Nauvoo, Iowa, USA
Religious, Utopian Socialist Christian
825 AD

1 Blacksmith 2 Pork Shop 3 Butcher 4 Baker 5 Dining Hall 6 Mormon Temple Ruins 7 Vinegar 8 Wash 9 Infirmary 10 Pharmacy 11 Drying 12 Bath 13 Library & Print Shop 14 School 15 Candle Factory 16 Shoe Shop 17 Tailor 18 Linen 19 Sales 20 Clock Repair 21 Mattress Shops 22 Soap Factory 23 Apartments 24 Garden
The Voyage to Icaria by the French theorist and politician Etienne Cabet, was a fictional Utopia that served as the foundation for one of the longest-lived, non-religious Utopian experiments in America. Cabet’s utopia was based on bureaucratic order, democracy, and equality. He was keen on the application of elastic for one-size-fits-all clothing. Fortified by advice from Robert Owen, the Icarians founded communities in Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and California. 

The first Icarian settlement was Nauvoo, Iowa. The Icarians purchased land and buildings from the Mormon community who abandoned the town after the murder of their leader, Joseph Smith. The Mormon Temple block and its existing buildings became the hub of the Icarian community. Stones from the temple ruin (6) were used to construct new buildings, including a two-story school house (14). While there was no organized religion or Church, Icarians met on Sundays to discuss ethics. Celibacy was considered offensive, marriage was encouraged, divorce was permitted, and adulterers were banished. The Icarians dined together and each family was allotted a room in the communal apartments (23) and small garden (24). Children lived apart from their parents in the Icarian school and were only allowed to visit on Sundays as a way to replace familial bonds with a love of community.  

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.