08 May 2006 Monday

We got our things together and moved on.  While in Scottsdale, we stopped and toured Taliesin West, the studio and school of Frank Lloyd Wright.  We took a tour of his apprentice accommodations and a few of his buildings.  The first year apprentices stay in “tents” on th egrounds to gain an appreciation for nature.  For their second year, they design and build their own structure.  The concept is learning by doing.  We also found several contradictions in Wright’s philosophies.  He designed without always considering the client’s wishes, placing built-in furniture where HE felt it should be, and yet, he revised and changed Taliesin West many times; he embraced nature, but (according to our guide) he didn’t like the white quartz vein in the mountains the property overlooked, so he had his apprentices paint the quartz vein brown.  Weird guy.

We headed north out of Scottsdale and went to an intentional community called Arcosanti.  What we found was not at all what we expected of an “Intentional Community”.  Arcosanti is a concept high-rise type of community for 5,000 being built in the Arizona Desert.  Paolo Solari, an Italian architect who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright for 18 months and left.  He felt the single family home was not the answer to the future and felt a high-rise, self-contained community was more of an answer to the future of Urban sprawl.  According to the tour, Solari wanted more energy efficiency than Wright focused on, but we saw single paned windows in the structures they’ve built.  They’ve built some of the smaller structures, but still have some monumental construction ahead of them, according to the plans and models we saw. 

We went next to Montezuma’s Castle, but they were just closing.  We found a forest service road to camp for the night.

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