Visionaries and the Passing of the Torch

Torch“You still stand watch, O Human Star, burning without a flicker – perfect flame – bright and resourceful spirit. Each of your rays a great idea – O Torch which passes from hand to hand, from age to age, World without End…” ~ Karel Capek

Arcosanti4The torches that burn brightly and the hands that carry them forth – I just returned from Arcosanti in Arizona where I spent 3 days immersed in the manifested vision of architect Paolo Soleri (1919-2013), the founder of Arcosanti. After visiting Arcosanti I felt another deepening of our commitment to our chosen path of regenerative community development.

Through his work as an architect, urban designer, artist, craftsman, and philosopher, Paolo Soleri explored the countless possibilities of human aspiration. One outstanding endeavor is Arcosanti, an urban laboratory, constructed in the Arizona high desert. It attempts to test and demonstrate an alternative human habitat which is greatly needed in this increasingly perplexing world. This project also exemplifies his steadfast devotion to creating an experiential space to “prototype” an environment in harmony with man.

Arcosanti1In his philosophy “arcology” (architecture + ecology), Soleri formulated a path that may aid us on our evolutionary journey toward a state of aesthetic, equity, and compassion. For more than a half century, his work, marked by a broad-ranging and coherent intellect (so scarce in the age of specialization), has influenced many in search of a new paradigm for our built environment.

While visiting I learned more about Paolo Soleri who passed from this world in 2013.  I also learned that sometimes the torches that visionaries like Paolo hold are not easily passed to the next generation and currently Arcosanti is at somewhat of a pause in its development.  While there I had a vision of a time in the not so distant future after we successfully establish the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Center when students are able to make field trips to Arcosanti to learn more about Paolo’s work and have visions of their own….the passing of the torch.

Submitted by Darlene Cavallara May 5, 2016