It is most reasonable to begin somewhere with an island of functional sanity and let its pattern spread according to its own merits, neither coerced nor coercing.

Paolo Soleri

Born: June 21, 1919

Died: April 9, 2013 (Age 93)

Paolo Soleri was an Italian-American visionary architect and lecturer in the College of Architecture at Arizona State University with a life-long commitment to research and experimentation in design and town planning. He spent a year and a half in fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona, and at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

He coined the term arcology, a portmanteau of "architecture" and "ecology", a field of creating architectural design principles for very densely populated, ecologically low-impact human habitats. In 1970, he began constructing Arcosanti, an urban laboratory testing ground for this idea.

Among his more interesting legacies are the urban effect philosophy (or esthetogenesis: a description of the universe's general propensity to reshape itself into complex conscious structures), and his extrapolation of a hypothetical cosmic endpoint called the Omega Seed, adapted from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the Omega Point.

Available Documents: 5

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Arcology: The City In The Image Of Man
Book
1969
42,122
9,020
In what is considered his literary magnum opus, visionary architect Paolo Soleri proposed a philosophy for a new kind of urban living: the arcology, a vast city-organism designed to exist in harmony with nature. Split into two sections, the book first explains the moral and economic necessity for humanity’s transition to arcological urban landscapes, and proposes that the general purpose of life is aesthetogenesis: the universe progressively complexifying and interconnecting, consciously reshaping itself into compassionate structures. In the second section, Soleri showcases 30 potential arcologies (including one space habitat) through the use of incredibly detailed diagrams, and explains how each was carefully designed to integrate itself economically and ecologically into the world.
Conversations with Paolo Soleri
Book
May 13, 2012
18,381
+1
858
The Bridge Between Matter And Spirit is Matter Becoming Spirit: The Arcology of Paolo Soleri
Book
January 1, 1973
61,277
513
This volume brings together the essays of Paolo Soleri in which he sets forth his philosophy of arcology (architecture ecology) and pleads for a new stage in the evolution of human society—a move toward compactness, or miniaturization, of our cities. To do so we must build solids rather than veneers; we must flee from a “flat” cityscape that debilitates and suppresses the individual. Arcologies, three dimensional macrostructures, are for populations of thousands or of millions.
The Omega Seed: An Eschatological Hypothesis
Book
1981
81,081
1,106
The Ωmega Seed brings together Paolo Soleri’s writings on eschatology, that branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind. Soleri believes that the simulation of the divine will provide man with a blueprint for creation not only of our physical environment but also of a new stage in the evolution of mankind. His work is against the things of a materialistic society, toward a redesigning of the urban civilization of Earth.
The Urban Effect: A Doctrine of the Infant God
Essay
April 1985
3,367
101




357
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