What is Future Playground?
Future Playground is an ongoing art series of untold, immersive stories that show desirable climate fiction scenes. Our narratives take place in virtual reality (VR) where we invite people to reimagine our interconnection and interdependence to nature. We play with ideas of positive futures because we feel dystopian narratives are dominant in our society. Even though such cautionary tales are important, we believe that we need a counter balance of proactive ideas; exploring what we actually want to happen and not just what we want to avoid.
Our VR artworks and social media encourage a community-oriented approach by inviting topic experts and future enthusiasts, especially underrepresented voices of BIPOC, youth, as well as intergenerational and non-human perspectives. They can test, contemplate, and contribute ideas to our metaphorical playgrounds. This participatory experience results in a curation of nature-inspired innovations working towards climate action interventions. Our goal for Future Playground is to evoke an internal drive and acknowledgement in people that humanity has the capacity to move beyond being ecosystem destroyers; and transition into ecosystem builders and stewards of an inclusive planetary-aligned future. And despite the unnerving mystery, complexity and unpredictability of the unknown, problem solving is not enough. We believe this fear can be alleviated through a collective effort steered by value-driven, desirable yet tangible, art-science-climate near future narratives. –
Why the theme of Island Resiliency?
“On spaceship Earth, there are no passengers, only crew.”
— Buckminster Fuller
Our series of artworks will focus on the future of islands. Embracing Buckminster Fuller’s concept of “Spaceship Earth”, like a large ship where all crew members must work together to maintain a successful voyage, so too must we work together on the planet to maintain healthy islands.
Additionally, Native American Folklore refers to Earth as “Turtle Island,” a co-created and co-living place with land and water. Islands reflect these ideas of being on a shared vessel, because at a micro scale, islands are constantly being transformed by intensified pressures and operating conditions. Historically, they’re also more vulnerable to change and disruption than mainlands. Currently, with sea levels on the rise, islands magnify this fragility as well as the delayed feedback loops caused by human-induced climate change.
As a collective species whose lives are intertwined on one spaceship, we must learn to nimbly navigate and reconcile these climate change effects together as one crew.
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution observed how islands are a display of some of the most unique, emergent and native phenomena – simply due to their size and location. These beautifully remote destinations are symbols for rapid prototyping and testing, navigating constant change, as well as immense culture and biodiversity. With Future Playground – Island Resiliency, we aim to shift the narrative of islands from being dependent, passive and isolated; to autonomous, adaptable and resilient ecosystems. We want to spotlight the invaluable wisdom of how islands appropriately respond to dynamic situations, and that they have the greatest potential to be a near future model for “urban island” landscapes which create optimal conditions for all of life to thrive.Lastly, within the team, we’ve all lived outside of island ecosystems which provides us with a heightened objectivity about them.
At the same time, we also have a shared kinship to island life: Our Producer, Giselle Carr and Consulting Cultural Expert Christopher Collens are rooted in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Our Scientist, Leon Wang is of Taiwanese heritage and supports research in sustainable ocean technology. Our Artist, Kassandra Huynh has Polynesian ancestry and is of coastal Vietnamese heritage