION AND BELL PRODUCTION, BUT THERE IS
          ALSO SIGNIFICANT LANDSCAPING, FARMING, CAFE/BAKERY, VISITOR'S CENTER, DESIGN
          WORK, DIGITAL MEDIA AND ARCHIVING, EXHIBIT PLANNING AND CERAMICS PRODUCTION.

          What are the living conditions really like?

          NOW WITH THE EAST CRESCENT BEING COMPLETED JUST ABOUT EVERYONE LIVES IN
          APARTMENTS. ABOUT 50 PERMANENT RESIDENTS, PLUS ABOUT 20-40 PEOPLE FROM ALL
          OVER THE WORLD DOING WORKSHOPS. BIG SHARED CAFE/RESTAURANT AND ALSO LOCAL
          SHARED KITCHEN AMONG SEVERAL APARTMENTS. MOSTLY 'YOUNG' PEOPLE IN THEIR 20S
          BUT ALSO SOME FAMILIES AND MORE EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS. ABOUT 5 KIDS AT
          ANY ONE TIME. GREAT TO SEE KIDS RUNNING AND PLAYING AND ENJOYING THE PLACE.
          IT'S STILL PRIMARILY A CONSTRUCTION CAMP BUT THERE ARE AREAS THAT ARE
          SOFT/SAFE/FINISHED ENOUGH WHERE A LOT OF NON-CONSTRUCTION STUFF TAKES PLACE.
          WALK EVERYWHERE. TWO MINUTE WALKING COMMUTE.

          How much food and electricity is actually generated on site now?

          LARGE ORGANIC GARDENS AND FIELDS AND ORCHARDS. SOME OF THE BEST AND BIGGEST
          ORGANIC GARDENING I'VE SEEN ANYWHERE (I'VE SEEN A LOT). VERY INNOVATIVE
          APPROACHES TO GETTING FOOD, SHADE, ARID-LAND AGRICULTURE WORKING. BUT HIGHLY
          UNDERFUNDED. NEEDS A LOT MORE. ALL ELECTRICITY EXCEPT FOR VERY VERY MINOR
          AMOUNTS COMES FROM THE GRID. SMALL SOLAR PV ON SOME OF THE WATER PUMPS.
          SOLAR PV ELECTIC UTILITY CART. SMALL WINDGENERATOR. BUT SOME OF THE
          BUILDINGS ARE HIGHLY CREATIVE USE OF PASSIVE SOLAR SHADING/HEAT GAIN. STILL,
          AS WITH EVERYTHING THERE, A LOT NEEDS TO BE DONE. HIGHLY INNOVATIVE DESIGNS
          ON THE 5 ACRE GREENHOUSE, BUT NO WORK STARTED THERE. THESE GREENHOUSES WILL
          BE TERRACED UP THE SIDE OF THE SOUTH-FACING MESA ON WHICH ARCOSANTI SITS,
          AND WILL CHANNEL HEAT INTO THE LARGE SWIMMING POOL, AND INTO THE EAST
          CRESCENT BUILDINGS.

          How much needs to be imported? What staples do they consume?

          ALOT IS TRUCKED IN. NEVER INTENDED TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT. ARCOSANTI IS A
          DEMONSTATION ON A VERY, VERY LOW BUDGET. VISITORS CENTER HAS ABOUT 50,000
          VISITORS A YEAR. VISITORS GET TOURS, EAT IN THE CAFE.

          What societal improvements have been tried there? Do they work?
          I CAN'T SAY MUCH MORE THAN RALPH DID. I HAVE LIVED AND WORKED IN MANY
          INNOVATIVE PLACES BUT I NEVER HAD THE EXPOSURE OR CHANCE TO MEET PEOPLE FROM
          ALL OVER THE WORLD, LIKE I DID THERE. THERE ARE **MANY** PROBLEMS THERE,
          LIKE EVERYWHERE, AND **MUCH** NEEDS TO BE WORKED OUT DIFFERENTLY AND BETTER.
          BUT I AM OLD ENOUGH NOW TO KNOW THE VALUE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF A SIGNIFICANT
          START. SOLERI COULD HAVE CONTINUED TO CRANK OUT GREAT HUGE DESIGNS
          THROUGHOUT THE 60S AND 70S AND 80S, WHICH HE DID. BUT ACTUALLY MAKING A
          START, MAKING A 'CONCRETE' MARK IN THE SAND, HAS SIGNIFICANT VALUE.

          -George
          Thanks.






          Site of the month. The 500 year Town. L. Gene Zellmer 1998
          http://www.www60829.w1.com/




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