That was “A Day in the Future. Open House at Futurium”

The Futurium looks back on a successful event "A Day in the Future. Open House at Futurium": on 15.000 guests, a programme that went on into the small hours and various activities for young and old, that spread through the entire building.


When the last visitors left the building in the early hours of Sunday morning, it marked the end of a successful day for the Futurium – the first day the finished house opened its doors to visitors.

It all started on Saturday 16 September with an opening speech by the Director of the Futurium, Dr Stefan Brandt, followed by a series of interesting debates and presentations with illustrious guests like Klaus Töpfer, Dunja Hayali and Jutta Allmendinger. While the expectant audience gathered on the Futurium forecourt, the young dancers from the Flying Steps Academy performed their interpretations of the future, alternating with the robot band “Compressorhead: Made of Metal, Built to Rock”. The band played punk sounds from their début album in a full-on rocker style.

All day long, visitors young and old flocked to the Futurium to explore it: from the World Building Studio on the ground floor where visitors could create new natural shapes with outsize models, the “Icaros” virtual reality station, which gave visitors a virtual flying experience, to the Futurium Lab with its many robots in the basement and much more. “I still often think back on how quickly the empty, silent house was filled with life, laughter and good humour,” recalls Gabriele Zipf, Head of Exhibitions at the Futurium. “There is still something of that left on the levels, even though they are quiet again.”

Dr Stefan Brandt, Director of the Futurium, was also impressed by the successful event: “We are delighted with the great audience response to our open day ‘A Day in the Future’. The roughly 15,000 visitors surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. For us, that is a sign that our open and interdisciplinary approach to future issues is of great interest to the public. And of course that many guests were fascinated by the spectacular architecture by Jan Musikowski and Christoph Richter.”

The many artists and organisers responsible for the comprehensive programme of “A Day in the Future. Open House at Futurium” brought much of the life, laughter and good humour themselves. The “Haus der kleinen Forscher” (Little Scientists’ House) Foundation offered experimentation stations for very young visitors on the ground floor, while on the exhibition level, Radialsystem V staged various acoustic and sound performances staggered spatially and tonally like a pearl necklace. Visitors young and old on red mats at the northern panorama window listened raptly to piano sounds, followed the progression of improvisations by the STEIGREIF.orchester, and marvelled at the combination of gestures and music in the composition “Aphasia”.

Before the evening events started, there was a short interval for technical changes, and a new audience arrived as darkness fell. “Later on, there were well over 1,000 visitors on the exhibition level, waiting intently for alva noto’s show,” recounts Kristin Wömmel, Head of Event Management. “That proved how attractive and flexible the Futurium is as a venue.”

Artist Carsten Nicolai aka alva noto performed his composition alpha pulse futurium, making the building pulsate in rhythmic light inside and outside, before various musicians headed up by DJ Ipek opened the dance floor, luring the audience to the lounge party. The day ended with a chill-out session featuring plays on sounds in the urban space, with trains travelling on from the tracks behind the Futurium in a projection on the exhibition level.

Photographs: Ali Ghandtschi, Jan Windszus