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Is utopian architecture a doomed quest to build human progress with bricks and mortar? Hugo Macdonald considers the philosophical value of visionary design—and catalogs its many real-world failures.

Is it possible to build heaven on earth? The word “utopia” was coined back in 1516 by Thomas More in his seminal book of the same title. More depicted in detail a fictional island with (what he considered to be) a perfect way of life. Derived from Greek, the word is portentously ambiguous, meaning either “a good place” or “no place.” Too often, ambitions to achieve the former have resulted in something closer to the latter: Good places in theory

  • Words:
    Hugo Macdonald

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