New Courtland senior citizens and young men from Northern Home for Children worked together to create Our Utopian Perfect City.  We began by discussing things that the seniors and kids felt would enhance their community. The seniors talked about gardens, places of worship and theaters while kids asked if we could plant money trees and figure out a way get rid of all of the guns and drugs. 

Each class started with a writing exercise where everyone finished statements such as “I am…” “I admire” and “Philadelphia is…” Their handwritten responses were scanned and used to make the supporting element of our project: wooden panels displaying chosen descriptors. Our admiration was for mothers, children and preachers, as well as Lil Wayne and Michael Jackson. We described ourselves as kind, humble and capable. These acted as a backdrop to our main visual element: a map of our utopian city made out of hand molding clay.

Our city ended up being composed of a church with an outdoor space for mass, a community center with a basketball court, a community garden with fresh fruits and vegetables and a beach with a Ferris wheel and picnic tables. We used Sculpey clay, cookie cutters, and clay machines that worked exactly like pasta makers to create our 42x42” three dimensional map on top of a wooden foundation. 

Using Format