Are you going my way? research imagery, 2021-22 1. Still from ‘Make It In Livingston’ Advert (c.1990) showing the interior of a small car with a group of smiling pensioners from Livingston Pensioners Beetle Drive. The woman driving wears large 1980’s glasses and points casually out the car window.
2. Aerial photo of Livingston showing a roundabout in the middle of green fields. One exit road stops abruptly, suggesting a residential estate is soon to be built there.
3. Screenshot of comments from a YouTube video with names hidden. First comment reads “IS THIS THE FORM….LIVI” and the reply reads “yeah m8 good vibes !”
4. Photograph of full builders sacks piled on top of each other on a muddy building site in Livingston.

Are you going my way? is an ongoing research project supported by Rhubaba. The project focuses on the post-war New Town initiative in Scotland, particuarly my hometown of Livingston.

During a short window of socialist governance in the UK, the New Towns Act of 1946 responded to a housing crisis that had been amplified by the damage of the war. Six new towns were designated around Scotland, with five eventually realised. The legislation of the New Towns Act allowed for a new model of community & commercial development with increased legal powers and funding available for the development corporations specially assembled for each town. A 200-year project with a 30-year custodianship, the New Towns changed political hands several times over, funnelled through periods of conflicting housing policy strategies, and soon were placed, incomplete, back into the care of the local authority.

This project looks at the hopes and follies of the New Town initiative, the possibilities for the non-commercial corporation as a transformational guiding body, and what New Towns can teach us as we continue to face a housing crisis in Scotland’s contemporary political context.

A film and publication are forthcoming in 2022.