Etopia - Mapping the World WE Want

Etopia | Friesland Workshop | Prague Workshop | WWW Workshop | Etopia E-Journal | World Ecitizens meaning of the Etopia Logo

The Etopia Project grew out of a World Ecitizens project in which children were asked to map the world they wanted. We decided to take their logo as the basis for mapping the Etopian/Utopian world that we wanted!

The design for the web space is based on the London Underground map which was designed by Beck in the Modernist period just after the First World War. By 1919 artists, writers, architects, politicians and many other professionals were producing designs for a cleaner, fairer and happier world as an antidote to the horrors of that war. There was an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London when these thoughts were being developed, and this exhibition brought together some of these designs for transport, textiles, buildings, clothes and other artifacts, and inspired this 'modernist' logo.

Walter Gropius justified this new Modernist philosophy in 1919 in words that have some resonance today:

Today’s artist lives in an era of dissolution without guidance. The old forms are in ruins, the benumbed world is shaken up, the old human spirit is invalidated and in flux towards a new form. We float in space and cannot perceive the new order.

On the map each station represents a subject where learners can post their designs. The map can keep growing as people add stations and extension lines when they think of something else that the new world will need. This gives all kinds of learners a chance to be inventive in areas where they are most interested or where they have most expertise.

In the original project, young learners were encouraged to offer multimodal entries and collaborative work: plans, designs, photos, videos, posters, manifestos, blogs, wikis, podcasts, sculpture, painting and drawing. Hand drawn and written work was also welcome as it can be scanned for publication.

Now the oldies are taking these ideas further in this project which we call Etopia!

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