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Neotopia – Atlas of equitable distribution of the world : community

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How did this design improve life?:
The equitable world. In times of the WEF (World Economic Forum) and the global fears of the future, has been said and reflected a lot about the equal world. The difficulty is within the realisation of this equal world in practise or to finish the thought consequently to the end of the line: What would the world look like if all human beings had precisely the same resources at their disposal?
“Neotopia” – an imaginary new world order – is an answer of this question. “Neotopia” is the vision of a world in which everything has been redistributed to achieve radical equitability. Every person has the same rights and therefore is entitled to claim a just share of the earth’s aggregate resources. Based on statistics that reflect the current state of the world, the concept of ownership has been redefined: each individual receives the same proportion of everything. What, then, does each person own? What size of an island? How much ice? How many years can we live in luxury? How long do we suffer starvation, and how many years does it take before we can get a new pair of jeans? “Neotopia” gives each of us a plot of land measuring 291.5 m by 291.5 m, with an island, with an arctic and an antarctic region, with desert, farmland, and urbanized land, and with the freedom to utilize these resources as we see fit.

The concept is explained in a visual story. The reader is introduced step-by-step from the world of today to a world of justice. The radical re-mapping of boundaries of ownership and the proposed new system of distribution have a serious effect: the world's assets have been converted into streams of data.

The emotions of the readers of “Neotopia” are awaken through the information – cheerfully and without pointing the finger, it shows the actual situation of our planet. The text and the precise information-graphics, which are always imaginary and playfully set, are new and uncommon to a theme, of which has often been argumented with morality and guilt. Therefore “Neotopia” is of interest to architects, researchers of sustainability, students and even priests and traders. The way “Neotopia” handles the them of Injustice, is understandable for school students as well as of interest to scientists: “Neotopia” is discussed on literature festivals, design exhibitions, conferences to the subject of sustainability as well as in primary schools and church communities. “Neotopia” is understand by all social levels and various groups of interest and supports lively and dedicated discussions about a radical equal world.

“This “New World” is a wholesome provocation at various levels.”

“Neotopia is basically a graphical experiment that, thanks to Pfrunder’s pert and thoughtful
consequence, has effortlessly risen to philosophical heights.”

“An audacious Justitia without an eye cover – and without a sword.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“Manuela Pfrunder has managed to produce some sober explosive in her slender
book, Neotopia.”
CSS Bulletin

“Totally crazy! Limmat Publishers have given out a book that stimulates persistent thought.”

“The best about the book is that she has criticised the actual sharing of resources without
even having to mention it.”
Design prize, Switzerland

“This Project Work fascinates through its scientific and analitical proceedure, exemplary
creative quality, innovative content and enormous commitment.”
The Swiss Graphic Society’s Promotion Prize 2000
Name of Designer(s):
Manuela Pfrunder
Designers professional status:
Status of realization:
Kind of design:
Intangible design
Produced by:
Limmat Verlag Zürich
Year of production, realization or publishing:
Designed in country:
Used on continents:
Short description of design:
“Neotopia” is the vision of a world in which everything has been redistributed to achieve radical equitability. Based on statistics that reflect the current state of the world, the concept of ownership has been redefined: each individual receives the same proportion of everything.

Functionallity and use of design:
Neotopia is a book, which tells a story page by page in a visual way.
In every book you will find a card with a personal code. With this code you can register yourself on and will become the owner of a country in “Neotopia”.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
The content of „Neotopia“ was built on behalf of statistics. Statistics in general bear risks – therefore the handling must be carefully and critically. There is a certain risk, that books like “Neotopia” can push the uncritical believe in statistics.
Research and need:
The whole book is an author work; from the concept of the content and story as well as the illustrations and typography of the book. There was a big research of getting facts about social, economical and geographical news of the world. It was really important to find a neutral way of visual look to tell this story. It's based on world atlas and well designed maps.

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