WORD PLAY: An Etymology Project
UTOPIA (n.): 1550s, from Modern Latin Utopia, literally nowhere, coined by Thomas More (and used as the title of his book, 1516, about an imaginary island enjoying perfect legal, social, and political systems) from Greek ou not and topos place. Extended to any perfect place, 1610s.
Research into the origin of this word and the historical development of its meaning. Allow this body of research to form a circular perspective around the word. Place yourself in this position of this circle and look back at the word.
The mind map above is an outcome of our small group discussions and personal research. When we were first handed the brief, I had a very futuristic associations with the word Utopia; a society in the future that had achieved medical and political perfection etc. However as my research developed I realised that the concept of Utopia was less to do with striving to achieve societal perfection and more closely associated with drowning out ‘background noise’ that clouds are present day lives. As human beings we are always changing and developing, therefore our idea of perfection is always changing so we can never reach it and so we are continually dissatisfied. We fantasise about our future and reminisce about our past; we are never content with the moment we are living in.
For my final outcome in response to this brief I am looking at documenting common expressions of time ‘If I was five years younger’ ‘In a minute’ ‘Somewhere down the line’ - exploring the concept of Utopia as a timeline, where we are constantly rejecting the present.
Some of the key time phrases that I will use:
In a simpler time, When I was young, Back in the day, If I was five years younger, Soon, Somewhere down the line, Ten Years from Now etc.