Applied Utopia


Confusion and uncertainty are the shady feeling, of how to deal, how to get on, or how to do the right thing in a world of consumerism and productivity.

 «Applied Utopia» is a first dicursive exhibition project created by NCCFN in collaboration with Zeughaus Teufen. The exhibition examines contrasts and all the shades of gray in between, using the fashion system as its field of research.

Its scenography is a reflective ecosystem of the world we are living in – where everything is sold and bought. We encourage people to think about global supply chains and promote a discussion of what sustainability means.
It is a market space and a meeting point – to share, discuss, and negotiate the problems and the utopias we have.

NCCFN (Nothing Can Come From Nothing) is a multi-local network of designers and (crafts)-workers.

We use fashion as a medium to understand and address the multiple challenges caused by its global industry.

Photo: NCCFN (Florian Spring)

You are shady, that’s why you feel shady

It is not the problem; it is not the solution. 
It’s not left or right, nor right nor wrong. 
There is no positioning, no categorisation or classifications, no segregation, no hierarchical values. There is not the sustainable or the non-sustainable. There is not the temporary vs the permanent. There is just the fugitive of the binary.

You are neither low nor high. Nor fast or slow. You are the worshiper and the worshiped, the worker and the owner. You are not a target. You are free. We are not a target group. We are free. 
We are not the representation of something —you are not the voice of a community. 

If we talk about fashion, we talk about business. About the people and the material. About the organic and the artificial, the raw and the processed. About locality and globality, individuality and collectivity. About rich and poor, the new and the old. About rationality, intuition and belief. About recognition and invisibility. About the life and death of humans, animals, plants and their relations. 

Between the seeding and the harvesting (spreading/gathering), the selling and buying, the grayness is situated: doing, dealing, acting, connecting, exchanging, passing, linking, sharing, transferring, developing, 
These are relations. This is relating. 

You are the consumer and the producer at the same time. An old problem can be solved and the solutions can bring up new problems. 
The only thing that remains constant is the relation of the existent to the imagination of the non-existent.
You have the ability to sustain. 

(shady =suspicious, doubious, questionable, twilit, doubtful, dodgy, blurry, undefined, in between)


Photos: NCCFN (Florian Spring)

NCCFN-Conversation: "Global - Local"
Dr. Tanveer Ahmed
Peet Pienaar
Aurelia Markwalder
NCCFN Dimitri Reist

Do we act globally or locally, do we act rationally or irrationally, do we live naturally or artificially? We are constantly moving between poles. The NCCFN collective explores such contrasts and all shades of gray in between in the "Applied Utopia" exhibition.

Dr. Tanver Ahmed, a lecturer in Fashion & Race at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts in London, designer Peet Pienaar, who commutes between Cape Town and Geneva, and Aurelia Markwalder, who works in graphic and type design and as a letterpress printer in Leipzig and once worked as a chef in St. Gallen, will discuss "Global - Local".
NCCFN guest: Livio Martina

More videos of the NCCFN-conversations are available on