What happens if cities on the Northern hemisphere radically adapt to life in the rapidly warming urban heat island that they are becoming? Join us for a future conference, Heat Resilient Cities – Berlin 2039, taking place at the Untitled Festival 2021. Experience the biggest climate impact in European cities yet – extreme heat – and explore how we could adapt and thrive.

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New narratives
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement level: Some
Screen: Needed all the time

Heat Resilient Cities – Berlin 2039 is an immersive, collaborative storytelling experience consisting of a series of curated experiences and activities, and an experiment to imagine, create stories, moments, or personal experiences from a future where the climate crisis has had significant effects on everyday life. 

This session may involve moments of anxiety, stress, and hope.

Extreme urban heat is one of the most extreme threats from the climate crisis in European cities, though people rarely connect heat stress to the climate crisis in the way we do for floods. And while we may have processed the threat on an intellectual level, we struggle to grasp the magnitude of possible impacts with our guts, in a similar way to how we experienced the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Urban Heat Island Living is an unfolding immersive experience about living with extreme urban heat, and an ongoing investigation exploring the effects of the climate crisis on the lives of humans and their non-human companions in cities. Read more here.

We are looking for people with experience or interest in storytelling and world building – e.g. writing, improvisation, or a wild imagination. What gets us excited are people with policy backgrounds, amongst others working on social and ecological transformation and public (climate) health. 

Heat Resilient Cities Conference – Berlin 2039 is an activity that will inform and influence the design of a future immersive experience on responding to growing heat for leaders and decision makers in industry, policy, and civil society. 

The stories and moments created at the Untitled Festival will be embedded into the growing future scenario of Berlin & Europe around 2039, gathered in the Transformation Report. The materials will be made available for all participants to (re-)use, and the activities are used in the development of a method on collaborative climate futuring. 

We are looking for connections to public resilience officers, municipalities, and others concerned with extreme urban heat, tasked/able to respond to it, to embed ourselves into an existing process or to jointly co-create a participatory, design-driven adaptation and mitigation process. 

We are also looking for funding, resources, co-creators and test participants to design an immersive experience on living with extreme urban heat.

This session is hosted by researcher-designers Juli Sikorska, Francesca Desmarais, and Dan Lockton. 

Juli Sikorska is a strategic and experience designer translating the uncertainty of climate change into tangible experiences. She is the initiator of Urban Heat Island Living, a participatory intervention that explores how the climate crisis might dramatically change the way we live, work and play. Juli has worked with the MIT Climate CoLab, EU CreaTures, conducted workshops for Climate KIC, and her work has been exhibited at the Design Museum (UK), Dox Centre for Contemporary Art (CZ), and Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (DE).

Francesca Desmarais is an experienced designer and researcher fusing disciplines to shape a design process that helps communities and systems adapt to climate change. She has facilitated climate futuring workshops for Climate KIC, IDA, and CIID, and incorporated climate futures into an adaptation project with UNEP-DTU to design services for small businesses affected by flood.

Dan Lockton leads the Imaginaries Lab, a research-through-design studio based in Amsterdam, creating tools to support people’s imagining—new ways to understand, and new ways to live—in an age of crises and transitions. Dan is Assistant Professor, Future Everyday, at TU Eindhoven’s Industrial Design department, and has run workshops at previous Untitled events on new metaphors and participatory futuring. He has previously worked at the Royal College of Art (UK) and Carnegie Mellon University (US).

@julisikorska @fdesmarais @imaginari_es