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Imagining and communicating the unknown

How to predict, imagine and communicate what the future of our planet or society might look like to our audience? How can we use science to explore uncharted territories without falling into the issue of being too kitsch, too doom and gloom, too futuristic or naive? How can we as practitioners bridge the gap between science and fiction to create a meaningful visitor experience that allows and empowers them to project themselves into the unknown?

This session will endeavour to explore this theme, bringing a range of viewpoints from exhibition developers, artists and experience designers, who will share their thoughts on current, past and future projects. After short case studies, the audience will be invited to share their own experiences and respond to the ideas proposed by the speakers.


Directrice des Editions et Transmédia - Digital director

Session speakers

Mark Read
Exhibition developer
Our exhibition “Survival” will use three immersive fictions to explore our fears and hopes for the future in an age of uncertainties. Each tackles a different survival situation, using storytelling to elicit or unlock a strong emotional response. The experiences are then analysed, first by the visitors themselves and then with the help of experts. By creating space for an emotional as well as an intellectual response to our fears about the future, the exhibition aims to create a bridge between the science and the fiction of survival in the Anthropocene age.
Scientific foresight teams have been building mathematical models to predict major future changes regarding very diverse fields, such as population, natural resources, climate, etc… and produce data. DATA OF THE FUTURE a graphic narrative experience showcases today’s scientific projections data in order to represent the world of 2050 and 2100 regarding these themes. It will immerse its spectators in a both visually and sound-wise, displayed on a 180° screen, with a 5.1 sound mix.
Stefan Fahrngruber
Creative director
Studio MAST
Trying to grasp the future designers have to compete with fiction, in visual appearance as well in interaction. I will show examples how we created sentient spaces that sense and bring people together, exhibits with no interaction except your voice, exhibitions where you can experience real technologies that will have impact on your life or experience spaces that help you envision the future. By challenging aesthetics and technologies we aspire to bring real experiences of the future into exhibitions today.
Can Augmented Reality enhance Science-Storytelling ? In our Science Center CoSA – Center of Science Activities we developed a space called CoSA_A(R)dventure. We try to do science communication in an storytelling way using AR-headsets together with interactive exhibits. We tell a story about a climate researcher. Together with her assistant HIGGS able to move between time and space. User should solve climate challenges in the past, the present or the future together with HIGGS, using the exhibits in the episode to interact with and activate holograms….