The Art for Futures Lab is an online future museum consisting of a research-based archive that collects already existing sustainable and planet-friendly innovations. During ‘Future Prototyping Workshops’ in the Art for Futures Lab, participants are encouraged to explore the archive, select a series of innovations and construct a scenario for the year 2050.
The Art for Futures Lab is cross-sector and participatory based on the Wuppertal transformation model, which primarily invites civil society to develop visions for the future. We bind citizen power for knowledge transfer and the co-imagination of new narratives. Futures become co-creatively visualized and designed to be the foundation for active communities and to discover relevant, maybe adaptable solutions. An important goal of our initiative is the implementation of knowledge and experience, as well as increasing the reach of the creative and innovative possible solutions.
We combine this with artistic research as well as the expertise of visual creation from film and art to co-productions of various media and spaces of experience alternating between the digital and analog world.
Currently, the environmental impact of our human activities is too high. In the past decades, the consequences of human’s destruction of the planet have become apparent: loss of biodiversity, climate disasters, rising sea levels, and many more.
To tackle these 21st century challenges, the question arises how we can positively shape the future when most of its conventional visions mainly depict dystopias.
Since solutions to pressing global issues are to be found by humans, answers can only be obtained through engaging in broad and interdisciplinary dialogues that include many: those who make decisions in politics and business, those who form opinions in science and media, and those without whom all rescue models and visions of the future must remain theory. Each and every one of us needs to raise their voice in our fight towards sustainable and regenerative futures. By joining forces interdisciplinary and cross-culturally, will we be able to turn the dystopian narrative around?
Cinematic sci-fi visions of the future are usually dystopias. By focusing on utopia-based solutions for 21st century challenges, the contemporary widespread fear of the future will be replaced by positive narratives. In other words, acting in the present gets a new, meaningful focus as an important driver for the sustainability transformation.
The Art for Futures Lab works with methods that have been modified from world-building, design-thinking, re-gnosis and future prototyping. As ‘futures-thinking’ plays a central role, the Art for Futures Lab aims to both negotiate the world in which we are living today and the one of tomorrow. Rather than predicting the future, futures-thinking allows open discussion in a certain group to determine a preferable future.
Based on an interdisciplinary and scenographically designed online play area, scenes for the year 2050 are developed. Extensively researched archives provide knowledge of already existing solutions as well as dramaturgical inspiration for acting characters and scouted locations. The Innovations are based on utopias such as the "Technotransformation World,” referring to solutions through technological progress and the "New Greening World,” focusing on nature-based ways of living, products, and concepts.
Through collaboration between disciplines and communities, we aim to create synergy and broaden the scope and impact of ideas. Therefore, the target audience is cross-class, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational in cooperation with an interdisciplinary and multicultural network. Let us exchange visions on possible and hopeful futures and what could be changed together.