Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures 

Vienna Biennale for Change 2021


The multidisciplinary exhibition CLIMATE CARE: Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures is the MAK’s main contribution to the Vienna Biennale for Change 2021, which is calling for a change of our mindset with its motto PLANET LOVE: Climate Care in the Digital Age. The exhibition presents a multifaceted spectrum of contributions from art, design, architecture, urbanism, science, technology, activism, and diverse social and cultural initiatives that illustrate pioneering concepts and hopeful empowerment for a great change of civilization. From emotional approaches to concrete solutions, the exhibition reflects on the countless potentials to reimagine the future of our planet Earth in a versatile parcours.


Exhibition View, CLIMATE CARE. Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures. © Stefan Lux/MAK


The biennale is not simply an exhibition presenting works of international artists, designer, activists, authors and architects but mainly the occasion to present the opportunity to present researches, studies and experimental situations that tell of sustainable scenarios and new frontiers of coexistence.

The exhibition examines our understanding of nature’s complexities—how and as what we humans perceive nature. The international artistic positions in the exhibition illustrate ecological processes involving organic and inorganic materials and their historical interconnectedness in the context of a politically and economically networked world. The project is an invitation to think about new forms of cohabitation located beyond exploitation and conquest and to experiment with new methods of coexistence between the planet’s wide variety of living creatures.


Our planet Earth is a unique, living organism—and all its inhabitants are essential. For more than 4.5 billion years, it has been providing the common habitat for countless species which live in mutual dependence from each other and form the biosphere. It is time to redefine our relationship to this planet and its biological and cultural diversity and to care for, love, and protect it for future generations.


The first chapters of the exhibition are dedicated to this essential change in perspective. They present concepts and projects that convey the urgency to stand up for a planet that is itself an organism and requires our care. Such care has the potential to create a prosperous environment with the ability to recover and regenerate itself.


Exhibition View, CLIMATE CARE. Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures. © Stefan Lux/MAK


The curatorial team assumes that climate care is an ideal starting point for the prospective development of a common “more-than-human” future.  Through information about the drastic consequences of human exceptionalism lived over centuries, which is harming the planet at an exponentially growing rate, the exhibition is a call to consider the interdependence of all species and the relevance of a biocentric world view.

Our society needs a holistic vision that focuses on a multitude of micro-revolutions and ecological actions in order to seize the levers that need to be thrown for global and systemic change. The chapter “Imaginaries” is laid out as a collective search for ideas, tools, and design strategies that can be applied in selected areas of our everyday lives, such as nurturing, dwelling, moving, and generating, to provide positive impulses and inspiration.
Throughout the exhibition, prototypical design projects, art works, architectural models, urban strategies, and innovative, technology-based processes prove that interdisciplinary collaboration, bottom-up initiatives, and the application of indigenous knowledge can create realistic and feasible solutions that will have a lasting impact on the larger context.


The arts can speak to us in ways that statistics on climate and biodiversity cannot. They communicate directly with our senses and motivate us to practice 


CLIMATE CARE. Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures. Roya Aghighi, Living photosynthetic textile. What if textiles were alive and photosynthesized?, 2018. © Roya Aghighi; Exhibition View, CLIMATE CARE. Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures. Terreform ONE / Terreform X, Monarch Sanctuary, Lepidoptera terrarium, 2019. © Stefan Lux/MAK; Exhibition View, CLIMATE CARE. Reimaging Shares Planetary Futures in the front Vlasta Kubušová, Miroslav Král (crafting plastics! studio), Moritz Maria karl (Office MMK), Breathe IN/Breathe OUT, 2021; in the back: Sanne Visser, KNOT (The New Age of Trichology), 2019. Courtesy Stefan Lux/MAK

A SUPERFLUX commission transformed one of the MAK’s central atria into a charred glen with a mirrored pond in its center. Made from 400 trees recently incinerated in a wildfire, this immersive installation is at once a snapshot of our catastrophic trajectory and a symbol of hope.

Superflux transports visitors into a vision of a post-anthropocentric future no longer determined by humans alone. As visitors walk through the burnt and blackened forest of trees, they notice how their skeletal remains gracefully return their fertility to the earth around them. On arriving at a clearing, a glistening pool invites visitors to observe their reflections in the water, alongside those of many other species on the planet. This evocative installation provides an opportunity to reflect on our fragile, closely networked relationship with the natural world—an opportunity to imagine strategies that go beyond merely human concerns, based on regeneration, redistribution, and rewilding. The project is so designed that all the installation’s components will have an afterlife to neutralize its CO2 footprint.


SUPERFLEX, Invocation for hope, 2021. Image courtesy of Stephan Lux.




Anab Jain, Designer and Professor of Design Investigations, University of Applied Arts, Vienna; Hubert Klumpner, Architect and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich; Marlies Wirth, Curator Digital Culture and MAK Design Collection; Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, MAK General Director and Head of the VIENNA BIENNALE

Check the full list of authors click here