Fuck Utopia

Subject area

Visions of the Future and Utopias in Art, Architecture, Literature and Film

When the great social experiments of the 20th century failed, utopian thinking seemed a thing of the past. Yet a renewed interest in social utopias has been rising for some time, in which disillusionment with the political pragmatism dominating the last decades has linked itself to a yearning for fairer, healthier, more ecologically sound and (perhaps) less exhausting forms of life. When it refers to utopias, this subject area means radical conceptions aimed at a comprehensive redesign of society and ways of life that strives to assert an absolute — and latently totalitarian — claim. Yet its researchers are also examining holistically orientated reform movements. A long-term perspective shows that utopias are, on the one hand, doomed to fail and yet, on the other, leave durable traces by impacting social conditions in a lasting way—and that it is precisely this which produces their enduring currency.

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Research topics

Architecture for New Ways of Life

Architecture and urban construction are continually linked to ideas of a new and better society. This study examines the history of these ideas and their constructed results — from the visions of the Enlightenment through the utopias of the 19th and 20th centuries to the alternative housing projects of our current age. 

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The Care Side of Work

After 1917, the state, mode of production and society were not the only things to be fashioned anew under socialism — day-to-day habits and interpersonal relationships were also caught up in the change. This dissertation project examines the significance and depiction of care work in the utopian plans and realities of life following the Bolsheviks’ October Revolution.

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