People Thinking Lab 2016

New technologies are shaping the world in which we’ll be living. But the facts & circumstances of everyday life in the future won’t be determined by these technologies alone. The ideas, attitudes, needs and relationships of the human beings who populate that future will play just as big a part. Therefore, the People Thinking Lab is querying festivalgoers about their wishes, visions and expectations as a way of bringing about a bit of that future world together with them.


Great interest in the entrance area’s People Thinking Lab during the Ars Electronica Festivals 2016.. Credit: Markus Scholl


In fulfilling its function as a pop-up lab, PostCity is morphing into an open setting for research. By making a contribution to the People Thinking Wall, a festivalgoer becomes a Radical Atom in human form and can also consider what her/his peers think about issues of key importance to our future.


In the first step, people strike a pose to obtain a Shadowgram. Credit: Florian Voggeneder


By posting an entry on the People Thinking Wall, festivalgoers became a Radical Atom in human form. The technology that made this possible is called Shadowgram, an installation developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab that let people create a sticker shaped like their own silhouette. Attaching a speech balloon to it let them state their ideas, expectations and wishes for the future, and post them for other festivalgoers to see.


Last but not least, by placing a speech bubbe, people state their wishes  for the future. Credit: Florian Voggenender


By  filling out the speech balloon by means of an Anoto pen, the anonymous statements written on paper were digitized in real time. That collection of data gave a representation on peoples’ perspectives on life and the future. Moreover, the audience could partake in an evaluation called  „Humankind in 2030 – Wishes and Values“.



The People Thinking Lab is an initiative of Future Catalysts, a partnership formed in 2014 by Hakuhodo, Japan’s leading media agency, and the Futurelab, Ars Electronica’s dynamically innovative R&D facility.


Read the full story behind the People Thinking Lab on the Ars Electronica Blog.


Ars Electronica Futurelab : Roland Haring. Anna Kuthan, Martina Mara, Hideaki Ogawa, Shoko Takahashi,  Marianne Ternek,

Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living