Showing 16 events of 16.

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Photo of the UTOPIA 2016 flag

25 Jan to 4 Dec 2016

Somerset House skies

Utopian Flag

Don’t miss the Utopian Flag flying above the South Wing of Somerset House designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio to launch the Utopia 2016 season.

Top Pick


25 Jan to 31 Dec 2016

Great Arch Hall, Somerset House

Utopia Treasury: A Repository of Utopian Ideas

Drop-in for regular talks and events on contemporary issues inspired by themes from the 500 year old text, a rolling programme of art installations, and a library of Utopia themed literature.


Map of Utopias

1 Jul to 2 Oct 2016


Paths to Utopia: My Utopia

Our Map of Utopias alludes to the interwoven intricacies of everyday life, is generated by visitors to Paths to Utopia. The Utopias close together are by people who have answered our questions similarly – different areas mean divergent views. What does your Utopia look like? Come to Paths to Utopia


british music collection

27 Jul 2016 to 31 Jan 2017


Music Heard Through Utopia

An eclectic online exhibit on the Google Cultural Institute looking at British composers, performance artists and bands through themes found in Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’.

Curated by Utopian Treasurers Emily Medd and Ayumi Konno, as part of Sound and Music‘s British Music Collection, a 21st century tool for artists and audiences to discover the story of British contemporary music.


NEW Discord Press Image

24 Aug to 2 Oct 2016

Open Wed-Sun, Inigo Rooms, King's College London


Step into the House of Discord, and discover your domestic dream. As you arrive for your property viewing, you are invited to listen to stories of comfort, home, privacy and capital gain. Some doors are open to you, but others are not.

This installation forms part of Paths to Utopia.




30 Sep to 2 Oct 2016

Utopia Treasury, Great Arch Hall, Free drop-in

Restart Weekend

What is a utopian gadget? For The Restart Project it isn’t anything new, it’s the one you already have that still has plenty to offer. Restart will have tips, books, videos and podcasts to help us fix our relationship with electronics. At the Restart Party, participants can discover how to make the most of electrical products by repairing, upgrading and learning how they work.




4 Oct 2016 to 27 Jan 2017

Lily Safra Room, East Wing

Nova Utopia, Stephen Walter

Nova Utopia (2013) is a modern fictionalisation of Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, by artist Stephen Walter. The island consists of 54 towns within 10 regions. The border around the island has a key allowing the viewer to identify certain activities or places of interest on the map.

Exterior view, rear

8 Oct 2016 to 8 Jan 2017

The Courtauld Gallery

A Civic Utopia: France, 1760 – 1840

This exhibition considers the place of architecture in establishing the notion of public life. It brings together an outstanding selection of architectural drawings of public building and public space in France that pursued the Enlightenment idea of a ‘scientific’ city, expressing rational, hygienic and symbolic expressions of an ideal civic life.




10–16 Oct 2016

Utopia Treasury, Great Arch Hall

A Naked Mole Rat Eutopia

Naked mole-rats are eusocial animals living an altruistic and cooperative lifestyle. With a single breeding female, all other community members help to raise the young, provide food and protect the home. Arguably a utopian lifestyle.

Animations and artwork ‘powered’ by live data from a naked mole-rat colony raise questions, such as “is our society becoming eusocial?”, and “in a eusocial human society what would relationships, economics, religions and politics look like?”.


Slender Human Islands
photograph of a twelve-hour Reading Aloud performance, for Unannounced Acts of Publicness
commissioned by AIR Studio at Central Saint Martins, 2015 (c) Ruth Maclennan

15 Oct 2016

Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, 12:00 - 15:00

A Good Place

A Good Place is the seventh Reading Aloud performance by Ruth Maclennan. This public art project seeks to reclaim public space for intellectual exchange through cultivating the pleasures of reading and listening to words read out loud. The intimate act of reading to someone is transposed to the public spaces of Somerset House, bringing More’s Utopia, and other Utopian works, from Voltaire to Ursula K. LeGuin, into conversation with the present moment.


25 Oct 2016

Screening Room, 19:00 - 20:30

How to Change the World with John-Paul Flintoff

It is normal to harbour a wish to lead a meaningful life which has a beneficial impact on others. However grand it might sound, wanting to ‘change the world’ is a proper and mature ambition. School of Life faculty member John-Paul Flintoff will examine the psychological, cultural and social resistances we may encounter as we look to make a change,  providing inspiration, a healthy dose of realism, and the practical tools to make a realistic difference.



27 Oct 2016

Utopia Treasury & Screening Room, Great Arch Hall, 19:00-20:30

Guardian Live Series: How to Die a Good Death

By turning away from death, by ignoring its inevitability are we making the process of dying any easier for ourselves?Join Guardian journalist Giles Fraser and a panel of psychologists, spiritual guides and palliative care workers to discuss the positive things that can happen when we face the reality of this entirely natural part of life.

Verso Special Edition - Utopia

8 Nov 2016 to 1 Jan 2017

Verso Anniversary Edition of Utopia

In this quincentenary edition, co-published by the Somerset House Trust and Verso as part of Utopia2016, More’s text is introduced by award-winning fiction writer China Miéville, who explores the limits of today’s utopias while insisting on the necessity of utopian thinking. The book includes essays from Ursula K. Le Guin, today’s most distinguished utopian thinker, on her lifelong engagement with More’s project.




14–20 Nov 2016

Utopia Treasury, Great Arch Hall

Where are we now

Where are we now is a cultural cross section through Europe and Asia, motivated by the recent migration crisis and exploring the links between place, belonging, happiness and people’s hopes and perception of the future. Video interviews filmed on a cycling trip towards East create a Utopian non-place inhabited by the interviewees.


17 Nov 2016

Screening Room, Great Arch Hall, 19:00-20:30

Guardian Live Series: Tomorrow’s menu – the future of food

From cricket crisps and jellyfish salad and cowless beef to 3D printed food and robo-bees, what do tomorrow’s meals look like? As populations explode, global warming threatens crops and modern farming practices are questioned, food journalist Andrew Webb and an expert panel will discuss the future of flavour, food production and farming.


Top Pick


23 Nov 2016

The Anatomy Lecture Theatre, King's College London, 18:30 - 21:00


Each year leading cultural figures are invited to conduct a public conversation inspired by Longplayer, a composition which unfolds, in real time, over the course of a millennium.

The 2016 Longplayer Conversation will take place as part of Utopia 2016 between Ali Smith and Maria Warner.