International Lectures Series Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Tuesday October 4th 2016 by Peter Thomas Lang



The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation,

The International Lecture Series at KADK

KADK November 17, 2016.

Coincidentally on the 500 Anniversary of Thomas Moore’s Utopia.

Utopia is fiction, utopia is fact, utopia is practice. These positions may appear irreconcilable, yet they are not. Over the ages, the many twists and turns that mark utopia’s evolution suggest a condition that is as highly ambiguous as it is remarkably ambitious. Without an invitation to utopia there would be no hope of human advancement, just the prolongation of the status quo. Conversely, so many upheavals inspired by utopian thinking have done more harm than good. And as far as designers and architects are concerned, what would utopia resemble? Fourier’s Phalansteries, Bentham’s Panopticons, Le Corbusier’s Plan Obus, Superstudio’s Supersurface? Or something altogether different for these times, where ecological paradigms, post-modern enigmas, communal myths, identity politics and post-colonial tactics can set the utopian program? And what would that look like? The story of utopia is a story of dreaming, of making and of becoming. It’s an old idea, but never a fixed formula. That’s what this invitation to utopia suggests—an opening for a different future.