Places of Hope - appetite for the future

Places of Hope is an exhibition about the future. It deals with the question how the future surfaces in the present; in the way we think we ‘know’ things about the future, what we feel about the future, and how we in other ways relate to the future.

Places of Hope is a transdisciplinary experiment aiming to build on what we know about the future to fuel a debate on how we want to live and organize that future. The exhibition does so through ‘experiential futuring’: through immersive installations in which visitors are invited to actively position themselves in the future. The Urban Futures Studio has contributed to curating five rooms that are presented below.

Apart from this role in research and curating the Urban Futures Studio is actively programming the ‘University of Hope’; monthly meetings in the ‘atrium’ in the midst of the exhibition spaces. For programme details, please see


Hope for the future
Places of Hope starts from presumption that people generally are all but too aware of the challenges of the 21th century, in particular the way in which we relate to nature and to each other. They know about the immanent dangers of climate change and the broader issues of how we relate to nature. They also feel the tensions between individual freedom and the wish to belong to communities.

Yet too often such ‘negatives’ are used as starting point for discussions about the future. At the exhibition Places of Hope (until November 25th, 2018) we explore a different path: can we create a better future by showing or experiencing glimpses of how life in the future might be better? More social, more prosperous, more ecologically sound? All using the dictum ‘Zin in de toekomst’ / ‘Looking forward to the future’.

Sustainable living can open up new possibilities for re-thinking the relationship between cities and regions, for greater autonomy, for new political rights and freedoms, for a different way of experiencing leisure time, for reconsiderations of economic feasibility, and for a different perspective on our self in relation to others and to nature. This is the exploration that we put forward with exhibition Places of Hope in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.