Architecture and Utopia

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In this new era of disorientation and social hardship it isn’t pure formalism to rethink utopia as a type of search, anticipation and projection into the realm of future possibilities.
In Boundaries Utopia promotes divergent thinking. It stimulates forward momentum, not to just a future, but to all possible futures.

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While choosing to address the issue of Utopia in contemporary architecture, especially in co-operation projects in disadvantaged areas, we could not imagine the spectrum of the contributions sent to Boundaries in response to the call for papers launched in July 2013, in which we wrote: «In this new era of disorientation and social hardship it isn’t pure formalism to rethink utopia as a type of search, anticipation and projection into the realm of future possibilities».
However, not only is there no agreement on the meaning of the word utopia, but also the idea itself doesn’t seem to raise so much interest among architects. Today we are subject to a blind immersion in a sort of hyperrealism, accompanied by a general weakening of curiosity and hope. Utopia is often, mistakenly identified with the “dream” of one who turns away from reality, and it becomes a word that one may use carefully so as not to be misunderstood. Today most people would prefer “doing”, which has become an icon and limitation of the contemporary cultural crisis.

Utopia: no place, good place, beautiful or unattainable place.
The concept of utopia is even more important in times of hardship because of its “unattainability”, because it opens the door to a realm of possibilities. Thanks to utopia, new worlds are created, it becomes possible to set forth, to explore, dream and discover. 

The selection of articles intends to reflect one of the features that distinguishes «Boundaries» from its origins: to recognize and enhance diversity as a form of enrichment necessary for the full manifestation of human creativity, while respecting the fundamental freedom and rights of human beings. These are the examples that we always try to highlight.
In Boundaries Utopia promotes divergent thinking. It stimulates forward momentum, not to just a future, but to all possible futures.

A reading that goes straight to the heart of the most pressing problems, scathing, touching, that will certainly not leave you indifferent.

With articles and projects from: Alessio Battistella · Anna Heringer · Anne Feenstra · ARCò – Architettura e cooperazione · ARCò · BAG - Beyond Architecture Group · Diébédo Francis Kéré · Edward Burtynsky · Hylde Heynen · Luca Sampò · Manuel Alvarez Diestro · Monica Nouwens · Nathaniel Coleman · Nel Janssens · Nel Janssens · Hilde Heynen · NLÉ · Paolo Robazza · Raul Pantaleo · TAMassociati · Riccardo Vannucci · FARE Studio · Rintala Eggertsson Architects · Sami Rintala · Tanvi Maheshwari · TYIN tegnestue Architects · Yashar Hanstad.

Boundaries is a quarterly magazine on sustainable, socially engaged and humanitarian architecture. Each issue is monographic, with full texts in English and Italian (facing), and all articles are accompanied by notes and a bibliography for further reading. ISSN 2239-0332.

Grade 
05/03/2014

Good !

Where to go after “free architecture”? One logical step is into the realm of Utopia; after all, isn’t open-source a Utopian ideal? Doesn’t open-source break down political and social boundaries to promote architecture as a means of bettering people’s lives? Not surprisingly, this issue is heavier on material outside of projects, unlike its predecessor. There is also research, photography, and manifestos. The latter (as well as a “year that was” paying tribute to Utopias of the 1960s) is a highlight of the issue, featuring responses by architects like Rintala Eggertsson and TYIN.
Utopia is hardly the most popular topic in architectural discourse today (an introductory essay by Nathaniel Coleman discusses how architects like Zaha Hadid divorce their ideas of Utopia from political and social concerns, something much in the news recently), but it’s not an idea that will go away, no matter how impossible the goal may be. As the gap between rich and poor increases, architects become more socially aware, and Utopia follows close behind.

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Architecture and Utopia

Architecture and Utopia

In this new era of disorientation and social hardship it isn’t pure formalism to rethink utopia as a type of search, anticipation and projection into the realm of future possibilities.
In Boundaries Utopia promotes divergent thinking. It stimulates forward momentum, not to just a future, but to all possible futures.

English edition.

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