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Paolo Soleri: The City in the Image of Man

Year: 1972, 113 mins
Code: CAT-SolPt1

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Wide ranging exploration of the ideas of architect Paolo Soleri. With Paolo Soleri, architect, philosopher; Stewart Udall (former Secretary of Interior and head of an environmental consulting firm); Kenneth Gibson, Mayor of Newark, N.J.; Alvin Toffler, author ("Future Shock", etc.); scientist/future-thinker Arthur C. Clarke ("2001: A Space Odyssey", etc.); Moshe Safdie, architect ("Habitat"); Harold Francis and Tony Pearce (architecture students); Prof. John Gallahue (Columbia Univ., New York City.)

An illustrated series of interviews about Paolo Soleri's ideas. Themes: architecture, the future of urban centers, the Earth's ability to sustain itself under the increasing load of human population, the interaction of art and utility, the future of ideas we take for granted,( such as progress and technology), and the changing nature of man himself. Stewart Udall is on-camera host and voice-over narrator. Soleri is seen in dialogue with a wide range of persons whose concerns and expertise intersect his own ideas.
A great deal of film and photographs illustrate the themes discussed. Soleri, as architect, has actually built very little. In the Arizona desert his experimental community "Arcosanti" continues to grow and change, attracting students and volunteer workers from all over the world. His blueprints and models for "Arcologies" (city-sized structures accommodated to specific sites) have been shown at prestigious galleries and have influenced the thinking of a generation.

The main theme discussed in this footage: cities are the man made landscape and are essential to the continuation of civilization; but new cities must evolve in response to a changing world; they must be integrated places, built up into three dimensions, not out endlessly across the landscape.

Paolo Soleri was an Italian architect. He established the educational Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti. Soleri was a lecturer in the College of Architecture at Arizona State University and a National Design Award recipient in 2006. He died at home of natural causes on 9 April 2013 at the age of 93.

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