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The texture of Utopia

By Neil Maycroft


To a large extent the history of Utopia has been intimately bound up with the city. Representations of Utopian futures have often been rendered as visions of ideal urban living. Moreover, a technologically driven cornucopia of material abundance has become a recurrent feature such that it is almost shorthand itself for Utopia. This paper will engage with the material culture of such Utopian representations - the buildings, the practical hardware of everyday life, the status of manual and mental labour, etc. It is the contention of this paper that most of these Utopian futures can be interpreted as representing the triumph of alienation and, hence, as anti-Utopian. The human body is ‘disappropriated’, abandoned to the sensory un-engaging qualities of Utopian material culture. An alternative approach to conceptualising the material stuff of Utopia will be advanced, one in which the full re-appropriation of the body is given a more central role

Topics: K110 Architectural Design Theory
Year: 2001
OAI identifier:

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