• Utopia as a Model
    Juan Jose Kochen
    Arquine, 2015
    Juan Jose Kochen

Conjunto Habitacional Nonoalco-Tlatelolco, 1964, Mexico City. Courtesy of Fundación ICA.

Utopias are often only premature truths. Between despair and hope, utopias represent an inversion of encouraging possibility. This fictional city is not only the one that belongs to a dream or delusion, it is the built city that can never exist. By definition, it becomes an activity of observation, repetition, and continuity from its mere transactions through the merging new models. Architecture from utopia, or utopia from architecture, is a deductive project with social conciliation. The ideological content of each of these models lies in the degree of their impact on the cultural heritage of the past and the construction of modernity as a whole. This utopian invisibility formed by Mexican modern architecture is the first step on a track that must extend increasingly in order to form a bridge between creative utopias and modern cities. The ideal cannot be understood without its context, and in this case the seducer was modernism.

Juan José Kochen is architect, editor, and professor of architectural theory. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, journalism at the Escuela de Periodismo Carlos Septién García, and received a master's degree in the analysis, theory, and history of architecture. He has published in Reforma newspaper, was an editor at Arquine magazine, and served as consultant at the Mexican Federal Institute for Worker's Housing. He is currently coordinator of sustainability at empresas ICA and a professor at UNAM, Universidad Iberoamericana and Centro.