Some Old Friends Visit Arcosanti

Aaron Paul Brakke was at Arcosanti in the fall of 2000 during the launch of the first Ecosa Institute “total immersion in ecological design” seminar. The course took about 4 months and two Arcosantians (me and Karen Talyor) participated made possible thanks to a 50 percent discount in the regular price which was 5k. The Ecosa program was started by Tony Brown who before becoming an established green architect in neighboring Prescott, was chief architect during the early days of Arcosanti (late 70s early 80s).

Unfortunately, much to my chagrin, they were not able to continue the program at Arcosanti, but it was still a very special time for me in which I had a chance to consider Arcology in relation to other movements and innovations going at the beginning of the ecological design movement.

While Aaron was here with the other 15 Ecosa Students he had the chance to meet one of the resident volunteers Estefania Villiamar who was from Columbia and had just finished her workshop and they became a couple. I met Aaron and Estefania once since then in NYC around 2004/05, just when their youngest child was born.

Now they have two both of whom I saw when they came to visit here on Wed. Now in Columbia and married, they came back to the USA, to see Aaron’s brother Paul get married with Aaron as the best man. I bought a bell for them for their brother at the gallery as a wedding gift. They did not have time with their schedule to wait for the gallery to open because they had to go to the rehearsal later that day.

Both Aaron and Estefania are architects. While she was here in 2000, she worked on the Nudging Space Arcology model. Aaron updated me on the challenges of working in Columbia and told me about several projects he had been working on. This included his effort in a small firm – Visualeyes Architecture + Design –  in which he was director of design. He is now teaching architecture in Columbia. You can see some of his work here:

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