As the housing crisis deepens in the UK, five friends have created a new magazine Take Care as a creative response to the calamity. Founded between London and Glasgow; Sarah Bethan Jones, Charlotte Fountaine, Frances Gordon, Lewis Gordon and Romany Rowell started the publication in an attempt to process “what the fuck is actually going on?” Informative, digestible and beautifully designed to top it off, Take Care hopes to not only inspire action, but also make others realise that they are not alone.
With the country in the grips of a Tory government, the magazine expresses the creative community’s response to the ensuing crisis at hand. Issues such as rising homelessness, the failure to build affordable new homes, the further privatisation of the housing market, not to mention Grenfell, all feature in this extensive first issue.
Created by four Glasgow School of Art graduates, and writer-journalist Lewis, the publication simultaneously serves as a creative outlet for the group of friends, who have all been affected by the housing dilemma in various ways. “We wanted to make something which acts as a creative response to the problem, encouraging people to tell their own stories too” says Lewis.
With cover art by illustrator Michael Sacco, Take Care features poems, personal meditations and interviews. In one segment, writer Gillian Katungi reveals her experiences of no longer being able to afford to live in London, the city she grew up in. In other features, Tide Adesanya meditates on the concept of home and Lewis interviews the director of new film On The Ground At Grenfell; a film made by nine survivors, local residents and volunteers in the wake of the tragedy.
At the centre of the Take Care’s debut issue, co-founder Charlotte interviews a practicing architect working in the social housing sector while participating in a radical Architectural Workers group. On this segment Lewis tells It’s Nice That: “It’s a really illuminating inside look at the machinations of the crisis.” Another piece, Land Into Money, interviews another member of this radical group also working as a social housing architect.
“We changed her name because she spoke so candidly about the managed decline of social housing in the UK enacted by councils,” explains the editor. “The housing crisis is centred on affordability and access, not the quantity of homes available in the UK. This architect grew up in social housing and wanted to work in social housing to do something positive, but has become disillusioned after graduating. It moved us in a really ‘this is really messed up’ kind of way. It got us angry.”
As the magazine’s written content is diverse in its voices and styles, its design concurrently reflects this variety. Each piece has a unique layout, much like each individual’s experience of the crisis. “We let the content of each piece lead the design, drawing inspiration from building foundations, manifestos, tower blocks and houses as well as visual representations of a system breaking down,” adds Lewis. Adopting an orange cover as homage to the colour of the humble brick, the five founders hope that this cohesive design, combined with a highly contentious topic, will hopefully make a tiny bit of difference, even if it offers a sense of solidarity to anyone going through something similar.