Hexa Garden

with Catherine Harris, Ryan Henel and Joy Elaine Denett

Palett Wood, Soil, Plants


“Why the hexagon? – It tessellates and can be reoriented in a number of ways. The hexagon forms the basis of many crystalline forms in nature, such as snowflakes and clay molecules. It is incredibly space-efficient – having the highest contained area to perimeter ratio after the circle. Honey bees use hexagons to make their combs because they want to enclose the largest possible space with the least amount of wax. Early adopters of the modernist tenets of “Form follows function”, “Truth to materials”, and “Simplicity and clarity of forms”, bees have demonstrated that efficient, elegant design is possible with even the greatest economy of means. And here is where the two models meet; Arcosanti employs the hive’s local labor and resource-based economy while Biosphere is an expression of the simple, repeating geometric patterning of hive architecture.

Bees also embody the idea that life is work, and that the structures that sustain us require constant maintenance. Often a burden, another understanding of work might bring us into a mode of shared intimacy with the world. The SK2011 team met twice a week , cutting the wood down into standard building units, pulling nails, stuffing the walls of the boxes with straw insulation. At the end of two weeks, six weathered wood honeycomb boxes graced the once featureless concrete plain, animating the space and setting the stage for new growth.”

- Excerpt from “Survival Kit Collective: Arcosantian economics, Biospherian aesthetics”(pdf), The Journal ofAesthetics and Protest, Issue # 8, Winter 2011/2012, p. 185-192