Deadline for Abstracts Monday, August 5, 2013
Official language for paper presentation is English. The style, grammar and phrasing should be edited by a person with an excellent command of English and a good understanding of architectural terminology. All submission of abstracts should be sent by email to [email protected] (up to 15 Mb) before August 5, 2013.
In this new era of disorientation and social hardship it isn't pure formalism to rethink utopia as a form of search, anticipation and projection in the realm of architectural and urban possibilities.
Thomas More's book, Utopia, presented the modern-form of utopia with the idea of a "no-place-land" (ou-topos in Greek) or a "good place" (eu-topos) both introducing "the place of felicities" in an ideal society.
Since Thomas More, two forms of utopia have emerged as a critical response to society and to image a better future: one of these is thinking urban society from the present, as an alternative, better life in our real cities (such as Le Corbusier with La ville radieuse) or new urban societies out of our realities – such as Tony Garnier with la Cité industrielle or Yona Friedman with La ville spaciale). But the point is the same: community is at the centre of utopia.
Architecture used to playa fundamental role in utopia by the way it materializes its form, for example with Fourier's phalanstery or by the way Robert Owen projected a Village scheme, which will be later developed with the city-garden of Ebenezer Howard. However, the XXIst century has reduced the importance of community for an individualistic form of living. In that context, are we still able to imagine new utopias ? Is the Utopic project able to become a reference and/or a goal for architect and architecture, or is it used as an instrument to attain a more pragmatic goal? Or are we in a post-utopia era, less optimistic, where architects cannot approach architecture with the social frame of utopia, leading to anti-utopia (distopia) and self-reference?
All kinds of approaches to this topic are welcomed, and must be focused on the XXIst century. Papers can be case studies oriented, or methodological and/or theoretical in focus.