Settlements


The term 'utopia' was coined almost five hundred years ago, and by naming this ideal Sir Thomas More realised it as more than just hypothetical. This title gave substance to what was previously just a fantasy, popularising the notion of a society which possessed the perfect system for living.

Between 1810 and 1850 America became a hotbed for such "utopias" and during this time many secular religious groups attempted to start new lives away from mainstream civilisation. However it was the social climate of the 1960s that saw people migrating in their thousands back to the rural land. Fuelled by their dissatisfaction with the negatives of modern life, dreamers, progressives and non-conformists began to set up self-sustainable communities based on shared ownership and responsibility. With little money at hand, the groups were forced to rely on their innovative creativity and natural resources instead. This pushed aesthetic design of the communities in a new direction in an attempt to make their reality as forward thinking as their ideals.

In 1968 Whole Earth Catalog was first published, becoming the most instrumental publication in the growth of sixties and seventies counterculture communities. Founded by Stewart Brand, the catalogue offered an amazing range of tools, services and information, not only for back-to-the-land communities but also for progressive minds in the fields of architecture and technology. The catalogue attributed its founding to Buckminster Fuller, the systems theorist, inventor and futurist designer and architect who popularised the geodesic dome. One of the first rural communes of the sixties, Drop City, was also inspired by Fuller's work. The commune was based on the principle of 'life as art' and their iconic domes built from salvaged parts became the crowning representation of this new way of living.

Starting with the titles Whole Earth Catalog, The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller and Drop City, LN-CC has brought together a range of titles that embody the visual and ideological triumphs of utopian living.


Whole Earth Catalog: Access to tools

Whole Earth Catalog: Access to tools

  • Editor/ Visitor
  • Portola Institute Inc, 1969
  • Softcover

Founded in 1968 by Stewart Brand, the catalog is aimed at the back-to-the-land communities and the innovators in the realms of design, architecture and technology. In an age before the internet this was the principal handbook for the countercultural movement of seventies America; A meeting point for open discussion into the developments in sustainable design. The publication is part tool catalogue, part survival manual and part psychadelic novel.

This is the first issue and contains 128 pages with a mixture of illustrations and editorial content that are all printed in black and white.

Book is in good condition with minimal signs of age.


Drop City

Drop City

  • Peter Rabbit
  • The Olympia Press. 1971
  • Softcover
  • First Edition

In 1961 Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky and Clark Richert met at the University of Kansas, it was there that they would coin the term drop art. This art was informed by the work of Allan Kaprow's Happenings, the theories of John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Robert Rauschenberg. Fed up with the conventions of galleries they sought a way to integrate their art with everyday life and so they founded Drop City. Based in Colorado it was one of the first rural communities and the first to be based on artistic practice. Occupants were called droppers and it was within this community that author Peter Douthit gained the name Peter Rabbit. His book Drop City is a mixture of factual information, poetry and fiction. Forty years since its publication, this book remains one of the principle texts on Drop City.

Book is in good condition with minimal signs of age and only slight yellowing.


The Dymaxion world of Buckminster Fuller

The Dymaxion world of Buckminster Fuller

  • R. buckmnster Fuller & Robert W. Marks
  • Doubleday, 1973
  • Paperback/Hardcover

Buckminster Fuller was among many titles a designer, architect, inventor and author. His work covered many fields but were always concerned with making good design that worked for all of humanity on a planet with limited resources. Most famously he popularised the geodesic dome, a structure that struck a chord with the countercultural movement of the sixties. His domes could be found within communes across the American country side such as Drop City and his teachings inspired Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog.


A Natural Order

A Natural Order

  • Lucas Foglia
  • Nazraeli Press,
  • Hardcover

A Natural Order provides a rich account of an alternative lifestyle. Lucas Foglia grew up on a farm in the suburbs of New York City, following many of the principles of the back-to-the-land movement. However despite being largely self sufficient, his life was still full of many modern conveniences. Inspired by his upbringing Lucas decided to go in search of communities and families who were completely self sufficient. So for four years between 2006-2010 he travelled through the south-eastern United States interviewing and photographing groups of people who had dropped out from conventional society. Each was motivated by different causes from religious beliefs, to environmental concerns and predictions of economic collapse. Also included within the book is a small zine titled wildlifoodin, which is part journal, part survival manual.


Woodstock Handmade Houses

Woodstock Handmade Houses

  • Robert Haney & David Ballantine
  • Random House, 1974
  • Softcover

Published in 1974, this book explores the bohemian homes built among the wooded hills of Woodstock, America. The houses are built by artists, craftsman and thinkers full of imagination and aspiration to live an alternative life. Money wasn't plentiful, but the local area was fertile and full of natural resources. This combination lead to some of the most innovative and visionary homes of that decade. Woodstock Handmade Houses contains over one hundred photographs that have all been shot in the warm available light. The book is full of marvel at these exceptional homes that ignored traditional architectural concepts.

This book is in good condition, with only light yellowing from age.


The Alternative: Communal Life in New America

The Alternative: Communal Life in New America

  • William Hedgepath & Dennis Stock
  • Collier, Macmillan ltd, 1970
  • Softcover

The Alternative is a document of communal life popularised by the sixties social revolution. The freethinkers dropped out to assume life in the American countryside away from society's demands. During this time the authors estimated the total figure for communes was well into the thousands. Amongst these new communities, popular notions of living were thrown away and replaced with more primitive ideas of living off the land. The book contains a combination of text and black and white photographs. The authors provide a rich account of their findings which are divided into five sections: Opening Movement, The Land, The Urban Encounter, The Future and The Revolution. Hedgepath and Stock offer a perceptive view of those idealistic youth communities in search of the utopian dream.

This book is in good condition, with only light yellowing from age.


Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher's Art

Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher's Art

  • Arthur Boericke
  • The Scrimshaw Press, 1973
  • Hardcover

Arthur Boericke and Barry Shipiro spent three years exploring the American countryside, camping and hiking to get these photographs of wooden handmade houses. The book contains over one hundred photographs displaying the technical achievements of more than a few like minded individuals. From the photographs you gather not just a visual record of these wooden homes, but also a sense of the alternative lives the occupants live. Making a break from the conventional standard of living and doing away with mass production, these houses find a new progressive way of living.

This book is in good condition, binding is tight with only slight discolouring from age.


Sweet Earth

Sweet Earth

  • Joel Sternfeld
  • Steidl, 2006
  • Hardcover

Independent communities have flourished all across America, particularly over the last two hundred years. Most notable is the sixties revolution that lead many to head back to the land, however before that, in the years between 1810 and 1850, hundreds of secular and religious communities tried to build their own 'utopia'. Within this book Joel Sternfeld selected sixty historic and current communities. Each is photographed and accompanied by a brief text that summarises the communities history and key beliefs. The themes within Sweet Earth remain ever more current: as modern societies plunder forward, the dream of living with nature become increasingly essential.


Rescued Buildings

Rescued Buildings

  • Roland Jacopetti
  • Capra Press, 1971
  • Softcover

Compiled within Rescued Buildings is Roland Japoetti's exploration across California in search of salvaged buildings and land that have gained a new function. Across his search he finds converted churches, schoolhouses, laundrettes and skating rinks. The conversions have been accomplished with little money but an abundance of imagination. At the hands of new, innovative owners these buildings become some of the most imaginative and progressive homes within the western state.


The Modern Utopian: Alternative Communities of the '60s and '70s

The Modern Utopian: Alternative Communities of the '60s and '70s

  • Richard Fairfield & Timothy Miller
  • Process, 2010
  • Softcover

The Modern Utopian takes a look at the back to the land movement of the sixties and seventies. Reviewing the pivotal communes of the era such as Drop City, Hog Farm, and Millbrook. This definitive exploration provides a realistic account of what really went on within the idyllic hippie experiments by the people who actually lived it, revealing the utopia and dystopia of collective living. The three hundred pages are divided into sections such as Back to the Land, Psychedelic and Art Communities, Life in the City, Politics and Revolution, Scientific Ideology, Christian, Mystical and Yoga communities and Gurus East and West. The book is written by Richard Fairfield who self published dozens of magazines throughout the seventies documenting experimental communities and proves to be authority on the subject.


Dome Book 2

Dome Book 2

  • Lloyd Kahn
  • Shelter Publications, 1974
  • Softcover

Dome Book 2 takes inspiration from the teachings of Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic domes that became an icon to the back to land movement. Author Lloyd Kahn was a coeditor for several issues at Whole Earth Catalog and so it is no surprise the two publications are similar in size and format. Unlike Whole Earth Catalog however, Dome Book 2 purely focuses on Domes. The publication is a how-to for dome builders, with ample supply of diagrams for construction and photographs of communities already living within the unusual abodes.

Book is in good condition with minimal signs of age.


Archigram

Whole Earth Catalog's Shelter and Land Use section was dedicated to information for designers and builders that ranged from product information to a study of new architectural practices. Certain forward thinking publications were recommended within this section, one such publication was Archigram.

Archigram was a London based architectural collective whose visionary work, whilst largely unbuilt, has since had a phenomenal influence on many of the worlds most renowned architects. Their approach differed completely to anything that had appeared before, merging science, technology and architecture.

The publication was founded in the 1961 by young architects Peter Cook, Mike Webb and David Grenne. The group doubled in size a year later to include Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton and Warren Chalk. The collective used the publication as a platform to display their futurist work. Each issue had a strong graphic style and differed greatly in terms of format, technique and layout. As their popularity grew the group began working on specific projects that demonstrated their ability to re-think modes of living. The projects that would gain them most notoriety would be Waking City, Plug In City and Instant City.

For this feature we have on loan issues four, eight and nine of Archigram alongside the exhibition catalogue from the 1963 Living City show at the Institute of Contemporary Art and a 1971 collaboration between Archigram and Architectural Design magazine.