I recently read some great and inspiring blog posts at Blakes Alive and Little Grey Box on minimalist living and making life changes to follow your dreams, and they really stroke a chord with me.
That's because not too long ago I walked away from a career in the business world to teach, and never looked back. I also sold or gave away most of what I had, took whatever I could fit in my car and moved across the country to start my new family. Sounds extreme, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
|Student Apse (1968)|
|Look at that beautiful smile!|
Designated as an Arizona Historic Site, Cosanti boasts a unique bio-climatic architectural environment (temperatures under the structures were much lower even without the use of air conditioning) and quite unconventional design elements. Paolo Soleri is also pretty famous around here for his bronze and ceramics Soleri Windbells.
But what is really remarkable about Cosanti is the philosophy behind it. The word “Cosanti” comes from two Italian terms: “cosa” and “anti,” which together mean “against things," or excessive materialism.
According to the Cosanti website, Paolo Soleri wrote:
We put solar panels on a single family home but can’t change the impact of inefficient construction or the consumption inherent to moving around the suburbs. We buy hybrid cars but must drive in the gridlocks of daily commutes. We buy “green washed” products but continue the same hyper consumption that sprawl mandates. These improvements produce a “better kind of wrongness.”
Cosanti was just the beginning. Soleri headed to central Arizona's Upper Sonoran grasslands (along the I-17 highway between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon) and founded Arcosanti, a "living demonstration model of a compact town, a proposed alternative to suburban sprawl, concentrated on 25 acres of an 860 acre preserve in the semi arid, Arizona high desert."
He started a commune.
The Cosanti estate, on the other hand, is open daily (hours vary) and closed only on major holidays. Visitors are welcome to take a free self-guided walking tour and may be able to see bronze Windbells being poured, which we arrived just in time to watch!
|Piping hot bronze being poured!|
Even if we don't all get up and move to an utopian commune, the idea of living a conscious, frugal yet meaningful life is something we can all be reminded of.