Monday, November 20, 2017

What is Futurium?

A joint initiative of the German Federal Government, prestigious research institutions and business representatives, the spectacularly designed Futurium situated in the heart of the governmental area with its equally outstanding buildings is aimed to offer a platform about the future. Its official opening is expected at the beginning of 2019 but in the last months there were organised a couple of open house events allowing the great public to visit the precinct. 
Futurium is aimed to be a global inter-disciplinary platform where arts, research, public interest and business are coming together to discuss and understand the life developments of tomorrow. 
The building, bordered by the Reichstag and the Hauptbahnhof, both symbols of the present and the future of the new bold Germany, covers 3,200 sqm. of exhibition space spread over 3 massive floors. The main hall opens with a full view of the Reichstag and other institutional buildings part of the German government.
At the time of my visit at the open house this summer, there were many interesting art installations displayed, with a focus on creating synergies between creativity and innovative technical ideas. This installation for instance, made by the Moscow-born Berlin based artist Misha Shenbrot is called Denkraum (Meditation space) and its aimed at offering an environment for evaluation of the present needs and wishes, opportunities and needs.
For both big and small people, a meeting with a talking robot is the epitome of a journey to the future, and this little white guy is there to answer a couple of questions. Children of all ages will be an important target public of Futurium too, as potential future decisions makers and not only.
Another interesting art project displayed during my visit was Continuum, including among others harpsichordist Elina Albach, a meditation about the place of old music into the new musical trends.
It was interesting to notice the role of music and arts, in general, into the Futurium portfolio, as an universal way to communicate within different generations, ethnical and linguistic backgrounds.
The architecture of the space belongs to Richter&Musikowski, a young team of architects with an impressive portfolio of future-oriented modern architecture. The conception is build around the idea of openness and accessibility, with the transparent walls reflecting the sky and the outside environment. One of the most spectacular so far is the 'skywalk' on the top of the building, offering the best angle over both the Reichstag and the governmental area and the Charité hospital complex. 
But there is also something more than the interesting architecture: the entire building relies entirely on renewable energies. Walking on the roof reveals also a multitude of photovoltaic and energy collector installations
I never been an avid science-fiction reader and I always need some time to set up in the future-mood, but at Futurium I had the feeling that the future is all around, but it will not be created and imposed by others, eventually from the top of a colourful UFO plate, but it belongs to each and every one of us to shape it. Because human minds can create - and destroy - everything with a purpose, including an orchestra of robots playing all by themselves - and requesting a break once in a while too. 

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