Driving the Human is a catalyst for experimentation, shaping sustainable and collective futures that combine science, technology, and the arts in a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach.

From 2020 to 2023, the scientific and artistic collaboration Driving the Human developed and produced seven tangible prototypes responding to complex contemporary scenarios. The project was jointly led by four partner institutions – acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering, Forecast, the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe – and relied on the expert knowledge and skills of their combined networks. Together, these partners worked to enrich the various developments and outcomes of the initiative.

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Following its first public presentation in November 2020, Driving the Human launched an open call, inviting several participants – designers, artists and other multidisciplinary agents – to engage with these knowledge networks and multidisciplinary know-how, in order to develop future-proof concepts and test them as prototypes. The seven final prototypes can materialize in different ways: from walk-in room installations to designed objects, architectural mock-ups to interactive games, video works to performances, and many others.

Throughout 2023, the community of participants, experts, and the larger audience that Driving the Human brought together explored diverse phenomena such as the social impact of global warming, energy cycles and technology-driven disruptions, the impact of collective decision making, and contemporary processes of exchanging values and objects. The results of these explorations were be shared and communicated over the project’s three-year duration, and deployed strategies for action in the form of physical experiences, with a strong individual and collective impact. Ultimately, they created tools that enabled new ways of envisioning and inhabiting the world.