Ars Topia Foundation
Ars Topia Foundation was established in 1997 as a collaboration of the two private founders István Kálmán and József Laposa and the members of Pagony Landscape and Garden Design Studio. Its goal is to provide an opportunity for non-profit actions, that can further initiatives to raise awareness to our responsibility for landscapes and launch programs that promote a new landscape culture.
The president of the advisory board is Ágnes Herczeg, the members are landscape architects, Attila Vincze and Dóra Kiss-Tikk. The programs of the Foundation are prepared at the council meetings of the advisory board undertake a role in promoting culture, education, making proposals, and organizing tasks, for the sake of granting landscape its dignity. The programs are carried out with enthusiastic, committed, voluntary work in co-operation with civil organizations from Hungary and abroad. The need for tools and materials is covered by funds and donations. Volunteers, mostly landscape architects and architect are involved in the organization and preparation tasks of our programs. Since the beginning thousands of volunteers participated in our programs and dozens joined to complete the background tasks. The main supporter of the Ars Topia Foundation is Pagony Landscape and Garden Design Studio. The two organizations have a shared office where the infrastructure and instruments of the studio can also serve the needs of the Foundation.
The values of a landscape are created by the communities living in it. Development of the landscape cannot be done by polluting and devastating the environment, it is only possible by improving the landscape and preserving its heritage. We support every project and proposal that helps the decision making of local communities and strengthens the spirit of the place with this attitude. We try to react to the changes in society and in the environment by organizing workshops and events, publishing booklets, and launching courses.
Landscape is not a geographical term that is defined by its scale. Landscape can mean a tree, a garden, a village, or the area of a whole county. Landscape is the manifestation of the fusion of the human desire to create and the elements of nature. Cultivating the landscape is a way of sustaining culture. By cultivating the land, people themselves change and improve.
It is our responsibility to advance a true and active relationship between landscape and the people. We believe that the issue of the way we get to know the landscape is not only an issue of speculative interpretation, because there is only one perspective that can lead us to understand the true connection between human and landscape, the birth of responsibility for the Earth, and to acts of healing.
We wish to pass on our love for landscape to the youth and adults, as well, in our closer and farther regions. Our goal is to help everyone understand that with our lifestyle, our actions, and our failures we are part of the landscape, and we are responsible for its fate, and the quality of our environment.
Our Foundation wants to show an example to receptive people mainly by land art and landscape cherishing projects that can be done by local communities or as community work.
Our experience is that changing the approach of people plays an important role in maturing their receptivity and encouraging them to take responsibility. Therefore, in our work we keep building on two basic disciplines: changing the approach of people and completing projects through community work.
With our community projects and land art actions we wish to contribute to
• the sustaining of landscape culture in the Carpathian Basin. As a part of this we have been organizing Bath- and Community Building Kalákas mostly in Seklerland, but in other parts of the Carpathian Basin, as well.
• the nursing and healing of water as a living and vitalizing element in landscape
• the spreading of creating living willow structures.
With our attitude, we wish to affect a wider range of people who are interested
• by giving lectures environmental education and adult training
• by publishing educational books and booklets
• by adding an interactive page to our website that can help organize workshops and kalákas
• by setting up exhibitions.