Category: Master Plan

The New Neighborhood: Master Plan

Master Plan:

 

IMG_1715

 

Important Structure (Community Park):

The Community Park is the central communal structure of The New Neighborhood. It is designed so that all pathways from the residential district and all pathways from the agricultural district filter through the park. Because people’s pathways through the days flow through the park, it necessitates community interaction by design. The goal of the park is to provide a space wherein community members can intermingle while using the space entirely at their discretion, giving people the freedom to engage with the space as they wish.

 

Artist Statement:

 

The New Neighborhood

The goal of my utopia is to challenge American society’s approach to punishment and imprisonment. The logic of the modern prison system is that crime and deviance must be handled by isolating the people responsible from the rest of society. However, our process of isolating those we punish and labeling them as deviant results in a lack of reintegration back into society, leading to high recidivism rates in incarcerated populations.

The utopia I have designed, The New Neighborhood, is a community that takes a different approach to handling crime, punishment, and community members who violate standards. Rather than approaching these problems with an isolationist strategy, The New Neighborhood model is based upon the ideas of inclusion, cooperation, and interdependence in order to sustain community ties that are severed by the current criminal justice system. The community is designed as a self-sustaining neighborhood where people must work cooperatively and flow through different districts of the community in their daily lives. While the community is self sustainable via agriculture, fishing, and sustainable energy infrastructure, it forms a relationship with the outside world by traveling through nearby areas and selling excess produce, therefore fostering a positive relationship with outsiders. To be clear, the New Neighborhood is not a penal colony, it is a community of people who want to experiment with a new approach to handling issues of crime, punishment, and how we deal with these social problems. 

 

LOCATION

The New Neighborhood is located on the banks of Eagle Lake, in the high desert of Northern California. The placement is partially because the high desert is decent land for agriculture, while having a lake nearby provides necessary natural resources. The placement is also in proximity to a town called Susanville, which is known for being a “prison town”.

The economy of Susanville originally revolved around agriculture, mining, and lumber. Today, it is one of many rural towns in America whose economy depends entirely on the state and federal prisons that have been established within the towns. The establishment of prisons within Susanville was intended as means to revitalize the economy, after Susanville suffered massive job losses when the fields of farming, mining, and lumber declined. Today, the Susanville economy revolves around prisons– in 2007, half of the adult population were employed by one of the three nearby correctional institutions. This trend still sustains today, as both the High Desert State Prison and the California Correctional Center employ approximately five-to-ten times the amount of people as most other employers in the area.

The statistics of employment in Susanville may sound shocking, but they are typical of many towns like it across America that have utilized prisons as economic stimulus. The meaning behind positioning my Utopia so close to Susanville is so that my challenge to the United States’ approach to punishment can function in dialogue with communities that are sustained by it. However, I do not intend for the communities to have a hostile relationship, which is why selling our produce and goods and fostering relationships with people in Susanville and other nearby communities.

 

COMMUNITY DESIGN

The New Neighborhood is designed to work with the natural topography of its setting, while encouraging daily flow throughout all the districts of the community to promote optimal inclusion and engagement. Units for harvesting sustainable energy are positioned at the highest topographical level. Next down are the residential areas, which are single-family homes to mimic life outside of the community and to give residents a sense of privacy. Next are the community centers, parks, and schools. Finally, at the last topographical level is where the farming is done and where the docks for fishing on the lake are.

The community itself would be designed to handle punishment in an inclusive and unmarked way. In its beginnings, my model of a society would have to be relatively small, with about 1,000 members at the most. Overtime, if the model was working, it would be reasonable to increase the size. Another reason that I would like the society to start small is that I would like for my society to deal with deviance within a court system. However, massive court systems tend to produce one-size-fits-all punishments, such as mandatory minimum sentences. I would prefer for my court system to cater punishments to the individual and the specifics of the offense. I would also propose that trials remain private. Although I understand the rationale of opening trials to the public to ensure there are no abuses of power behind closed doors, the publicity of trials actually serve more as demonstrations of the state’s power over an individual serve to publicly label that citizen as deviant.

I would also hope to redefine what constitutes a crime worthy of punitive action. In my society, low-level, non-violent offenses would not be suitable for punitive action as dramatic as imprisonment. It would only be appropriate to excommunicate an individual if they committed an act of violence and endangered the freedom and welfare of other people in the community. Other crimes, such as theft, could be repaired by compulsory community service- however, it is not necessary for that service to be obvious. Community service should be kept discreet to avoid deviant labels being assigned to the people performing them.

Essentially, the community would operate similarly to a neighborhood, though the day’s work would be an inclusive effort. The only markable difference is the strategy with which punishment is handled — by encouraging the individual to be more included into the daily workings of the community, rather than excommunicated.

 

ADVERTISING/ RECRUITMENT

The best way to communicate with people who have grown up in a capitalist economy is to engage in that rhetoric so that the community ideas don’t seem so strange or threatening. For the broadside, I am inspired by advertisements encouraging suburban living from the post-war era. As such, the broadsides are brochures with the community manifesto included on the inside. These advertisements marketed newly-zoned suburban land as a means of building a family while being more in touch with community, and with the natural world. The rhetoric of these advertisements also approaches outsiders in a familiar language, rather than startling them with language that seems too radical or outside of the norm. I am also inspired by the concern that the New England Shaker communities had with presenting themselves as relevant, modern, and in-tune with the outside world in order to attract more participants. As such, the community is presented as a neighborhood that includes modern accommodations such as single-family homes and public school systems, so it does not seem too foreign for outsiders. These brochures will be distributed to recruit people when the group travels around the area to sell their produce. The rationale behind having traveling farm stands around the area is that it gives community members an opportunity to engage with outsiders in a fun, relaxed setting (also, it is a way of making a profit for the community).

 

The People

The New Neighborhood would be open to anyone who wanted to join. The community would especially look to recruit people from Susanville or other prison towns–those who may feel that they need a break from a life revolving around the criminal justice system.

The rhythm of life would not be entirely dissimilar to a typical work day– adults go to work, children go to school. However, the types of industry that people would work out would be generally geared toward community bettering. Prominent places of work would be an environmental bettering agency, the school system, sustainable agriculture, fishing and consistent community upkeep. Community upkeep would generally be focused on keeping infrastructure updated and maintaining the sustainability plots within neighborhoods.

I would want for neighborhood units to be designed in a way that ensured everyone’s basic needs would be provided for. Central to each neighborhood would be a small community garden whose upkeep was a communal responsibility. The goal of making sure everyone’s needs are provided for and the focus on community upkeep in my society is to foster an overarching sense of inclusion. This sense of inclusion, I hope, would function against factors in American society that contribute to our impulse to isolate those who we see as criminal.

 

Manifesto and Broadside:

 

Broadside

 

 

 

Maga Collective – Master Plan

 

Manifesto

Puerto Rico has been subjected to colonial rule by the United States since 1898. The US stole any chance of independence Puerto Rico had when it defeated the Spanish and installed a military government on the island. The Foraker Act of 1900 was the beginning of a government in Puerto Rico that would be at the will of US power for over a century. Puerto Rico continued under US rule but with few accommodation or recognition of its people, despite having to be subjected to drafts and the political will of the US government. Independence movements began to rise, but the fear of communism during the time of the Cuban crisis created extreme repression by the US government. Gag laws were initiated in order to prevent political dissonance, where political opposition members were taken into prison and murdered. Puerto Ricans eventually became US citizens not having any real representation in the federal government. The people can only elect governors who must lobby their interests to a government that has continued to fail them. The countries economic conditions have created migration patterns that have left more Puerto Ricans in the US than on the island itself. The recent events of hurricane Maria have showed the minimum investment the US has in the Puerto Rican people. People were devastated as they lost their homes, agricultural production slowed down, and some still do not have electricity to this day. Although Puerto Ricans have voted in favor of statehood, but barely 20% of the population actually voted, the US has continued to ignore the desires of the people.

Statehood sounds like the best option, Puerto Rico must break the cycle of imperialism that have continued to promote assimilation and economic disparities.

An independent Puerto Rico will finally be able to determine their path of political and economic autonomy. Statehood would only continue to assimilate the people where they will continue to face discrimination. Independence will allow Puerto Rico to decide their economic and political policies and will not have to be at the will of the US. Governments must be cleared of these Puerto Rican Spanish elites that have continued to perpetuate disparities against the descendants of the Taino and African people. There will be an importance on reasonable sustainable practices and new trade options opened up to newer markets that do not exploit the nation. Agriculture will represent a range a produce but a continued excess of regional vegetation that can be donated to suffering communities after Maria and exported. Sustainability will be present in energy production as well. Puerto Rico gets large amounts of sunlight and needs to switch to a more sustainable energy source such as solar panels. Energy will be distributed to other peoples on the island that continue to lose power after the hurricane and little efforts by the US. Education must be focused on decolonization. The legacies of US rule lie not only via the institutions that were built by the US but were enforced by the perceptions of the Puerto Rican people needing to be dependent on the US. Attitudes like this only lead to inferiority complexes that continue to legitimize the rule of the US.

Developing practices that demand an autonomous way of life will be the only way to set Puerto Rico free from their colonial history with United States. The people must break the socialized illusions that have been indoctrinated into their thoughts through education that puts importance to the people.

 

Designer Statement

I approached my project with a more realist view of how I understood a utopia. Rather than creating a fictional world of what Puerto Rico could have been, had it been independent, I wanted to create a model to aspire towards independence. My utopia was supposed to provide another way of structuring life in Puerto Rico that would challenge the rooted inequalities that the society faces. The goal was to create the environment where political, economic and social autonomy would develop during a time of hurt for the people. The recent hurricane brought these issues to light, where a people who are supposedly living under democracy have had limited resources and no self determination.. The largest problems I wanted to solve were that of education, agriculture, architecture as they relate to the socio economic and political spheres. I saw the issues of public education lacking funding and being structured to make people infatuated with the US and not question its actions to other nations, similar to the education system in the US. The agriculture of Puerto Rico has been devastated after the hurricane making them dependent for food and aid, which hinders the ability to self support and sustain. Architecture plays a similar role as after the hurricane hit, people were left with no homes and forced to relocated or even migrate to the US. The economic conditions that the US has continued to not fix on the island has caused extreme migration patterns to the US, so much that there are more Puerto Rican people in the US than in Puerto Rico itself. Those who stay in Puerto Rico face harsh economic and political challenges that go unaddressed. The island has accumulated over 70 billion dollars in debt which only continues to perpetuate the structural dependency of Puerto Rico to the US. I wanted to challenge these narratives on what people think Puerto Rico should and shouldn’t do, showing alternatives to statehood, which would only continue these dynamics of inequality, and make people think about independence differently. By people I mean those who have been most affected by the conditions of territoriality rule. I focused on some of the most disenfranchised areas and peoples that have been forgotten by the US government and efforts by local governments have not been enough. My utopia was trying to give a support network for people who have been lacking in power, food and shelter since the hurricane. I wanted it to be an initiative made by the people who support independence. These people would help the restructuring of society but contribute resources to those in need. I decided to collage images to give a more abstract understanding of what the community would look like and produce. The important aspects of the community are those who live and work to provide na autonomous region in Puerto Rico that would eventually present itself as a model for the rest of the nation.

 

Kentucky Center for Rehabilitation

Master Plan

 

 

Detail

Portrait of the people

 

 

Manifesto

 

Broadside

 

 

Artist Statement

The state of Kentucky is predicted to run out of space in its prisons by the year 2019. The Kentucky State Reformatory stands as the second largest prison in the state, and it exists amidst Oldham County, the wealthiest county in the state of Kentucky and the 20th wealthiest county in the nation; the Kentucky State Reformatory is not comprised of people who share socioeconomic commonalities with the citizens of Oldham County. The issues with the Kentucky State Reformatory are representative of the issues with the U.S. prison system as a whole.

The prison system is centered on the act of dehumanizing rather than rehabilitating. Prison duplicate the motives of slavery in their exploitation of labor and their efforts to capture people deemed “undesirable.” Prisoners are objectified through a property-owner dynamic; they are paid little or nothing and are vastly isolated from their labor. The overcrowding, dirtiness, and absence of nutrition and fresh air in prisons leads to health issues among prisoners, and a lack of prison healthcare worsens such issues. Officials are frequently unable to protect prisoners from physical violence, and mental health issues are left ignored. In turn, prisoners are often unable to lead healthy lives following release from prison. Incarceration places extreme strain on the family structures and communities of the incarcerated, and this issue is made worse by restrictions placed on prisoner visiting time. Upon release, many prisoners struggle to find income and housing.

My vision of utopia obliterates the existing structures of the Kentucky State Reformatory, preserves the population, and transforms the land into a center for rehabilitation. Members of the utopia are treated as humans who are valuable to both the utopia and the outside community. Labor exists only as a necessary force in the upkeep of the utopia, and a majority of daily energy is invested in learning, restorative justice, and rehabilitation. The utopia is staffed by doctors, teachers, and therapists, rather than punishing figures. Physical and mental well-being is prioritized, and healthcare and living conditions have been altered accordingly. Community members are viewed as people who will soon re-enter society. Family call and visiting time is regular, unrestricted, and accommodating of a family’s needs; on-site housing is available for those visiting. Several regular bus routes run from the surrounding counties (Trimble, Jefferson, Shelby, and Henry County) to the rehabilitation center, picking up at county libraries and allowing those with limited transportation access to their loved one.

In terms of outreach, because the Kentucky Center for Rehabilitation serves as a model of what all prisons could become, the outreach is not contained to a particular area. The broadsides created for the utopia summarize the philosophy of the rehabilitation center with “rehabilitation not dehumanization” and mention the Kentucky Center for Rehabilitation so that people can find more information. The posters can be printed by anyone and hung anywhere.

The site features housing for community members, housing for friends and family, a transportation hub, an educative center, a therapeutic rehabilitation center, an outdoor leisure center, a healthcare facility, a gym, an arts center, a dining hall, a garden and monument to rehabilitation, and a walking installation and museum about the former grounds and issues with the U.S. prison system. Outsiders, including Oldham County residents provide funding for the utopia by paying to use the utopia’s facilities. Outsiders are allowed to enter the utopia only through the walking installation, titled “Barred”, to ensure they are aware of prison issues and the prison that formerly stood in place of the rehabilitation center. The installation is a path surrounded by 22,000 poles—one per person incarcerated in the state of Kentucky. The poles increase in density from the inside to the outside and go from light at the entrance to completely dark at the end of the pathway. As visitors look left and right, they can see poles continuing to multiply in the distance, until they reach a point so dense that they form a sort of wall. Though the viewer does not get an aerial view of the installation, the lengthy walk and repetition of poles leads the brain to imagine that the poles expand infinitely, drawing light to the extent of mass incarceration in Kentucky and the U.S. as a whole. A museum about the Kentucky State Reformatory and the U.S. prison system is at the end of the installation path.

Overall, I hope that my utopia serves as a model for how the U.S. prison system could be transformed into a system that values people and restores.

Mar Master Plan

 

Details:

My Utopia is centered around the retaking of land for the purpose of restoring equality. The space I chose to rebuild into a utopia is currently Valparaiso Chile. The focus of this mater plan is mostly on the area near to the water. My Utopia has two public beaches and two public parks near the water. There are train tracks the run behind the beach an in front of the park. The train that runs along the coast is for distribution of goods. On the beach and in the parks I’ve put meditation gardens. Along this coastline there is a port which imports goods from around the world and exports what we have in plenty of which is fruits and vegetables, and seafood, as well as copper, wood, and paper. Behind the parks and industrial area is an avenue where most people in the city come for their basic everyday material needs and activities. Along the avenue there are two healing centers, two spiritual centers, two restaurants, six markets, three communal kitchens, a public shelter, and my Monument to Knowledge:

  • Healing Center – A space where anyone regardless of insurance policy or citizenship status can be seen by an educated professional about a medical issue.
  • Spiritual Center – A safe space where anyone regardless of religious affiliation/spiritual connection may come to pray or meditate
  • Restaurant – A health conscious restaurant located close to the markets and communal kitchens to avoid a spatial disconnect from those who can go out to eat versus those who can only afford to make their own food.
  • Communal kitchens – Building with multiple kitchen areas where anyone can make food in the space for free and perhaps eat it across the street at the park etc.
  • Markets – From fruits and vegetables to meats/seafood and baked goods to basic necessities like toothpaste and shampoo.
  • Public Shelter – A safe space for any individual to spend the night comfortably.
  • Walking Bridges – These walking bridges are durable; made almost entirely out of metal. The steps will have panels of white wood which is cool to the touch of bare feet. These bridges allow members of this community to step off the grass in the park and step into the warm beach sand.
  • Currently there is mostly large industrial and/or corporate buildings that are all at least 4 to five stories tall. Because of the way that they block the view of the water for the people who work centrally and some residents who live closer to the water, the buildings need to be replaced by these one story functional and accessible buildings. I am planning out this area near the water to not block any views of residents by making the first few rows of blocks to only have one story buildings. Also, currently there is limited access to the beach and few other public spaces which is what aim to fix by including the public beaches and parks.

Connections:

  • Located the west coast of South America, Mar is known for trade by means of the functioning port and train. We export fruits and vegetables, seafood, even copper, wood, and paper from the port. The train that runs along the coast also diverges to Santiago (a popular tourist destination and the largest city in Chile).

 

Index table:

MG – Meditation garden

IIIII – Walking bridge

MTK – Monument to Knowledge

The Martian Master Plan

Designer statement

My utopia is one where no one needs to work.  First and foremost my utopia is based on the idea that people would be happier in a society where they can choose what they want to do in life without having to worry about the basic necessities of life.  I try to bring this about by making a world and society where all the things people need and want can be produced through automation.  With out the need to produce or acquire the basic necessities of life people can then turn to doing whatever it is they want.  Here automation can also help by providing  what people need to do whatever it is they want and by helping them do it if they desire.  The purpose of my utopia is not to create a world where no one works but rather to create a world where each person can work at what they want, or not work at all if that is what they want.

This utopia completely changes the relationship that people have to the things that society produces and completely changes how people function in society.  This is why I chose to put my utopia on Mars.  There I could create a society as large as I wanted and as different as a wanted without needing to worry about the process of transition from the old system or the problem of who lived on the land currently occupied by the utopia.  A new planet seemed like the best place for a fresh start.  I also think that putting my utopia on a new planet very clearly signals that I want it to be a very different place.

I would say that the biggest inspiration for my utopia are utopias in the vein of Thomas More’s Utopia or Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland.  Works featuring societies that were imagined from the base up and were never truly thought of as places that could really exist someday.  Thus I did not focus on making sure that my utopia was a feasible one.  It is a thought experiment about what a society could look like if it used automated labor to the greatest extent.  Ideally it would be a utopia where everyone was happy and pursuing  their dreams or doing whatever would make them most happy in life.  It would be a place where no one ever asked “what do I need to do” but instead “what do I want to do”.  If life on earth is river that pulls you along with it where ever it flows the life on Mars is lake where you can swim where ever to like.  The worst case scenario is of course the robots killing everyone.  I do not know how that would happen though.

 

Manifesto

Mars will be a new kind of place, a society unlike any in which humans have lived before.  On Earth one must work to live.  Unless of course you have enough money, which is all too often amassed from the work of others.  Leisure is a privilege, along with a secure future and the ability to do what you want rather than what you will be paid for.

On Mars all of the necessities of life and human society can be automated.  Everyone will be secure in knowledge that, no matter what they do, they will have as much of everything they need.  The greatest challenge of life will be to find what to do with it.  With both the individuals and the society they live in freed from the bonds of necessity the people of Mars can, with the help of automated labor, look towards living happy lives rather than just towards living.

All people on Mars will be guaranteed:

-A place to live, food to eat, water to drink, etc.  All of the necessities of life not just to the barest extent but to the extent that the individual desires.  In no way shall the people of Mars be differentiated in their access to these things.

-The benefit of the automated labor on which Martian society is based and the capacity to use some of its products for their own ends.

 

Broadside in the form of a letter inviting the people of earth to come to mars.

Dear people of Earth,

We are building the future on Mars.  A new world with a new society built on the principle that no one should be made to work and that each person should be able to live the life they want.  On Mars everything a person could need is produced through automation and freely available to all.  No one will ever need to fear for the security of their future.

Here you can feel free to live life at a slower pace with all the rest and leisure you desire.  Do what you want at your own pace and live the happiest life you can.  We invite you all to come to Mars, where the future is being built, where anyone can follow their dreams and live a life doing what they truly want.

 

In the Hopes that you will join us,

(signature)

First president of the Assembly of Mars.

 

Master Plan diagram

Building detail

Parris Island

Designer Statement

This Utopia I designed finds its home on Parris Island, currently a marine corps training base. I chose to convert this area to my utopia for several reasons, not least for the irony. I decided i wanted to create a utopia that focuses on what i believe to be the most noble aims. So, I decided that a utopia ment to train the individual in skills necessary for success would be good and “useful” for society, but then i decided to have it go one step further. I decided that this utopia should try and export itself to the surrounding world. Not by means of mass recruitment or the building of more utopian communities, but by rebuilding communities that have fallen apart. So, back to answering why Parris island marine corps base. Symbolically the military is seen as a force of war, brutality and destruction for some, although it is clear it also acts as a force of order and peace as well. Using the notion that the military represents “destruction”, i decided to use the same space that people are trained to do this to have them trained to the opposite and this is to rebuild.

As for the broadside, i wanted to continue off the theme of repurposed military symbolism in other facets, so i chose a classic recognizable piece of american propaganda, uncle sam. He is probably one of the most iconic and recognizable examples of propaganda in the US, second only to rosie the riveter maybe. Since it has a history as a symbol of recruitment it is useful to me as a broadside of recruitment for my utopia, however I specifically changed “enlist today” to “volunteer today” and from “I want you” to “we need you”.

For the portrait of the people, again i appropriated a commonly understood symbol, this time of the average soldier. Its meant to the show the idea the common marine who be trained at Parris island is being converted into something else entirely. Instead of a gun this marine wields a hammer and flowers, representing both peaceful intentions and the intention to work and rebuild.

Lastly is the barracks, a building associated with the military. The barracks is traditionally where soldiers sleep. In my variation i’ve converted the military barracks into the classroom for which the utopians are trained and taught the knowledge and skills they need.

Manifesto

The Parris Island Utopia will bring an end to the pointless practice of training people to kill and destroy for no other purpose but for the sake of ensuring success in war and foreign conflicts. Instead people shall be trained at Parris island to know leadership, compassion, management, engineering and teaching. These are skills needed by the modern person in order to enable them to have the necessary skill set to rebuild the world piece by piece.

Step1: Utopians will be trained in these skills at Parris island

Step 2: The Utopians will select areas afflicted with extreme levels of poverty or failing education systems, and live there.

Step 3: The Utopians will now use their acquired skills to begin to rebuild these places physically and morally. This will come in the form of leading community events or projects, rebuilding run down or abandoned buildings, organizing youths into sports teams and other groups, and also providing proper education to those who lack access to it.