KOSMOS

KOSMOS is a prototype for innovative venues dedicated to global cultural interaction and an experimentation space for the future of museums and cultural institutions.

Offering a hybrid (combined digital/physical) infrastructure that fosters transcultural exchange, KOSMOS is open to all people and communities worldwide who have Internet access to participate in this co-creative platform, to interact and collectively envision new cultural futures.

Drawing on the understanding that culture is necessarily polyphonic, KOSMOS engages international cultural players, artists, game developers, and other experts in playful collaborative practices.

Workshop Kosmos @ Hybrid Space Lab, 17 May 2024

KOSMOS

KOSMOS is a prototype for innovative venues dedicated to global cultural interaction and an experimentation space for the future of museums and cultural institutions. Offering a hybrid (combined digital/physical) infrastructure that fosters transcultural exchange, KOSMOS is open to all people and communities worldwide who have Internet access to participate in this co-creative platform, to interact and collectively envision new cultural futures. Drawing on the understanding that culture is necessarily polyphonic, KOSMOS engages international cultural players, artists, game developers, and other experts in playful collaborative practices.

KOSMOS is a fictional universe, a hybrid (combined physical/digital) environment that supports negotiating multiple conflictual situations around today’s challenges, by playfully addressing them. It is therefore an arena to discuss big issues of our time: Who owns cultural heritage? Whose voices dominate the discourses and which minorities remain marginalized and invisible? How does climate injustice feel? How are transcultural narratives that go beyond the focus on narrow human interests in the Anthropocene envisioned? These issues and questions are translated into entertaining, provocative, and forward-looking hybrid game scenarios. With a proactive, action-based and solution-driven engagement with these challenges, users can overcome biases, co-creating and envisioning productive futures.

Infrastructure

The KOSMOS infrastructure supports a fictional universe that is progressively enriched, narrated, and built through the participation of an international network of participants. This co-creative approach favors merging, mutual contamination and enrichment across different fields, practices, and backgrounds, allowing for experimentation and developing meaningful models to discuss, envision, and implement.

With the KOSMOS-platform accessible from anywhere at any time, it is a meeting point in the Multiverse, where the experiences of the players are processed in online symposia, discussions and workshops, and playful gaming interactions. The content created – including texts, audio, video, and 3D virtual environments – gradually fills and transforms the platform into an archive of international contemporary cultural debates and discourses. And as KOSMOS is developing into a dynamic digital, networked archive that enables the integration of side-lined voices, it also considers issues connected with digital heritage, bolstering innovative ideas on (the future of) heritage in the digital age.

Simultaneously, KOSMOS is anchored in physical space with the help of AR applications and VR installations. With mobile interfaces that can travel internationally and enhance hybrid format workshops around the globe, KOSMOS is embedded in trans-local sociocultural environments.

The KOSMOS modular mobile media infrastructure enables fine-grain integration of art and cultural co-creation in localities around the world. It offers a re-configurable and modular structure, consisting of elements that provide a broadcasting studio infrastructure and media connection. Relying on mobile elements such as busses, containers and/or boats, it also pays attention to the needs of the nano-scale, too, by equipping light-weight vehicles such as tricycles to enable local, neighborhood circulation of technological infrastructure, infiltrating cultural realities.

KOSMOS supports cultural exchanges across localities, enabling peripheral cultural actors and communities, e.g. in rural areas and/or the Global South, to be strengthened and thus promoting the decentralization of culture and reformulating spatial cultural hierarchies. The projects’ hyperlocality – also in the sense of connecting local physical spaces and their challenges together with global discourses – strengthens a “planetary thinking”!

Habitat

Contemporary challenges such as the climate crisis and accelerating biodiversity-loss urge us to go beyond the nature-culture divide, as this dichotomy between humans and their environments is closely connected to world views that consider humans separate from and superior to the context from which we emerge.

KOSMOS focusses on conflictual situations around global climate (in)justice and looks at alternative narratives that integrate other systems of knowledge and ways of conceiving the world that could help us address the challenges of the Anthropocene. KOSMOS focusses on a broad range of interrelated challenges around our habitat as our common networked heritage that needs to be preserved and positively developed into the future. KOSMOS is therefore committed to a world view that considers nature and culture so tightly interwoven that they cannot be considered separately.

In ancient Greek, Κόσμος (cosmos) is a term referring to the world or universe and is closely tied to the idea of the dynamic interconnectedness of all things, as well as to the concept of beauty and richness. KOSMOS therefore evokes, calls for, and provokes these meanings.

By developing an international network of exchange, addressing cultural as well as environmental challenges, KOSMOS also echoes Alexander von Humboldt’s work “Kosmos”, which explores the natural world in the interweaving of all its elements and dimensions as a networked system. Published between 1845 and 1862, in the encyclopedic spirit of the time, the work describes Humboldt’s travels and observations. This visually rich work is a beautiful, comprehensive, and insightful exploration of the natural world that continues to inspire and inform scientific thought today.

Offering space for more-than-human alliances and taking into consideration todays deeply interconnected global climate and biodiversity crises, the fictional landscapes of KOSMOS is in the most genuine sense of world-making and world-generating, as a cosmogony, creating possibilities for future existences.

Futures

KOSMOS’ infinite future trajectories give space for all sorts of digitally supported trans-local interactions, exchange, and negotiation – ranging from role-games, mini-theatres and improvisation sessions, to new symposium-formats, supporting the development of new narratives.

With worldbuilding gaming methods and artistic processes of constructing imaginary worlds, feeding into and contributing to making other future worlds possible by imagining them and telling their stories. KOSMOS is an experimentation space for our common nature-cultural futures!

related PROJECTS

NatureTecture

The international travelling exhibition NatureTecture presents the fields of landscape architecture in all their breadth and relevance.
The exhibition is based on landscape architectural expertise from North Rhine-Westphalia and refers to examples of landscape architecture from NRW.
NatureTecture focuses on those fields of work that will become increasingly important internationally for the design of our living environments and formulates relevant questions for the future.
The NatureTecture exhibition is dedicated to the tasks and instruments of qualifying landscape in the post-industrial age.
The international travelling exhibition on the fields of work of landscape architecture is organized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia with the support of the Ministry of Building and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Concept NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 1 September 2009
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects, Düsseldorf, Germany 11 Februar -17 March 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, Berlin, Germany, 9 June-12 July 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects of Jeollabuk-Do Province (KIRA Jeonbuk), Republic of Korea, 1 September- 4 September 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Building Culture Fair Daejeon 2010, Republic of Korea, 14-19 October 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Architecture and Urbanism Fair Gwangju, Republic of Korea, 3-7 November 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Turkish Chamber of Architects of the Metropolis of Istanbul, Turkey, 26 November-10 December 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ 20th Anniversary of German Reunification, Busan, Republic of Korea, 8-14 December 2010

related PRESS