Around every Utopia, a garland of barbed wire.
But every architect carries the Utopian gene…’1
Utopia is a state, not an artists’ colony. It is the dirty secret of all architecture, even the most debased; deep down all architecture, no matter how naive and implausible, claims to make the world a better place. Like all of those touched by the Utopian, architects have been severely punished. In any balance of Utopian achievement, a handful of fragile prototypes is weighed against its disasters – a fluctuating body count that hovers around 100 million victims this century alone.’1
Architecture apparently cannot handle reality without it’s longing for utopia. Therefore without a non-utopian reality architecture would be rootless. But the imagination of utopia has not been the exclusive domain of the architect.
Societies, religions, kingdoms and the likes have been considering the utopian world as a projection of their cultural ideals. Do we need these abstract utopias to provide us with a world of ideals to live up to?
1 R Koolhaas