News + Updates for July 2023

Awards • Site Beautification • Workshops • more+

It may be our Slow Season, but we're Speeding Up!

This Summer we are not getting bogged down by the heat. We are working hard to improve our sites, expand our educational programs, plant and harvest a bounty of food, and so much more!

The Cosanti Foundation Inaugural Awards Announcements

The Cosanti Foundation hosted its first Inaugural Awards Celebration during the annual board meeting. Staff, alumni, and affiliates of The Cosanti Foundation were asked to make a nomination for three awards: [1] The Cosanti Medal, [2] The Lifetime Achievement Award, and [3] The Alumni Award. All recipients of these awards have made significant contributions to their chosen fields, as well as furthering The Cosanti Foundation's mission. Our esteemed recipients are as follows:

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Recipient of the Cosanti Medal 23'

Awarded to architect, educator, and social activist Diébédo Francis Kéré, The Cosanti Medal recognizes a living individual, firm, or organization that has made a profound contribution to advancing the field where arcology enriches everyday life.

“This new initiative is intended to recognize those who are driving positive change to make our communities more resilient, equitable, and sustainably integrated with the natural world,” explains Liz Martin-Malikian, CEO/Executive Director of The Cosanti Foundation. “The social and environmental crisis we are experiencing needs tangible actions to reverse this trend. Francis Kéré embodies the intent of this medal by embracing design as a social act, often working with local communities.”

The award criteria included design with a social impact, innovative building method or practice, entrepreneurship and innovation for resilience, learning by doing, ecologically low-impact or limited footprint, and balance between architecture and ecology (or arcology). Kéré’s poetic, light-filled structures are internationally celebrated for engaging regional craft traditions; indigenous, eco-friendly materials; and empowering community. We are really proud that he has accepted this inaugural medal.

Tomiaki Tamura

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award 23'

The Lifetime Achievement Award aims to recognize significant contributions made by the recipient to the Cosanti Foundation over the whole of a career, totaling over 40 years.


“We are thrilled to honor Tomiaki Tamura,” explains Matteo DiMichelle, Chair of TCF Board. “His longevity of service and achievements are inspiring to us all. He has created a legacy that will be permanently embedded in our memories.”

Tamura has served with dedication at The Cosanti Foundation for over 45 years, where he continues to contribute today. He began his association with The Cosanti Foundation in 1976. Working first as an apprentice, he became an assistant at the Cosanti Design Studio and developed a plan for the Arcosanti Critical Mass. In 1983, Tamura moved to Arcosanti to coordinate the planning and construction of Arcosanti as an architect-in-residence. In addition to serving on The Cosanti Foundation's senior management staff, he has been the Director of Archives, curator of exhibitions, as well as leader of graphic arts. Tamura remains engaged with the Cosanti Foundation to this day, leading well attended specialty architectural tours of Arcosanti on a bi-monthly basis.

David Grierson

Recipient of the Alumni Award 23'

The Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus who has taken the philosophy of arcology and applied it to their work by demonstrating excellence and leadership in their profession for at least ten years or more after their date of workshop graduation.

“We congratulate David Grierson,” said Ivan Friz, board member and award jury chair. “He has made The Cosanti Foundation immensely proud, and we thank him for his advocacy, contributions, career achievements and service.”

Grierson serves as Deputy Head of Architecture and Director of Internationalization at the University of Strathclyde in his native Scotland. He has continued the principles of arcology through his extensive research as well as through his mentorship of students. Grierson maintained a connection to The Cosanti Foundation long after his workshop. In collaboration with Jeff Stein (former president of The Cosanti Foundation and current Cosanti Foundation board member), they developed The University of Strathclyde's Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering: Arcology & Ecology degree program. The Program includes a semester abroad at Arcosanti often co-taught with Scott Riley, Director of Site Management. An opportunity which has enriched the experiences of the students as well as the Arcosanti Community.

Innovating Thanks to our Donors

The Models are on Display

This winter, we started taking a look at the treasure trove of models built under the supervision of Paolo Soleri and Tomiaki Tamura. The models have been housed in boxes for years at various locations around Arcosanti. Most of the models are structurally intact, and they are uniformly beautiful and a rich part of the history and future of our mission. The challenge became how to share them both with our staff and also the 30,000 visitors who come to Arcosanti annually.

Crafts 3, home to our gallery and café, is central to the guest experience at Arcosanti. We have decided to take advantage of this and convert into spaces to exhibit Soleri models and drawings.

Our Board member Sarah Marino and her husband, JT, have provided us with a generous donation to update our bakery into an exhibition space. We're using part of that funding to install an entry ramp and a much-needed ADA-compliant bathroom. In addition to the models on display (curated by our Archivist, Sue Kirsch), we will have a corner of the room dedicated to a virtual reality experience developed over the past few years by our videographer, Seth Winslow.

We plan to welcome visitors to our new exhibition space in the fall.

Solar Pump Installed at the Octagon Well

Our summer began with the primary well pump used to irrigate our Food Forest, Orchard, and Hopi Corn field, being in need of repairs. David Tollas, our Agricultural Manager was concerned about not having a backup well pump as we entered warmer months. He proposed a project that was approved by our COO, Jean Tuller, to install a Solar Pump to our Octagon Well. This well is so close to the Agua Fria, it is essentially surface water, and could likely produce over 150 gallons per minute, not bad for the desert!

We purchased the new pump from local vendor, Quality Water Service. Our Master Electrician, Michael Bittman, known to us as 'Dr.Sparks' was excited to have a solar project to work on. Scott Riley our Director of Site Management, David Tollas, and Maintenance Manager Jeff Fischer, worked on the plumbing system. Our Master Welder, Ace Schutte, constructed the metal support frame and cabinet for housing the control system. A nearby “weed & seed” agriculture crew hopped in to help with the installation. 

The Cosanti Foundation is so grateful for donations made that covered the cost of this project! 

Today's Gift Makes Tomorrow Possible

Workshops are Back

August Workshops: Construction & Archives July 31st-August 31st

Four Week Workshops $1400

Construction Workshop-

Camp Kitchen Rehabilitation

In the past year, Arcosanti has been doing some serious renovations and Camp is next on our list! We will be repairing and potentially expanding the camp kitchen to allow for more residents to use the space with greater ease.

Workshoppers will have the opportunity to learn woodworking, electrical, and plumbing skills under the supervision of our amazing maintenance team!

Archival Workshop

Under the guidance of our spectacular Archivist, Sue Kirsch, workshoppers will have the opportunity to work closely with art, models, texts, photographs and more. They will learn how to disseminate archival information to the public through displays and exhibits, catalogue and digitize past work. Our facilities include an environment-controlled archives unit with digitizing methods, storage areas, and virtual reality simulations.

Farm to Table Workshop September 25th – October 31st 2023

Five Week Workshop $1750

Food is one of the most basic neccessities, and we believe that an Arcology should be able to provide! Our Farm to Table program engages workshoppers with our local ecology and community. Over the course of five weeks you will learn the various regenerative farming methods we are experimenting with here on site. You will also be working with the café, learning how to prepare creative seasonal dishes, and occasionally host a community dinner or two.

Learn more about our Hands-On Workshops

Wet and Dry Mapping the Agua Fria River

On June 25th Mary Hoadley, an alumna of Arcosanti and affiliate of ‘Friends of the Agua Fria’, led a wet/dry mapping of the Agua Fria River along a 4.5 mile long corridor starting north of our property, moving southward until reaching the northern edge of the Agua Fria National Monument. Three of these miles run through our Arcosanti property. This mapping is a citizen scientist activity that takes place every year. Board member Ivan Fritz, our land stewardship coordinator Ana Vázquez, and planning department lead Jorge Molina all attended the hike. To map the river, data is collected on the presence or absence of water throughout the riverbed at the driest time of the year. Years of data collected by volunteers gives a deeper time perspective of the river and allows us to understand how it is changing. Information like this is valuable in order to better prepare and adapt for the changes taking place.

One of the reasons I appreciate this hike is because I get to witness just how different the riparian ecosystem can look based on how that land is stewarded. I draw inspiration from what the restoration efforts at the Agua Fria National Monument have done to foster a rich ecosystem. ~ Ana Vázquez

Learn About Land Stewardship at Arcosanti

Immerse Yourself in the Arcology

As the season shifts to warmer weather, be sure to check out our summer hours of operation as you visit us to take a tour, eat in our cafe, witness a foundry pour, or enjoy an overnight stay.

Cosanti in Paradise Valley

Due to the intensity of Phoenix summers, Cosanti will be pausing its architectural tours until cooler autumnal months.

The public is welcome to watch our

foundry pours, which occur three times a day Monday through Friday.

Our gallery is open daily from 9am to 5pm

Learn more about Cosanti

Arcosanti Visitors Center

is open daily from

9 am to 5 pm

Tours are offered

Thursday through Monday 

We will be offering two tours a day at

9:30 am & 11:00 am during the warmer months

Schedule your tour of Arcosanti

The Café at Arcosanti


Thursday through Monday

From 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Our fresh seasonal menu changes daily. Many of our dishes are made with ingredients grown on site by our agricultural department or by neighboring farms. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options are always available.

Learn more about the Café
Book a Guest Room

The Greenhouse Guest Rooms

& Our SkySuite airbnb

Looking to extend your visit to Arcosanti?

Enjoy our quiet and restful accommodations on the mesa. Both our Greenhouse Guest Rooms and Sky Suite airbnb feature handmade furniture and accents, as well as unique views of our high desert property. While the two accommodations offer very different experiences of our site, you are sure to see a spectacular view of the sunrise!

Book the Sky Suite Airbnb

About The



Since 1965, The Cosanti Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has advocated for the built environment to be created in harmony with nature through the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), and through our Arizona demonstration projects, Cosanti and Arcosanti.

Join us in our mission to inspire a reimagined urbanism that builds resilient and equitable communities sustainably integrated with the natural world.

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