Yesterday, around 15,000 visitors celebrated “A Day in the Future” at the Futurium. With its Open House programme, the Futurium offered insights into the world of tomorrow. In addition to the extensive family programme and numerous artistic highlights, discussions took place, and lectures were held, on topics of the future with guests such as Klaus Töpfer, Christian Schwägerl, Jutta Allmendinger, Antje Boetius, Friedrich von Borries and Dunja Hayali. The light and sound artist Carsten Nicolai aka alva noto premiered his work alpha pulse – futurium berlin.
“We are very pleased about the great response of the audience to our format ‘A Day in the Future’. With around 15,000 visitors, even our boldest expectations were exceeded. For us, this is evidence of the fact that our open and interdisciplinary approach to questions of the future is meeting with great public interest. And of course, many guests were also fascinated by the spectacular architecture by Jan Musikowski and Christoph Richter,” said Dr Stefan Brandt, Director of the Futurium.
Together with the public, the Futurium celebrated the completion of its building with the event “A Day in the Future. Open House at the Futurium”. Thousands took the opportunity to visit the Futurium, which, for the first time, temporarily opened its doors for a day.
The programme was opened at 11:00 by Dr Stefan Brandt and the keynote speaker Professor Dr Dr h.c. Klaus Töpfer, a former German Federal Minister. Other speakers included Professor Dr h.c. Jutta Allmendinger, Professor Dr Antje Boetius, Professor Dr Reinhold Popp, Christian Schwägerl and Professor Dr Lucian Hölscher. The thematic spectrum of the scientific lectures ranged from the city of the future, self-driving cars and the future of the seas to developments in the field of artificial intelligence. In interactive Pecha Kucha presentations and “Speakdating” sessions visitors entered into direct dialogue with the Futurium team and the building’s architects.
The Robotics Lab in the basement of the building enticed visitors to participate in the RoboCup, a soccer tournament of intelligent robots. This is also where visitors created their own robots in order to have them compete against each other in the Hebocon scrap-robot competition. Robot Pepper, who explained to all with interest the future scenarios that are likely to be displayed in future exhibitions on the exhibition floor, turned out to be a crowd puller. Throughout the day, members of the cultural centre Radialsystem V gave musical performances on the future exhibition floor. In the foyer, several interactive points – including the virtual-reality flight simulator Icaros, the Database of Hopes and the Worldbuilding Studio – were available for visitors. The film museum Deutsche Kinemathek presented a selection of classic science fiction films. In cooperation with the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” (Little Scientists’ House) Foundation, the Futurium gave its youngest visitors the opportunity to discover the future in a playful way.
The robot band “Compressorhead: Made of Metal, Built to Rock” received a lot of attention with its performances in the forecourt. The Urban Dance Company Flying Steps Academy danced its own interpretations of the themes “Urban Life”, “Robot World” and “Nature”, thereby contributing to the dynamics of the day. From 22:00 on, the event continued at the Lounge Party with a performance by Carsten Nicolai aka alva noto and with beats provided by DJ Ipek, before fading out with the Chillout Session in the early morning hours.
The event “A Day in the Future. Open House at the Futurium” marked the beginning of a multi-stage opening schedule, which Dr Stefan Brandt, the Futurium’s new Director since 1 June 2017, developed together with Commercial Managing Director Nicole Schneider and the Futurium team. In the second phase in May 2018, as part of interdisciplinary Programme Weeks, the Futurium will present its three scheduled focus areas for exhibitions, namely, our future relationship with technology, with nature and with ourselves as human beings. In addition, the Futurium Lab will invite visitors to participate on selected weekends from May to October 2018. The opening of the Futurium in its entirety is scheduled for spring 2019.
Images: Jan Windszus. Above: 15,000 visitors at “A Day in the Future. Open House at the Futurium”. Below: Dunja Hayali (journalist), Dr Stefan Brandt (Director of the Futurium), Professor Dr Dr h.c. Klaus Töpfer (former German Federal Minister)