The Art of Utopia
The word ‘Utopia’ is compounded from Greek ‘ou’ and ‘topos’, meaning ‘no-place’ and it is this very translation I take literally as inspiration underpinning my practice.
There are common underpinnings within most utopian practices I have researched to date, the most prevalent being themes of destabilisation or a lack that ultimately ignite the imagination setting forth new realisations and possibilities. This is the key to and the essence of the evolutionary power of Utopic practice which serves as significant inspiration to my practice. Utopic practices have become ever more realistic, necessary and absolutely relevant to current times, for me Utopia works hand in hand with life and the creative process, ulitmately translating as design/ de-sign.
‘Man must aim higher than what he thinks he is capable to arrive at his full potential’
Frankle, Victor: Man’s Search for Meaning.
Seminar excerpt: http://youtu.be/R_bjOeECpjI
Thorough research leads me to the belief it is my unique take on utopia by interpreting ‘No Place’ as Emptiness. A reference to Phenomenology, Kadampa Buddhist philosophy and also akin to Zen Buddhism which speaks of unlearning all that we think we know, in order to attain enlightenment and harmony in the world. The importance that design aught not enforce closure.
The study of Wabi Sabi, the Zen based Japanese Art of Impermanence has proven vital to cementing a life times practice by crystallising my design ethic where uncanny resemblances to this ancient art were realised enabling me to further define my practice and realise what I believe to be a niche in the Utopic academy. Fundamentally I refer to the fuller integration of imperfection ( play / free experimentation ) within my work having served to liberate my practice infinitely whilst being driven by a desire to create products for transformations that challenge and reveal conventions.
‘In Zen philosophy the mind should be a window, rather than a mirror, so that the world is seen directly and not through the filters of the intellect’
Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence, Juniper – Andrew. Tuttle Publishing.
‘ Dystopia is the mirror reflecting Utopia, acting as catalyst. Without this life is death alone’. PJBR 1.3.2013.
I asked myself…. How can designers shape a world that is more harmonious, from products alone, products of thought even, in fact what is our definition of design in reference to what we see as our place in a world?
As serious consideration, do the products of our lives in fact speak the language of dystopia as possibly being the ultimate route towards the ideal?
Whenever are we disorientated by unfavourable experiences do we utilise the potential teachings therein.
Utopia as catalyst is a matter of reflection and education, again from the ground up. Re assessment of morals and values, perspectives included.
Works I have been producing focus on such very points and have generally involved transforming the every day ordinary into the extraordinary to afford alternative perspectives for myself the practitioner and the audience alike.