It’s Illustration Jim but not as we know it!

Utopian conception of the world was not only presented in literature but also by illustrating the possibilities of futuristic paradise where people would live in. Utopia is defined as a place we can only dream about, it’s based on science fiction and fantasy what makes it easer to understand and imagine the concept of perfect living conditions. The opposite of utopia is dystopia. Easy, it’s just a total difference to what we expect from utopian society. As for me, both are lacking of the humanity. As far as I am concerned utopian World would be full with happy people enjoying every minute of their existence. They wouldn’t know what sadness is and would never be miserable. Living life which doesn’t contain of any emotions but constant happiness, makes it much more boring and loosing. However, dystopia seems not to be any better either. Dystopian concept also includes technology which influenced people’s life, but it varies in case of lack of mentioned happiness or broadly understood emotions. When I think of dystopia, I see black and white landscapes, full of miserable people surrounded by technology which is not possible to refer to these days. Literature was familiar with utopias for centuries, starting on the Garden of Eden in Genesis and ending on Gulliver’s Travels.

Frank R Paul illustrated his versions of utopia and dystopia. Amazing Stories (Jan ’42) showed the utopian version of the future world, obviously kind of futuristic where the technology development was clearly visible. Totally different to current materials the buildings are made of (glass, metal etc). The dystopian image was black and white, shown part of the city reminds of big cities such as New York or Chicago.

Rick Guidince commissioned Space Colony designs of the 1970s which were the utopian visions for the future. And again, it was another way of presenting possibilities on how might the potential future look like for instance like American suburbia.

Very interesting piece of work was created by Antonio Sant’Elia. His drawings presented a well thought utopian reality in the future world. Apparently, most of his projects have already been realised, developed. Some of his drawings reminded me of buildings that are here in London or other major cities all over the World. As his works are dated for 1910s, we can tell we already live in utopian, futuristic world. But do we actually? As for me, no. This is a good example of how the drawings became a part of reality.

A definite pioneer in architecture was Buckminster Fuller who also presented his utopian visions of the world. He went really far with his imagination and came up with new, fresh and outstanding ideas on building new living areas. He wanted to make the buildings really compact using new materials which would give an opportunity to make the buildings less heavy. He also, in his ideas, didn’t stick to traditional housing options, he thought of the easiest way to build and place the buildings.

Apparently, I don’t think we live in sort of utopian world because besides the technology development, unification of the architecture all over the world or minority of constantly happy people, we still have the everyday issues that we have go through and probably that will never end.


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