Empathic Futures Exhibition

A Look Into the Future of Mobility

Client:

Volkswagen Future Center

Location:

Berlin | Germany

Date:

2017–2018

Planned, designed and realized for the Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe, Empathic Futures is an interactive and participatory exhibition about developing trust between humans and autonomous systems. Its aim is to inspire the public to imagine and shape a future in which empathy serves as a guiding principle for human-machine communication.

Project Phases:

Concept | Planning | Design | Realization | Operation

Role:

Concept and Content Development | Architectural Planning | Interior Design | Exhibition Design | Art Direction | Interactive Media Development | Digital Media Production | Tender Management | Production Controlling | On-Site Coordination | Maintenance

How will we develop trust in intelligent systems that make important decisions on our behalf? Let’s find out together!

Autonomous transportation systems raise challenging questions about trust, agency and communication. The rapid advancement of technology in this area sparks fear as well as excitement. Empathic Futures responds to the complexity of this topic by providing a thought-provoking platform for visitors to actively participate and contribute their opinions – inspiring questions and ideas rather than delivering definite answers.

During its run over several months at the Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin, the bilingual exhibition attracted a wide range of visitors with innovative exhibits employing various media and technologies.

 

From digital archives, custom-made tablet apps, interactive installations and projections to informative books, posters and films: the exhibition offered ample opportunity to browse, engage and discuss.

The interactive centerpiece of the exhibition were the Dialogue With the Future stations, at which the public was invited to give their opinion on selected principles of human-machine communication.

 

The automotive arms of the stations – a playful nod to the theme of autonomous systems – encouraged visitors to follow along and actively participate.

The Future Stories Explorer allows access to hundreds of real-life conversations between people and intelligent machines from the Empathic Futures app experiment.

 

The entire archive is available online: explore it here.

The Conversation Wall offers a fascinating glimpse into the future by highlighting frequent topics of conversation between humans and empathic machines on a printout of actual chats from the experiment.

Empathic Futures is an ongoing research project. For more information on the experiment and the exhibition, visit www.empathicfutures.com.