Annual Theme: Raw Materials


Discover new exhibits, exciting talks, workshops and events for the family. All around raw materials. At Futurium.

Raw materials determine our lives. Our whole existence rests upon them: we build our houses with them; we power our cars and machines with their energy; we bake our bread with them and use them in our smartphones and computers. A world without raw materials? Unimaginable. Yet we’re facing major challenges: our demand for raw materials is constantly rising; their extraction is damaging to nature and the environment; and many people are suffering from the impacts of resource mining and from the unequal distribution of raw materials. And what about the future? We want to explore with you how raw materials can be extracted, distributed and used in a responsible and fair manner. In the future, how many of them do we really need to consume – and how many do we actually want to consume? Which resources should we use? And how can raw materials be reused? Initial solutions to these pressing future questions are already available. In the exhibition, you can find out how raw materials can be extracted in a more environmentally friendly way, why the circular economy is sustainable and what urban mining is all about. In the Lab, you can put the materials of the future under the microscope for a closer look. And in the Forum, you can discuss with our experts resource policy and the fair distribution of raw materials. Be there, share your ideas and let yourself be inspired!

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In the exhibition

In the exhibition, you’ll discover, among other things, what effects the extraction and consumption of raw materials have on humans and nature; which players, demands and geopolitical interests shape the global raw-materials industry; and how raw materials can be extracted, recycled and reused in a manner that’s more environmentally friendly and socially equitable.

A rounded solution

In our marble run, everything runs in circles – just like in the circular economy. In this new form of economic activity, products are used for as long as possible. If they’re no longer viable, they don’t end up on the scrap heap, but are transformed into something new. We teamed up with the artists from “Selbstgebaute Musik” (“Self-Built Music”) and initiatives from the “Haus der Materialisierung” (“House of Materialisation”) near Alexanderplatz to try out the principle and to convert our marble run into an interactive point for our visitors. In doing so, we preserved as much of the marble run as possible. Any material required for the expansion had either been used before or been recycled. By reusing, we saved untapped resources and avoided waste. As a result, the exhibition now has a new sound experience in store for you: with the help of three crank handles, you can let the marbles roll into the system and produce sounds at three sound stations. If you start all the marbles at the same time, the sounds come together to produce a harmonious interplay.

Visitor from the future

Meet Rawtopia – our raw-material mascot from the future! In its world, everything works far more sustainably than in our reality of today: raw material cycles are omnipresent; resources are used optimally. Drawing on a wealth of experience, Rawtopia will guide you through conceivable and desirable scenarios for the future. It knows things that are unknown to us and is aware of developments that for us at the moment are little more than a pipe dream. Rawtopia, designed by Mic Beyer from Lololand, will introduce you to innovations that have already been put into practice and proven themselves in the world of the future from which it comes. You’ll find our mascot at five media points. Join it on a voyage of discovery through the raw-materials universe and do the raw-materials check with it in the Thinking Space Nature!

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All that glitters is not gold

You want to make a glitzy appearance? Then the right glitter-eyeshadow is an absolute must. And our make-up tutorial is just what you need! Our chatty influencer will also tell you about mica – the mineral that causes the shimmer and which can also be found in paints and electronic devices. And it’s by no means as harmless as it looks. On the one hand, the extraction and trade of the raw material provide a livelihood for workers. On the other hand, the conditions under which they mine the mineral are – in some places – illegal, unfair and involve child labour. How can this problem be solved?

Fair play

Ruthless profit maximisation will get you nowhere in our Fair-o-poly game. Responsible entrepreneurs are wanted. But taking all sides into account isn’t all that easy: as the manager of a nickel mine, you want to improve the working conditions of your employees, share profits fairly and make sure the environment is protected. But other interests keep thwarting your plans. Will you manage to achieve your goals? In Fair-o-poly, you can experience the production conditions of raw materials in the global South. This is no trivial undertaking: the interrelations and dependencies involved block many an attempt to improve the conditions, leading to bitter setbacks. But there are also success stories that give cause for optimism.

Visit the new exhibits on raw materials in our permanent exhibition.

In the Lab

In the Futurium Lab, you can put the materials of the future under the microscope for a closer look and experience the practical implementation of the circular economy by means of the ubiquitous mobile phone.


One of the keys to a more sustainable future lies in the concept of the circular economy. At the heart of this approach are the so-called “R strategies”, encompassing the principles of refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. These strategies also form the basis for the game “RRRRR”. In a playful way, it gives you an understanding of how the circular economy works and what its benefits are. Using the example of a mobile phone, you’ll discover how targeted measures can conserve resources and extend the useful lives of products. Created by IMAGINARY.

Hidden Treasures

How can we make the best possible use of natural and renewable raw materials? More than 50 innovative and sustainable materials demonstrate how it can be done. The products on display have been manufactured using minimal amounts of energy during production and are easy to recycle. Many of the exhibited objects are made from renewable raw materials that decompose biologically after use. In addition, a number of these alternative products are already on the market today. So we can immediately start producing and purchasing differently. By HAUTE INNOVATION.


The “Multipolar” media installation symbolises the importance of chemistry for research into future materials. It illustrates how a limited number of raw materials can be turned into a variety of materials with different properties. The installation resembles a giant molecule that is constantly moving, reacting and changing. By ATELIER-E.

In our Forum

In the Forum, you can get together with experts to discuss issues such as the politics of raw materials and their fair distribution.
Our current programme of events in a variety of formats on the theme of raw materials is available in our calendar of events.


Secret mission

Perhaps you only came to have a look at Futurium’s exhibition in order to discover the new thematic focus of “Raw Materials” interactively … but suddenly something unexpected happens and you find yourself in the middle of an exciting thriller!

Discover our new escape game “Project HORIZON”. With up to three fellow players by your side, you’ll be helping a scientist solve a tricky case. Click here to go to the events page.

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© TaTrung

Treasure hunt

Watch out, treasure hunters! Together with Berlin’s street cleaners BSR, we’ve hidden somewhere within the city five raw material treasures that are now waiting to be found by you. At the launch event on 4 May 2024, there’ll also be a prize to win. Click here for more information (German only).

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© Scholz & Friends