The universe is a complicated old place, ever expanding, the final frontier, the great-unknown etc. etc. The general consensus is that we should leave it to scientists, academics and big wigs to make sense of the world we live in and the infinite cosmos we sit in. But there is also space for artists, philosophers and daydreamers to reimagine, question and reinterpret everything. There is a human desire and thirst for understanding and knowledge. But who says that we need a degree or title to be able to do this. This summer The Hayward Gallery has amassed the work of self-taught architects, mathematicians and outsider artists, to offer an alternative guide to the universe.

I mean does gravity really exist? Well that's what Physicist James Carter suggests. Isaac Who-ton? Einstein Shm-einsten! Carter came up with his theory in 1970; he believes that we are not being pulled down toward earth by gravity rather the opposite. The Earth is actually, according to Carter, rapidly expanding which is why we remain on the earth and don't go floating away. Totally ridiculous but what Carter does achieve, and I think this is more important than his actual beliefs, is to make us question what we are taught to be fact. Something that is a common thread amongst all of those represented at this exhibition. The desire to question and throw off the shackles of limitations established by institutions and constructs of society is one we should all embrace from time to time.

By being able to dream and ask questions, a lot of the artists begin to imagine utopian futures and answer their own questions with what they want to hear. William Scott, Richard Greaves, Michael Storr and Bodys Isek Kingelez all reimagine, reinterpret and redefine the structures, towns and cities that we could live in in the near and distant future. After a nuclear war and man has to rebuild its cities, why not build towering interconnected cathedrals to celebrate a new dawn of man. That is what Michael Storr believed and made sure to preserve his drawings in such a way, so that they could be used as blue prints for the next generation in a post apocalyptic world. But who says we should wait for the apocalypse to rebuild a new glorious world. Self taught architect Bodys Isek Kingsley has never seen another city outside his native Kinshasa, not even photographs. But that hasn't stopped him from building scale models of fantastical, and sometime ridiculous, buildings that fill your heart with joy. His future metropolises are built with an emphasis on peace, harmony and overall, people. It is impossible to negotiate the two rows of flamboyant constructions in their display cases and not feel compelled to smile.

The line between genius and insane is a fine line, and one feels like that line is crossed more once during this exhibition. The notion of gravity not existing aside, some of the work on show here is difficult to comprehend, like the intricate mathematics of George Widener or psychological musings of Paul Laffoley. Some of the artists in the exhibition actively worked and created whilst incarcerated in a psychiatric institution like Karl Hans Janke. From his "office" in a hospital, he tirelessly worked on theories for jet powered vehicles and renewable energies. It is at this point that the exhibition takes a turn. Before this point there is a sense of celebration of these rogue artists, thinkers and makers but sadly you start to realise that for some of them there ideas were in the wrong time and their mental illness overshadowed their brilliance. Karl Hans Janke was locked up for over 40 years but still his faith in mankind didn't falter, in his last will and testament he wrote I kindly ask that the pictures and albums be kept safe, along with the many drawings and models that I created for mankind.

However, the Hayward seems to loose it's way towards the end of the exhibition. Instead of celebrating this misunderstood and lost creativity, it seems to present it as a bit of a freak show. This seems to be prevalent for three artists; Lee Godie, Morton Bartlett and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, who all create alternate realities to live in. Whether it's Godie, a homeless woman, who would dress herself up as different characters and use photo booths to take self-portraits, or Bartlett who painstakingly created a vast series of lifelike dolls to photograph. You can't help but feel that perhaps they were creating an alternate reality to escape the darkness within their own lives, Bruenchenhein is even quoted as saying to his wife "This is the world we make, Marie". Each story has a sadness that I believe could have been handled with more tact and compassion by the Hayward gallery.

Overall I'm torn about how I feel about the show. The Hayward is one of the best galleries in London and rarely sets a foot wrong; they consistently produce an excellent programme. But I feel they missed a trick with this show, perhaps I had high expectations. It does, to a degree, deliver an alternative guide to the universe but I feel there was an opportunity to be more playful with the exhibition. Outsider art seems to be very en Vogue right now and there are many exhibitions exploring it as a theme, this could have been an opportunity to explore a different format to present it. The Wellcome Collection produced one of the shows of the year of Outsider art from Japan, and the Venice Biennale blended Outsider art seamlessly with contemporary art. I hoped that the Hayward would have been more ambitious than they have been. Having said that I would still highly recommend visiting the show to dream about what the future, or the present, could be like, and explore new ideas. I don't know about you but I'm up for living in a city where the focus is on dancing above all else!