Fall 2019

Utopia: Visionary Architecture, Art and Theory

Listed in: Architectural Studies, as ARCH-259  |  Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-259


Karen R. Koehler (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 259 and ARCH 259) This course is an examination of utopian plans in architecture and art. We will consider the philosophical constructs of utopia in architectural drawings, buildings, and plans in relation to film, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. We will consider how different projections about life in the future are also harsh criticisms of the present, which often rely upon imagined concepts of social organizations in times past. The course reflects on utopian art from antiquity to the present, including an examination of selected utopian authors, including Sir Thomas More, Edward Bellamy, and William Morris, with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We examine the tensions between theory and practice by studying the successes and failures of actual attempts at realizing utopian communities. We will question the differences between utopia, dystopia, displacement and the home, as we consider whether utopian art and design is viable in the twenty-first century.

Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Koehler.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019