Municipal Dreams is an inquiry into the socially and architecturally experimental New Towns created after World War Two. The project investigates whether this planned utopian vision has stood the test of time, focusing specifically on Harlow New Town; comparing its forward thinking origins to its more dystopian reality. This overarching polarisation is highlighted in the separation of the two halves allowing the book to be flipped. At a time where housing shortages are still a major issue, it is important to reflect on the vision of New Towns to discuss both their strengths and shortcomings to propose new ideas for making a better future.
The book is housed in a concrete look slipcase, reflecting the influence of Brutalist architecture on the town. The utopian first half celebrates the forward thinking town, with archival imagery and conversations from residents. The dystopian second half of the book investigates Harlow today, featuring my own photography and online comments from residents. Accompanying the french folded book is a map that allows the user to navigate through the once New Town of Harlow, highlighting specific areas of interest.
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