Do I still have to work in the future? What does the luck of tomorrow look like? How does it feel to know everything about me? Or: When will my smartphone fall in love with me? Who enters the Futurium, gets these questions presented directly. Between three curved black dividing walls, where colorful stripes of light slowly change color, the questions flash on small rectangles again and again.
Questions that concern everyone, some more, some less. In the recently opened Zukunftsmuseum in Berlin, visitors are asked to think for themselves how they want to imagine their everyday lives in just a few decades, how they want to live, work, live, and consume. The Futurium should be a place for everyone, admission is free. "The future belongs to all of us", says the website. But they are all very many.
It is Monday, three days before the opening. In the exhibition rooms is still tinkering with subtleties, on "please do not touch" signs and installations. Stefan Brandt, the director of perhaps the first real museum of the future in Germany, is sitting on the fifth floor of the office wing, the sun is shining into his office. "The future is like football," says Brandt. "Everyone understands something and everybody is convinced that he knows something about it." For the Futurium it was important not to listen too much to what others think. It took "courage to choose". Otherwise you would probably never finished. "Of course, the futurium does not depict every possible future," says Brandt, "but part of it."
Future with many gimmicks
Everything, in part or nothing? Future is a flexible term. And as long as things have not happened yet, they are purely hypothetical scenarios - this applies to the outcome of the Bundesliga matches at the weekend as well as for a final bang in the universe. That's why it's so hard to imagine the future: we just do not know it. The Futurium is an attempt to approach it. The focus is on people, nature and technology in a medium-term future of about 30 to 50 years - "about the lifespan of a generation," says Brandt. The responsible people spoke to scientists for this.
For the first time, the result is surprisingly unspectacular: In Denkraum Technik you'll find meter-high, white-lit walls. They look like the information boards that you also know from other museums. But if you take a closer look, you'll discover little interactive gimmicks everywhere: videos explaining the solar system; Sensors that use the brainwaves to detect whether we are relaxed or stressed; Tablets that give you more information about a small model city. In between, there are always works of art, such as a light installation, which is supposed to represent a computer center. There are motives made for the generation Instagram.
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Just take pictures or absorb information, but that's not what you want in Futurium. The explanatory texts are short, people should try and experience for themselves. In Denkraum Mensch, you can check your own consumption on a display with a survey and see how much you actually consume. Nearby are small notebooks with titles such as "Rent and share", "Car-free on the road" or "Vegetarian food". It contains a list of pilot projects that already exist today. If you want, you can supplement your own ideas on free pages. Food for thought and approaches are close to each other here.