The Next Step: An Expedition to Llano del Rio

Hinterculture in collaboration with Craftswoman House held “The Next Step: Llano del Rio” an expedition and temporary residence at the site of the former Llano Del Rio colony on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Located in the High Desert outside of Palmdale, the site of the socialist collective Llano del Rio was founded by Job Harriman in 1914 after his nearly successful bid to become the first socialist mayor of Los Angeles.

The title of the temporary residency “The Next Step” was taken from the early feminist architect of the Llano colony, Alice Constance Austin, whose 1935 book “The Next Step: How to Plan for Beauty, Comfort, and Peace with Great Savings Effected by the Reduction of Waste” articulated an artistic vision of life in a feminist, socialist city. Inspired by Ebenezer Howard’s garden city and the feminist influence of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Austin created designs for communal eating and day-care areas, minimized interior decorations with built in furniture to alleviate housework, and even proposed an underground railway to ferry laundry, household waste, and supplies.

The expedition continues to encourage artists, dancers, engineers, musicians, scientists, writers, scholars, architects, performers, designers, urban planners, archaeologists, socialists, and activists to join in on the temporary residence at the Llano del Rio colony site in preparation for new works to be shared at a 100th anniversary celebration in 2014.

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