Influence of Utopia in Architecture

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8th Feb 2020 Architecture Reference this


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After the Renaissance and the Enlightenment Movement, many changes have taken place in respect to Jesus and respect for religion. Although most people still believe in heaven, some smart people are also considering how to live a carefree life in heaven in their lifetime, instead of waiting until after death, they are always squatting and assuming how to move heaven to the world. Utopia has become a hot topic. In the definition of the dictionary, Utopia is an imaginary perfect social system and environment with a very ideal or near-perfect quality for its citizens. The opposite of Utopia is the dystopia. One can also say that Utopia is a perfect “place” with almost no problems in urban planning and environmental design. Utopia has at least four meanings. First, the idea of Utopia not only emphasizes the human living environment but also emphasizes the principles of egalitarian equality in economics, government, and justice, although it is by no means unique, the proposed implementation method and structure Ideology varies. Second, the utopia in the literary sense. The Utopia of Thomas Moore in the 15th century created a precedent for Utopian literature. Utopia literature (exactly positive utopian literature) flourished in the 17th and 19th centuries (Avelar, Ana). The representative of the 17th century was Francis Bacon’s the New Atlantis, Thomas Campanella’s Sun City. Third, the utopia in the political sense, which can be subdivided into three areas. One refers to a certain kind of thought experiment or social plan. To be exact, it refers to what Jameson calls “Utopia Mode/Planning.” Fourth, philosophical utopia. Bloch understands Utopia from a spiritual level, and the Utopia spirit generalizes the expectation, foreboding, and re-appearance of a better and more perfect future. Utopia is a spiritual impulse to pursue ideals, perfection, and free realms in the living structure of human beings. Utopia is the study and revealing of existence.

The world has evolved in many dimensions. Initially, people had an active imagination for a bright future. With these immense changes, people are reconsidering how they live so that they can make life sweet and smart. Many inventions and advancement have taken place and brought heaven into the world. These were sparked by utopia idea, which is believed to have into existence in as early as 15th century. During the early time, Utopia took the version of perfect things in the society. Utopia can also be defined as a state of perfection where the social setting and urban planning will have no defects. One of the greatest pioneers to the idea of utopia is Thomas More at the around 15th century. He composed a novel where he wrote about people living peacefully as a community and sharing the same culture. He had great imaginations in social settings, agriculture, education, and customs. Utopia takes different versions depending on ideas. The ideas comprised of a perfect social environment where justice prevails among the people, equality and economic welfare to all.

Additionally, Moore is said to be behind the utopian literature. Many philosophers came after him and advanced on the literature. A French philosopher Bacon in the 17th century was behind the success of utopia (Avelar). For him, he left a legacy where he is known for Atlantis while Campanella also a philosopher during that time is known for initiating the idea of Sun City. Utopia had some political ideas. According to Jameson call, he referred the idea as utopia planning. The idea of spiritual levels was not left behind in utopia. The hope for future spiritual beliefs was in mind of many people. They believed that people would have a mutual relationship with each other as well as a perfect established social system. The perfect urban planning and environment system crowned the whole idea of a utopia where people hope that in future the urban places would be clean with no congestion or other problems.

Utopia as thinking has had great importance to the world. However, times have evolved, and the thinking no longer influences the current world. Our thinking today about the future is different. From the status of things, we can easily deduce how the future will look like. This is contrary to the utopia philosophical thinking as something that is imagined. However, utopia is beneficial to the political world (Bartolacci). People thinking in this manner have broad ideas and can maximize every opportunity they encounter on the way. The fist thinking of this kind happened in the Plato’s Republic. Their ideas indicated how the future society was to be organized to avoid any form of flawless. From diet, government, child rearing, and education. In our current world, science has overtaken this through much fiction.

Science talks about the reality in the world. It helps us to develop ideas, which can help to solve future problems. Over the years, this has been happening with growth in technology and invention of new plans. However, before having actual activities, we begin by imagination. This entails many activities such as the system of governments’ social organizations of people and other important innovations for every change to be actualized. Imagination takes preference. For instance, Jules in Paris wrote about a submarine that could move in the ocean at a depth of even 80,000 km of which he was not aware that what he was writing would be right one day. Though from his description did not hold much weight, and could not have worked, his imagination still holds much importance even in the current world.

Additionally, Verne imaginations continued. This time he wrote a novel about America’s exploration in the moon. His imaginations were not hindered by the fact that the technology at that time could not support such activities. Nevertheless, he went ahead to express his imagination that America one day would introduce a missing to the moon (Ganjavie). He further said the craft to be used would be made of aluminum, as it was the lightest metal existing. It is clear that even in the world utopian exist, but the primary concern is the fear of being ashamed. It is through our vision that we establish real and valid inventions.

In the world, people are trying to come with structures and designs, which are the best. Architects have developed complicated structures across the world, as more research is being done to improve them. Utopia is depicted to be an ideal city that experiences peace and no problem with its growth. Most often, when urban cities are growing many challenges are encountered. The cities experience overclouding leading to inadequate housing facilities, crime rates, as well as accelerate and primary care such as clean water, proper sanitation, does not exist. Utopia suggested a design that is embraced by everyone without any form of complain. This design would not require any form of medication or alteration since it would appear the best. However, dystopias had a strong warning of what would happen if cities were not orderly.

In the 1890s, there were plans to come up with beautiful cities, from political and economic structures that were spacious and no environmental pollution such as soot. A summit was held in Chicago with the intention of coming up with the best city. Significant concentrations were given to civic. However, according to Howard, the perfect urban center would take a design that has a small population, in a greenbelt and has canals linking different parts (SHETTY). Moreover, the city would compromise of open spaces where people who stay in slums would establish their dwellings. There would be no smoke nor would green spacing surround slum and residential buildings. The city also had industrial parks designed in their region. The city life would be tranquil with only good thing happening to it.

Wrights on the design of cities in America developed another imagination. He had a unique suggestion that would recommend a perfect urban center. He was not happy with the current situations in the urban centers. He suggested that there would no have centralization and CBD, but the number of vehicles was to be many (SHETTY). Broadacre city would be free for people and no bureaucracy, and only the architect behind the plan would suggest every issue touching the city. He would have authority to decide how many people to own the acres of land, where the roads would pass which would limit the levels of congestion. In the current world, it has become a reality, and they are related in areas such as the development of shopping malls, highways, and others. This designed was made to meet perfection. It is compelling to note that almost all its recommendations are related to the current designs. Wrights could not see his thinking happening, but most of the big cities in America took the design. Cities like Los Angeles, and Huston.

Japan after world war 11 was profoundly destroyed. In efforts to reconstruct its cities, new ideas emerged and were put into practice. The architect during that had a belief that cities would keep on changing in structure. Therefore, when constructing a building, the structures were made in such a way that they would be replaced or improved. This idea is known as metabolism. Now utopia has been modernized. It takes the forms of improved technology, increased innovation raising the living standards of people, as well as the development of magnificent cities. For instance, the contemporary city was though never to exist (Roberts). The city was to comprise of skyscrapers built on steel frames with curtain glass encasing them. In the skyscrapers, there would be offices and living rooms for wealthy people. With the vicinity to the skyscrapers were green spaces and a transport hub at the center. Buses, trains, and airplanes would operate from this point. Human streets would be few, as cars would take preference. This work of French-Swiss architect represents the current Paris. Nevertheless, when he was making his Paris was not developed.

Utopia has led to many developments in the current contemporary cities. Since the aim of developing these theories was to help in solving problems that were associated with current situations in that time, many of them are working (“Importance of Utopian Thinking”). The separation of pedestrians from automobile, the zoning of urban centers such as industrial zone and residential zones and developing of improved fabrication methods in the building are some of the ideas generated from utopia. Then it is clear that utopia has benefited them in matters concerning urban planning. Contrary to the praises offered to Howard and wrights work, there were criticized by other people. They described their work as mere poetic with low quality that was difficult to achieve. Adding on this some authors termed utopia as a slavery act that could not bring change nor improve the lives of people living in those regions. It was seen to contradict evolution and could bring more harm than cure.

Despite many attacks on utopia, it is evident that it played a significant role in the growth and development of urban planning. As the time passed by the most significant fame of utopia started fading away. This was due to the emergence of new technologies and internet connections. Many efforts we made to consider utopia dead, but the most astonishing thing is the fact that it kept on reemerging. The physical impact of utopia are evident in many parts of the world, and it plays as a critical driver to the society. Utopia projects bring together different social minds with the aim of generating a productive and bright future for the people. According to Levitas, he suggested that the utopian approach could act well as the tool for explanation and learning about the future. Many architects came up with dreams and suggestions of how future architecture would look like. For instance, when Lenin was in power in 1917 after the Bolshevik revolution when artists and architects were inspired to look for and constructive ways of doing architecture. Most designs were informed of theory and had imaginary thoughts.

The end of utopia started occurring at around 1970. The way of doing things took a different route. After the world wars, architectures had much power to experiment and engage in dangerous activities in their profession. They were too ambitious and did not put into consideration what would happen to human being. The architecture evolved much in the 1960s and 1970s, and many megastructures were put in place (MURPHY). Now, people are no longer fighting to bring perfection to the world. Many developments have taken place in all dimensions. Human is now afraid that what is happening might destroy the world.

Therefore, people are focusing differently. They are coming up with measures that can help to save the world. Human society has encroached the world, and they pose a risk to it. What is being done is to save the world. Most of the efforts are helping in reducing these dangers such as air pollution, by adopting friendly activities, recycling, redesigning. People are no longer together, and the gap is widening. Nevertheless, the new utopia has the following characteristics consumption of fossil fuels, social conflict as well as climatic changes. Nevertheless, it is essential to rehabilitate since it provides an opportunity to have an insight into what the future might be having.

In conclusion, utopian emerged around 15century. It has continuously evolved from that point and has influenced architecture since its invention. Utopia was seen as unrealistic and impossible things. Many people such as Howard were able to write the novel about the future concerning urban planning and architecture. The many thinking from utopia plays a significant role in urban planning. The did great thinking about the contemporary cities, which eventually developed to big cities. However, at around 1970s, architecture evolved rapidly, and utopia started to decline. Human society turned against nature. There are much pollution and another lousy happening. Now it is not about planning the future but trying to establish remedies to the world.

Works Cited

  • Avelar, Ana. “Sir Thomas More’s Utopia—glimpses of a presence in 16th century Portuguese chroniclers.” Utopia(s) – Worlds and Frontiers of the Imaginary, 2016.
  • Bartolacci, J. “Rewind: Modernist Dreams Of Utopian Architecture – Architizer Journal.” Journal, 6 Nov. 2017,
  • Ganjavie, Amir. “On the future of urban design: Fabricating the future through Bloch’s utopians.” Planning Theory, vol. 14, no. 1, 2013, pp. 90-108.
  • “The Importance of Utopian Thinking.” The Book of Life, 21 June 2018,

  • Roberts, I. “Impact of Utopian Ideals on Art, Architecture & Crafts – Video & Lesson

Transcript.”, 2018,

  • SHETTY, S. “Utopia in Architecture.” Share and Discover Knowledge on LinkedIn

SlideShare, 15 Sept. 2017,

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