It is in the nature of a utopia that it does not (yet) exist. Depending on the respective interpretation, the Greek origins of the word can be translated as “non-place” or “beautiful place.” Utopias are thought experiments, visionary glimpses into a world that has its own time and its own place. However, utopias also provide insights into our own present-day world, mirroring the things that move society; they function as a critique of existing conditions by giving creative answers to the burning questions of our time. Utopias can hence be a motor for innovations, for political, social or aesthetic changes. Houses, dwellings and forms of cohabitation have always been an aspect of utopian thinking. Accordingly, the English scholar and diplomat Sir Thomas More (1478–1535) simply abolished private property and declared houses public property in his philosophical 1516 novel Utopia.
Haus Lange and Haus Esters can be characterized as realized utopias to a certain extent. With their modern formal language, they represent a belief in an architecture of progress and a better society that emerged in the 1920s under the term New Building. Now, nearly a century later, artists, designers and architects ask about how we want to live and how we can live in the future. Against the backdrop of themes ranging from resource scarcity and housing shortages to the great upheavals of the digital age, they produce imaginary spaces for future forms of life and living.