UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility celebrates the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s inspirational text. A year of artists, designers, provocateurs and thinkers experimenting with ways we might live, make, work and play.
An Invitation to Dream
UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility at Somerset House celebrates the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text and 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.
500 years of Thomas More's 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.
UTOPIA 2016 is a collaboration between three neighbours: Somerset House, King’s College London and the Courtauld Institute, in partnership with the British Library, the AHRC, Guardian Live, London School of Economics and Political Science, Verso, the British Council and engages many of the 300 plus creative organisations, artists and makers resident at Somerset House.