The Cosanti Foundation has a new president. Jeffrey Stein a alum of the project, recently took the helm in September. He has a long history with the foundation having lived here for over seven years during the 70s and more recently served as chair of the Cosanti Foundation board of trustee. In 2011, he left his position as dean of Boston Architectural College to become president of the Cosanti Foundation.
The move is a positive for two main reasons:
- It is good move for Paolo Soleri to “retire” and let someone take the top leadership role. It shows that he has someone he can trust to run the project after his death
- One issue we struggle with is that the people running the project have limited experiences and perspectives beyond the Arcosanti bubble/fishbowl. Stein has had to deal with the challenges of being a dean and running a small college that is influential in the architectural community
One of the challenges Stein faces is to build a cohesive effort around the idea Paolo Soleri has tried to popularize by seeking to make Arcosanti into a “Urban Laboratory.” With a limited budget the Cosanti Foundation is engaged in the following areas:
- Archival efforts of Paolo Soleri’s life work
- Promoting large scale urban development projects such as Lean Linear City
- Seeking to initiate various efforts to revitalize the building and development process at Arcosanti.
One challenge for the president is to more clearly articulate to the public as well as people coming to Arcosanti as workshoppers what Arcosanti is, what it aspires to become and how its current priority projects relate to its mission/vision.