Two Nights in Arcosanti: A RideOM! Update

November 29 2015

Upon riding into the community of Arcosanti (en route to Prescott, Arizona), I was immediately inspired by the vision of Dr. Paolo Soleri, an Italian Architect who worked under Frank Lloyd Wright (another amazing architect that inspired me in my youth). Seeing the threat of population growth and its exponential draining of our natural reserves, Dr. Soleri acted to create a sustainable community that was (and still is) ahead of its time.  By creating a concentrated community that spreads vertically rather than outwards, Dr. Soleri aimed to keep as much of the world’s natural habitat untouched to allow for regrowth and environmental preservation.  These mega-structures would contain sustainable passive systems better equipped to handle the ever growing needs of mankind without continually draining and damaging our natural environment. Dr. Soleri's ideas also allow human beings to live in better harmony with each other and the world, weakening our dependence on cars and reducing our carbon footprints.  

Though most of his designs are, so far, only conceptual, his theories and concerns still hold true and are ever more deserving of global consideration.  The heart of these values and ideals encompasses what we seek to accomplish through Lali Gurans.   In essence, we will create a living breathing structure that provides the children with all their needs while simultaneously respecting and preserving the natural world surrounding them. Through an incredible marriage of modern architecture and passive sustainable-systems, the social and environmental atmospheres can coexist and thrive together.

The people at Arcosanti are all incredible, residing in a community which began back in the early 70’s, existing without the need for much construction since its conception.  However, Dr. Soleri's dream is still incomplete compared to his original conceptualization.  Arcosanti was designed for 5,000 people, though, as of now, only 65 people reside there.  This makes me think about my project.  To have a dream unfinished is quite the weight; heavy is the load.

We set out to leave early in the day from Arcosanti but early became late as I had to change both tires on Eric’s trailer. On the way to Prescott, a “trance” song that I had never heard played while I was riding and contemplating everything.  I began thinking all I have is my mind, my heart and my body, while I was beginning the ascent on a large hill.  As the climax of the trance song played, its piano-based vibes sent me flying up the hill.  All I have IS my mind, heart, and body; this will be enough to finish my own dream.

Often while riding I get into what feels like a meditation. Some of my best ideas come from touring on my bicycle.  I am, from now on, a cyclist.  My back hurts, yet it is getting stronger.  It seems as if my stomach in disappearing into my rear. My right leg is getting much stronger (my right leg has had a lot of atrophy problems since the car accident.

We think we can be in California in the next two weeks!  We’ve made it 2/3 of the way and over 1,000 miles.  That's something I never thought I would say. Keep believing and RideOM!

Christopher Gish

President and Founder

Seeds of Change Foundation