Architect Dolores Hayden has in this 1976 book published by MIT Press provided a perspective not often given on utopian communities: their physical layout (thus her subtitle, "The Architecture of Communal Socialism"). The book is filled with over 260 photographs, plans, and maps of the following seven communities: the Shakers; the Mormons of Nauvoo, lllinois; the Fourierists of Phalanx, New Jersey; Oneida; Amana; the Union Colonists of Greeley, Colorado; and Llano del Rio.
She says, "My main purpose in this research was to explore the relationship between social organization and the building process in particular community groups."
Concerning innovative ideas in utopian communities, she notes that "the Shakers ... (developed) removable window sash for easy washing, round ovens for more even cooking, conical stoves for heating irons more efficiently. The Harmony Society constructed floors which could be removed to that it was never necessary to carry furniture up on down stairs in a dwelling. The Oneidans created 'lazy susan' tables so that food could be turned instead of passed."
This book will be of considerable interest to anyone interested in those seven communities, utopian societies in general, intentional communities, communes, and ecovillages.
on February 1, 2011
This book is an excellent overview of several utopian communities in the United States. What makes the book an even greater interest is Dolores Hayden's truly excellent craft of writing. In all of her books, this being one of the earliest, she combines wonderful insight about architecture and design with insightful, accessible and engaging writing. Unlike many authors who may have excellent ideas but are painful to work through, she has the great skill of remembering that readers are supposed to want to continue reading out of interest and not out of a sense of duty.
on March 16, 2013
A good reference book on this often forgotten episode in American social history. A lot of people are at least somewhat familiar with Charles Nodoff's book on communitarian ( socialist ) settlements such the Shakers, the Oneida Community and so on. How were their buildings designed , for what use, and by whom,? This book gives many of the answers along with covering some lesser known groups. All very interesting.
I put off buying this book for way too long don't make the same mistake.