Tools for Unknown Futures

FutureEverything Festival
‘Tools for Unknown Futures’
Manchester, 27 March – 1 April
futureeverything.orgFutureEverything Summit  2013 - Image by TAPE |

FutureEverything, Manchester’s city-wide ‘festival as laboratory’ returns from 27 March – 1 April 2014 with the theme ‘Tools for Unknown Futures’.

The thought-provoking programme will feature a pop-up city, the next generation of data art, sound installations, participatory artworks, world premieres and the latest music from internationally renowned acts such as Darkside and Tim Hecker. A two-day conference for over 700 international delegates will host presentations by leading designers, urbanists, businesses, artists and academic thinkers.

Now in its 19th year, the FutureEverything festival brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future. Pioneering the idea of a ‘festival as laboratory’, it combines innovative culture – encompassing art, design, music and performance – with new technology, insightful discussion and playful social experimentation.

Festival Theme: Tools for Unknown Futures

Taking the theme of ‘Tools for Unknown Futures’, the festival will explore how we can collaborate on new tools, devices and systems to transform many spheres of life, from the arts to democracy. Drawing on powerful currents in today’s design scene, it will debate our fascination with tools as the most natural path towards social change, and open up new ways to question, imagine and make the strange, troubled thing called the future.

Drew Hemment, CEO and Founder of FutureEverything, comments:

“FutureEverything began life in 1995 as a digital culture festival. Now that digital is everywhere, part of everything, it has evolved into a laboratory for future culture, a place to hit pause, test and question our headlong rush into the world ahead. People today now spend more time online chatting to people like themselves, and less time encountering strangers. The purpose of a festival is to come together, to experience new things, to meet people who we would not ordinarily meet. FutureEverything creates a space where the ideas and insights of creative communities can be experienced and made tangible. It’s a place where the future can be made as a cultural practice, one with a sharp critical edge.”


A two day conference for over 700 delegates from around the world will take place in the neo-gothic grandeur of Manchester Town Hall from 31 March – 1 April. It will feature some of the most eminent practitioners and thinkers from the arenas of design, urbanism, art and academia, as well as numerous participatory sessions, workshops and fringe events. Subjects for discussion range from the uses of graphene and emotional computing to the principles of play in open-source development. Confirmed speakers to date include: Anab Jain, Anthony Dunne, James Bridle, Golan Levin, Seb Chan and Tom Armitage.


Contemporary and new media artworks will appear at venues across the city as part of the festival. This will include Data As Culture, a multi-venue exhibition presented in partnership with the Open Data Institute and Lighthouse, Brighton, which will explore possibilities presented by the rapid increase of access to information about our personal lives, social groups, corporate interactions, and civic society.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be a pop-up city, which will take over two blocks of a new Manchester city quarter for a day. This will take the form of a speculative city, one imagined through conjecture and curiosity, where artworks and design fictions create future visions of city institutions. A number of stand alone artworks will also be showcased, such as BUQS (Ubiquitous Electronic Life Forms) by Joris Hoogeboom and Teun Verkerk. Commissioned by the European Cities of Advanced Sound (ECAS) network, BUQS are small sound-emitting electronic life-forms which are distributed in public places to highlight the ever-growing presence of technology in everyday life.


Earlybird passes for the FutureEverything conference are now on sale at just £75. Live programme events are ticketed separately. Tickets for the conference and all performances can be purchased at

Comments are closed.