New Haven, Three Views
Jeremy Wolin | 2019 | Interior Architecture & Public Policy
"New Haven, Three Views, (Seascape, Bento, and Streetscape)" is my examination of the natural, physical, and cultural geographies that shaped my experience growing up in the Connecticut city. From an urban planning perspective, New Haven’s nine-square plan has always interested me in being the first planned city in the US. I am also interested in how after the nine squares were formed, the plan was immediately diverged from. This divergence is apparent in "Streetscape," where the original nine squares are the most deeply incised into the book’s surface, while the divergent streets sit on the cover.
Creating this set of books also represented the reclaiming of the city that has so greatly influenced my development. Growing up in Woodbridge, a suburb of New Haven, I went to schools where other students were afraid of the city, and I adopted this mindset. I eventually realized that this disdain was a result of the deeply-set, subconscious racial and class prejudices upon which the suburbs had been built. Further, I realized that I felt more at home in the cultural resources and diversity of New Haven than in the suburban environment. This project allowed me to identify New Haven as a place of great personal value, rather than as the object of scorn that I had grown up hearing as a punch line.
"Seascape" depicts the natural geography onto which the original nine squares were imposed, while "Streetscape" shows the divergence of the street system from the nine-square plan. "Bento" uses the map of Downtown New Haven as a place for displaying objects I’ve accumulated over time in the city. All three pieces were cut from my mother’s old medical school textbooks, referencing what brought my family to the city originally.
Books, mixed media.