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Beyond Utopia / Sophie Warren & Jonathan Mosley (ed.)

 

book, 124 pages

soft cover with dust jacket

scope: design

client: Errant Bodies Press, Berlin / Los Angeles

 

Based on a project initiated by the collaborative practice of Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley with writer Robin Wilson, Beyond Utopia queries the function of utopian thinking in urban planning and spatial culture.

 

The aim of the original project was to establish a critical dialogue with institutions of city design and to find new sites of productive tension between the “real” and the “fictional”. Submitting a utopian architectural proposal for a real site in London to the scrutiny of the institutions that dominate the design and programming of city space, the project enacted a form of playful provocation, drifting in and though the procedures, systems and languages of planning, architecture and city development. As a fiction, the utopian work gained life as it was recounted and discussed, its narrative shared, activated and engaged through dialogue with and by planning officials and reviewers.

 

Elaborating on the project, the publication Beyond Utopia aims to further provoke speculation, proposition and play, outlining the idea of “something missing” in the production of city space and urban relations. Including a screenplay produced by the artists, which restages the process and exchanges of the original proposal, the publication queries how we might actively resist restrictive canons of standardization to produce a specific sociability and emergent environment built collectively, spontaneously and in support.