The texture of Utopia

Maycroft, Neil (2001) The texture of Utopia. In: Utopian Studies Society Annual Conference, 28-30 June 2001, New Lanark.

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The Texture of Utopia
A conference paper originally titled ‘The Utopian City: The Triumph of Alienated Existence?’ presented at the Utopian Studies Society Annual Conference, New Lanark, June 2001.
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Abstract

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.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: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.
Keywords:Utopia, Convivilaity, Material culture, Engagement, Space, Technology, maycroft498
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Art & Design
ID Code:2101
Deposited By: Neil Maycroft
Deposited On:16 Dec 2009 11:57
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:34

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