“Sites of Utopia” Response

I was particularly interested in the development of the term “modernity” that Prof. White structured within the lecture. Although he capped the argument with an “it’s complicated,” I found myself peeling back the multitude of layers that the word modernity has within this context and landscape of Ecology, Futuring, Utopianism, but most relevant, art and design at RISD. His point of Eco-Moderns having a valid thought process when stating that the matter of modernity would benefit from a re-engagement of the term. The fact that much of European modernity for example, was set by an unequal share of benefits from the other end in terms of indigenous people and so forth, is one of the layers within this discussion. This made me think about the ecological implications the occur when we strive to modernize, but in turn the world suffers from the unequal shares, attentions, or considerations from the other side, whether that be the environment or populations. As designers and artists, I believe that the concept of modernization through innovation has the possibility of being linked, and with that, there can be negative conclusions developed. My belief is that at RISD, we are given tools to shape the future in many ways, whichever scale we attempt. However, will we “modernize” or create in turn for more suffering, or will we be able to create more of a balanced relationship and create an equal share in the view of modernity?


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