UTOPIA NOW HERE explores notions of the design manifesto through a critical exploration of utopics. U-topia can be defined, quite literally as ‘no-place’ or ‘no where’ – it displaces our normal spaces and times so we can engage radical difference.

UTOPIA NOW HERE is developed through reflection on practical cases and theories of utopics. Cases include examples from the previous design, architectural, curatorial, and pedagogic practices of participants as well as new activites. Utopic manifestations, in our previous projects – such as Action Archive, DESIGN ACT, Feminist Design Power Tools, Switch! Energy Futures, and Utopian Talk-Show Line-Up – take the form of public and participatory platforms for practitioners, stakeholders and the public to imagine, discuss and experience alternative practices of design, architecture and urbanism.

Demanding UTOPIA NOW HERE, we speculate on how design can construct spaces in which difference can be imagined, discussed and lived in the here and now. We ask: “What are understandings and practices of utopics that are relevant today and what roles may design and architecture platforms have in manifesting difference?”

Istanbul Design Biennial

UTOPIA NOW HERE will start up by manifesting during the Istanbul Design Biennial as a temporary platform organizing open dialogs sharing examples and exchanging experiences with local and international practitioners and the public. With the aim of deepening knowledge and expanding networks, we will explore together possible forms and politics of utopic practice today. A program detailing a series of open dialogs including a public presentations, open and invited meetings and urban excursions is updated at the project website.

Thereafter the project will expand as a network at Konstfack, KTH and in Sweden. Short-term outcomes of the project will include an academic publication and an application for further research funding.



Sara Brolund de Carvalho, Magnus Ericson, Hélène Frichot, Maria Hellström Reimer, Helena Mattsson, Ramia Mazé, Meike Schalk, within an expanding network


Project website



 UTOPIA NOW HERE is partly sponsored by a grant from Architecture in Effect, a strong research environment in Architecture Theory and Methodology funded by The Swedish Research Council Formas, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Architecture.

It is partly sponsored by a planning grant from the Artistic Development Fund at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

Participation in the Istanbul Design Biennial is in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden.

Activities are also supported 'in kind' by participants through their own research projects, artistic work, and teaching.



Ramia Mazé
Adjunct Professor in Design, Konstfack
Guest Teacher, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Architecture
Phone: +46 705 942932