Museums of the FutureNow

From the seers of ancient cultures to the science fiction writers of today, humans have envisioned the future. Our world, our technology, the story of who we are is shaped by visionary future thinking. The Museums of the FutureNow is an evolving artwork and participatory process that engages people and their imagination in exploring the web of ecological, cultural, technological and political factors that combine to create complex challenges for society and environment both now and in the future.

The work of the The Museums of the FutureNow contains both research and innovative public enquiry and exists at the intersection of futures thinking and storytelling. We believe that the use of social imagination can help us understand personal and collective agency, reconsider dominant narratives, and affirm that all of us can make the future.

The Museums of the FutureNow is a collaboration between artists Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges (www.colemanhodges.com) and Dr. Mike Bonaventura. Further information on the following page : Background

The Museums

The Solway Hoard
Museum of Climate Futures
Museum of Future Food

Other Museums

The Museum Process:

The Museums of the FutureNow uses objects from a museum set in the future, to create speculative scenarios that explore the drivers and dynamics of change. Some of the museums are designed to focus on specific issues such as climate, food, cultural regeneration or public space and they all involve a participatory process.

On arrival at a ‘museum’, participants explore The Museum of Future Food, an installation that introduces participants to the Museum of the FutureNow. Participants then work in small groups, each group choosing an object from the archives of the Museums of the FutureNow. They pick three cards that give them the context of the object; date, place and driver (technology, culture, politics, religion, economy, society, environment) Within a 30 minute time limit, they collaborate on developing speculative scenarios that narrate the provenance of each object and present this back to the group for discussion.

“You have crafted a really simple, totally ingenious and very effective vehicle for trying to think about the future. Of all the ’tools’ I have been involved in using to imagine 20, 30, 50 years ahead, this has been the most enjoyable and I actually think meaningful. ” 

Workshop participant. Creative Carbon Scotland. May 2016

A selection of objects from the Museums of the FutureNow:

Museum workshops creating speculative scenarios:

Further information: Case Study

The Museums of the FutureNow has been included as a case study in The Greening Arts Practice Guide [GAP Guide] by Chrysalis Arts. The PDF is downloadable HERE

The Museums of the FutureNow was long listed for Reimagining Museums for Climate Action, an AHRC-funded research project & exhibition for COP26 inspiring radical change in museums to address the climate crisis: https://www.museumsforclimateaction.org/reimagine/concepts/the-museum-as-storyteller