Last week, N told me that he cycled by some of the most spectacular buildings that he had ever seen and that I’d love them. I am a sucker of brick and mortar wonders, so he gave me a virtual tour through Google Maps. It did look stunning. I bookmarked the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, Academy of Arts and Futurium under ‘places to visit in Berlin’.
What I did not know back then was that Futurium was not open just yet, but was going to launch very soon. On 5th September, the house of futures officially opened doors with a private party of over 550 people. The opening ceremony was attended by the Head of the Federal Chancellery Professor Dr Helge Braun, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek, ESA astronaut Dr Alexander Gerst and sea-ice physicist Dr Stefanie Arndt.
Futurium is a house of futures. It unites under the same roof a museum of the future with vivid scenarios, a laboratory of the future in which visitors can make their own explorations and a forum of the future for dialogue between players from different spheres. Foreseeable, imaginable and desirable drafts of possible futures are presented and discussed at Futurium. The is always the same question at the core – how do we want to live?
The institution’s first- floor exhibition comprises androids, green high-rise buildings, social commerce: there are endless ways to think about the future. The exhibition showcases five topics from the visitors’ lives: food, health, energy, work and urban living. The three major thinking spaces – humans, nature and technology – present different ways we can influence the future. The topics there revolve around the greatest challenges of our present. For instance, when thinking about the future of the energy supply, we must also consider climate change and consumption. Digitalisation and new forms of cooperation also play a major role in the future of work.
It was extremely interesting to hear comments of those at the realm of the project, and their vision and purpose of Futurium:
Professor Dr Helge Braun, Head of the Federal Chancellery
“Futurium has been conceived as a public thinking space. It is a place for us to ponder, discuss and experiment with options and challenges for the future, and here is where science and research should present their solutions for the most pressing questions of the future. I’m certain that Futurium will grow into a key nexus in science communication.”
Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research
“With Futurium, we now have a new central location for discussing the issues of the future. Futurium will demonstrate how developments are driven by creativity, vision, and the spirit of discovery. This is important for our country. Futurium is meant to be a place for exchanging ideas about the future, where normal citizens can inform themselves and contribute their own suggestions. Eight years after the Federal Government’s decision to support this project, I’m delighted that we’ve now got this house of futures.”
Dr Alexander Gerst, ESA astronaut
“Humans have been explorers from the beginning of time. For thousands of years, they’ve been exploring their habitats wherever this was possible. It’s only been 60 years since we first flew into space – a mere blink of the eye in the timeline of human history. Space travel is in our blood, in our genes – and it will remain so forever. I’m happy that the launch of Futurium has given us a place where I hope that many visitors will be awakened to the spirit of discovery.”
Dr Stefanie Arndt, sea-ice physicist and climatologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute
“The future is an issue that concerns us all. In climate research, we try to describe our future using scientific models in order to estimate which climate-relevant changes we will be facing and how, and where, we can and must take countermeasures. Why is that? We do so to ensure a future on our planet Earth as we know it, for ourselves and for future generations. Precisely for this purpose, Futurium offers a broad range of interactive points that make tomorrow’s world vividly experienceable today.”
Dr Stefan Brandt, Director of Futurium
“We are convinced that the future concerns us all. For this reason, Futurium is aimed at the broad spectrum of society. At this house of futures, the fundamental question ‘How do we want to live?’ is dealt with on three complementary levels: in the exhibition with its three thinking spaces Human, Nature, and Technology, in the Forum with its exciting and controversial debates, and in the Futurium Lab with its imaginative experimental and interactive offerings. Our goal is to encourage as many people as possible to help shape a sustainable future. Therefore, we are very pleased that admission to Futurium is free of charge. This will enable visitors to discover this house of futures for themselves – step by step, and time and time again.”
Nicole Schneider, Commercial Managing Director of Futurium
“The future needs its own place. With Futurium, such a place, a participative space in the very heart of Berlin, has been created. A building that fascinates with its extraordinary architecture, an exhibition that expands knowledge and thinking, a lab that invites visitors to try things out, and a workshop programme that shows visitors of all ages ways to shape their own futures.”
Deets if you plan to visit Futurium:
Address: Futurium GmbH, Alexanderufer 2, 10117 Berlin
Located directly on the Spree, between the main station and the Reichstag building, Futurium invites visitors of all ages to take a look into the world of tomorrow. An exhibition, the Futurium Lab and an event forum are available on more than 5.000 square metres.
- Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 18:00
- Thu: 10:00 – 20:00
- Tue: closed
Entrance is free of cost and there are guided tours available as well.