3.08. CASE STUDY: FutureCoast

CASE STUDY: FutureCoast


The FutureCoast project, created by the PoLAR Partnership at Columbia University and funded by the US National Science Foundation, is a participatory storytelling game that adopts an Experiential Futures perspective.

The FutureCoast website contains a selection of audio recordings, purporting to be ‘voice mails’ recorded between 2020-2065, that have somehow made their way back in time and are audible now. Each message provides a small glimpse into the future it purports to be from, usually focusing on the impacts of climate change.

People are invited to upload their own voice mails to the FutureCoast website, contributing to the bulletin board-style aesthetic of the website.

The strength of large-scale participatory work such as this is that it offers a porous space for public engagement. It can be challenging, however, to curate and maintain a quality standard across this platform. Nevertheless, FutureCoast experienced a high uptake in both contributors and audiences.