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The Dish

Paolo Soleri Film: Beyond Form

A documentary presenting a fresh look at the architect, craftsman, urban theorist, and philosopher

Beyond Form is a cinéma vérité style documentary presenting a fresh look at the architect, craftsman, urban theorist, and philosopher Paolo Soleri. Soleri is well known as the creator of Arcosanti, an experimental settlement north of Phoenix, intended to be an alternative to urban sprawl. According to co-producer Roger Tomalty, youʼll see why Paolo Soleri was green before “green” and “sustainable” ever entered the world lexicon.

Co-Producer Roger Tomalty worked closely with Soleri in both an architectural design and construction capacity since 1970. Tomalty served as construction supervisor and site coordinator of the Arcosanti project in the 1970’s, and continues to lecture extensively on the Arcosanti project and conduct workshops on earth casting techniques worldwide. His primary interest is for the Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti to continue to explore and demonstrate the interaction of the built and natural environments in ways that integrate food production, water conservation, and flow energy resources with habitat.

Filming took place over the course of three years, while filmmaker Aimee Madsen says she created this project much in the spirit of Soleri's style of frugality, doing more with less. You can view the trailer here.

For those in Chicago, the documentary will be shown at the Graham Foundation June 12th at 6PM. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with co-producer Roger Tomalty and filmmaker Aimee Madsen, and a reception in the Madlener House outdoor courtyard. The event is co-presented by the Graham Foundation and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago.

For more info on the Graham screening visit the Graham Foundation.