© HKW, Keri Facer

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself in the year 2037. How does it feel? Are you panicking or do you still have hope? In case it helps, the only thing that’s certain is that 2037 will come. Everything else is mere conjecture and there are alternatives to all of them: the future as an inspiring empty space that we can shape.

The keyword Future is about visions and utopias, but also with a view to the past. For example, students design their idea of a future school along the lines of Schools of To-Morrow, a classic work about educational reform published in 1915, or they draw inspiration from the utopian Whole Earth Catalog. In the 1960s, it was already inspiring hippies and technophiles – incidentally, near what would later become Silicon Valley.

The blurred outlines of four people can be seen against a black background. All the people are wearing white coveralls. One person is also wearing the hood of the coverall on their head. Two nearly human-sized sculptures are also visible. They are shaped like robots. The sculptures were probably made of cardboard. The robots are silver and bronze in color.

© HKW, Die Bibliothekare

The future that was yesterday or could be tomorrow – everything revolves around inspiration: Supplemented by talks and interventions, workshops guide us through virtual and physical spaces. Long-aspired productions are attempted, computers are taken apart or smartphones are used for physical relaxation in a #HotPhone massage. In this way, digital learning, cultural history studies and artistic practices combine to create a collective probing of this empty space called the future. Outcome uncertain, inspiration guaranteed.

Here you will find further material on the topic. Translations of original English versions into German are linked separately under (Ger.).

Thoughts on a School of the Future (Ger.) by Keri Facer, on A New Learning Paradigm (Ger.) by Mizuko Ito, on Politics of Hope (Ger.) by Arjun Appadurai, with a commentary by Carmen Mörsch (2017).

General insights into collaboration with schools can be found at Future Schools and in the project series Schools of Tomorrow 1 & 2 (2017/18) and Schools of Tomorrow 3 (2021) as well as Schools of Sustainability (2021) and Dear Future ... (2021). Supplementing them are the research programs New Alphabet School (since 2019), Anthropocene Curriculum (since 2018) and Cultures d’Avenir (2021/2022).

Further reading

A practical guide for teachers, The Student Manifesto and the publication Schools of Tomorrow (2017); an Encyclopedia of the terminology of the Anthropocene Project as well as the publication series The New Alphabet (2021/2022).