2 day intense conference involving interesting workshops with lecturers from other subjects and fields exploring different ideas in art and design, life and future.
Talks, discussion panels and keynotes.
To begin our interdisciplinary collaboration, we had a stimulating conference for the whole first year students.
It was hectic and full on 2 days, with talks and discussions that were not so good and relevant, not mentioning anything about the proposed Future Generation bill or ideas arising from it, and 4 workshops which were more in point and engaging.
The first lecture I chose on Utopia gave me a further insight into theme I was always interested in, a brief tale throughout history showing ideas about utopia and dystopia in art and culture.
From Sir Thomas More’s novel of island ‘Utopia’ in 1516 to Karl Marx’s in 1875 and communism’s equal distribution of work and property, and Lenin’s adaptation and application of the ideas to harsh, totalitarianism of Stalin: from ideas of utopia to reality of dystopia.
Classic books that explore the ideas further in detail: Brave New World 1932 or Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949.
Bauhaus in 1919-1923 as an art school, manifesting utopia through well designed objects and art, which can influence users, changing the world for better through art and design.
Same time in America Buckminster Fuller – an architect, mathematician, philosopher and inventor is trying to design cars, houses, pods and structures that can help as many people as possible with the fewest resources, expressed in single design of a dome.
Or another American, Walt Disney, expressing utopian, dream and child like world of happiness and dreams, which later transform into typical white, capitalist dream of happiness sustained by surplus of products. More land, resources, products, new, exciting. Going as far as the exploration of moon and space.
This utopian almost reality shifts into more dystopian reality of environmental issues, economic crash, debt an power struggles between nations.
Followed by unrests and protests against governments and uneven distribution of wealth, and shortly after oblivious movement of happiness, experimenting with drugs, free sex, freedom from capitalism.
Where does our future lies in now. It seems we still live in the same time, just more broad and interlinked society and world, with more differences and individuality, controlled with our changing perception of privacy, closer to dystopian control and surveillance of the masses.
In the same time a movement to try to be more connected on individual and independent basis such as crowdfunding as well as the recent Turner Prize Winner of regeneration community project in Liverpool.
The future really relies on us to try and shift the world slightly towards the utopian or dystopian world, but one will never be sustained for long.