Custodians of the Past or Shapers of the Future? @ Humboldt Forum

Ten years after its launch, as the intense debates surrounding the Humboldt Forum continue, Hybrid Space Lab’s provocative Humboldt Jungle proposal remains relevant!

Custodians of Past or Shapers of Future? @ Humboldt Forum, Berlin, 13 June 2024


The Humboldt Jungle – developed when the funds needed for the Humboldt Forum’s baroque stone façade were still lacking and consultations were open for alternative proposals – formulated a strong vision for the appropriation of the Forum.

However, the currently re-emerging debate in Berlin about the Humboldt Forum is narrowly focussed and is primarily concerned with its façade and the (German) context of the Forum and the traumatic history of its location.
Although the importance of historical commemoration is acknowledged, the focus on the past does not do justice to the urgent current need for global dialogue and the challenges of the environmental crisis.
It is therefore necessary to move from a narrow national frame of reference to a broader global, interconnected and collaborative perspective.

Hybrid Space Lab has therefore initiated an idea generation program to develop global dialogue spaces for the future of cultural institutions.
The aim is to foster an innovative ecosystem of international collaboration that could be relevant in dealing with the complexities of today’s globalised world and tackling the planetary environmental crisis.

The Humboldt Forum’s mission to create an agora for the global dialogue of cultures is undoubtedly promising. But why should this only be a centralised location in Berlin? It would make more sense to pursue a forward-looking approach that focuses on decentralised interaction in order to take account of the diversity of global society. A hybrid gaming environment is therefore being developed on the basis of a digital twin of the Humboldt Forum that facilitates transcultural exchange and helps to negotiate the diverse conflict situations surrounding the Forum and its practices today.

Humboldt KOSMOS, which was launched with an international workshop on 12 January 2024, is an experimental space that focuses on the future of museums and cultural environments.
It is an ideation programme to develop a global platform for interaction and exchange to promote desirable shared natural-cultural futures!

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