Essay on Architectural Utopia or Dystopia?

Essay on Architectural Utopia or Dystopia?

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In 1516 Thomas More published Utopia, thereby kindling for the Renaissance as well as four our own times a literary ritual designating an idyllic future society and by outcome evaluating the society already in existence. Throughout history, humans have obsessed with projected Utopias of the world that revealed their perception of it. These multidimensional projections can be viewed as naiveties that leaked to the peripheral world nothing more than subjective thoughts. Half a century after More, Leon Battista Alberti promoted a parallel Utopian tradition of designing the Utopian city, one dedicated to Francesco Sforza. This utopian urban planning initiated a multitude of efforts to install a desirable geometrical pattern for future living without narrating how to achieve it. Another few centuries into the future and we view how this obsession with planning for a Utopia still lives through Le Corbusier’s Villa Radieuse master plan. A master plan proposed as the resolution to the enigma of human existence in an industrialized world. Nonetheless with the acknowledgment of the concept of Utopia and the designing for this we come to ponder even more on whether a Utopia can truly exist aside from within ones mind and whether it turns to dystopia when physically established. Can one collective Utopian vision exist or does a Utopic city stem from the coexistence of a variety of utopian thoughts and ideas.

Utopia and dystopia are terms that are continuously coined by the society they live in. Nonetheless when looking at Utopia within both contexts (renaissance and of the 20th Century) the term can be traced back to Riegl’s conception of art where the latter acts as a device of articulating how man desires to understand the world’. Thro...


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...n a Utopian vision but in a combination of social political and human needs.



Works Cited

1. Colin Rowe and Prof Koetter Fred, Collage City. Boston: MIT Press: 1984
2. Frank E. Manuel and Manuel Frtizie, Utopian Thought in the Western World. London: Belknap Press 1982
3. Iverson, Margaret. Alois Riegl: Art History and Theory. Boston: MIT Press 1993
4. Le Corbusier. The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1987
5. Meyerson, Martin. Utopian Traditions and the Planning of Cities. Boston: MIT Press 1961
6. Nietzche, Friedrich. The Gay Science, from Kaufaman's translation, Penguin Books, NYC 1968
7. Richard T. LeGates and States Frederic. The City Reader. London: Routledge: 5th edition 2011

1. Merin, Gili. "AD Classics: Ville Radieuse / Le Corbusier" 11 Aug 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Nov 2013.

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