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Paolo Soleri Dies At 93

Italian architect Paolo Soleri has died at the age of 93.

A student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Soleri was born in Turin, Italy, in 1919, but was most well-known in Arizona as the designer of the experimental community Arcosanti. The site, about 70 miles north of Phoenix, has been in ongoing construction since 1970. It demonstrates a concept Soleri called “Arcology,” or a combination of architecture and ecology.

Soleri’s vision was of a hyper-dense city that minimized environmental impact and maximized human interaction. Though it was meant to house 5,000, the permanent population is closer to 100.

Soleri remained active in the community’s construction until the end of his life. He was 92 years old when he retired as president and CEO of the Cosanti Foundation, which created Arcosanti.

In recent years, he split his time between Arcosanti and Scottsdale.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.