Rivista di Estetica (2019-08-01)

Dar luogo a ciò che non ha luogo: utopia e prototyping

  • Ramon Rispoli,
  • Ester Jordana Lluch

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 71
pp. 173 – 183


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The purpose of this paper is to re-explore the relationship between utopia and architecture, trying first and foremost to challenge the way utopia has been conceived by architectural thought: i.e., as the prefiguration of a future seen as an ‘otherness’ distinct from the present, as far as the totality of its spatial, social, and political dimensions are concerned. Such vision – as we will argue – turns out to be deeply linked to a design logic of ‘projection’ and ‘prescription’; this, however, is not the only possible logic of design. Through a reflection upon some contemporary architectural practices, we will try to highlight a new horizon for design action, in which even utopia abandons its traditional ‘projective’ role and takes on a new meaning: rather than being the non-place of a possible future, utopia stands for what doesn’t have place in the present but can emerge from its alteration. Such notion of utopia as a form of ‘situated critique’, in a concrete space and time, helps to dig more deeply into the political potential of many contemporary forms of architectural and urban design.