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We’re proud that we recently held the Future Landscapes Pop Up Exhibition at STEAMhouse, marking a triumphant celebration of innovative city design and forward-thinking urban planning using sustainable and responsible materials. After an exploratory workshop, led by Senior STEAMhouse Technician and sustainable material extra-ordinaire Sarah King, taking place over three experimental days, our curious creatives and thinkers treated the public to a captivating showcase of deep material investigations, visionary concepts, and imaginative storytelling, all aimed at shaping the future of our urban environments.



The exhibition called ‘Welcome to the Speculative Future 2104’ featured three different scenarios – humans having adapted to climate change, humans struggling to cope and humans having been wiped out. The exhibits included a post-apocalyptic video showing Birmingham, including its famous Bullring, disappearing under water and life beginning to recolonise the earth from the sea. Among the many people inspired by the vision was Mike Leonard of The Building Alliance and Visiting Professor at BCU who said he would incorporate many of the ideas into his building lectures and the Centre for Future Homes (a research group consisting of Birmingham City University academics, focused on helping organisations to measure and improve their building outputs) The Centre For Future Homes | Birmingham City University (



From the moment we stepped into the exhibition space in the inspiring STEAMhouse Atrium, we were transported into a realm of optimism and creativity. The displays, developed as part of a speculative workshop, were a testament to the power of collaboration and imagination in responsible urban design, in response to the climate emergency. Materials, artifacts, and structures all made from sustainable materials seamlessly intertwined with thought-provoking concepts, inviting guests to engage with the ideas that could potentially redefine our cities and the way we live. Some of the displays were created in as little as six hours, a testament to the flexibility of the qualities of sustainable materials and the quality of workshop participants.



One of the most striking aspects of the exhibition was the diverse range of perspectives presented through the freedom of the workshop. Participants from various backgrounds, including industry experts, city change-makers, and creative practitioners, came together to share their visions for the urban landscape. Through interactive discussions and hands on making, attendees had the opportunity to delve deeper into the concepts and gain insights from key thinkers in the field.



Those who attended the one-time-only pop-up exhibition were encouraged to explore freely, allowing them to immerse themselves in the speculative and ambitious approach to urban design. As they wandered through the displays, they were inspired by the potential futures depicted, each offering a glimpse into a world where sustainability, innovation, and inclusivity play central role in life, for people and for planet.



Throughout the event, there was a palpable sense of optimism about the role of design in addressing pressing urban challenges, particularly in the context of climate change. Discussions revolved around topics such as sustainable infrastructure, green spaces, and community-driven initiatives, highlighting the importance of imaginative and environmentally-friendly approaches to city planning.



As the exhibition drew to a close, it was evident that there was already a lasting impact despite the temporary nature of the materials used. The success of the Future Landscapes Pop Up Exhibition serves as a reminder of the transformative potential of design using sustainable materials and the importance of fostering creativity and collaboration in shaping the world we inhabit.



The Future Landscapes Pop Up Exhibition was not just a showcase of innovative ideas; it was a celebration of creativity, imagination, and collective vision. As we reflect on the event, let us carry forward the spirit of exploration and continue to work towards creating cities that are vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive for all.



We’d like to especially thank Blast Studios and Kaitlin Ferguson for their expertise, enthusiasm and co-leading of the 3-day exploratory workshop and exhibition, without them this inspiring collaboration and display would not have been possible.



This workshop and exhibition would also not be possible without our amazing participants, who we also unreservedly thank:

Zsiri Melinda Dempsey

Francesca Kiprianidis

Kavita B Purohit

Jordan  Murray

Freddy  Mendoza

Marcus Rowlands

Helen Kelly

Matt Gale

Marie-Louise Jones

Emily Churchill Zaraa

Abhinav Chaudhary

Savannah Willits

Jac Doody

Carolyn Morton

Steph Tudor

Roxie Collins

Sophie Csoklich

Magdalena Matzinger


A selection of other exciting photos from the workshop and exhibition can be seen below: