Although most of us understand and use the word Utopia when we are describing an ideal place, its etymology is some what ironic.
Utopia is a word created in 1516 by Sir Thomas More for his socio-political satire “A little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in the new island Utopia” it describes a place of social equality, justice and peace. This was a thinly veiled, barbed commentary on the ruling elite’s less than social leadership of the time.
And the ironic part? Well the word Utopia is derived from the Classical Greek words U (meaning no) and Topas (meaning place) so, it literally means ‘nowhere’ as in, this ideal place doesn’t exist!
Tistopia on the other hand is a word that I put together. Also from the Classical Greek this time combining the word ‘Tis (meaning some) and, again, Topas (meaning place) literally ‘somewhere’.
Mark Joste is a photographer, designer and educator with a degree in photography and a Masters in human centred design.
When he is not engaged in his own practice, he manages a team that deliver practice based technical skills training to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, of the University of Brighton’s School of Art