Arcosanti: The Millenial's Commune


Written by Gabriel Mathews
03 Monday 03rd July 2017

The commune is described as an ‘urban laboratory’. Yes an ‘urban laboratory’. The name makes you think of an east London Boxpark pop-up collaborating with We Work to encourage rich young individuals to ‘just hang out and create’. But it’s not in east London it’s situated in the heart of the Arizona desert, in the middle of nowhere, literally off the beaten track.


The man behind such pretentiousness, Paolo Soleri, believed that modern life was inherently wasteful and isolated people from one another and their community. Fair enough. So he did what any rational thinking person would do and brought 260 acres in Yavapai County. There he begun to create what is now the Arcosanti commune. Made out of concrete slabs covered with passive solar windows built into ‘sustainable architecture designed to move upward in organic, mixed-use habitats’ ...whatever that means, is as beautiful as it is intriguing.


So who would you actually find there? Well aside from those on the tour or staying in the hotel, the commune is made up of a 60-strong inhabitants who are there to work, apparently there are a lot of architects inspired by their surroundings. Some are just interested in ‘alternate living’ but all who of them are between their 20s and 30s. It’s a hot-pot of millennials genuinely working, running away from their problems, dealing with their problems or just there for a holiday.


It's a desert village of horny sweaty millennials all mucking in together to ensure its upkeep. Such a small group of twenty year olds in close quarters working and partying together makes for a daily routine you’d expect from your favourite reality TV show. Think Love Island, Geordie Shore and Grand Designs all rolled into one concrete block set in the hills of Arizona.


It might sound like a tragic existence, full of pretentious bell-ends pretending to work on the design of their parents house, but once you see the photos of this dystopian paradise, you will be on the first flight out to Phoenix.


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