A utopian vision of futuristic cities


Event details

Date and time 09.09.2020 14.12.202007:0023:59  
Place and room
Speaker La Maison d’Ailleurs, musée de la science-fiction, de l’utopie et des voyages extraordinaires
Category Exhibitions
The College of Humanities (CDH) culture program will present in the Rolex Learning Center an exhibition dedicated to the architecture of futuristic and utopian cities. The reproductions on display come from the collection of the Maison d'Ailleurs in Yverdon-les-Bains, and have been carefully selected by its director, Marc Atallah, who is also a CDH professor.

> The EPFL Library offers a selection of documents related to "A utopian vision of futuristic cities"

Advertisements and caricatures from historical newspapers such as Puck, The Judge, and Life (1880-1946), will be presented at this unique exhibition in EPFL’s iconic building. Covers of popular pulp magazines (1929-1967) will also be on display.

The images convey forms and atmospheres that, in their time, helped to shape our imagination of the future: cities are gigantic, hyper-technological, vertical, and excessively geometric. In many representations, the human has become minuscule, insignificant, and outmoded. Mental projection towards the temporal elsewhere is not only intended to fascinate us, but also to make us think beyond traditional media and social discourse. Science fiction is the worthy heir to all these utopian tales which, in their time, created an ideal world to better critique the failings of everyday life.

Wandering between these panels means discovering with curiosity the creativity of the illustrators; sometimes smiling at the candor of their proposals, and sometimes rediscovering certain elements of our own reality. It also means realizing that behind the watermarks are more subversive messages, which show that the seduction of hypertechnology comes at a high price: human beings are no more than a detail of the decor, which has become mastered, confined, and enslaved.

Concept: Maison d'Ailleurs
Printing: Artgraphic Cavin SA
Lamination: TED Support

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • EPFL Collège des Humanités - Culture


  • Véronique Mauron


Science fiction architecture utopie la maison d'ailleurs musée ville utopique