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Discuss

End of year 2017 address by director Stefan Brandt

Traditionally, the end of the year is a time to pause and reflect. You look back, but also ask yourself: “What do I want to change in the future? And in which fields do I wish to contribute more?” This can concern very private things – living more healthily, taking more time for oneself, changing direction in one’s professional life and so on – but to many people it is also about the “big questions” of our time such as sustainability, fair sharing of resources, environmental protection and participation.

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DEAR READERS,

In recent months we had two occasions to celebrate: the ceremonial handover of keys for the Futurium’s completed building on 13 September and the “Open House” on 16 September. At the latter event we were joined by 15,000 visitors! This huge interest has surprised and, of course, delighted us. It is reasonable to presume that, beyond all the fears and anxieties conjured up in people’s minds by the future, there are still many out there who are curious about the different possible futures and the shapes they might take.

Traditionally, the end of the year is a time to pause and reflect. You look back, but also ask yourself: “What do I want to change in the future? And in which fields do I wish to contribute more?” This can concern very private things – living more healthily, taking more time for oneself, changing direction in one’s professional life and so on – but to many people it is also about the “big questions” of our time such as sustainability, fair sharing of resources, environmental protection and participation. Quite often, there is a certain tension between private wishes and public issues. How much individual freedom is consistent with sustainability and vice versa? What is the right measure?

Of course, we at the Futurium cannot give definite answers to these questions; however, we can promise to put them to ourselves and not sweep them under the carpet. The Futurium should grow to become a place where debates about divergent concepts of the future are possible, where the areas of tension are laid bare to a certain extent, in order to make discussions with one another about the way forward better and more informed. This is also the reason why we speak of “futures” instead of the one future that we are supposedly facing. In order to be able to approach this challenging goal and the question “How do you want to live?” that hovers above the entire topic, we at the Futurium wish to link together the different levels of debate about these futures. We regard ourselves as a museum of the future, in which options for the future are presented in a comprehensive exhibition and put up for discussion. However, we are also a laboratory of the future, since our Futurium Lab will provide a large space for experimenting, exploring and participating. The Futurium will also act as a forum of the future, offering a platform for the exchange of ideas and debates in innovative formats. And last but not least, we are also a stage of the future, because we are convinced that artistic analysis may contribute in a unique way to the understanding of concepts of the future.

All this is planned for the spring of 2019, when we will officially open the house to the general public. However, with our “Workshop Weeks” in late-May/early-June 2018 we will give you a foretaste of what is to come: we will introduce the concept at the heart of our house and, at the same time, submit some of the envisaged formats to a practice test. We hope for your active participation in our public workshops, interdisciplinary theme nights and artistic interventions. We will inform you here in this newsletter in the new year about the exact dates and programmes for the “Workshop Weeks”.

On behalf of the Futurium and its entire team, I would like to take this early opportunity to wish you a tranquil festive season with plenty of time for contemplation and reflection.

Cordial greetings from
your

Stefan Brandt

Author

Futurium