00 @ the Royal Academy, Paper City : Urban Utopias / by Nick Ierodiaconou

Last night saw the launch for the Paper City at the Royal Academy an exhibition featuring a retrospective of Blueprint magazine's back page commissions from the last 3 years in addition to 10 further commissions on the theme of urban utopias. 00 was invited to make a contribution  on our vision of the city.Entries ranged across artists such as Gaia Persico and Takaya Akiyama, to architects Ian Ritchie, Neil Spiller and Duggan Morris and recent RA graduates.

00's entry was a vision of the city based on a series of catalytic social technologies that enable an ever-denser web of economic and community exchange in digital but also in real space - the city as place of continuous, distributed innovation, instead of as mere backdrop to developer-led financial instruments and the whimsical icons of architectural grandeur. From classified ads to the online School of Everything, the city is both its physical infrastructure and the more intangible conditions that underpin its age-old offering of positive freedom and opportunity to develop endlessly unpredictable human capabilities.  We see innovative spatial practice for the 21st Century as moving right across this spectrum from the down-to-earth physical to the social and organisational design for new places of exchange.

The commissions are displayed as printed pads of the works with visitors invited to rip pages off to take home. So if you want your very own vision of urban utopia, go down to the RA and help yourself...

The exhibition runs from until the 27th October 2009 at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly.

AF