March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 36 December 2011

Theory of architecture

Kapustin Pyotr V.

PhD (Architecture), Associate Professor,
Head of Chair of Architectural Design and Urban Planning,
Voronezh State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering,
Voronezh, Russia


Disappointment in the Ideal is one of the eternal plots in human history. The belief in ideals is waning, and the dismantling of the ideal has begun. In architectural consciousness, such events are associated with the Late Renaissance, an epoch of the hardest and most dramatic reconsideration of idealistic views of the world, society, and the individual.

The Utopian style of thinking is gaining its full power. Of all the variety of issues relating to utopia, the article reviews only its associations with the ideal and its own capabilities to organize the space of the imagined as well as methods of promoting the conception that has arisen in this space, i.e. the projectable qualities.

The space of thought of what is possible or what is due organised by means of utopian texts or views is markedly different from the linear space in which to give life to the ideal. The novel thing that the emerging design thought acquires here is a game with delayed realisation enabling one to devise a series of intermediate, transitional, alternative and other ploys located somewhere between reality and utopia.

Technically, with regard to the formation of design thinking proper, utopia made a major step forward in the Late Renaissance and during the New Age. But that step was made a long way away from architecture and other "product oriented" practices. It was made in the domain of reflections about the best possible social and political system, i.e. in the area of critical socio-political thinking that successfully progressed on into the sphere of "pure" philosophical thinking.

As for leading personalities in terms of contribution to the emergence of architectural thinking, they are not the ones who could be traced to this or that extent to utopian objectivisation. Utopia is present in New Age architecture as a certain artistic technique and, sometimes, a plot rather than the fairly refined and sophisticated way of thinking about the possible, the desirable or the due that utopia came to be at that time in socio-political thought and philosophy.

Key words: the ideal, crisis of the ideal, Enlightenment, utopian thinking, utopia in architecture, architectural thinking

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017