Doors: various

@ Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA


A Year of Imagination and Possibility at Somerset House celebrates the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text and is the largest ever celebration of this radical work anywhere in the world. It spans the realms of art, literature, fashion, design, architecture, film and more, featuring a varied programme of special events, exhibitions and new commissions across the Somerset House site and beyond. The Utopia Treasury, in Somerset House’s Great Arch Hall and open all year, will invite people to explore, taste, and imagine utopia.

Thomas More was the first to give a name and form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it. His playful vision, published in 1516, presents an ideal society living on a fictitious island, described in a traveller’s tale. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous, the Greek words on which the name is based mean both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’. It is not a blueprint for the future; instead he places importance on the process of dreaming in the now.

To celebrate More’s vision, UTOPIA 2016 explores challenges facing contemporary culture and society, and the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating the space where dreams can take root.

In collaboration with:

  • Somerset House
  • King’s College London
  • Courtauld Institute

In partnership:

  • British Library
  • AHRC
  • Guardian Live
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Verso