Sydney Grew has been very ambitious with the structure of this particular forum, The Third, attempting to put the world to rights, and if we bother to contribute to many of the topics, finding ways to turn Utopia into Eutopia.
"The term utopia was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The word comes from the Greek: οὐ ("not") and τόπος ("place") and means "no-place", and strictly describes any non-existent society 'described in considerable detail'. However, in standard usage, the word's meaning has narrowed and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society. Eutopia, derived from the Greek εὖ ("good" or "well") and τόπος ("place"), means "good place", and is strictly speaking the correct term to describe a positive utopia. In English, eutopia and utopia are homophonous, which may have given rise to the change in meaning."
My own sense is that you cannot make one straight thing out of the crooked timber of humanity (Kant). We can, however, try, so congratulations to Sydney for having a go. In this beautiful world, all things are possible.
This year, Somerset House celebrates the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text. Utopia 2016 is the largest ever celebration of this radical work anywhere in the world. It spans the realms of art, literature, fashion, design, architecture, film and more, featuring a varied programme of special events, exhibitions and new commissions across the Somerset House site and beyond. The Utopia Treasury, in Somerset House’s Great Arch Hall and open all year, will invite people to explore, taste, and imagine utopia.
Thomas More was the first to give a name and form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it. His playful vision, published in 1516, presents an ideal society living on a fictitious island, described in a traveller’s tale. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous, the Greek words on which the name is based mean both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’. It is not a blueprint for the future; instead he places importance on the process of dreaming in the now.
To celebrate More’s vision, everyone reading 'The Third' is cordially invited along to explore challenges facing contemporary culture and society, and the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating the space where dreams can take root. If you cannot make it to Somerset House in person, here it is online: