Reading Architectural Utopia(nism)s: A Proposal

Güneri Söğüt, Gizem Deniz
The writings of urban theorists who have studied utopias that propose a counter-space as the basis for a counter-society go back to very early periods in history. However, works dwelling on the influence of such theoretical constructs on actual space, in forms of architectural outputs per se, are comparably new. Since the revival of the very first theoretical work on the relationship between utopia and architecture, barely a century has passed. During this period, such theory has developed and expanded rapidly. However, due to the lack of any structure to provide a comparable base, the theory has not indicated a consistently constructed developmental growth, yielding a great accumulation of unintegrated knowledge, impossible to be comprehended in totality.The aim of this text is to provide a method intending to facilitate the integration of architectural utopian discourse and its physical counterparts into a whole. To this end, a conceptual framework through which architectural utopianisms can be discussed unbound by any specific utopian moment or any specific definition of the concept of utopia is proposed. This departs from the fact that there are different patterns of tidal relationship between utopian programs and utopian impulses in forms of architectural production, some of which are almost totally disregarded. By providing this critical apparatus to explore the varieties of such patterns, it is intended to develop a basis to uncover certain resilient approaches which may potentially feed into the current architectural thinking and practice.


A New conceptual framework for architectural utopia(nism)s
Güneri, Gizem Deniz; Özkan, Suha; Department of Architecture (2014)
The writings of urban theorists that have studied urban settings as fields of ingenuity, and utopias that propose the possible-other in parallel lines go back to very early periods in history. However, works dwelling on the influence of such imaginary constructs on actual spatial practices, in the form of architectural output, per se, are comparably new. Since the appearance of the very first theoretical work on the relationship between utopia and architecture, barely a century has passed. During this perio...
Planning: A Continiuum Of Utopian And Non-Utopian Sensibilities
Barlas, M.Adnan (1992-1-1)
The identification of the origins of the intellectual history as well as the professional practice of planning, either in terms of its conceptual foundations or the chronology of events, takes one back to industrializing Europe and United States of the nineteenth century. In this period one can find both ‘utopian’ and ‘anti-’ or ‘non-’ utopian precursors of professional planning practice and planning theory of the twentieth century. This implies that neither set of precursors is the exclusive impetus behind...
Technology, engineering and modernity in Turkey: the case of road bridges between 1850 and 1960
Örmecioğlu, Hilal Tuğba; Ünay, Ali İhsan; Department of Architecture (2010)
Almost all the sources on modernism originate material transformations in Western world to industrial revolution while mental ones to enlightenment. In all these narrations, technology, engineering, and modernism are considered as correlated. Besides these concepts, the everyday life rituals that were naturally constructed in the historical process also strengthen this attitude. Then, what are the meanings of the same concepts in a country that experience a reverse process instead of the modernization throu...
Reconsidering architectural program within the framework of conjectures and refutations: the design studies journal
Özten, Ülkü; Özkar, Mine; Department of Architecture (2014)
The discussion of program in the field of history and theory of the Modern Movement in architecture enters a new period in the 1960s and 70s under the influence of the strong embodiment of science and technology in the field of design research. Beginning with this period, the idea of program arises both in a series of generations parallel to a specialized, sophisticated understanding of design and as an autonomous professional area of study. While the concept was being largely developed under the influence ...
The architectural precedent and the diagram: a comparative analysis of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye and Rem Koolhaas' Maison a Bordeaux
Küçük, Alper; İmamoğlu, Vacit; Department of Architecture (2007)
The last decade of the 20th century witnessed a revival of interest in the idea of diagrams in many disciplines, including architecture. Thus, terms like 'diagram architecture' and 'diagrammatic practice' have started to dominate the architectural discourse, both in theory and practice. Although much of the contemporary work examined under the rubric 'diagram architecture' celebrate diagram's capacity to generate new ideas and forms and embrace the diagram as a tool to revolt against the authority of establ...
Citation Formats
G. D. Güneri Söğüt, “Reading Architectural Utopia(nism)s: A Proposal,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 85–105, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: