9 episodes

Avery Trufelman explores stories of people who tried to design a better world — and what happens when those designs don’t go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, is about the perpetual search for the perfect place. From Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Nice Try! Curbed

    • Design
    • 4.0, 3.6K Ratings

Avery Trufelman explores stories of people who tried to design a better world — and what happens when those designs don’t go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, is about the perpetual search for the perfect place. From Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    Disney World: Celebrating Utopia

    Disney World: Celebrating Utopia

    Before she began writing for the New York Times, or visiting glitter factories and the Royal Wedding, Caity Weaver grew up vacationing in utopia. Specifically: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. During a recent live event at the 92Y in New York City, Avery asked Caity to bring us back to those vacations. As a reminder that discussion about utopias - and the failures and successes inherent in them - is an ongoing one.
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    • 46 min
    Herland: Reimagine Utopia

    Herland: Reimagine Utopia

    What have all of the utopias we've covered so far had in common? They were all largely driven by the will and power of a charismatic leader - usually a man, usually white. How do you build a utopia, then, for people in society who really need it? In our season finale, we visit worlds where there are no men. In fiction, and real life.
    Read more about all Utopian episodes - from Jamestown to Biosphere 2 - and the books that inspired us this season here: http://bit.ly/nice-try-utopia
    If you're in the New York City area, see Avery discuss utopias with a very special guest at the 92 Street Y on August 6th at 7:30pm. Get your tickets now: http://bit.ly/nicetrylive
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    • 36 min
    Biosphere 2: The Theater of Utopia

    Biosphere 2: The Theater of Utopia

    In 1991, eight people embarked on a two-year experiment to create a completely enclosed, self-sustaining ecosystem in a domed research facility in Arizona. Inside the dome, there was a man-made savannah. A rainforest. A farm. An ocean with tropical coral reef. And all of these habitats would be populated with life. Things did not go according to plan. But was it a failure? EDITOR'S NOTE: one instance of explicit language.
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    • 51 min
    Germania: Architecture in a Fascist Utopia

    Germania: Architecture in a Fascist Utopia

    In 1938, Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer started redesigning Berlin for a New Order, elements of which exist today. The Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin features designs that specifically evoke the Third Reich. Following the end of World War II, the airport became a crucial access point for the US and British to bring food through the Berlin Blockade. It was closed in 2008, and then became a park, and emergency refugee housing. But the buildings remain. What do we do with the everyday reminders of a dark history? EDITOR'S NOTE: one instance of explicit language.
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    • 36 min
    Oneida: Utopia, LLC

    Oneida: Utopia, LLC

    The Oneida Community was founded in upstate New York in 1848 by John Humphrey Noyes, a former theological student who believed that paradise could be found on Earth through nontraditional sexual and familial structures, including complex marriages and communal childraising. Hundreds of people followed him, and for many years their community succeeded. But the center could not hold, and the community pivoted — into a thriving business that became one of the world’s most prominent makers of flatware.  
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    • 37 min
    Levittown/Concord Park: Utopia in Our Backyard

    Levittown/Concord Park: Utopia in Our Backyard

    Suburban developments built in the 1950s were idyllic communities and gave many people their first opportunity at home ownership, but typically excluded African Americans. While William Levitt used explicit racial covenants and other tactics to keep his famed Levittown developments white, one builder used racial quotas to create an integrated community — and succeeded, for a while. Can the suburbs be a utopia for all?
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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
3.6K Ratings

3.6K Ratings

NatalieBelle ,

Insightful and Informative!

I’ve never left a review for a podcast before, but this one is AMAZING. I recommend to just about everyone I meet and they’ve all loved it as well. Found an advert for it on a random website and so glad I did. Can’t wait for a Season 2! Such a triumph of a podcast!

worldmom7 ,

Awesome! Fascinating!

Every episode is unique: a story of someplace, some philosophy, some charismatic person or group of people - an unreachable idea of perfection. Each story unfolds into a fascinating narrative told with humor and informed smarts by Avery Trufelman and her well-chosen experts. We wait for the breakdown, the falling-apart, of each utopia, and Avery delivers with the right amount of snark and compassion (except the Hitler story-
only outrage there). Avery has the skill,
intelligence, and charm to carry all this off, and it’s my favorite podcast ever. Don’t miss it.

somethingsomeonesaid ,

Only review I’ve ever left.... we need more!

It’s that good

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