Beyond Utopia summary

Beyond Utopia – the screenplay, 2012

Researcher M looks through the window at the island entity for the last time (that day) with the deliberate gaze of a man inspecting an impossible yet probable terrain he is about to leave (forever). 

Beyond Utopia takes the form of a screenplay for a film never intended to be made. The screenplay restages the process and exchanges of a project that queries the function of utopian thinking in urban development and spatial culture. The project, initiated by the collaborative practice of Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley with writer Robin Wilson aimed to establish a critical dialogue with institutions of city design and to find new sites of productive tension between the “real” and the “fictional”. Submitting a utopian architectural proposal for a real site in London to the scrutiny of the institutions that dominate the design and programming of city space, the project enacted a form of playful provocation, drifting in and though the procedures, systems and languages of planning, architecture and city development. As a fiction, the utopian work gained life as it was recounted and discussed, its narrative shared, activated and engaged through dialogue with and by officials and reviewers.


Beyond Utopia – the book, 2012

Elaborating on the aims of this project, the screenplay provokes speculation, proposition and play in the idea of “something missing” in the production of city space and urban relations. Writers and artists from various fields have been invited to respond to the concepts raised in the screenplay and establish new grounds for speculation as to how to play utopia. The contributions juxtapose a series of discursive and visual systems that construct, conflate and collapse ideas on utopian thinking. Beyond Utopia presents the reader with a collage of reality. Created as a holding place for multiple subjective and discursive narratives and positions, it is as much defined by the gaps exposed between the works as the points of their intersection, overlapping and contingent relation. Beyond Utopia foregrounds and tests the limits of our present urban condition to reveal a state of continuing difference.


Notes to the Reader, Sophie Warren & Jonathan Mosley.

Foreword, Brandon LaBelle.

To Go Beyond – the emergence of the durational commons, Paul O’Neill.

A Collaborative Utopian Practice – introduction to the screenplay of the ‘First Build’, Robin Wilson.

Beyond Utopia: the screenplay, Sophie Warren & Jonathan Mosley with Robin Wilson.

Future Imperfect, Marie-Anne McQuay.

todayisthetomorrowyouwerepromisedyesterdaytoday, Paul O’Neill.

May Mourn, Jane Rendell.

Thinking the Break – text, tactics and critical architecture in Beyond Utopia, Lee Stickells.

The Tent, Elizabeth Price.

An Agonistic Vocabulary – a litany of engagement, Lee Stickells and Sophie Warren.

Field Notes from the Urban Pastoral, Maria Fusco.




WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien