“Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules.” ~ Lebbeus Woods
Let us consider the term “utopian architecture” for a moment. Does it sound like an oxymoron? Must it? Le Corbusier said that all architecture is utopian. How might we change the rules of architecture without throwing away its generative aspects? Like goldfish, we grow to fit our containers. Can we imagine an architecture that increases liberty, propagates communalism, stokes mutual aid, and embraces interdependence?
What would such an architecture – a desiring architecture – look like, and what might it want from us?
Is it modular?
Is it anarchic?
Commune, or Common?
Picking up on the work of visionary architect Lebbeus Woods, architectures of desire will explore expanded conditions of a built environment beyond those intended by an ideologically-driven definition of urbanism pegged to for-profit development, imposed alienation, isolation, and other tropes of the capitalist regime. To imagine such an architecture is to expose the ideology inherent in the way we currently build the buildings in which we live our lives.
In doing so, we will construct a reader and reflect on writings by Rosalyn Deutsche, Lebbeus Woods, Jennifer Bloomer, Gordon Matta-Clark, Paolo Soleri, Daniel Campo, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Marc Augé, Isabelle Auricoste, Jean Baudrillard, Henri Lefebvre, Deleuze and Guattari, Richard Serra, among others.
About Utopia School:
Utopia School is an open-sourced pedagogical project hosted at Flux Factory and elsewhere with the purpose of studying Utopian thought throughout time. The school works on a horizontal, non-hierarchical, and open-sourced model. Utopia school asks: What questions are useful for re-imaging the future?
The first iteration of Utopia School was held at Flux Factory, New York City, in 2015, and was co-organized by Dylan Gauthier, Lena Hawkins, Jamie Idea, Scott Rigby, and many others.
See also the Architectures of Desire class page on the US website.
Video: In which Kevin Clancy installs his inflatable, 'portable utopia' dome.