Creating public space for thinking in Brain City Berlin: the opening of the Futurium
06.09.2019 | Almost everyone's occupied with the future, because it's going to affect all of us. The Futurium, which opened yesterday in Brain City Berlin, invites everyone to grapple with the future, ask questions, join in discussions, and start to shape it. The new house of sciences near Berlin's main rail station will allow people to explore ideas about the future.
The queue of visitors wanting to explore the Berlin Futurium on the official opening night extends all the way to the banks of the Spree. There are also crowds on the forecourt with its large white dots making their way to the new Berlin museum of the future. They're engaged in deep conversation on the curved concrete benches and simply marveling in amazement at the futuristic building with its glass façade and front sloping at an angle.
While the hustle and bustle below seems well rooted in the here and now, the lettering on the sloping facade above their heads points to tomorrow: "How do we want to live?" stands there in white letters. A question that drives the concept of the Futurium, which opened on 5 September. "We are convinced that we all have a stake in our future! That is why the Futurium is aimed at the great breadth of society. This is where the fundamental question of how we want to live will be negotiated on three complementary levels," the Director of the Futurium, Dr. Stefan Brandt, said at the official opening ceremony that afternoon. In attendance were about 550 invited guests, including Dr. Helge Braun, Head of the German Chancellor's Office, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek, and ESA astronaut Dr. Alexander Gerst.
The three conceptual pillars of the Futurium:
- Exhibition Addresses five key topics in our world: nutrition, health, energy, work, and city living. It is planned as a permanent, yet fluid exhibition. Fluid in the sense that the themes will gradually be modified and expanded. Visitors are asked to participate in that process.
- Futurium Lab: this hands-on lab gives visitors a chance to try out their own ideas.
- Forum: where everyone can engage in discussions on future topics and ask questions.
Place of exchange and future
All of the content and topics addressed by the Futurium were developed by a team of scientists. Experts in research and the wider society advised the team in the choice of content; they primarily concern the challenges and opportunities of the future. And the topics that will shape these, such as climate change, energy supply, and consumption.
"The Futurium will show how much creativity, exploratory spirit, and visionary power will be needed to drive developments. This is important for our country," explained Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek at the opening ceremony. "The Futurium will be a place for dialog about the future, where citizens not only can inform themselves, but also make suggestions." And astronaut Alexander Gerst added: "I am pleased that with the opening of the Futurium a place has been created where hopefully many visitors will experience the spirit of discovery." (vdo)
Futuristic building in central location
The Futurium, which cost about €58 million to build, is now open to the public, offering more 3,000 m² for exploring the future. The project was financed and realized by the Federal Ministry of Research, major German research institutes, industry, and various foundations. With its central location directly on the River Spree between Berlin Central Station and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), it is easy to reach for Berliners and visitors alike.
On the opening weekend from 5 to 8 September 2019, the Futurium will celebrate a big “festival of future” with music, workshops, labs, guided tours, games, and discussions. Visitors can take part in the program free of charge. From Monday, September 9, 2019, the house will be open regular hours. Admission is free. This, too, is part of the concept, says Futurium Director Dr. Stefan Brandt: "This will allow visitors to explore the House of the Future gradually and over time."
Opening: room view with people: ©Futurium/Jan Windszus; people at Work Stations: ©Futurium/Ali Ghandtschi
White dots: vdo